7 years ago

Volume 19 Issue 3 - November 2013

  • Text
  • November
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • December
  • Theatre
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KEVIN CLARKBeat by Beat | Art of SongVMAs Offer EarlySinging StartHANS DE GROOTLast summer my daughter Saskia turned 12. Turning 12 is a riteof passage since most primary schools in Toronto do not gobeyond grade six. Saskia chose, with encouragement from herparents, to move to the Downtown Vocal Music Academy on DenisonAvenue, a stone’s throw from Toronto’s Kensington Market. The twoVMA schools in Toronto (the other is the suburban Heather HeightsPS in Scarborough) are the brainchild of Mark Bell, a man known inmusical circles for his leadership of Canada Sings, a community singalongthat meets every second Tuesday of the month somewhere inEast Toronto (the next meeting is on November 12 at Mustard Seed, 791Queen St. E.).In February 2007 Bell convened a meeting ofdirectors and managers of children’s choirs andofficials of the Toronto District School Board toexplore the possibility of setting up one or moreschools which would specialize in singing. TheTDSB came onside and a few years later Bellbecame vice-principal of the Downtown VMAand started preparing the 2012-13 school year.That year the program began in grade four andwent up to grade six. This year grade sevenwas added and grade eight should follow nextyear. Bell would like it to continue until grade12 eventually but there are no immediateplans for that. For now the intention is tosteer students to high schools that specializein the arts, such as Rosedale Heights.Every day the last period at the DowntownVMA is choir (except for the afternoon, oncea week, when the pupils go swimming) but there is alsoNathalie Paulin.singing at other times during the day. It was felt impractical to offeran extended program in instrumental music, but on Friday thereare after-school optional classes in piano and guitar (in cooperationwith Soul Music of the University of Toronto) as well as steel pan (incooperation with the Regent Park School of Music). Violin classeswere also offered but there were no takers. At present the childrenare preparing for their first concert of the season December 3, “TheFour Elements: Celebrating the Power of Nature in Song.” The totalnumber of students participating is 90, but we shall also be able tohear them in smaller groups. The concert will also include the inaugurationof the newly restored Heintzman grand piano.Suzie LeBlanc is a lyric soprano, especially known for her earlymusic performances. But her concerts are not confined to early music.A glance at her discography shows that she has also recorded classical(Mozart, Gluck), modern (Messiaen), contemporary (Peter-AnthonyTogni) and traditional Acadian music. Of particular interest is a newdisc with songs set to texts by Elizabeth Bishop (the composers areEmily Doolittle, Christos Hatzis, Alasdair MacLean and John Plant).She will be singing Purcell and Carissimi, with the tenor CharlesDaniels and the Tafelmusik Orchestra and Chamber Choir November 6to 10. There will be another chance to hear her this month withthe viol consort Les Voix Humaines for the Women’s Music Club onNovember 21. That concert will be repeated November 23 in Sault Ste.Marie and November 24 in Brantford. LeBlanc will also lead a masterclass at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto November 20.Simone Osborne is a former member of the Canadian Opera StudioEnsemble and has since performed several major roles for the COC:Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (while a member of the Studio Ensemble),Gilda in Rigoletto, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi and, most recentlyMusetta in La Bohème. Next spring she will return to the COC in therole of Oscar in Un ballo in maschera. She is the inaugural winnerof Jeunesses Musicales Canada’s Maureen Forrester Award Tour. Oneof the concerts on this tour will be a noontime recital in the RichardBradshaw Auditorium on November 12. She will sing Schumann’ssong cycle Frauenliebe und-leben as well as songs by Bellini,Strauss, Hahn and Current. The concert will be repeated at Midland,November 21 and at Prescott, December 6.OTHER EVENTS!!Voice performance classes in the Faculty of Music, Universityof Toronto, will be held on November 5, 19, 26 and December 3 atWalter Hall.!!Adi Braun is the singer in a concert based on the songs and lettersof Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre,November 6.!!Erin Bardua and Maureen Batt, soprano, Stefan Fehr, tenor, andGiovanni Spanu, baritone, will be the soloists in a performance ofHaydn’s L’isola disabitata at Heliconian Hall, November 8.!!Eleanor James, mezzo, will be the soloist in Tanzlied by R. MurraySchafer. The concert will also feature the harpists Judy Loman andAngela Schwarzkopf and will include music by Brophy, Livingston,Buhr and Lau in the Mazzoleni Concert Hall, November 10.!!Shannon Mercer, soprano, Krisztina Szabó, mezzo,Christopher Mayell, tenor, and Jesse Clark, bass, willbe the soloists in a performance of Mozart’s Requiemat the Cathedral Church of St. James, November 13.Simone Osborne.!!Students from the Glenn Gould vocal program will perform TheSilent Serenade by Korngold at the Royal Conservatory, November 15and 16.!!Sara Papini, soprano, will sing compositions by Andjelika Javorinaat the Glenn Gould Studio, November 15.!!Janet Obermeyer, soprano, will sing Der Hirt auf dem Felsen bySchubert at Metropolitan United Church, November 16.!!Nathalie Paulin is the soprano soloist in a concert of 20th centurymusic at Walter Hall, November 18.!!York University Department of Music presents vocal masterclasseswith Che Anne Loewen, November 19 and with Leslie Fagan,November 22 at Tribute Communities Hall, November.!!Lesley Bouza, soprano, and Colin Ainsworth, tenor, will be thesoloists in a Britten concert by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir atYorkminster Baptist Church, November 20.!!Darlene Shura, soprano, Jacqueline Gélineau, contralto, andJohn Holland, baritone, will sing selections from Bach’s cantatas atHeliconian Hall, November 30.!!At Calvin Presbyterian Church November 30, Allison CeciliaArends, soprano, and Stanislas Vitort, tenor, will be the soloists inMendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 (Lobgesang) with the Oakham HouseChoir. The concert will also include a number of works composed orarranged by John Rutter.14 | Novemberr 1 – December 7, 2013

