This year the Carolina Master Chorale (CMC) celebrated 35 years of enhancing choral arts, enriching musical culture, and bringing joy to our community. As the oldest community singing organization in the Myrtle Beach area, CMC has an annual concert season filled with performances by their all-volunteer choir and collaborations with renowned guest artists. Past guests have included notable performers such as Benno Schollum, an Austrian baritone teaching at Vienna University of Music, or Kirsten Chavez, a critically acclaimed mezzo-soprano.
Ticket sales account for about a quarter of their operating budget, but Music Director Timothy Koch said that CMC “really relies on the generosity of our donors and volunteers.” Top-notch performances and innovative, diverse programming are only a glimpse of what CMC has to offer and what donations provide.
Community involvement is a core focus area of the Chorale, with a chorus filled with volunteer musicians, many people helping in other ways during their season, and CMC performances across our region. However, for the Carolina Master Chorale, community and cultural outreach starts at an early age. “Each year, we perform for thousands of South Carolina students in elementary, middle, and high schools,” said Director Koch. For many students, the CMC’s performances are the first, and maybe only, live professional performance they might attend in a school year. This is a lightbulb moment for that future musician, enthusiast, or performer, and CMC is responsible for bringing these kids closer to music. CMC members often recount these concerts as the most fulfilling, enriching moments of the entire season.
CMC’s focus on musical education does not end there. Director Koch does workshops with soloists and choirs in many Horry and Georgetown County Schools. In addition to offering performances at numerous elementary, middle, and high schools, CMC performs with high school and collegiate musical groups, giving developing singers a rare opportunity for professional guidance. This upcoming school year, Director Koch said the CMC “will be sponsoring the Second Annual Carolina Master Chorale / Coastal Carolina University Vocal Competition for scholarship prizes and performance opportunities.”
Recently, CMC announced a collaboration with Conway’s Theatre of the Republic, known for fantastic productions for all ages. CMC will be joining the Theatre of the Republic in its musical production, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which promises to be their biggest and best co-production to date! “There is an abundance of excitement among the performers, staff, and audiences of both organizations,” said Director Koch. Tickets are on sale now (both for this collaboration and for CMC’s whole season) so this would be a wonderful opportunity to see what CMC is all about. Other ways to get involved include volunteering or attending one of their numerous Friends of the Chorale events!
The Carolina Master Chorale has established an Organizational Endowment with Waccamaw Community Foundation. This is an excellent way for CMC, or any organization, to secure resources for now and plan for their future with WCF’s help. Contributions to the endowment ensure CMC has operating support forever. To find out more, please visit the Carolina Master Chorale at: www.carolinamasterchorale.com.