Wishes & Candles Concerts!

It's almost time to kick off the holiday season with our annual holiday concerts, Wishes & Candles. We have some gorgeous music we're preparing for you and we can't wait to share it. The most challenging pieces are the two movements from Poulenc's Quatre Motets pour un temps de Noel. The third movement starts very softly "as from afar" as the Magi travel toward their destination, growing in volume and excitement as they near their destination. The last movement proclaims the joyful news of the season, ending with full-throated alleluias. We've sung Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium before which I think is allowing us to really feel the beauty of this piece. The exquisite harmonies and play between voices is literally causing goose-bumps as we rehearse. My favorite work of the season has to be Ola Gjielo's setting of Gustav Holst's In the Bleak Midwinter. Holst set poet Christina Rossetti's words to music in 1906. Norwegian composer Gjiello has taken the simple tune and, using two choirs, played up the rhythmic complexities of the poem. A soaring soprano duet near the end of the piece is just awesome in every sense of the word.

Women of Note will be joining the Chorale as our special guests, of course. I'm so looking forward to hearing their selections this season. According to my inside source they will be presenting three songs, one in Spanish with a guitar accompaniment arranged by Mary Lee and performed by choir member Derek Jefferson, one modern a cappella piece, and a unique arrangement of Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming that will add a counter-melody and a guest appearance by tenor David Sampson.

Of course we will sing arrangements of well-known carols like The First Nowell and Sing We Now of Christmas. Tenor Forrest Fisher will step out from the group to play flute and soprano sax on a couple of pieces--always a treat! And we'll have one sweet musical moment that always reminds me of watching a special TV special with my brothers so many years ago. Our fabulous accompanist, Milo Graamans, will play for two of the concerts and we'll have a special pinch hitter pianist, Ramona Martin, for one evening. It's going to be a great show. Don't miss it!

Oh, and in case you happen to be over in the Valley, we'll be singing in Corvallis at the Nativity Festival on December 2 at noon at the Church of Latter Day Saints. Click the link for more information and directions.

Wishes 17.jpg

Audition date set!

We're still deep in our summer break but I just got word from Mary Lee that we have a date for auditions for the fall session. Auditions for new singers will be August 2nd from 4 to 6 pm at the Newport campus of the Oregon Coast Community College in the music room. We're holding them a little early this year to avoid that whole eclipse mass hysteria thing. (No, no. We're super-excited about the eclipse. It's just that most of us have visitors coming and the traffic is going to be unbelievable.) If you are interested in singing with the chorale, you do need to go through our audition. It's not an arduous process but it does help us to know if you and the chorale would be a good match. 

So what happens at the audition? First, we'll ask you a few questions about your singing experience and whether or not you read music. There will be some exercises to see that you can match pitch and follow rhythm patterns. Mary Lee will test your range to make sure we agree on which part you should be singing. We'll have you sing a short piece with a couple of other chorale members to make sure you can deal with singing in harmony. If you would like to prepare a piece to sing, you are welcome to do so but it's not required. Once everyone has had a chance to audition, you will hear back from Mary Lee and the committee whether or not there is currently a spot for you in our group.

If you would like to audition you can just show up at the time and place listed above but it would be extremely helpful if you would let us know if and when you're planning to come. If you can't make the 2nd, please contact us to set up an alternate arrangement. You can email admin@centralcoastchorale.com or call 541-563-6830

Oh we had big fun!

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to our Mardi Gras concert on Fat Tuesday. We were a little worried about scheduling a weeknight concert like that but it turned out to be a smashing success! We had a full house. The choir sang great. We've been getting lots of enthusiastic reviews from attendees. The Women of Note were their usual awesome selves albeit a might more blinged out than usual. The Shoreline Stompers, our special guest Dixieland septet, blew everyone away. We finished up the night with a second line parade (with the audience gamely joining in!) to Geneva Hall where we sold up a mess of delicious desserts and auctioned off our hand-decorated umbrellas. Thank you so much for the funds raised to benefit our Youth Choral Scholarship fund!

Mardi Gras in Newport!

