The Carolina Master Chorale will open its 34th season with the theme “Songs for a Better World,” with two concerts to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Grand Strand.
Voices for “Hope, Peace, and Justice” will carry at 4 p.m. Saturday at Trinity Church, 3000 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach; and 4 p.m. Sunday at Trinity United Methodist Church, 706 14th Ave S., North Myrtle Beach.
Tim Koch, in his 17th season as the Chorale’s music director and conductor, hit many notes in scanning the season ahead and looking back at what have become annual traditions.
Question | With all the themes, moods and touching of hearts covered in performances through the years, what inspired “Songs for a Better World” – a seemingly applicable topic to any period in global history – for 2016-17?
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Answer | In my own personal life, I like looking for more ways to make a difference and in areas where I have leadership roles, and I am looking to encourage those who work with me to make a difference, also. At the end of the last concert year, we did an “American Heroes” program, where we recognized local people who have done local, national and international things, and it seemed really gratifying for the choir. ... Music has the power to stir people’s souls, and not just their brains.
Q. | How did the partnership form with the Boys & Girls Club of the Grand Strand for the season opener concerts of “Hope, Peace, and Justice”?
A. | We want to get people thinking about what the world’s going to look like tomorrow for youth, especially for kids who maybe don’t have the same head start as other kids.
Q. | Might jazzing up Christmas remain a tradition beyond the second time around this December, for an innovative way to take in yuletide favorites?
A. | Probably not every single year, but maybe every other year. These concerts are great fun. You just know that people have two things they like:” jazz and Christmas, and you put the two together. Also, you can reach out to people of other faiths. ... We have a lot of really good musicians here. The last couple of years, James “Bull” Canty has been singing with us. Because he’s always around, there’s always a trumpet nearby. ... We also have a lot of good solo singers. ...
Christmas is kind of hard to program for. ... You can get into a box, and think, we’ve done that, done that, and done that. So this lets us surprise audiences, too. They like to be surprised.
Q. | What has made Valentine’s Day become another signature Chorale experience, especially with winter vacationers helping swell the crowds, and in presenting a sampling of love songs?
A. | Valentine’s shows are our most successful program each year, and a huge, if not the largest, part of the audiences is from the snowbirds in town, and we draw plenty of people from the area. That show is the easiest part in planning every year, because so many composers shape in their work love or another expression.
Q. | In welcoming winners from the Chorale’s inaugural Student Vocal Competition as extra Valentine’s weekend voices, how many youth will share the honors, and through what competitive process?
A. | We’ll start by making it a partnership with Coastal Carolina University vocal students. ... We’ll have a competition on Nov. 4 at the university, ... and the top three winners will each sit down with me, and we will work on a song, probably from a piece of musical theater, or an operetta or opera, something that a soloist sings with a choir. ... It’ll be hard to choose just three. .. They’ll each get a financial stipend, and they’ll get to sing in that Valentine’s concert four times. This will be the first time ever, at least in my tenure, that the Carolina Master Chorale has performed a concert four times – one each in North Myrtle Beach,, Pawleys Island, the Surfside Beach area, and Myrtle Beach
Q. | To close the season with W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” operetta from the 1870s, and your taking on the role of Maj. Gen. Stanley, with Drew Trautman conducting, how will this mark a new milestone for the Chorale, and how does this show add another dimension beyond singing?
A. | We have a few members who have been encouraging me to plan this. ... I guess, with a previous music director, there was a Gilbert & Sullivan concert, and it was a big success. I have heard this piece, “The Pirates of Penzance,” many, many times, and here’s a nice opportunity for a few little twists to it. For some of these secondary roles, maybe we’ll have a chance to give some Coastal students some parts. I will sing the major general’s part, if I can get my tongue to move that fast. ...
Drew Trautman is nearing the time when he’s going to have to move on in his professional career, and he wants to get his doctorate someplace. ... He’s been teaching music for a while now, and he earned his master’s degree at Coastal. He will conduct these final performances of the season.
Contact STEVE PALISIN at 843-444-1764.
If you go
WHO: Carolina Master Chorale, beginning its 34th season, themed “Songs for a Better World.”
WITH: Two “Hope, Peace and Joy” concerts
BENEFITING: Boys & Girls Club of the Grand Strand, based at 1404 Carver St., Myrtle Beach (843-712-1977 or www.bgclubgs.org)
WHEN AND WHERE: 4 p.m. Saturday at Trinity Church, 3000 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach; and 4 p.m. Sunday at Trinity United Methodist Church, 706 14th Ave S., North Myrtle Beach.
OTHER CONCERTS THIS SEASON:
▪ “Christmas and All That Jazz II,” 4 p.m. Dec. 10 at Trinity United Methodist Church in North Myrtle Beach; and 4 p.m. Dec. 11 at Trinity Church in Myrtle Beach.
▪ “All You Need Is Love,” including winners of the Chorale’s inaugural Student Vocal Competition, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at Trinity United Methodist Church in North Myrtle Beach; 3 p.m. Feb. 11 at Holy Cross Faith Memorial Episcopal Church, 113 Baskerville Drive, Litchfield Beach, west of U.S. 17; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 2061 Glenns Bay Road, west of Surfside Beach; and 4 p.m. Feb. 12 at Trinity Church in Myrtle Beach.
▪ Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance,” 7:30 p.m. May 6 and 4 p.m. May 7 at Ocean View Baptist Church, 7300 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach.
HOW MUCH: Each $20 adults, $15 veterans (with ID) and seniors, and $5 students with ID through age 22 (respective season ticket prices, covering all four concerts, are $70, $50 and $15).
INFORMATION: 843-444-5774 or www.carolinamasterchorale.com
ALSO: Chorale performs in –
▪ Long Bay Symphony Chamber Orchestra’s annual concerts of Handel’s “Messiah,” 4 p.m. Dec. 3 at Trinity Church in Myrtle Beach, and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at All Saints Church, 3560 Kings River Road, Pawleys Island. (Ticket details from symphony at 843-448-8379 or longbaysymphony.com).
▪ “Bravo Broadway,” ninth annual benefit for Rotary Club of Myrtle Beach – with Long Bay Symphony, Capathia Jenkins, Morgan James and Hugh Panero – 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at Myrtle Beach High. $40, $45 or $50 (843-448-8379 or longbaysymphony.com).
▪ “Music of Percy Grainger,” with Coastal Carolina University Concert Choir and Wind Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. April 6 in CCU Wheelwright Auditorium, off U.S. 501 in Conway. (Ticket details from college at 843-349-2787 or www.coastal.edu/culturalarts.)