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CCU and Carolina Master Chorale collaborate to present three-part virtual recital series

August 31, 2020
Tim Koch is director of choral activities at CCU and music director of the Carolina Master Chorale.

An accomplished musician and director with central roles in both the Carolina Master Chorale (CMC) and Coastal Carolina University has devised a means to showcase beautiful music and meaningful ideas within the restrictive environment of COVID-19.

Tim Koch, lecturer in the Department of Music, CCU director of choral activities, and music director of the Carolina Master Chorale, has created a biweekly series consisting of three 50-minute benefit recitals featuring 34 of the finest local, national, and international singers, pianists, instrumentalists, and authors. The State of Things: House Concerts and Conversation with Artists will take place on Sundays Sept. 6, Sept. 20, and Oct. 4 at 8 p.m., accessible on the Carolina Master Chorale’s Facebook page. The events are free and open to the public, and donations are being accepted to support the CMC.

The recitals will reflect “the state of things” from an artist’s perspective expressed through a variety of genres, including performances of Bach, Schubert, and Rachmaninov; the Negro Spiritual; music of the Holocaust; traditional hymn arrangements; Broadway numbers; poetry of the Chicago Black Renaissance and Harlem Renaissance; and several original arrangements and compilations.

Koch, who has personal and professional connections with each of the artists, explained the purpose and potential of the event in his initial email call for participants.

“I told them I’m trying to make this a forum where people might hear it all over the world, and I asked them to spread the word among their friends,” Koch said.

Koch’s initial email yielded 100 percent return from invited artists.

“They are all eager to regain a connection with the audience and share their art,” Koch said.

In addition to performances, Koch asked each artist to say a few words about a matter of personal importance to them. Through music and conversation, artists will share their thoughts and feelings concerning the COVID-19 pandemic; the struggle of the arts; the journey of the American Indian; the LGBTQ community; and the Black Lives Matter movement. Some artists will point to the universal hope for a brighter future.

Like so many factors of the COVID-19 pandemic, the compilation of these pieces was piecemeal, and participants were given very little guidance on logistics. The result, Koch said, is a beautiful and eclectic array of expression.

“They’re so varied,” said Koch. “They were all done in people’s homes – some performers are dressed up, some don’t have any makeup on. I wanted them to convey however they were feeling and whatever they wanted to talk about; I didn’t let them see what anyone else was doing. It looks a little ragtag now and then, but it’s authentic. I’m super excited about that.”

For more information, contact Koch at pkoch@coastal.edu or 843-349-2637.