Monterey Peninsula Voices


Sean Boulware

The audience trickled in to the hustle and bustle of the dynamite combo warming up for the Monterey Peninsula Voices program on Sunday, May 12, at the Santa Catalina High School auditorium. Under the direction of Dr. Sean Boulware, just the warm up was an exciting predictor of what was to come. These 100+ voices in their terrific themed tee shirts showed unflagging enthusiasm and delight to be part of this group. As a Road Trip theme might be imagined, Boulware has chosen a wealth of location songs stretching from I Left My Heart in San Franciscoto Boy From New York City with stops in between along Route 66. John Lett and Robin Jepsen soloed more than ably in Tuxedo Junction. As with many of these familiar songs the recording artist who made it famous is often more remembered than the actual composer. Erskine Hawkins wrote this piece made popular by numerous big bands as well as soloists. Hard to imagine Lynard Skynard being responsible for Sweet Home Alabama, but with the killer guitar work of Noah Reeves, the singers brought it home. Another popular song, Georgia On My Mind, is mostly remembered for the Ray Charles version. Phil Price not only soloed, but also provided his own guitar accompaniment. Next up, the tenors and basses gave a hearty treatment of Westward Ho! from the 1935 film of the same name. Actually moving eastward, Diane Ehlers gave Glen Campbell a run for his money with her version of By The Time I Get To Phoenix supported with a prerecorded backup.

Read full story
Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Choral, Vocal


Ensemble Monterey — The King Shall Rejoice

Director John Anderson

The Season Finale of Ensemble Monterey was a wonderful collection of regal music. The title for this concert is taken from the last piece offered: Handel’s Coronation Anthem. Included in the program material was a graphic featuring “The Fab Five.” This refers to 5 composers who wrote mostly in the 18thCentury with one work from the 17thCentury. I attended the Saturday evening concert on April 27, 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church in Monterey, CA. The day was a lovely Spring day, so the room grew warm as the evening progressed. Still, I thank the church for opening their doors and sharing the good acoustics of their space.

As is the custom of Ensemble Monterey, Conductor and Artistic Director Dr. John Anderson offered his insights prior to the concert as a short talk with question/answer session. This opportunity to learn about the music and performers is so vital. Dr. Anderson has a gift for conveying information that engages those literate in music while being accessible to those just beginning their musical journey. It makes concerts more enjoyable when the audience is as attentive and engaged as they were Saturday. These talks along with the excellent printed program are gems we should encourage and take advantage of regularly. 

Read full story
Archived in these categories: Baroque, Chamber music, Choral, Vocal, Vocal ensemble


Schubertiade in Santa Cruz

To conclude its 34thseason, Distinguished Artists Concert and lecture Series founder, impresario and pianist John Orlando offered classical music lovers an unusual program: a 21stcentury “SCHUBERTIADE” at Peace united Church in Santa Cruz on Saturday evening March 16. Schubert, arguably the greatest songwriter of all time, wrote more than 600 songs that came to light throughout the 19thcentury in manuscripts left mostly at the homes of the original “Schubertiade” spontaneous evening gatherings hosted by several of this composer’s friends.

Read more
Archived in these categories: Piano, Romantic Era, Vocal


Soprano Michelle Bradley & Pianist Ken Noda in Miami

Image result for Michelle Bradley soprano - images

Pianist Ken Noda & Soprano Michelle Bradley

On Thursday  December 6, 2018, Michelle Bradley and Ken Noda presented a vocal recital in Miami. The audience was absolutely mesmerized. Bradley, whose glorious voice brought to mind the voice of Jessye Norman, is emerging as a superstar who is perfoming major roles at the Metropolitan Opera and Europe in Aida, Trovatore, Turandot, Forza del Destino, Don Giovanni and Ernani. Present in the audience was Bradley’s 90 year-old first teacher, Lois Alba, who flew to Miami from Houston to hear the recital. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Vocal


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