Author Archives: MaryClare Martin

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


Hartnell Community Choir at Church of the Wayfarer

On June 10, Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel was the acoustically lovely setting for the Hartnell Community Choir’s ambitious program under the direction of Robin McKee Williams. This small but mighty vocal ensemble continues to prove its vocal chops with challenging music more often programmed with larger groups. The richness of sound and blend with string instruments, piano and flute was more than evident. Four guest vocalists began the program featuring arias and art songs from a variety of composers. Gabriel Faure’s En Sourdine, featuring Kirl Havezov, baritone, set a peaceful feeling that evolved into “the nightingale” singing as the “voice of our despair.” Anna Yelizarova, mezzo-soprano, followed with a most confident, and wide vocal range, Amour from the second act of Camille Saint-Saens “Sampson and Delila.” What may appear as a love song and enticement for Sampson to go to Delila, is actually a song of vengeance with a wish for the god of love to “pour poison in his heart.” Veronica Jensen, mezzo-soprano, displayed a very flirty and strong Carmen from the moment she walked on. There was no doubt as to what was on Carmen’s mind. In Nemico della patria, from Umberto Giordano’s “Andrea Chenier”, Krassen Karagiozov, baritone, sang of being the “Enemy of the Fatherland.” Strength of conviction and emotion was consistent throughout the aria finishing with “the only truth is passion.” The piano mastery of Marina Thomas underpinning these strong soloists goes without saying. It was as if Thomas was an orchestra unto herself. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Choral, Romantic Era


Monterey Peninsula Voices –“Let’s Go the the Movies”

Monterey Peninsula Voices under the direction of Dr. Sean Boulware definitely took us to to the movies for this rousing program on May 13 at the newly-renovated Monterey Conference Center. Boulware knows how to get the best from this group of 100+ singers of all ages and abilities. What could be better than music representing a wide variety of films? So much of the enjoyment of almost any film is the emotion provoking background music. While some can be older music rearranged, so much is newly and specifically created for a film. Whether warning of impending gloom and doom or the lushness of a romantic pastoral scene, music pulls at our emotions. As these enthusiastic singers demonstrated, any emotion is available and has been arranged musically. So, in the newly remodeled and sterile gray of the ballroom, the Peninsula Voices transported the audience to these movie locations in musical ways for the audience to enjoy. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Choral, Piano