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Santiva Chronicle

The Mastersingers Chamber Chorus and the City of Palms Youth Choir will present Serenade to Music, a choral concert featuring the 24-voice adult chamber group and the 36 voices of the City of Palms Youth Choir, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ, 2050 Periwinkle Way.

Admission for this performance is free with a collection to benefit the ministries at SCUCC.

Each group will sing during the 75-minute program. The Chamber Chorus will perform a variety of works including Rachmaninoff’s moving hymn to the Virgin Mary, Bogoroditse Devo; a new work by American composer Thomas LaVoy, The Immortal Memory; and Ralph Vaughan Williams stunning Serenade to Music, the work for which the program is named.

Working with the smaller chamber ensemble gives us the freedom to explore, not only smaller venues like Sanibel Congregational, but also opens up many more types of music not accessible to the full Mastersingers Chorus,” said director Matt Koller. The church sanctuary is known for its fine acoustics, as well as for its beauty and comfort.

Director Koller also conducts the City of Palms Youth Choir. Their portion of the program will feature music by American composers Stuart Churchill, Gerald Custer, and Eric Barnum. In only its second full season of existence, the Youth Choir has achieved some notable milestones. The group has performed three world-premier pieces, two written specifically for the ensemble. They were invited to sing last spring at a choral event in New York’s Carnegie Hall.

This season, the Youth Choir has placed two singers, Savannah Koller and Camryn Leith, in the prestigious American Choral Directors Association Southern Division Honor Choir. In addition, Makayla Davis was a soloist at the recent FEMA Professional Development Conference and All-State Convention, and Christian Miller sang the role of Ralphie in the holiday production of A Christmas Story at Broadway Palm Theatre.

Koller said, “We knew that there was a need for a community youth choir to provide vocal instruction, musical pedagogy, and performance opportunities beyond what the school system could offer. However, the success that we’ve enjoyed in just a couple of seasons, the quality of singers that we have attracted, and the progress that we’ve made exceed all of our expectations.”

The range of repertoire sung by both groups in this concert will satisfy any musical taste. For more information about this concert, the Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers, and the City of Palms Youth Choir visit



A new program is offering aspiring singers in Lee County the opportunity to join together and practice their talents.

This year, the Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers will host The City of Palms Youth Choir.  

“I get to meet new people and just sing with other people who love singing,” said Guinevere Bortnicker Kiniry.

The creators hope the program highlights the need for more art programs in schools.

“I think that it’s very important to have arts programs in the schools and we have some strong arts programs here but not all of them do,” said choir director, Matthew Koller. 

It also allows students to better shape their minds. 

“We explore what it means to be truly human and to live our lives and find what’s really at our core,” said Koller. 

The program costs about $200 per semester, per students, and offers scholarships. Organizers hope the program continues to expand.

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Honorary Board Members

The Honorable Randall P. Henderson, Mayor of Fort Myers
Mrs. Meg Geltner, Executive Director of PACE, Fort Myers