8 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 9 - June 2005

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  • Festival
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  • Classical


MUSIC IN THE ORCHARD at Spadina Museum FREE CONCERTS Sunday Afternoons from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Bring a picnic, a blanket and the entire family! June Sth: Moresca will perform featuring voice, woodwinds fr hurdy-gurdy June l 2th: jonno Lightstone of the Yiddish Swingtet performs traditional Klezmer songs on clarinet. June l 9th: Vansickle Ensemble perform music popular in the early 1900s SPADINA MUSEUM: IIlSTORIC HOUSE &GARDENS 285 Spadina Road 416-392-6910 culture/calendar.htm TORONTO Culture rected by Zimfira Poloz, sample children's choir music from around the world, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Philharmonic Choir perform Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings Symphony at Roy Thomson Hall. The Toronto Jewi"sh Folk Choir offers its 79th annual Spring Concert (a remarkable achievement!) and five downtown Toronto choirs come together for a "community choral summit" at Trinity-St. Paul's Church. Two concerts on June 11 caught my eye for their unique programming: Ron Cheung's "Voices" choir offer choral music from the Far East, Eastern Europe and Australia/New Zealand, while the Jubilate Singers give a concert of choral settings of the glorious words of Federico Garcia Lorca. And as if this all wasn't enough, the Tafelmusik Orchestra and Choir are holding their annual summer institute in the first half of June, and June 14 sees their culminating closing mass concert at Grace Church on-the-Hill. The tickets are free (though you must reserve them at the Tafelmusik box office). I've participated in a few of these shows and they are a blast. We have come to think of Baroque performance as being neat and tidy and relatively small .... well, this concert may be neat and tidy, but there are dozens of performers on stage: desks and desks of violins, cellos, multiple keyboards and lots and lots of voices. It is always a magnificent event. Lastly this month, I want to draw people's attention to a course that is offered by choral conductor and veteran Elmer lseler Singer baritone David King. It's a series of workshops offering coaching in the important art of sight-singing. For those interested in joining a choir, it's a great opportunity to hone skills and make your choral experience all the more satisfying. Visit www or call 416-225-2255 for more information. JUBILATE SINGERS A UDJTJONS Director Isabel Bemaus leads a chamber choir with an eclectic ' multilingual repertoire (Cuban, Argentinian, Italian, Finnish, Cnadian, Catalan, Spanish; classical, traditional, contemporary), with a 3-coocert series and occasional community performances. Openings in all sections, especially baritone and soprano. Rehearsals are Tuesdays 7:30 pm at St. Leonard's Church. Auditions Tuesday June 14, 5:30-9:30 pm at St. Leonard's Church 25 Wanless Ave. (near Yonge & Lawrence) Call Diane at 416-385-1502 to arrange a tie. JoHN GovEDAS REMEMBERED In Toronto's strong and varied choral scene, there are many constants that one imagines will simply always continue. We e perienced a rude awakening from that belief early last month, with the death of composer and accompanist John Govedas. John led a busy life as the director of music at the Lithuanian Martyr's Church in Mississauaga, composer and arranger of music for young singers, and accompanist for countless choirs in the Greater Toronto Area. He will be remembered for his tremendous facility as a piapist, his uncompromising standards as a composer and his unique and slightly eccentric personality and sense of humour. . I contacted a number of individuals who worked with and knew John well. The following is a sampling of their memories: Glenda Crawford, Music Director; Oakville Children's Choir: I knew John first as a composer and accompanist who "hung around" the Toronto Kiwanis Music festival, checking out choirs. His music for treble voices is quite interesting: where the voice sits, imitative writing, developing part-singing skills, harmonic colour. No two pieces were alike. The kids loved his music. Lee Willingham, Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University; Conductor, Bell' Arte Singers: He was a "character", both in personality, and musically. He was a high energy guy, with lots of potential mischief always looming, or so it felt if he was a