Author Archives: MaryClare Martin

David Gordon — Singing My Heart Out — 150 Years of Songs about Conscience and Hope

Sometimes a simple setting is the best background for musical eloquence. Such was the case October 7th at 3:30 p.m. at The Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula featuring the troubadour extraordinaire, David Gordon. Humor, eloquence, elegance, emotion, talent, and much more were on abundant display! Though having physically moved to Oregon, Gordon’s spirit and music will never leave the Monterey Peninsula. An early arriving audience busily buzzing in anticipation certainly attested to this fact to be part of the sold out program. As the subtitle noted, songs from 1852 through 2016 were featured. By weaving themes together, the strength of lyrics proved their timeless as well as timely relevance. Along the way, history of the composers or of the times that inspired the pieces was also woven in. If all history lessons were presented in Gordon’s inimitable way, perhaps more of us would retain historical facts and be more sensitive. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Vocal

Barbershop Extravaganza

The ever talented and creative Kristen Thompson has pulled off yet another delightful Barbershop program. A gorgeous Sunday afternoon, September 30, at the Community Church of the Monterey Peninsula in Carmel Valley was the setting for the irrepressible sounds of Barbershop harmonies – with a few corny jokes thrown in for good measure. In addition to the familiar barbershop gems, student groups from Salinas High School and Pacific Grove High School were featured. A hallmark of this style is not only the blended harmonies, but also not using music. Everything is memorized to the greatest effect of communication with the audience. A particular hallmark of this afternoon’s music was the singers’ ages from 16 to 92 – all blended in vocal harmony as well as the camaraderie of the group. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Choral

Celebration Choir — August 12, 2018

A wonderful combination of song and service! What could be better than Turn The World Around: Stronger Together! ? Connie Fortunato continues her winning streak with the summertime Celebration Choir performing at First Presbyterian Church of Monterey.If music is truly the universal language, then gathering all ages and backgrounds into this stellar group to not only entertain but also continue to bring music to vulnerable children in Eastern Europe exemplifies this service. The happy gathering crowd was quite abuzz anticipating what was to come. And what came was spectacular.

What spirituals night would be complete without Moses Hogan’s music? The choral world and world in general lost a beautiful soul and composer far too young in 2003.  “Music Down In My Soul” makes the perfect opener to this evening’s program. With the signature entry of “surround sound” this choir of happy, smiling and singing faces set the tone as well as toes tapping and hands clapping. Following pieces included Bonse Aba featuring call and response so typical of spirituals as a way of learning and remembering; dynamite arranger Larry Farrow’s arrangement of Turn The World Around; and Craig Curry’s arrangement of “Room At The Welcome Table” with a smooth jazz opening before becoming a boisterous welcome for everyone. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Choral

Carmel Bach Festival 2018 – Family Concert: Leonard and Rasmus


The Carmel Bach Festival has so many outreach and family oriented events. One of the absolute favorites is the continuing saga of Leonard and Rasmus. The fifth of this continuing series of stories involving the young boy Leonard and his stuffed horse Rasmus came to life Saturday morning at 11:00 am, July 21, at Sunset Center in Carmel in front of a multiage crowd. Understanding that Rasmus is pure magic appeals to the youngsters in the audience as well as the adults. This marvelous creation comes from Suzanne Mudge, Tower Music Director and since 2015, Director of Community Engagement at the Carmel Bach Festival. Other adventures have gone round the world to nine countries, underwater, solving a Carmel mystery celebrating 100 years of the town, and going into space to the moon. Of course, each story line is not only delightfully entertaining, but has accompanying music provided by festival singers and instrumentalists. The “boy” is none other than Paul Goodwin enchanting the audience with his sense of playfulness and shocking orange hair.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Carmel Bach Festival

Carmel Bach Festival 2018 – “Medieval Hymn” at the Carmel Mission

“Medieval Hymn” filled the acoustically rich Carmel Mission Basilica Wednesday evening July 18. There is a continuing tradition with the Chorale of the Bach Festival, under the direction of Andrew Megill, to present a candle light program. Escorted by the red robed Bach Festival Candle Bearers, the Chorale entered while singing a traditional plainchant Jesu dulcis amor meus. Beginning with the tenor/bass sounding as herald trumpets, this was perfectly timed with tenor/bass alternating verses with soprano/alto to reach their positions backlit by the stand of twenty tall tapers. Works of Dieterich Buxtehude, Tomas Luis De Victoria, Anton Bruckner, Knut Nysted, and, of course, Johann Sebastian Bach, were cleverly woven together. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Carmel Bach Festival, Choral