The Central Coast Chorale presents a Mardi Gras concert on Tuesday, February 28th. Yes, come celebrate Fat Tuesday with us on the very day! Join us at the First Presbyterian Church of Newport, 227 NE 12th St. at 7 pm. The choir will perform some classic New Orleans style spirituals, three by Moses Hogan, and Forrest Fisher will step out from the tenor section to add a wailing soprano sax line to one of them. We'll have a couple of Brubeck jazz numbers, one by the choir and one by Women of Note. Forest's Dixieland septet The Shoreline Stompers will play an original arrangement of "The Sweet Hallelujah Georgia Brown Chorus" and the whole evening will conclude with a second line parade into Geneva Hall where we will have an array of decadent, eat-em-before-Lent-starts, delicious desserts available for purchase and consumption. We're looking forward to a very fun evening. The concert has a suggested donation of $10 per person so we can keep bringing you the best choral music on the central coast. Please join us! Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Messiah Concerts at the Newport Performing Arts Center

Just a reminder that our Messiah concerts with the Newport Symphony Orchestra and the Willamette Master Chorus are coming up next weekend at the Performing Arts Center in Newport. We will sing ten of the oratorio's choruses, the NSO will have some shining moments and the Master Chorus will provide the accomplished soloists. Saturday, December 3rd at 7:30 pm and Sunday, December 4th at 2 pm. You can purchase tickets through the NSO website or at the PAC box office. Please join us. What a great way to kick off the holiday season. 

And don't forget Wishes & Candles is coming up the following weekend in Yachats on Saturday and Newport on Sunday. Vivaldi's Gloria with orchestra!

Jill Baker: A Woman of Note

The Central Coast Chorale notes with sadness the passing of our friend Jill Baker. Jill's friends gathered in Newport at a memorial service yesterday, August 14, to celebrate her life. There was much music, a poem, some stories--mostly funny--and a little food. Women of Note sang two pieces in honor of one of their own. Jill was an early member of the Chorale and one of the founding members of Women of Note. She served as assistant director of the Chorale, helping Mary Lee particularly with song selections. She sang with the Chorale for years until complications from a stroke forced her retirement. She will be missed.


And now fall auditions!

Wow, summer went fast, didn't it? Seems like it was just June and here we are almost ready to start the 2016/17 season! We have a wonderful but demanding fall season planned. In early December we will join the Newport Symphony Orchestra and the Willamette Master Singers to perform the Christmas selections of Handel's Messiah. And the following weekend we'll perform our own Wishes and Candles concert which will feature Vivaldi's Gloria along with a selection of holiday themed pieces. An exciting season! We will begin regular rehearsals on August 27th.

In preparation for the season, the Central Coast Chorale will be holding auditions for new singers on Wednesday, August 24th from 4 to 6 pm at the Newport campus of the Oregon Coast Community College. Mary Lee and her able assistants will take applicants through a series of exercises testing your ability to match pitch, recognize rhythm, sing in harmony with a small group. You may, if desired, prepare an audition piece to sing but it's not necessary. 

If you're interested in joining the chorale but can't attend the Wednesday audition, please contact admin@centralcoastchorale.com so we can set an alternate audition time. 

Summer Auditions Announced!

We have a big fall season coming up. We will once again be singing a December concert with the Newport Symphony Orchestra. This year, we'll be doing selections from Handel's Messiah. We also will sing our own annual December concert, Wishes and Candles. That's a lot of music to learn so to get a jump on things the chorale is planning to have one or two summer rehearsals.

Once we decided to have summer rehearsals, we realized that we needed to have a special summer audition for anyone who is interested in joining the chorale for the upcoming season. So here we are, announcing auditions to be held on Wednesday, July 13th from 4 to 5 PM at the Newport campus of the Oregon Coast Community College. The auditions are tentatively scheduled to be in the music room at the OCCC. To schedule a specific time or if you're interested in auditioning and can't make it on the 13th, please contact us at admin@centralcoastchorale.com or call our director Mary Lee Scoville at 541-563-6830. We will also have our regular auditions in August at the beginning of our regular rehearsal schedule.

So what happens at the audition? It's pretty simple. Mary Lee and a couple of Chorale singers run you through a couple of vocal exercises to determine vocal range, have you match pitch on a simple tune, demonstrate an understanding of note duration. You are encouraged to prepare a short piece to sing but it's not required. 

Once all the prospective singers have auditioned, Mary Lee and the other audition personnel will consider the results and then contact singers with a decision. 

What We're Doing on Summer Break -- Part I

We may be on summer break, but our singers and staff are still busy performing!

