Author Archives: MaryClare Martin

Aria Women’s Chorus in Monterey

Sean Boulware

A chilly spring afternoon on March 24th hosted the warmth of Aria Women’s Chorus program, She Sings!, at Monterey First Presbyterian ChurchUnder the direction of Sean Boulware, this women’s group continues to provide some of the best of choral music. Greg Gilpin’s arrangement of Christopher Marlowe’s text, Come Live With Me, provided the opening with a lovely gentleness of fluid voices. Sunlight, by JW Keckly had the “choir weave in and out of harmonic structures” as explained by Boulware by way of introduction. With Michelle Galindo trading the piano for flute, there was an ethereal ghostly quality to begin to set the stage for the vocal weaving – done to great effect.

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Archived in these categories: Choral


Camerata Singers at First Presbyterian in Monterey

Music Director John Koza

Out of a gloomy misty afternoon came a warm wealth of emotion as presented by The Camerata Singers program of Dona nobis pacem at First Presbyterian of Monterey. Without an exact admission fee, audience members were encouraged to donate as all proceeds will go to the Veterans Transition Center. Under the artistic and conducting direction of John Koza, these singers continue to evoke the best in their programing. This is also the program that features high school singers as part of the Camerata Futures. For the 19thyear, young singers have had an opportunity to be side by side with seasoned Camerata singers as partners and mentors.

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Archived in these categories: Choral


Chanticleer Christmas at the Mission

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For 40 years the exquisite blend of the voices of Chanticleer have entertained, recorded and traveled the world. This eloquent and elegant group brought A Chanticleer Christmas to the Carmel Mission Basilica on Friday, December 21st. Founded in 1978 by Louis Botto and named for the “clear singing” rooster in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, they were first known for interpretations of Renaissance music. However, this group is as likely to also include jazz, folk, and contemporary choral works. 

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Archived in these categories: Choral, Vocal ensemble


Christmas with the Camerata Singers

Director John Koza

The annual Christmas With The Camerata Singers, on December 16, is a program not to be missed and this afternoon’s concert at First Presbyterian Monterey was no exception. Under artistic director and conductor John Koza, these singers continue to prove their choral chops. One of the two numbers that was not in English, Z. Randall Stroope’s Resonet in Laudibus, crisply started off the first half with terrific diction. Minimal instrument accompaniment was used to the greatest effect in support of a variety of the following pieces. The assured harp playing of Ruthanne Adams Martinez beautifully supported a number of pieces starting with Stephen Paulus’ Hallelu. Three more Paulus numbers throughout the afternoon also benefited from Martinez’ lovely accompaniment. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Choral


I Cantori di Carmel at the Mission

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Music Director Cyril Deaconoff

As the second conductor to continue I Cantori di Carmel since Sal Farentelli’s retirement, Cyril Deaconoff provided choral delights of the season as well as a West Coast premiere of his own composition. Ringing through the Carmel Mission Basilica the forty plus singers of this long standing local chorus opened from the back of the Mission with “Serenisima une Noche” by 17thcentury composer Fray Geronimo Gonzalez. The gentleness of “a most serene night” carried beautifully, and then as the chorus processed to the risers, the style changed into a joyful dance section. Enduring favorites of the season followed starting with the highly rhythmic setting of “Here We Come A-caroling” as arranged by Josh Sparkman. A decidedly different arrangement by Dan Forrest of the 1868 carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Lewis Redner featured soprano sax, violin and piano. The plaintive and haunting saxophone melody deftly wove in and out of the choral strains evoking a scene of long ago. Another favorite of choral groups in this season is the lively “Riu, Riu, Chiu” given a leisurely pace to really appreciate the warning call of the kingfisher to help protect the Virgin and Child. Another season favorite, Thomas Morley’s “Lirum, Lirum” continued the idea of seeking the Christ Child. The title refers to the imitative sound of a lute. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Choral, I Cantori