Camerata Singers – To Pauline – With Love

Image result for Pauline Troia

The Camerata Singers, under the direction of John Koza, presented To Pauline,…with Love on May 12 at First Presbyterian Church, Monterey. This bittersweet occasion to bid farewell to Pauline Troia – exemplary pianist, accompanist for 30+ years – was a terrific program of choral jewels. With the likes of Aaron Copland, Daniel Brimsmead, Randall Thompson, John Rutter, Moses Hogan along with arrangements by Josephine Poelnitz and Craig Hella Johnson all represented, some of the finest and most enduring works of choral repertoire were presented. Troia chose many of these selections as some of her favorites through the years. However, this was definitely a “working” tribute to Troia as she was most expertly busy at the piano. She continues to make the keyboard music look and sound effortless. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Choral, Classical Era, Piano, Vocal, Vocal ensemble


Lamplighter’s Production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers

I am always amazed at how fresh William S. Gilbert’s humor continues to be in this day and age. Even though it was written over one hundred years ago, the writing in “The Gondoliers” is always delightful and at times hysterically funny. This was made abundantly clear in the current Lamplighters production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s twelfth operetta, which I had the good fortune to see this past Sunday afternoon at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Choral, Opera, Vocal ensemble


Madregalia presents “Twelfth Night” – Renaissance Music for Christmas

Director Jeff Demarco & the Madregalia Singers

Hearing the Madregalia Singers presentation of “Twelfth Night – Renaissance Music for Christmas” at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Monterey last night was my first opportunity to observe the artistic craft of Jeff DeMarco, whose work with “Madregalia” and “The Pastyme Consort” has been much admired. I would have preferred to have one of our other reviewers more conversant with choral music cover the concert, but since they were unavailable, I was the last man standing.

Being by profession a pianist deeply immersed in “the truly expressive music of the 19th century,” leaving my comfort zone to hear music from the 15th and 16th centuries initially left me feeling about as out of place as a gunman at a garden party. But early on, some magic happened. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Choral, Vocal ensemble


Salute to Sal! A Farewell Concert at the Carmel Mission!

As expected it was a amazing sendoff! The Carmel Mission was packed to the gills, and into many six-seat-capacity pews were squeezed one or two additional music lovers — this was the largest audience I can ever remember seeing at the Mission. It was the first of two “Farewell Concerts” celebrating Sal Ferrantelli’s 36 years with I Cantori, and, sadly to say, marking his retirement from the group. Ferrantelli has nurtured and developed I Cantori over the last three and a half decades into a professional ensemble that has consistently presented performances on the highest artistic level of choral music that spanned many centuries. It has also often included his own compositions written for I Cantori.

Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Baroque, Choral, Classical Era, I Cantori, Romantic Era, Strings, Vocal ensemble


Camerata Singers feature works by John Rutter

John Rutter

The March 5th Camerata concert was truly a Rutter extravaganza as programmed by John Koza, Artistic Director and Conductor. While the REQUIEM was the focal point of the second half of the program, there were more works by John Rutter and others. Rutter has gained a reputation of having his works truly accessible for choirs of all ages and strengths. An added bonus was the number of young musicians featured. The March concert has become the program including the Camerata Futures. This is the seventeenth year of auditioned high school students rehearsing along side the adults in the group. By the overall sound of the group, these young singers were more than holding their own. Speaking with a couple of them afterwards also proved that it was fun for them as well. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Choral, Vocal ensemble