6 years ago

Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • Arts
  • Musical
  • Jazz
  • Festival
  • Symphony
  • Theatre
  • Choir
  • Orchestra
  • Quartet
From science fact in "Integral Man: Music and the Movies," to science fiction in the editor's opener; from World Fiddle Day at the Aga Khan Museum to three Canadians at the Cliburn; from wanting to sashay across the 401 to Chamberfest in Montreal to exploring the Continuum of Jumblies Theatre's 20-year commitment to the Community Play (there's a pun in there somewhere!).

said ‘Don’t think

said ‘Don’t think about it; just live your life. And enjoy the time and the space that you’re going to have.’” In Shulman’s case, that means teaching – both privately and on faculty at the University of Toronto – and revisiting personal projects. For one, she plans on returning to her study of the traverso, and the earlier flute repertoire that goes along with it. She’ll also be playing a central role in the organization of the second annual Flute Day at U of T, in October 2017. And in the meantime, she’ll be enjoying the breathing room. For her colleagues and students, it comes as no surprise that Shulman would have the personal fortitude necessary to hold a position like hers for over four decades – and to exit it on her own terms. “She’s really unique in her ability to just understand what a student needs,” says Sophie Lanthier, a U of T flutist who has studied with Shulman for the last four years. “Studying with Nora is almost like going to her for a prescription – not just for what I need to improve but how I need to improve it. She has so much perspective from her time with the TSO, and so much knowledge of the context of the flute within an orchestra. She makes you want to work harder when you work with her. “I don’t know where I’d be as a flute player, if I hadn’t decided to study with Nora when I did,” Lanthier adds. “She’s world-class.” Flutist and piccoloist Camille Watts, who has sat in the flute section of the TSO with Shulman for 27 years, agrees. “Nora is a dream colleague,” she says. “When you sit next to somebody for all these years, you feel with them, you think with them – you become a kind of unit of sound and of music-making together. Nora is in that way a completely inclusive, generous player – responding to what she hears with incredible creativity and integrity. Every concert means something to her. And besides that, we have fun. You can’t have better than that.” And as for Shulman’s own takeaway from the Toronto Symphony? As she talks about her years with the orchestra – from the transition to Toronto from her first job in Denver to the photo she still has of Sir Andrew Davis and Maureen Forrester at the Great Wall from their tour to China in 1978 to the new music she’s been learning for the final concerts of this season – it becomes clear that some gigs are longlasting for a reason. And that through it all, she’s never lost sight of what a job like this has meant to her. “It was really having a dream come true, getting a position as a principal flute player,” she says. “I was lucky – and I’ve never really lost that feeling of gratefulness and privilege. And I’ve always taken it very seriously. Never for granted, not one day.” Nora Shulman will perform Griffes’ Poem for Flute and Orchestra with the TSO May 26 to 28, as part of her final season with the orchestra. Sara Constant is a Toronto-based flutist and musicologist, and is digital media editor at The WholeNote. She can be reached at Six Choristers, Six Choirs Glimpses of Delight BRIAN CHANG As someone who sings, I can’t imagine my life without choral music in it. For many people this is a true statement. Dedicating time to sing invigorates, relaxes, strengthens and builds the body and mind. Every day there are countless articles being shared about the value of choral ensemble and the physical and mental benefits. In this month of choral celebration in The WholeNote, I’ve assembled six stories from choristers in choirs across the region. Taken together they are suggestive of the gorgeous choral tapestry of music and ensemble in our region. Moreover, they tell the same story – how choral music fulfills the need to share and be part of a greater whole. For those of you who have never sung in a choir, choral music is unlike other forms of music. Humans have a fundamental, instinctual reaction to the sound of other human voices. Whether it’s Whitney Houston, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, or Pentatonix – we all relate to the sound of human voices raised in song. There’s something incredibly powerful about joining voices together to create something so much greater than one person could ever hope to do alone. The metaphorical and physical power of this expression of music is unlike anything else. Don’t be afraid to try! For those of you who do sing in a choir, take a moment when you are singing next. Don’t sing. Just have a look around at what is happening: listen, take it in. Even for a moment, this is why you are here, not just for yourself, but to share with all these other people. Finally, for those of you who like choral or classical music, keep coming to concerts and donate. Choral music is the only major performing arts medium that does not pay its primary artists – the choristers. With the exception of a handful of choirs like Tafelmusik, the Elmer Iseler Singers and the Elora Festival Singers, the vast majority of choristers you see on stage are doing it for free. They don’t derive a penny of profit, and in most cases pay to be part of the ensemble. Choral music cannot exist without an audience and you are more important to this process that you can imagine. JUNTOS! Spain meets Canada at 150 Performance by the Choirs of VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto Preparatory Chorus • Junior Choir • Chamber Choir Main Chorus • Everyone Can Sing Chorus With guests Michelle Colton, percussion and Julian Berg, guitar SATURDAY, MAY 27 TH 2017, 6:30 PM Trinity St. Paul’s Centre 427 Bloor Street West (at Spadina) Tickets at the door: adults, seniors and students Auditions for VIVA!’s 2017-18 Season on June 10 & August 30 • an Ontario government agency un organisme du gouvernement de l’Ontario 14 | May 1, 2017 - June 7, 2017

Kayla Stephenson Alto, Florivox “One of the main reasons why I chose Florivox over other ensembles in the city is that it is a non-audition choir,” shares Kayla Stephenson. “I had not been part of a choir for over a decade prior to Florivox so I was a little apprehensive about…well everything! My first rehearsal included a lot of confusion, wrong notes and questionable rhythms. But despite all that, I was welcomed and encouraged to keep pursuing my interest in singing. Florivox members have been very supportive and have helped me to develop my singing abilities over the past several years.” Kayla gets to the root fear of a lot of people interested in choral music – the dreaded audition. Florivox, Univox and a host of other great non-auditioned choirs in the city can help navigate this space. Not every choir needs to perform at the level of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Choirs at every level are representative of the diversity of experience and music in our city. The Univox and Florivox families are great examples of inclusive music-making. Stephenson tells us more about the unique approach the choir takes. “Each year, Florivox has a weekend retreat,” she shares. “We pile in our cars and head north of the city, for a weekend of singing and socializing! One evening, before dinner, each choir performed a piece we had learned earlier that day. Standing in a beautiful cabin-style hall, overlooking a peaceful Muskoka lake, here we were performing a piece together as a choir after just a few short hours of rehearsal. I will never forget the sense of accomplishment and happiness I felt singing to our fellow choristers.” Francine Labelle Soprano, Tafelmusik Chamber Choir Most choristers, even the professional ones, have other duties. Francine Labelle is a soprano with Tafelmusik but also the director of public relations at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Over her career, she’s been able to perform and tour countless times with various ensembles. One sticks out in particular: “A six-week tour of France with the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal (SMAM) in 1984 remains one of the highlights of my musical life,” she shares. “There was something magic about performing Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 in old cathedrals.” Tafelmusik, with its focus on early music, requires a different musical approach. Flexibility, articulation, and a strong understanding of period phrasing are heightened even more in a Baroque ensemble. Labelle enjoys this singing very much. “I simply love Baroque music, May 1, 2017 - June 7, 2017 | 15

Copied successfully!

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)