bit out of your sightlines and you were trying to earn the respect of the singers. I loved playing on this energy., and we seemed to get along great, the few times we had together. My thinking about his legacy, if you will, is that he was a naturally excellent musician, and had technique to boot. Many young choirs got to sing with his musical prowess supporting and shaping their artistic expression ... that must have been thrilling. Mark Bell, Conductor, Riverdale Youth Singers: John not only accompanied the choir, he listened to all of the sounds the children were making. He would often play the soprano part while singing the alto part to help the alto section to learn their part. John loved language and poetry and would often offer instruction to the choir (and me) about the origins of certain words and phrases in the texts of the pieces we were performing. He was excellent with German, French and Latin pronunciations as well .... John could sight-read beautifully .... note perfect and always sensitive to the style of the piece. He brought an amazing energy to every rehearsal. The kids adored him. His accompaniments to mundane vocal warm-ups (solfa scales etc.) made even these routine and sometimes boring exercises exciting and fun. John really was always at his best with the children ... often we adults didn't understand him so well .... but the children certainly did. Anne Massicotte, conductor, Riverdale Young Singers, and music teacher, Earl Haig Public School: When people didn't know how to pronounce his name, he would tell them to say "Go with us" and then "Govedas''. I think that's what he did, he went with us, hundreds of us, and with such intensity and generosity. Anne is the music teacher at my daughters' elementary school. At . their recent Spring Concert at the end of April, when we all knew John was gravely ill, her Junior Choir performed his I am the song and dedicated it to him. The following week, they performed it at a festival at Massey Hall. John lay in hospital across the street and when they played him a tape of the performance, his eyebrows apparently raised. John Govedas was 55 years old. He leaves his mother Ona, brother Denis and two nephews, Evan and Daniel. - Larry Beckwith 22 WWW.THEWHO . LENOTE.COM )UNE 1 - )ULY 7 2005

WORLD View by Karen Ages LAST MONTH, I ENDED this column with a reference to the next in the series of Monday evening Salons presented by WholeNote at the Music Gallery; so l begin where I left off ... .June 6 is shaping up to be a most exciting evening of World Music, so if you've been meaning to get to one of our salons and haven't yet (or even if you've been to all of them), you won't want to miss this one! Performers include local favourites. established and emerging, most of whom have appeared at some point in the pages of WholeNote. They include: Andrew Timar and Bill Parsons (of Evergreen Gamelan fame) as Sunda Duo: the Georgian vocal ensemble Darbazi; sitar player Neeraj Prem and friends; superb voca I ists Maryem Tollar, .Jayne Brown and Sophia Grigoriadis (of Maza Meze); the OnnanoKo Taiko Ensemble; old-time fiddler Erynn Marshall and friends. And to top off the evening. Alan Gasser and Becca Whitla will lead us all in song from various parts of the globe. There will be CDs for sale, and free food at intermis ion and after the show. Hope to see you there! JUNO-AWA!ll) WtN ING vocalist Kiran Ahluwalia, whose specialty is Indian ghazal and Punjabi folk song, makes three appearances in Toronto this month: a CD release concert June 2 at Hugh's Room: June 4 at the Acoustic Harvest Folk Club, and June 26 at the Toronto Downtown Jazi Festival (see www. torontojazz. corn). June 3 at the Lula Lounge, Small World Music presellls 00.JAMI, a lively belly-dance and eastern music troupe from the UK in its North American debut. Described as a "visual and sonic feast of Turkish, Asian and African rhythm", the group's male and female belly-dancers and Sufi dancers will be joined by local guests Roula Said and her own belly-dance troupe the Roulettes. The Raag-Mala Society presents Canadi- an Artists of Indian Classical Music, June 5 at U of T's Medical Sciences Auditorium. Sitarist Neeraj Prem (mentioned earlier in the context of the WholeNote June 6 salon) will be one of several performers; he and his group Ragaffaire will also appear at the Muhtadi International Drumming Festival, June 4 at Queen's Park. On June 5, (as mentioned in last month's the Toronto Jewish Folk Choir holds its 79th annual spring concert at