First up is Charles Herndon, board member and baritone. Charles is starring in Theater West's production of John Morigiello's Blame It on Beckett, a comedy of the theatrical world. Theater West is in the Taft district of Lincoln City. The play will be presented Thursday through Saturday every week in May with an additional matinee performance on May 15th. Check their website for more information on times and tickets or call 541 994-5663.

May is also the month that starts our accompanist, Milo Graaman's series of concerts, Milo & Friends. Milo is pretty famous in musical and theatrical circles on the central coast since he seems to be involved with nearly any production that needs a fantastic pianist. He plays everything from classical to pop as well as composing his own music. Read more about him in this wonderful profile on Oregon Coast Today. Milo will be presenting concerts up and down the central coast from Florence to Lincoln City starting in May and continuing through September. Each concert will have a different program and different guests have been invited to contribute to the music. The first show is on Sunday, May 15th at Yachats Community Presbyterian Church from 2 to 4. Admission is by donation. It should be a great series. We're so looking forward to all the shows. You can find more information on Milo's website

Concert Wrap-Up

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Anything Goes concerts! We had such a good time presenting them. We had great houses at all four locations and finally proved to ourselves that we can draw crowds in Yachats and Lincoln City. We also want to thank Tyler Spencer of PrimalTones for making these concerts extra special with his didgeridoo playing. What a wonderful person to work with! He even pitched in to help with percussion during "Cloudburst." If anyone out there needs a didge player or is interested in one of Tyler's handmade instruments, we can add our enthusiastic endorsement.

Here are a few shots from three of the four shows. (Yes, I did forget to put the memory card in the camera for the first show.)

Spring Concerts Press Release

For immediate release:

Central Coast Chorale presents Earth Day concerts

Join the Central Coast Chorale for our spring “Anything Goes” concerts. This year we offer an Earth Day theme with choral music about the earth, oceans and sky. The concert will be presented at four venues. We will sing 7 pm, Friday, April 22nd at Community Presbyterian Church in Waldport; 4 pm, Saturday, April 23rd at Yachats Community Presbyterian Church; 4 pm, Sunday, April 24th at First Presbyterian Church of Newport; 4pm, Sunday, May 1st at the Congregational Church of Lincoln City. All concerts have a suggested donation of $10 for admission. For more information, call Chorale Director Mary Lee Scoville at 541-563-6830.

The concert will open, as is our tradition, with our small group, Women of Note, singing an arrangement of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes”.  The chorus will then introduce the Earth Day theme with the pure harmonies of John Rutter’s well-known Anglican anthem “For the Beauty of the Earth.” We’ll present American composers Houston Bright and Frank Ticheli’s settings of poems that speak to a search for peace and love in our world in “The Stars Are with the Voyager” and “Earthsong.” Works by Leanne Veitch and David Long offer Native American views of the moon and will feature our guest artists playing didgeridoos. A high point of the event will be Eric Whitacre’s imaginative work “Cloudburst” based on the poetry of Octavio Paz. The choir actually performs sounds of the rainstorm!

Women of Note will add an international accent with “Songs from the Sea” by Finnish composer Aulis Sallinen and “Three Spanish Ballads” by Eugene Butler as well as a lovely evocation of sunset in Mary Lynn Lightfoot’s “The River Sleeps beneath the Sky.”

Several pieces will be performed a cappella and others will be accompanied on piano by Milo Graamans with percussion by Pete Theodore. We are also excited to welcome guest didgeridoo artists Adonis Tegner and Seth McCaslin.

The Central Coast Chorale has been bringing choral music to Oregon’s Central Coast since 1997. We are pleased to be able to perform this concert in so many coastal communities this season. For more information about the chorale please visit our website at www.centralcoastchorale.com.



From the "Legends" Event

The Central Coast Chorale was one of the groups honored at last Saturday's Community Legends evening at the Performing Arts Center in Newport, Oregon. Along with The Newport Symphony, The Porthole Players and eight other groups, the CCC was invited to highlight a couple of our "stars" and perform a brief number. Here are a couple of shots from our rendition of John Rutter's For the Beauty of the Earth...


Save the dates!

There will be a full press release coming soon but in the meantime be sure to save these dates for our upcoming Spring Concerts. Central Coast Chorale and Women of Note with some special guests will  be in Waldport in the evening on Friday, April 22nd. We're heading down to Yachats for the first time in several seasons on Saturday afternoon, April 23rd. On Sunday April 24th we're "at home" in Newport. And we'll finish up our season in Lincoln City on Sunday, May 1st. How's that for Central Coast coverage! Please check the events tab on our web page for specific times and locations. Looking forward to seeing all our choral music loving friends for this earth-themed concert!

