Spotlight on the Chorale
The Carolina Master Chorale is recognized as the premiere symphonic chorus in the region covering northeast South Carolina and southeast North Carolina and is the oldest community singing organization in the area surrounding Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, home of the CMC. In 2012-2013 the Chorale will celebrate its 30th concert season, the last twelve of which have flourished under the artistic leadership of the ensemble’s fourth and current music director, Timothy Koch.
The repertoire of the Carolina Master Chorale encompasses a wide variety of innovative and critically-acclaimed programming that includes dynamic performances of traditional and lesser-known choral and choral/orchestral masterworks, full operatic productions, adventurous contemporary music, numerous commissions and premieres (incorporating well over twenty new works by composer in residence, Andrew Fowler), and lighter fare from Broadway to vocal jazz to gospel music.
The annual season of the Carolina Master Chorale features four subscription programs, most of which are performed in multiple locations. A typical CMC season program features performances in venues from Pawley’s Island, South Carolina to Sunset Beach, North Carolina and west to Conway, South Carolina. The CMC also performs as an invited guest artist on community concert series throughout the Carolinas.
For several years the Long Bay Symphony has engaged the CMC as its principal symphonic chorus. The Chorale performs annually on the Long Bay Symphony season series and the LBS will typically accompany the Chorale on one of its subscription programs. The organizations have collaborated to perform Bach’s St. John Passion, Beethoven’s Mass in C and Symphony No. 9, the Requiems of Mozart, Brahms and Verdi, Verdi’s Stabat Mater, Schoenberg’s Survivor from Warsaw, Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe, Holst’s The Planets, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and the operas La Traviata of Verdi and Carmen of Bizet.
An impressive list of guest artists has enjoyed performing with the Carolina Master Chorale. Viennese baritone, Benno Schollum, mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chavez, world-renowned for her portrayal of the title role in Carmen, coloratura soprano Emily Hindrichs, one of the world’s most sought-after young interpreters of the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, and tenor Mark Vitale, known for his performances throughout Europe of the title role in Jesus Christ Superstar and as Tony in West Side Story are just a few of the outstanding singers who have appeared with the CMC.
In 2011, America’s most-performed opera composer, Carlisle Floyd, visited Myrtle Beach twice for performance events with the Carolina Master Chorale. In February, he was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame, after his nomination by the CMC, and in May he returned for the first ever complete performance of A Time to Dance, his only work for chorus and orchestra.
Internationally the CMC has completed six performance tours, giving concerts throughout Great Britain, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain, and Costa Rica. In June 2012, the Chorale performed tour concerts in Helsinki, Finland; Tallinn, Estonia; and St. Petersburg, Russia.
As a partner in the rich cultural diversity of South Carolina, the CMC has generated and accepted collaborations with most of the region’s finest performing arts organizations such as the Long Bay Symphony, the South Carolina Philharmonic, Theatre of the Republic, Litchfield Dance Arts, the Myrtle Beach School of the Performing Arts, and numerous civic, community and business entities including the City of Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Hall of Fame, NAACP, and many others.
Education has always been a primary focus of the Carolina Master Chorale. Each year the Carolina Master Chorale performs for thousands of South Carolina school children. The CMC’s historical commitment to music education has included performances in schools throughout Horry County, annual appearances before more than a thousand seventh graders at the Induction Ceremony of the South Carolina Hall of Fame and sponsorship of the Carolina Youth Chorale.