Meet Our Soloists

The Santa Cruz Chorale’s final concert of the season, entitled “Hope and Joy” will feature two accomplished soloists, baritone Sepp Hammer, and tenor Jonathan Smucker. We are pleased to introduce them to you:

Sepp Hammer, baritone
How many operatic baritones have a bachelor’s degree in physics from Berkeley? Sepp Hammer is that unicorn. He went on to obtain a master’s degree in vocal performance from the New England Conservatory of Music and has had major roles in operas by Mozart, Puccini, Bizet, and others. Sepp has sung the voice of Jesus in Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion with the California Bach Society, as well as dozens of other oratorio roles with Bay Area ensembles. Reviewers have described Sepp’s voice as “powerful,” with a “warm baritone gravity.” In Hope and Joy, Sepp will sing the virtuoso bass solos in Purcell’s Out of the Deep, and Bach’s setting of the same psalm, Cantata BWV 131.
Jonathan Smucker, tenor
We don’t know how he made his way to California from Ohio, where he was born, but we’re glad he did. Jonathan, a faculty member in voice at San Jose State University, has sung more than forty-five diverse roles in opera, oratorio, operetta and musical theater. Hailed as “a polished singing actor” by San Francisco Classical Voice and praised for singing “with clarity and fluency” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Jonathan maintains an extensive performance calendar throughout the Bay Area and California. A strong advocate for new music, Jonathan has sung in numerous premieres and workshops, including the San Francisco readings of Mason Bates’s The (r)Evolution of Steve Jobs. In Hope and Joy, Jonathan returns to earlier eras, singing the lyrical tenor solo of Bach’s Cantata BWV 131 and opening our program with a solo by Bach’s predecessor Heinrich Schűtz.

Our upcoming and final concert of the 2022-2023 season will take place
Saturday April 22, 2023 at 8pm and
Sunday April 23 2023 at 4pm
at Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz. You can purchase tickets at
Out of an abundance of caution, masks continue to be required.
We look forward to singing for you!