The Artistic and Administration Staff
Timothy Koch, DMA
Music Director and Conductor
Timothy Koch enters his twenty-third season as Music Director and Conductor of the Carolina Master Chorale in 2023-2024. His tenure has been marked by notable growth in artistic achievement, extensive touring, acclaimed performances of masterworks for chorus and orchestra, opera productions, commissioning of numerous major new works, and expanded educational programming.
Koch has led the CMC in tour performances of Italy in 2003, Denmark, Germany, and the Czech Republic in 2005, at New York's Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in 2007, and in Spain in 2008, Costa Rica in 2010, Finland, Estonia, and Russia in 2012, and Montreal and Québec City in Québec, Canada in the summer of 2018.
In South Carolina, Koch and the CMC have presented acclaimed performances of Bach's St. John Passion, the Mozart and Brahms Requiems, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and Beethoven's Mass in C. Koch has prepared the CMC for performances of Verdi's Requiem and Stabat Mater, the Poulenc Gloria, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Schoenberg's A Survivor from Warsaw, Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music and Orff’s Carmina Burana, among others. The CMC performed Robert Palmeri’s Misa Tango for the 2019 Southern Division Conference of the American Guild of Organists. A performance of Bernstein's Chichester Psalms with the Long Bay Symphony inspired Myrtle Beach Herald reviewer William Hamilton to write, "The appropriately named Carolina Master Chorale is a treasure..."
Koch and the CMC first embraced opera in 2006 with a full concert performance of Bizet's Carmen. The Chorale followed with semi-staged productions of Verdi's La Traviata in 2008, Carmen again in 2013, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance in 2017. Following the Verdi performances, William Hamilton again wrote for the Herald, "The remarkable Carolina Master Chorale made listeners completely unaware this is a volunteer group and not a full-time professional music ensemble."
The CMC has also enjoyed many fruitful artistic collaborative projects. During Koch’s tenure, the Chorale has forged performing relationships with the Long Bay Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, and New Amsterdam (New York) Orchestras, composer Carlisle Floyd, conductors Eph Ehly, Charles Jones Evans, Nicholas Smith, Donald Neuen, Robert Page, Donald Nally, David Rayl, André Thomas, Viennese baritone, Benno Schollum, and American singers David Bankston, Ann Benson, Joe Chappel, Kirstin Chavez, Adrienne Danrich, Emily Hindrichs, Shelly Jameson, Jeffrey Jones, Mark Vitale, and Arianna Zukerman.
Locally, the CMC has shared productions with Conway's Theatre of the Republic, Litchfield Dance Arts, and the Myrtle Beach School of Performing Arts.
Though the Carolina Master Chorale maintains a very active annual performance calendar, the ensemble also enjoys regular appearances for area schools, civic clubs, and community functions. This season the CMC presents its Third Annual Carolina Master Chorale/Coastal Carolina University Vocal Competition. Winners receive scholarships and solo performances with the Chorale.
As founder/music director of the professional Carolina Chamber Chorale, Koch inspired widespread artistic achievement. Together, they can be heard on twelve commercial recordings on the Albany and Naxos/Milken Archive labels. Koch’s work with the ensemble has been lauded by Gramophone Magazine: "a wonderful compendium of finely-judged performances"; the Charleston Post and Courier: "You have not heard anything like this. Ever." and American Composer Samuel Adler: "the finest professional choir in America."
Koch holds degrees from Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Illinois and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He has taught at the Eastman School of Music, Syracuse University, The University of Southern Mississippi, wherein 1998, he was chosen as the sole USM recipient of the Mississippi legislature's HEADWAE award, the University of South Carolina, the College of Charleston, and Illinois Wesleyan University, where he served as Visiting Director of Choral Activities in Spring 2009. He has served as a board member for the Mississippi chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, the future Myrtle Beach Performing Arts Center, and the Conductor’s Retreat at Medomak (Maine), and is a current member of the international jury for the WAC Choral Video Competition, based in Germany.
Timothy Koch is married to a South Carolina native and CMC soprano Jo Nell Koch.
D. Scott Ferguson
D. Scott Ferguson served on the music staff for the Broadway productions Mary Poppins and Coram Boy. He has also been a member of the music staff for the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas Spectacular for ten years.
While in New York City, he served as Musical Director with educational programs for Symphony Space, Manhattan Theatre Club, and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
As a Broughton Fellow, he earned a Piano Performance degree from Murray State University (KY), attended the American Institute of Musical Studies (Graz, Austria), and then received a Master's degree in Piano Performance: Vocal Coaching and Accompanying from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign under the tutelage of John Wustman.
D. Scott enjoys teaching and performing at Coastal Carolina University.
Rebecca A. Donevant
A native of Myrtle Beach, Rebecca is beginning her 8th year with the Carolina Master Chorale. She previously served as Executive Director for the non-profit Grand Strand Golf Director's Association for 30 years while also spending 40+ years in the hospitality industry. Her experience in management, marketing, and business brings a wide expanse of knowledge to the Carolina Master Chorale.
She has served on the Board of Directors for the Long Bay Symphony and on the City of Myrtle Beach's Cultural Arts Advisory Committee. Rebecca attended Myrtle Beach schools and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.