Author Archives: MaryClare Martin

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


Aria Women’s Chorus in Monterey — Stronger Together

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Stronger Together was the theme of Aria Women’s Chorus presentation Sunday afternoon November 18 at First Presbyterian Church, Monterey. What could be a more apt theme to express how this group works together musically?  As conductor Sean Boulware was absent, Michelle Boulware took over the conducting duties. A woman conducting women seemed especially appropriate for this afternoon’s repertoire including the closing piece “Stronger Together” by Sarah Jaysmith. This was a fitting end of an emotional and uplifting program. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Choral


INSPIRARE – Church In The Forest

A beautiful, lazy fall afternoon in the tree house setting of The Church In The Forest at Robert Louis Stevenson School was home to the newest vocal group on the peninsula, INSPIRARE. This program was the third presentation of the debut program under the direction of Dr. Sean Boulware. Inspirare – to breathe, to inspire – is composed of twenty-one singers from the greater Monterey Bay area. “Voices Rising” as a program title was most appropriate for this fledgling group of talented singers. Eclectic repertoire spanned the centuries from 16thcentury Palestrina and Tomas Victoria to contemporary Eric Whitacre and Shawn Kirchner. Interspersed within the centuries was a spirited variety of African songs. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Choral


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