!!Recitals at Rosedale presents “Opera nella chiesa” with music byHandel, Massenet and Menotti. The singers are Laura Albino, soprano,Laura Tucker, mezzo, Timothy Wong, countertenor, and AnthonyCleverton and Jason Howard, baritone, at Rosedale PresbyterianChurch, December 1.!!And beyond the GTA: Bethany Hörst, soprano, Bud Roach, tenor,and Alexander Dobson, bass, will perform baroque opera arias, withthe Bach Elgar Choir at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington,November 9 and 10.!!Nicholas Phan, tenor, and Martin Limoges, horn, will performBritten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. The concert will also include Tchaikovsky’sSymphony No. 6 at the Centre in the Square, Kitchener, November 29and 30.!!Charlene Pauls, soprano, Erica Iris-Huang, mezzo, Bud Roach,tenor, and James Baldwin, bass, will be the soloists in a performanceof the Magnificat by Bach and the Magnificat by Rutter at St. MatthewCatholic Church in Oakville, November 30.!!The first of many complete Messiahs will arrive on December 6and 7 presented by the Bach Elgar Choir. The soloists are JenniferTaverner, soprano, Michele Bogdanowicz, mezzo, Chris Fischer, tenor,and Andrew Tees, bass at Melrose United Church in Hamilton.Hans de Groot is a concert-goer and active listenerwho also sings and plays the recorder. He canbe contacted at Annual FREE Noon HourEnjoy an hour of beautiful music performed by outstandingCanadian choirs and organists and featuring Roy Thomson Hall'smagnificent Gabriel Kney pipe organ.Toronto Mass ChoirThe Glory of GospelWednesday, December 18, 2013 12 PMKaren Burke, conductorCorey Butler, pianoChristopher Dawes, organOrpheus Choir of TorontoA Little Lunch MusicFriday, April 11, 2014 12 PMRobert Cooper, conductorEdward Moroney, organHamilton Children's Choir& Young Voices TorontoSound TapestryThursday, May 1, 2014 12 PMZimfira Poloz, conductorShawn Grenke, organFREE ADMISSIONAll concerts begin at 12 Noon. Suitable for ages six and up.For reservations of 20 or more, call 416.593.4822 ext. 225M a d e p o s s i b l e b y t h e g e n e rous support of Edwards Charitable Fo u n d a t i o November 1 – December 7, 2013 | 15

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