the Leah Posluns Theatre. They will be joined by tlie Toronto Mandolin Orchestra and vocal soloists in a program that will feature Max Helfman's Di Naye Hagode (The New Saga) which commemorates the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Also featured will be songs in Yiddish and Hebrew, opera choruses in Italian and Russian, some Gershwin and more. The Rumi Arts Society, as the name implies, is an organization dedicated to the furthering of Iranian art and culture. The 6th annual Rumi Ensemble concert, featuring Iranian and Canadian musicians, takes place June 18 at Earl Haig Auditorium. The same evening, the Kodaly Ensemble presents Hungarian folk dance and folk music from the Carpathian basin, in its 45th Anniversary Gala concert, at U of T's MacMillan Theatre. June 26 at the George Weston Recital Hall, Show One Productions presents Beyond the Pale - Amjad Ali Khan with sons Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Ba11gash Jewish Nostalgia Night, featuring vocal soloists Svetlana Portnyansky (Los Angeles), Yevgeny Shapovalov (Israel), and a jazz ensemble from New York. The program features songs of the shtetl, s411g in English. Hebrew, Yiddish, Spanish, Italian and Russian. Harbourfront's Toronto Music Garden holds free outdoor concerts Thursdays at 7pm and most Sundays at 4pm, June 23-September 18. June 30 will feature traditional Chinese melodies, for string quartet, with George Gao on erhu. Looking ahead to early July, there are three world-music choices on July 2: an afternoon concert presented by the Canada-China Educational & Cultural Exchange will feature 13 Chinese choirs at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga. Later that evening at Roy Thomson Hall, Buena Vista Social Club presents Omara Portuondo, Havana-born diva of Cuban music. And the same evening, master of the Indian sarod Amjad Ali Khan graces the stage of the Hummingbird Centre, along with sons Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash, and tabla players Vineet Vyas and Samir Chatterjee. Please check the daily listings for details on all of the above. Karen Ages, a freelance oboist who has also been a member of several world music ensembles, can be reached at 416-323-2232 or i=iionn LIVE TO AIR by Catherine Muir Where will you be June 6 at 8pm? Three hundred and forty lucky people will be at the Glenn Gould Studio awaiting the start of one of the year's most anticipated concerts, an All­ Mozart Gala featuring Isabel Bayrakdarian, Michael Schade and Russell Braun, accompanied by the COC Orchestra under Richard Bradshaw. Thinking you might attend? Alas, it has been sold out since April. So all is lost ... but wait. If on July 3 at 8pm you're somewhere with a radio, you are in luck. Less than one month after the live concert, CBC Radio's "OnStage" is rebroadcasting the All-Mozart Gala for all to hear. Your from row seat is reserved. Just sit back in your living room, cottage, or car and let your radio do the rest. Welcome to "From Live to Air", WholeNote's newest column, where we highlight rebroadcasts of concerts you may have attended, wanted to attend but could not get tickets to, or noticed too late and missed completely. Whichever the case. ·Ne are hoping this column can supply a missing link: whether it be reliving a great concert or hearing the ones you missed. Quick turnaround: Regular concert goers are accustomed to seeing in a programme that the concert they're attending is "being recorded for broadcast at a future date," and then waiting months or years for the broadcast in question to materialize. Well, the coming month is definitely the exception to that Dave Snider Music Centre 3225 Yonge SI. PH (416) 483-5825 cM a 1 I: sn idc rm us ic(uJsn idermusi c. com ww \ .sn idcrm us One of Toronto's Oldest Music Stores ... With The Best Selection of Pop, Jazz & Broadway Sheet Music in the city - For Begiwrers a"rl Professionals - Come in and browse over 25,000 sheet music publications. We have a wide array or Woodwind, Brass, Keyboards, Guitars and Accessories. Music Lessons offered on site. Serving Canada Since 1956. 24 stores including: Toronto: 925 Bloor St.W. 416-588· 7886 North York: 2777 Steeles Ave .W. 416-663-8612 1133 Markham Rd. 416-439-8001 902 Simcoe St.N. 905-434-1612 Brampton•: 370 Main St.N. 905-450-4334 Burlington": 3180 Mainway Dr. 905-319-3330 Mississauga·: 900 Rathburn Rd.W. 905-273-3939 "Lessons available at these locations. Call for details! .. 9!111 .. w

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