Corinne Swall of Kentfield, long time Board member of Marin Music Chest, died recently. She was an active, ambitious member of the Board of Directors since 2002, and served on the Artistic Council, which judges the auditions leading to the merit scholarships Marin Music Chest grants to young Marin musicians.
Her musical career began in 1948, when, as a University of California student, she won a Marin Music Chest $200 vocal scholarship. This allowed her a year’s tuition to study with Mary Groom Jones, one of the finest voice teachers in the Bay Area. The Music Chest awarded her another scholarship the following year. This led her to The Julliard School of Music as a coloratura soprano.
During her career she performed as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony and the Carre Theatre in Amsterdam. She also performed in Australia and Canada.
In addition to performing, Corinne wrote libretti for several operas. She also taught, serving on the music faculty at UC Berkeley for ten years, and teaching voice at California State University, Chico.
Dear to Corinne’s heart was Mother Lode Musical Theater, a performing group in Marin County she founded in 1970. MLMT presented numerous programs, including the Drake Pageant, which was performed on Drake’s Beach with a cast that included local Native American Miwok members, and many Christmas seasons of Las Posadas in Point Reyes Station, coordinated with local Hispanic performers. Her energy and enthusiasm for her craft were infectious.
The Board of Directors of the Marin Music Chest will remain grateful to Corinne for all her years of service in assisting young Marin students of classical music. She will be sorely missed.
Spencer Michels wrote about the challenges our organization has experienced amid the pandemic. Are our scholarships for young classical musicians in jeopardy? We think not! But Mr. Michels, a musician himself, understands the serious questions and brings clarity to our thoughts in his article, which you can read here.