PRESS RELEASE: June 12, 2023
FROM: Carolina Master Chorale
The Carolina Master Chorale is pleased to present their 41st Anniversary Season, “Heroism and the Power of Love” celebrating the 24th season under the artistic leadership of Music Director & Conductor, Dr. Timothy Koch.
Special Event! – “Considering Matthew Shepard”
by Craig Hella Johnson
The Carolina Master Chorale opens its 2023-24 concert season October 13-15, with CONSIDERING MATTHEW SHEPARD, a Grammy-nominated three-part oratorio composed by Craig Hella Johnson. The work is an evocative and compassionate musical response to the murder of Matthew Shepard. On October 6, 1998, University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, and left to die, in what became an infamous act of brutality, and one of America’s most notorious anti-gay hate crimes. Shepard’s murder ultimately led to the creation of the Matthew Shepard Foundation and provided a catalyst for legislation that expanded the definition of a hate crime to include sexual orientation. In 2009, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Composer Craig Hella Johnson had a profoundly personal reaction to both the murder and its resonance.
This three-part fusion oratorio speaks with a fresh and bold voice, incorporating a variety of musical styles seamlessly woven into a unified whole. Johnson sets a wide range of poetic and soulful texts by poets including Hildegard of Bingen, Lesléa Newman, Michael Dennis Browne, and Rumi. The Shepard family and Foundation engaged with Johnson in the creation of the work and allowed the use of fragments from Shepard’s personal diary. These excerpts, along with interviews and writings from Matthew’s parents Judy and Dennis Shepard, newspaper reports, and additional texts by Johnson and Browne are poignantly appointed throughout the work.
The Carolina Master Chorale will stage the work in a collaborative effort with the Theatre of the Republic of Conway South Carolina. A chamber instrumental ensemble from the Long Bay Symphony of Myrtle Beach will accompany the performance. The ensemble features string quintet, clarinet, guitar, marimba, and percussion. Soloists, singing in musical styles from classical to country and gospel will be chosen from throughout the Myrtle Beach musical community.
- Saturday, October 14, 2023 – 7:30 pm Myrtle Beach High School Performing Arts Center
- Sunday, October 15, 2023 – 3:00 pm Myrtle Beach High School Performing Arts Center
41st Anniversary Subscription Concert Series Begins With:
This Day Sing Gloria
On December 9 and 10, 2023, the Carolina Master Chorale opens its 41st Subscription Concert Series with its long-standing holiday tradition, presenting music for choir and brass ensemble celebrating Christmas and Hanukah. The program is anchored by medium length works of contemporary choral composers including setting of Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi, Jeffrey Ames and John Rutter, Hodie (“This Day”) by Z. Randall Stroope, and excerpts from Aspects of a Great Miracle about the Hanukah story by Michael Isaacson. The program is accompanied by a ten-piece brass and percussion ensemble from the Long Bay Symphony of Myrtle Beach.
- Saturday, December 9, 2023 – 4:00 pm Trinity United Methodist Church, North Myrtle Beach
- Sunday, December 10, 2023 – 4:00 pm 1st Presbyterian Church, Myrtle Beach
Broadway Heroes, Broadway Lovers
In February 2024, the Carolina Master Chorale merges two of its most popular programs, featuring the winners of the Seventh Annual Carolina Master Chorale/Coastal Carolina University Student Vocal Competition in a Broadway love song concert for Valentine’s Day. The program, which will be designed around the competition winners after their selection in the Fall of 2023, will include songs such as “Make Them Hear You” from RAGTIME, “The Impossible Dream” from MAN OF LA MANCHA, “Can You Read My Mind?” from SUPERMAN, “One Day More” from LES MISERABLES, “In Every Age” from TITANIC, and more.
- Saturday, February 17, 2024 – 4:00 pm Trinity United Methodist Church, North Myrtle Beach
- Sunday, February 18, 2024 – 4:00 pm 1st Presbyterian Church, Myrtle Beach
On April 27 and 28, 2024, the Carolina Master Chorale season finale will celebrate eight local heroes from eight walks of life, whose passions and efforts have made the world a better place. Honorees or their designees will be present to hear their stories told in brief, and to experience a choral performance selected specifically to ennoble their personal contributions. This is the second time the CMC has produced a program under this theme, and as there were far more nominees than could be honored at the previous concerts, this event undoubtedly will bring highly deserved recognition to individuals and causes that have improved the lives of all they touch.
- Saturday, April 27, 2024 – 4:00 pm Trinity United Methodist Church, North Myrtle Beach
- Sunday, April 28, 2024 – 4:00 pm 1st Presbyterian Church, Myrtle Beach
Individual performance tickets are $25 for Adults, $20 for Seniors and Veterans and $5 for students (up to 22 with ID). Children under 12 attend free. For our 1st concert, Considering Matthew Shepard, tickets will be purchased through Theatre of the Republic. All other individual tickets may be purchased through our website.
