Author Archives: MaryClare Martin

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


Aria — Sacred Words

A lovely fall afternoon befitting Sacred Words welcomed all to the Church In The Forest. Under the direction of Dr. Sean Boulware, the women of Aria continue their vocal excellence. So many of the afternoon’s pieces carried a messages that endure through the ages. Even with contemporary settings, words from thousands of years ago from diverse sacred texts are strikingly comforting in today’s world. As Boulware described, these texts are important in many faith journeys as anchor, comfort, and strength. 

Words from Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, interspersed with Psalm 21, were the basis for the Joan Szymko setting, “I Lift My Eyes.” This was a most appropriate lead in to “Gate Gate” which is a Sanskrit text. “Gate” means gone – as in from suffering, from forgetfulness to mindfulness, as in to the other side. Fragments of Sufi Rumi poetry were the inspiration for “Where Your Bare Foot Walks.” This romantic work was written for David Childs’ bride as an emotional present of love.

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Archived in these categories: Choral


Celebration Choir: Walkin’ Together — Changing Our World

On August 10, Celebration Choir presented its 23rd Annual Spirituals Night at Monterey First Presbyterian Church. Connie Fortunato is so full of energy sharing the music in her soul with local audiences, but even more significantly with the vulnerable children in Eastern Europe. In Fortunato’s eyes, music is truly the universal language of working and creating together. With that in mind, the evening’s program, Walkin’ Together – Changing our World”  – began with Moses Hogan’s “Music Down In My Soul.” 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 while progressing to the stage. More of Hogan’s numbers followed, “Walk Together, Children” as well as “We shall Walk Through the Valley in Peace” toward the end of the program.

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Archived in these categories: Choral


I Cantori di Carmel: Expressions of the Heart

Cyril Deaconoff

Expressions of the Heart is a most apt title for the evening’s program from I Cantori di Carmel. All Saints’ Church in Carmel, provided the beautiful acoustics for an eclectic program ranging from Bach to contemporary Russian composer Georgy Sviridov. As Conductor Cyril Deaconoff pointed out, this selection of choral works is sung from the heart to the heart of the listener. I Cantori program notes are known for rich descriptions – definitely an appreciated mini history lesson without sitting through graduate classes! 

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