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Volume 14 - Issue 7 - April 2009

BEAT BY BEAT: CHORAL

BEAT BY BEAT: CHORAL SCENEPaeons and needlesby mJ buellFor a number of different reasons, I find myself sitting here preoccupiedwith the old question "How many angels can dance onthe point of a needle?" The origins of the question are nearly as debatableas the various answers to it. What delights me is that the debateassumes that there are angels. And, equally delightful, that theycan dance!What got me thinking about this? One thing was that someoneasked me "How many potential choristers will be readingWholeNote's May Canary Pages?" I found myself trying to comeup with a total, based on last year's Canary Pages. How manychoirs? How many singers already in each? So, that's about 12,000.But what about lapsed choristers ready to take the plunge again?And what if each of them has just one friend, who had never beenin _a choir, but inspired by association finds themselves suddenlyseized by a secret powerful longing ....So this is where thinking about angels helps. Angels don't dancebecause they can. Angels dance because they must. And that's howit is, sooner or later, with singing.It's a good time of year to spur that awareness. This round of ecstaticsi?g!ng begins for many in April with sacred works relating tothe Chnstian calendar. The Amadeus' Choir's St. John Passion(Apr. 4); The St. Matthew Passion (Tafelmusik April 2-8, GeorgetownBach Chorale Apr 10, Grand Philharmonic Choir Apr.10); asingalong Messiah (Armour Heights Presbyterian, April 10); Musicat Metropolitan's "All Creation Wept" (also April 10 - which isGood Friday); Pax Christi's Bach Mass in B minor (April 25), andThe Amadeus Choir's performance of the Rutter Gloria (May 2).And sacred does not necessarily mean "old": as evidenced by theJazz Mass: there's one by Steve Dobrogosz (Annex Singers, April25) and another by David Mott (called CREATION) which will beperforn_ied along with Paul Winter's Missa Gaia (Mississauga ChoralSociety, May 3). So many of our choirs have spring concerts thatare celebrations of one kind or another. Examples of this: Elmer IselerSingers 30th anniversary celebration on April 17; the John LaingSingers' April 25 Majesty of Spring; Orpheus Choir's Choral Countdownon May 9; Toronto Mendelssohn's anniversary celebration"Passion Has a Voice" (May 9).And there's more. The Upper Canada Choristers offer us TheArmed Man: A Mass For Peace, multimedia work by Welsh composerKarl Jenkins (May 1). The evening marks its first Canadianperformance with video (a feature of its world premiere and othersubsequent performances), a muezzin's call to prayer within a Masssetting, quotes from both Palestrina and Brazilian drum rhythms inthe Kyrie, and a children's choir. Guy Wilson, who selected thetexts, comments, "What better way both to look back and reflect asw_e leave behind the most war-torn and destructive century in humanhistory, and to look ahead with hope and commit ourselves to a newand more peaceful millennium?" Eglinton St. George also performsthis work on May 8.The greatest culmination of thisimpulse to, metaphorically , danceon the point of a needle, is choirsjoining with other choirs. TheApril 24th concert at RTH is acase in point: the visiting KyivChamber Choir performing withVesnivka, the Elmer Iseler Singers,and St Michaels Choir School.It's spring, and the spirit thatmoves people to sing is in the air.I recently received a letter abouta documentary film called "TheSinging Revolution", about hundredsof thousands of Estonianswho gathered to sing publiclysongs they were forbidden to sing, . .between 1986 and 1991, in an ef-Ky1v ChOlrfort to end decades of Soviet occupation. Singing fuelled a non-violentrevolution. This included what began in 1988 as spontaneousmass night-singing demonstrations at the Tallinn Song FestivalGrounds, home of the "Laulupidu" , an Estonian song festival thathappens every five years, and which will take place in July of thisyear. I hear there were something like 185,000 people gathered thereto sing in 2004. That's a lot of potential choristers!I don't know if "Singing Revolution" will make it as one of themovies at "Movies Embracing Music", WholeNote's June 24th,choral-themed film night. (The plan is to give you, our readers, asay in what movies get presented that night. Stay tuned (to the website,and to the May magazine).So how many Canaries can sing on the point of a needle? If the"point of the needle" in this caseis a pinnacle of musical delight(such as the one created and arrivedat by massed human voicessinging beautiful music together)the answer is that the answer remainsto be seen.Attention: Opera SingersDo you have a dream rolethat you want orneed to perform?ll 1s easier than you think'More info: www.OperabyRequest.caoperc1 by requestDireclor W II am ShookhoftBOSLEYREAL ESTATEDOS LEY JEAL ESTATE LTD., REAL T O RPETER MAHONSales Representative416-322-8000pmahon@trebnet.comwww.petermahon.comSATURDAY 9 MAY 2009 8:00 PMPRE-CONCERT CHAT AT 7:15 PMMASSEY HALLMEZZO-SOPRANOColin BalzerTENORPassionate, dramatic and operatic.Elijah is a massive, triumphant masterpiece-a TMC specialty.passion has a voice!an anniversary celebrationToronto Mendelssohn ChoirToronto Mendelssohn Youth ChoirFestival OrchestraSPONSORED BY Tom & Nancy LaurieElijah FELIX MENDELSSOHNTICKETS: -78 (ADULTS) VOXTIX Massey Hall Box Office: 416-872-4255www.masseyhall.com/www.tmchoir.orgGOVERNMENT AGENCIESSEASON SUPPORTERS@\_ Middlefield GroupBMO e· Financial Group~ .. =;: miii1 e I "" ,,,,,..,...-----~ r:iil ffi!Jil.WWW. THEWHOLENOTE . COM APRIL 1 - M AY 7 2009