Now auditioning for the spring season!

The Central Coast Chorale is preparing to begin rehearsals for our Spring Session. We will start rehearsing on January 9th, preparing for a series of three concerts in April and May. This season we will be concentrating on music with an Earth Day theme. After a challenging fall season that included our own Christmas concert as well as a major collaboration with the Newport Symphony Orchestra, we're looking forward to a slightly mellower spring. We will do a couple of challenging pieces such as Eric Whitacre's Cloudburst (Whitacre is always challenging) and a couple of familiar pieces such as Robert DeCormier's arrangement of Harry Belafonte's Turn the World Around that the Chorale performed in 2013. We are particularly looking forward to learning John Rutter's lovely For the Beauty of the Earth. We're even hoping to incorporate some didgeridoo or African drums into the concert.

If you are interested in joining the Chorale this season, we are accepting new singers by audition. Mary Lee will be holding auditions on Wednesday, January 6 between 4 and 6 pm at the OCCC South Beach campus. Auditions consist of some scales to judge your voice part and several exercises to demonstrate ability to match pitch and follow a rhythm scheme. You may prepare something to sing if you would like but it is not required. Once all the auditions are complete, candidates will be contacted as to whether or not there is a place available in the Chorale.

For more information or to arrange an alternate time for an audition, please contact Mary Lee at mlmaestro@peak.org

Wishes and Candles 2015

What a great concert if we do say so ourselves! We had a full house yesterday for our annual holiday concert. The chorale sang eight pieces including For Unto Us a Child is Born from the Messiah, Still, Still, Still an Austrian carol arranged by Norman Luboff and a rousing rendition of Sing We Now of Christmas. Women of Note, our women's group sang five songs. My personal favorite was the Rutter What Sweeter Music. I think it really brought out the beautiful mix of voices that you can hear so clearly with just eight singers. The Oregon Coast Community College choir class, also directed by Mary Lee, did four pieces and then joined the chorale for the grand finale. It was wonderful to have them as guests. They did such a great job.

The occc choir class joins the central coast chorale for the finale number at wishes and candles 2015

The occc choir class joins the central coast chorale for the finale number at wishes and candles 2015


We'd like to thank our director, Mary Lee, our wonderful accompanist, Milo, and all the people who came out to the concert on a rainy, blustery day. It's so much fun to sing for an appreciative audience. We love it and hope you did, too!

Join us next weekend for a very different concert. We'll be performing Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon with the Newport Symphony Orchestra and the Corvallis Repertory Singers at the Holiday Spectacular Concert at the Newport Performing Arts Center. We'll be singing Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna and selections from the Bach Christmas Oratorio as well as a number of carols. So looking forward to the timpani in the Oratorio! We had a rehearsal in Corvallis on Saturday with our conductor for the event, Steve Zielke. Steve is the director of choral studies at OSU and founder and directory of the Corvallis Repertory Singers. It was a wonderful rehearsal and we learned a lot in a very short time. We think this is going to be a very exciting concert. Get your tickets before they sell out!  Tickets available though the Oregon Council for the Arts website.

Dr. Steven Zielke conducts rehearsal with the central coast chorale in preparation for holiday spectacular concert.

Dr. Steven Zielke conducts rehearsal with the central coast chorale in preparation for holiday spectacular concert.

December Concerts

Press release...

Central Coast Chorale presents holiday concerts

Join the Central Coast Chorale as they welcome the holiday season with the Wishes and Candles concert. This annual event offers music both sacred and secular, contemporary and classical to celebrate the winter holidays. The First Presbyterian Church of Newport hosts the event on Sunday, December 6 at 2:00 in the afternoon. Suggested admission donation is $10.

The Oregon Coast Community College Chorus and the vocal octet Women of Note will join the chorale for this performance. Several of the pieces will be performed a capella. Pianist Milo Graamans will accompany all others.

The concert will open with an upbeat, richly textured African folk song “Jabula Jesu”. The Austrian carol “Still, Still, Still” is warmly familiar and offers striking contrast to Arvo Pärt’s minimalist “Bogoróditse Djévo.” Composer Philip Stopford’s arrangement of the traditional carol, “Lully, Lulla, Lullay” is simple with a haunting beauty that is sure to please audience members.

