Author Archives: MaryClare Martin

Camerata Singers – Considering Matthew Shepard

Craig Hella Johnson

Throughout history so many tragic consequences have been made into art forms – murals, drama, oratorios, requiems. The musical and sensitive brilliance of Craig Hella Johnson has turned a 21st century tragedy into the stunning Considering Matthew ShepardUnder the assured direction of John Koza, the sturdy thirty members of Camerata Singers premiered this stellar work on March 6, 7, 8. Being present on Sunday afternoon, I was particularly struck by the discipline of performing this emotionally wrought work three days in a row. As is a month-of-March-custom for this group, admission was what the audience felt like contributing to benefit a local group, in this case, Harmony At Home. This group’s mission is “to end the cycles of violence and abuses by empowering children and young adults with knowledge, skills and confidence to lead healthy and productive lives.”  Because of the subject matter of Hella Johnson’s work, this is a perfect beneficiary.

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Archived in these categories: 21st Century, Choral


Choral Artists of Carmel — Winter Concert

The warmth of music dispelled the gloom of the afternoon on December 22, when the formerly Hartnell Community Choir now known as Choral Artists of Carmel gave their concert at Church of the Wayfarer. Robin McKee Williams conducts this small but mighty group of singers. McKee Williams has the terrific knack of uniting wondrous voices along with using Monterey Strings, under the direction of David Dally, violin, and including Laura Burian, violin, Arlyn Knapic, viola, Margie Dally, cello, and Constantine Theodosian, double bass; Pamela Scholz, harp, Greg Bullock, percussion, and Robert McNamara, guitar. Not one to shy away from seemingly daunting repertoire, McKee Williams provides repertoire that elevates and educates musically. The gamut of this program began with the soloist, Heather Green, soprano, singing her own composition, Tomorrow Never Knows. With confident piano from George Peterson, an introduction with Margie Dally’s liquid and richly smooth cello, McNamara’s guitar, strings and quirky percussion from Bullock, there was no doubt that this would be an afternoon of extraordinary music. 

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Archived in these categories: Choral


Christmas with the Camerata Singers

Music Director/Conductor Koza

Beautiful afternoon sunshine shone to invite all to the annual Christmas With The Camerata Singers on December 15 at First Presbyterian Church of Monterey. This was a program not to be missed. Under artistic director and conductor John Koza, these singers continue to prove their choral chops. A Koza hallmark is excellent diction, and even without the helpful program notes these singers continue to evoke the best in their programing. Koza is quite masterful at choosing repertoire for this season and group. Familiar seasonal favorites along side a couple of not often programmed selections made the variety just right. It is a great balance when a program has both known repertoire as well as introducing the not often heard.

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Archived in these categories: Choral


Monterey Peninsula Voices — Remembering Decembers

DirectorSean Boulware

Monterey Peninsula Voices presented Remembering Decembers at First Presbyterian Church of Monterey on Sunday afternoon, December 8. This true community group of ninety singers of many ages and levels of experience comes together under the direction of Sean Boulware. Boulware wisely chooses repertoire to show off this group’s capabilities. They look and sound like they are having fun. Enthusiasm always transmits to the audience – you see on their faces and hear in their voices. While the first half represented a number of December favorites around the world, the second half presented a very ambitious major work. This group is consistently and more than solidly accompanied by Michelle Galindo who never fails to make the accompaniments look and sound easy through a myriad of styles. 

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Archived in these categories: Choral


I Cantori di Carmel at the Mission

On Sunday, December 7 we had a dark and stormy night with the wind howling and the rain pouring a rhythm of it’s own…..oh wait….that’s another story line. Although dark and stormy, the warmth of the Carmel Mission Basilica and the sounds of I Cantori di Carmel along with Monterey County Pops Brass warmed the hearts and spirits of all who ventured to hear this wondrous program. The chorus under the direction of Cyril Deaconoff along with the brass under the direction of Carl Christensen brightened the evening with the familiar of the season along with original works by local composers.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Choral, I Cantori