4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

The downward slope of San Diego's choral music

I'm no hater but I'm no liar

San Diego Master Chorale aboard the USS Midway, May, 2021
San Diego Master Chorale aboard the USS Midway, May, 2021

I’ve come to the conclusion that August and September are, by far, my least favorite months of the year. There are several reasons, not least among them is the disgusting weather, pre-season football, and summer pops concerts.

Past Event

SD Symphony Jacobs Masterworks: Payare Leads Verdi

The San Diego Symphony has added to my anticipation of October by releasing their fall schedule at The Rady Shell and Jacob’s Park. Friday, October 1, 2022, could be the most excellent symphony concert The Shell has hosted. It could also be a disaster.

Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem is scheduled to be performed. Verdi’s Requiem is a vocal tour de force for not just the soloist but for the chorus as well. The San Diego Master Chorale will be providing the chorus.

Sponsored
Sponsored

I started writing this column in October of 2010. In all that time I’ve yet to be impressed by the San Diego Master Chorale. I’ve been satisfied, I’ve been disappointed, I’ve been nonplussed by the praise lavished upon them by other publications, but I’ve never been impressed.

There is nothing I want more than to be impressed by the Master Chorale. However, I don’t foresee that being the case with Verdi and his masterful Requiem. I assure you, I’m no hater but I’m also no liar. I’m not very popular with the members of the Master Chorale.

The phenomenon is not just limited to The Master Chorale. The San Diego Symphony Chorus isn’t what it used to be. The local church music programs that used to be quite prominent have declined.

The San Diego Symphony will need to find a fix for this. The Los Angeles and Orange County Master Chorales are excellent. They are well funded and pay for union singers to be a part of their respective choruses. This gives The LA Philharmonic and The Pacific Symphony access to what amounts to professional choruses. The San Diego Symphony does not have that luxury.

The consequence is that The San Diego Symphony’s performances of the great choral masterpieces will be unbalanced. The gap between the abilities of the orchestra and chorus will continue to grow as the San Diego Symphony refines its music-making abilities.

The solution isn’t an easy one. I don’t foresee the San Diego Symphony spending the money to create a San Diego Symphony Chorus although that would be incredible if it happened. Until the symphony decides to take action, I will be forced to continue the unpleasant practice of criticizing a group of singers who love music, who are dedicated to music, and who provide a vital element for the San Diego classical music community.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Who needs Disneyland duels when you can Twitch?

Missy Alcazar figures out her funding
Next Article

Nicholas Leigh Hunt revisits the Grover Cleveland school shooting with new book

The “trial by media” notoriety kept growing with the Boomtown Rats’ song “I Don’t Like Mondays.”
San Diego Master Chorale aboard the USS Midway, May, 2021
San Diego Master Chorale aboard the USS Midway, May, 2021

I’ve come to the conclusion that August and September are, by far, my least favorite months of the year. There are several reasons, not least among them is the disgusting weather, pre-season football, and summer pops concerts.

Past Event

SD Symphony Jacobs Masterworks: Payare Leads Verdi

The San Diego Symphony has added to my anticipation of October by releasing their fall schedule at The Rady Shell and Jacob’s Park. Friday, October 1, 2022, could be the most excellent symphony concert The Shell has hosted. It could also be a disaster.

Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem is scheduled to be performed. Verdi’s Requiem is a vocal tour de force for not just the soloist but for the chorus as well. The San Diego Master Chorale will be providing the chorus.

Sponsored
Sponsored

I started writing this column in October of 2010. In all that time I’ve yet to be impressed by the San Diego Master Chorale. I’ve been satisfied, I’ve been disappointed, I’ve been nonplussed by the praise lavished upon them by other publications, but I’ve never been impressed.

There is nothing I want more than to be impressed by the Master Chorale. However, I don’t foresee that being the case with Verdi and his masterful Requiem. I assure you, I’m no hater but I’m also no liar. I’m not very popular with the members of the Master Chorale.

The phenomenon is not just limited to The Master Chorale. The San Diego Symphony Chorus isn’t what it used to be. The local church music programs that used to be quite prominent have declined.

The San Diego Symphony will need to find a fix for this. The Los Angeles and Orange County Master Chorales are excellent. They are well funded and pay for union singers to be a part of their respective choruses. This gives The LA Philharmonic and The Pacific Symphony access to what amounts to professional choruses. The San Diego Symphony does not have that luxury.

The consequence is that The San Diego Symphony’s performances of the great choral masterpieces will be unbalanced. The gap between the abilities of the orchestra and chorus will continue to grow as the San Diego Symphony refines its music-making abilities.

The solution isn’t an easy one. I don’t foresee the San Diego Symphony spending the money to create a San Diego Symphony Chorus although that would be incredible if it happened. Until the symphony decides to take action, I will be forced to continue the unpleasant practice of criticizing a group of singers who love music, who are dedicated to music, and who provide a vital element for the San Diego classical music community.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

White Rice Bodega raises silog to Normal Heights

Purple bread and butter, and meals that fill hungry bellies, two at a time
Next Article

Vast views from Viejas Mountain

Viejas Mountain South Approach from Willows Road
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close