Women of Note will sing a contemporary arrangement of the Latin traditional “Dona Nobis Pacem,” John Rutter’s “What Sweeter Music,” and a festive Christmas madrigal. “Wolfgang’s Christmas Canon” by Tom Fetke incorporates a traditional holiday song with a Mozart canon resulting in a bright and lively piece of music. They will close their set with “Ave Maria” by the 16th century master of polyphony, Palestrina. 

The OCCC Chorus will perform several pieces including “Jubilate Deo,” “Winter Wonderland,” and “In December.” They will join the full chorale in the rousing closing number, “Now is the Time of Christemas!” 

The First Presbyterian Church of Newport is located at 227 NE 12th Street. For more information call Chorale Director MaryLee Scoville at 541-563-6830.

The Chorale will also be performing with the Newport Symphony Orchestra and the Corvallis Repertory Singers on both December 12 and 13 at the Newport Performing Arts Center. This Holiday Spectacular performance features Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” and Morten Lauridsen’s “Lux Aeterna.” Call the PAC ticket office at 541-265-ARTS (2787) for more information and tickets.

Our talented staff and members

Here's a concert and show alert for a couple of events featuring CCC personnel. 

First up, this weekend and next weekend One of Us Productions is presenting Nunsensations! at the Yachats Commons. Soprano Linda Curtice is on of the stars (Sister Mary Leo) and our accompanist Milo Graamans is the show's musical director. Tickets are $15 and are available at several Yachats locations as well as at the door. Find more information on their Facebook page.

And also this weekend, the Lincoln County Oregon Music Teachers Association (OMTA) presents their bi-yearly fundraising event, Spotlight on the TeachersTwice a year, in September and February, local piano teachers and colleagues collaborate to bring you a delightful variety of music on stage at the Newport PAC. Admission is by donation and all donations go to the Suzanne Brown Memorial Student Aid Fund, which benefits our local students. The concert is at 3 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center in Newport. Our very own Mary Lee Settle, director of the CCC, will be one of the featured performers along with CCC soprano Katrina Theodore. Contact information available on their Facebook page.

Don't miss these great opportunities to support our local talent!



Auditions for the Central Coast Chorale Fall season!

The Central Coast Chorale kicks off the new season with auditions for new singers Sunday, August 23 from 2:00 to 4:00 and Wednesday, August 26 from 4:00 to 6:00. Auditions will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Newport at 227 NE 12th Street. First rehearsal for everyone and registration for returning singers is Saturday, August 29 at 9:30 at the First Presbyterian Church. The group will go through warm-ups and review music for the December concerts.

“Auditions are open to anyone 14 and older with an interest in singing,” says Mary Lee Scoville, director of the Chorale. “They are done in a very non-threatening environment but are necessary to determine vocal range, voice type, and previous musical experience.” 

Rehearsals are generally held every other week on Saturday mornings from 9:30 to 12:30 at the Performing Arts Center. Specific dates and policies will be reviewed during the first rehearsal. Dues are $40 per semester or $75 for the year. A limited number of scholarships are available.

“One of the things that draws me to choir is my love of music and singing with other people,” says David Adolf, president of the chorale. “We have a wide variety of songs and I really like the spirituals. Another thing I appreciate is the broad make-up of our singers, some who have very strong music skills and others who do not. Everyone can pull from those with stronger skills and learn music reading and counting.”

Although it makes learning easier, singers need not be able to read music. Recorded CDs will be available for all the music with specific section parts emphasized.

The chorale will present its annual “Wishes and Candles” concert on December 6. Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” will be featured along with other sacred and secular holiday music. Additionally, a special performance in collaboration with the Newport Symphony Orchestra and the Corvallis Repertory Singers will be presented at the Newport Performing Arts Center on December 12 and 13. Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” and Morten Lauridsen’s “Lux Aeterna” will be featured in the concerts. 

“Our director has a way of bringing out the best in your performance,” says Adolf. “No matter your skill level, Mary Lee will make you work until the performance is excellent and she does it without criticism. It takes a special person to move a group along like that.”

The Central Coast Chorale has been directed by Dr. Scoville since its inception in 1997 and is dedicated to providing the community with quality music that entertains and educates. For more information, contact Scoville at 541-563-6830.