Sacramento Master Singers
The mission of the Sacramento Master Singers is:
- To provide audiences in the greater Sacramento area with world-class concerts that engage and inspire
- To perform a diverse repertoire of music drawing on the best choral literature from early chant to avant-garde
- To offer an opportunity to accomplished choral Singers for musical growth, personal fulfillment and fellowship
- To ensure the advancement of the choral arts through outreach activities for area youth
Each season we present concerts in December, March and May. We premiere new compositions, perform unusual music from around the world, and sing the classics, representing a wide variety of musical periods and styles. Among our venues are First United Methodist and Westminster churches in Sacramento and Harris Center in Folsom. Our five December concerts, entitled "A Master Singers Christmas," reach more than 3,000 people and a sixth concert, full of fun favorites and surprises, is especially for young children. March 2017 found SMS performing Darmon Meader's arrangement of the National Anthem before a Sacramento King's game. In the 2017-18 season, concerts in March, entitled "Motets, Madrigals & Miracles," included the stunning area premiere of Missa Mirabilis featuring Heidi Van Regenmorter on organ. In May's "Listen to the Heart" concerts, the choir was joined by Grammy®-winning Native American flutist Mary Youngblood, as the choir celebrated musical expressions of kindness and the search for unity. In June 2017, many of our singers traveled to Seattle and Vancouver to tour and perform over 5 days with the Cascadian Chorale of Seattle.
Judged by multiple measures, SMS is thriving. Ticket and CD sales, at Christmas in particular, are robust; sales at Harris Center in Dec 2017 was up 50% over 2016. Audience comments and surveys further support this conclusion. Via Facebook, over 15K views of a new recording made in September 2017 in the Sierra Nevada mountains were registered as of early January 2018.
The Asya Pleskach Scholarship for Young Choral Singers is named after Asya Pleskach who sang with the Sacramento Master Singers during our 2001-2002 season when she was a senior in high school. Asya sang in Cordova High School's choral program. Her director, Marco Huerta, and her private vocal instructor, Tina Harris were also members of SMS. In February of 2003 Asya was killed in a car accident. Soon afterward, to honor her memory and her talent, we established this scholarship program. The Asya Pleskach Scholarship for Young Choral Singers is designed to support and encourage choral singers aged 14-22 from the greater Sacramento area. Each participant must be a current member of their school choir, church choir or community choir, and show commitment to and leadership in the choral arts. Applications are made by videos submitted online; finalists move on to live interviews and auditions, and some winners from three age categories are invited to perform at our concert in May where awards are presented.
Now in its 16th year, this scholarship program has awarded nearly 80 young singers financial awards (approximately $24,000) as well as 40 hours of complimentary voice lessons. Between 2001 and 2012, the scholarship focused on singers in two age categories, 14-16 and 17-19. Another age category was added in 2013 to include young, college-age singers, aged 20-22. The very first winner ever of this scholarship in 2003, Ryan Murray previously of Sheldon High School, has gone on to conduct operas and orchestras, regionally and nationally. Currently he serves as Associate Conductor of the Modesto Symphony. Bethany Mamola, winner in 2006, was named to the Young Artist Program of Nightingale Opera Theatre of Hudson, Ohio in 2014. Soprano Yelena Dyachek, who placed 2nd in the 2008 Asya competition, won the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in New York City in March 2016. Mezzo Sarah Saturnino, who placed 1st in the 17-19 category in 2012, is pursuing an MA at Yale in opera performance currently and will perform with Chautauqua Opera Theatre in summer 2018. Opera Conservatori Cherubini in Florence, Italy is currently the home for Bass Kyle Sullivan who placed 1st in the 20-22 division, 2013.