CAREER OPPORTUNITIESSt. Michael's Choir School was founded in 1937 to facilitate the training of aboys' choir for St. Michael's Cathedral, Toronto. Over its 72 year history,St. Michael's Choir School has remained at the forefront of music educationand choral performance in Canada.PRINCIPAL ORGANISTSt. Michael's Choir School requires a Principal Organist to serve as theprime accompanist for the choral activities of the school, includingaccompanying the choirs and cantors at regular Sunday morning Masses atthe Cathedral, and at special celebrations as specified in the schoolcalendar.In service to the Archdiocese of Toronto, and to the community in general,the Principal Organist also fosters the Church's treasury of sacred musicwhenthe choirs appear at services of worship beyond the Cathedral, inconcerts, tours, and recordings. S/he will also teach organ lessons, andassist with the investigation of restoration options for the gallery organ.The successful candidate will have a minimum of a Master's degree in Musicand will possess a thorough knowledge of Roman Catholic worship. Thisindividual will be an experienced "team player" in a large parish or cathedralsetting working with staff, musicians, and volunteers. Interested candidatesmay view the detailed job description at www.smcs.on.ca/POrganist.ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTORThis multifaceted organization requires an Administrative Director who willensure that all undertakings of the music school are successfully plannedand executed, and that on-going activities are securely reviewed, improvedand sustained.Reporting to the Rector of the school, the Administrative Director will provideleadership to the designated staff and committees, and will guide andoversee the critical areas of governance, financial management, alumnirelations, and community and public relations.The successful candidate will be a proven leader with excellentcommunication skills. S/he will have management experience, at least aBachelor's degree in a related field (arts/business/school administration),and a good understanding of the musical traditions of the Catholic church.Interested candidates may view the detailed job description atwww.smcs.on.ca/AdminDirector.St. Michael's Choir School offers a competitive salary along with acomprehensive benefits package. Please submit your applicationbefore April 30th 2009 to:St. Michael's Choir SchoolHuman Resources Department66 Bond StreetToronto, ON MSB 2X4Fax: 416-363-0710Email: katheryn.trainor@tcdsb.orgNo phone calls please. Only qualified candidates will be contacted.Geo.11; D~ & Co. LimitedCONSERVATORS & PURVEYORSOF Fine & Rare ViolinsYOUTH SINGERS OF TOR.ONTOOur 1 Oth ANNIVERSARY SEASONstarts with a tour of the UK, including a competition atthe International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales anda performance with English composer Bob Chilcott atChrist Church Cathedral, Oxford.DOES YOUR CHILD LOVE TO SING?Come to VIVA!'s OPEN HOUSEMonday, April 20, 2009, 4:30-6:30 pm"Canada - Our Home And Native Land"featuring music from our founding nationsSaturday, May 23, 2009, 3:00 pmAUDITIONS FOR NEXT SEASONSaturdays April 25 and May 30* Choirs for ages 4-25* Employment opportunities foruniversity students and pre-service teachersNEW!VIVA Boys' Choirconducted by Brad RatzlaffJOIN US!Carol Woodward Ratzlaff, Artistic DirectorBrad Ratzlaff, Associate DirectorSusan Suchard and Laura Menard,ConductorsAll events take place atTrinity-St. Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor St. WestAONTARIO ARTS COUN CILM CONSEIL DES ARTS DE CONTARIOtorontdartsbo u n c i IAn arm' s length body ol the C11y ol Toronto201 Chun:h St., Toronto, ON. M5B IY7 Email : ghcl@idirect.comTel: 416-363-0093 • F"" 4 16-)6)-0053www.georgeheinl.comCanada•s foremost violin experts.Proud of our heritage. Ex

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