Season Tickets are $70 for Adults, $55 for Seniors and Veterans and $15 for Students (up to 22 with ID). Children under 12 attend free.
Ticket outlets are: The Wacky Rabbit – 7702 N. Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC
For more information regarding tickets, please visit our website, www.CarolinaMasterChorale.com or call the Carolina Master Chorale office at 843.444.5774.
Bernstein: Chichester Psalms
“The appropriately named Carolina Master Chorale is a treasure… Koch’s beautifully prepared Carolina Master Chorale blended with the Long Bay Symphony as if they do this all the time…”
– Myrtle Beach Herald
Verdi: La Traviata
“This was a full length version production, sung in its original Italian. The program called the production semi-staged, but there was nothing amateurish about it.
“Koch’s sensitive conducting of the orchestra let listener feel the impact of such passages as the high, poignant strings which open the opera, returning late in the work after many shifts of mood.
“The remarkable Carolina Master Chorale sent forth jolts of energy in such numbers as the famous ‘Drinking Song’ in Act 1, making listeners completely unaware this is a volunteer group with diverse backgrounds, and not a full time professional music ensemble.
“Everyone and everything worked well in this production. Nothing dragged and there was a sense of hardly realizing it was over when it ended.
“Timothy Koch, the Carolina Master Chorale, and the cast of fine professionals let us experience a work which is an artistic entree into a world which existed as vividly today as it did in the 19th century.”
– Myrtle Beach Herald
Verdi: Stabat Mater
“In tones that ranged from quiet and contemplative to mournfully passionate, the 80 member Chorale offered up a stirring rendition of Giuseppe Verdi’s Stabat Mater. A flawless performance, it demonstrated the group’s vocal skills and precision.”
– The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Ginastara: Lamentations of Jeremiah
“In one of the special moments of the afternoon, this region’s other treasure, the Carolina Master Chorale, took the stage. Timothy Koch prepared the audience for the music to come with a brief description of the background of Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera and his powerful Lamentations of Jeremiah. Secure intonation let listeners concentrate on the vocal tone colors, the complex and difficult harmonies, and shifting dynamics”
– The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Brubeck: La Fiesta de la Posada
“It’s not often that one associates a powerful, well-trained choir with jazz, but the program presented by the CMC certainly erased any doubts about whether this works. The CMC handled all of this effortlessly, and the soloists – Emily Hindrichs, David Bankston, Joe Chappel, and Drew Trautman – were exceptional. Certain parts must be pointed out – the jazz waltz feeling No. 8, “Run Run Run”, the Three Wise Men in No.9, ‘Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh’ with the unconventional chords, the riveting No. 10, ‘My Soul Magnifies the Lord’ with its interweaving of declamatory instrumental gestures and beautiful solo, and finally No. 14, ‘God’s Love Made Visible,’ with its unusual beat and massive, breathtaking conclusion, using all vocal and instrumental forces – because they demonstrate clearly the skill and power of the CMC itself.”
– Myrtle Beach Herald
Guest Artist Reviews
“The highest praise from me.”
– Carlisle Floyd, World-Renowned American Opera Composer
“How can I thank the Carolina Master Chorale enough for its superlative performances of my Seven Deadly Sins and An American Hallel performed this past weekend? To put it in a nutshell, CMC’s skill and execution was right up there with America’s top choral ensembles. Undoubtedly, this is due not only to the genuinely dedicated and nice community of CMC singers but also to their gifted and inspired musical leaders Maestro Tim Koch and composer-in-residence/accompanist Andrew Fowler. When leaders with vision show their charges the mountaintop and accept no less, great heights are attained. For all this, I am grateful for a thrilling weekend of music making. I will always be a devoted friend of the Carolina Master Chorale.”
– Michael Isaacson, Ph. D., Composer
“I thank you for reaching out to me to be a part of a great experience. Cheers and rousing applause.”
– Mitch Laurence, narrator, actor, ESPN commentator
“My friends and I are still talking about how blown away we were today by that concert we saw. The chorale sounded amazing. Very Impressive!!!!”
– Michael Orland, Music Director, American Idol
“What a wonderful, innovative program by you and the CMC yesterday! The choir sounded great, and the new works were very enjoyable and engaging. It is so encouraging not only to see the CMC continuing to build momentum, but to see the success of interesting, fresh programming concepts presented in this community. Your efforts in this regard help to open up the market for new ideas with the Symphony and all other arts groups. Please share with the chorus (and with Andy Fowler) my enthusiastic congratulations for a huge undertaking well done!”
– Charles Jone Evans, Music Director, Long Bay Symphony
“Thank you again for the wonderful performance. You guys are really special.”
– Ewa Mataya Laurance, World Champion Billiard Player
“I have to tell you that the best and highest class music making I’ve experienced since I have been here has come from the Carolina Master Chorale- it is really a first class organization. I wish you all continued success!”
– John Santuccio, Executive Director, Horry County Arts & Cultural Enhancement