Music Director & Conductor
Timothy Koch serves his twelfth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Carolina Master Chorale in 2011-2012. His tenure has been marked by notable growth in artistic achievement, extensive touring, acclaimed performances of the masterworks for chorus and orchestra, opera productions, commissioning of numerous major new works, and expanded educational program-
Koch has led the CMC in tour performances throughout Italy in 2003, and Denmark, Germany, and the Czech Republic in 2005, to New York’s Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in 2007, and throughout Spain in June 2008 and Costa Rica in 2010. In South Carolina, Koch and the CMC have presented acclaimed performances of Bach's St. John Passion, the Mozart and Brahms Requiems, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Beethoven’s Mass in C. Koch has prepared the CMC for performances of Verdi’s Requiem and Stabat Mater, the Poulenc Gloria, Schoenberg’s Survivor from Warsaw, and Orff’s Carmina Burana, among others. A 2008 performance of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Long Bay Symphony inspired Myrtle Beach Herald reviewer, William Hamilton to write, “The appropriately named Carolina Master Chorale is a treasure...”
Koch and the CMC embraced a new genre in 2006 with a full concert performance of Bizet’s beloved opera Carmen. The Chorale followed with a semi-staged production of Verdi’s La Traviata in May 2008. Following the Verdi performances, William Hamilton again wrote for the Herald, “The remarkable Carolina Master Chorale….(made) listeners completely unaware this is a volunteer group.…and not a full time professional music ensemble.” Koch and the CMC plan that the great opera repertory will now be regularly represented in future CMC season programming.
The CMC growth has also been marked by numerous successful collaborations. Koch has forged collaborative projects and relationships with the Long Bay Symphony and South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestras, composer Carlisle Floyd, conductors Charles Jones Evans, Nicholas Smith, Donald Neuen, Robert Page, David Rayl, André Thomas, and Eph Ehly, Viennese baritone, Benno Schollum, American soprano Shelley Jameson, internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chàvez, and international music theatre star, Mark Vitale. In recent seasons, the CMC has shared talent and resources with Conway’s Theatre of the Republic, Litchfield Dance Arts, and the Myrtle Beach School of Performing Arts for a number of popular community projects.
Teamed with CMC Composer-in-Residence Andrew Fowler, Koch has presented more than twenty-five premieres of important new works by the composer. In February 2007 members of the CMC participated in the world premiere of Fowler’s most important work to date, Directions for Singing, a 45-minute work for chorus, orchestra, narrator, and soprano and baritone soloists, at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, under the baton of world-renowned choral maestro, Eph Ehly. Koch and Fowler have conceived an opera on Pat Conroy’s The Prince of Tides which Fowler has composed for premiere some time in 2013 or 2014.
As founder/music director of the professional Carolina Chamber Chorale (also known as the Tim Koch Singers), Koch inspired widespread artistic achievement, including five commercial recordings on the Albany and Naxos/Milken Archive labels. His work with that ensemble has been lauded by Gramophone Magazine, “a wonderful compendium of finely-judged performances," the Charleston Post and Courier, “You have not heard anything like this. Ever." and American Composer Samuel Adler, “the finest professional choir in America."
Koch holds degrees from Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Illinois and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He has taught on the faculties of the Eastman School of Music, Syracuse University, The University of Southern Mississippi, where in 1998 he was chosen as the sole USM recipient of the Mississippi legislature’s HEADWAE award, the University of South Carolina, the College of Charleston, and Illinois Wesleyan University, where he served as Visiting Director of Choral Activities in Spring 2009 . He is married to Grand Strand native and CMC member Jo Nell (Brown) Koch. He also serves the community as Music Director at First United Methodist Church, Myrtle Beach and as a board member for the future Myrtle Beach Performing Arts Center.