6 years ago

Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017

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  • 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!).

and it seems to like me

and it seems to like me too! By that I mean it suits my voice and fits my personality,” she shares. “I truly love choral singing; the collaborative aspect entails a certain dose of self-effacement which I find essential.” “I do prefer singing with small ensembles,” she says. “Though I have been with the group for 22 years, I continue to enjoy the music and the camaraderie, but still have to pinch myself once in a while when I think of how lucky I am to be on a stage with such talented musicians.” Many of us find ourselves in a Tafelmusik Chamber Choir performance feeling much the same way. Tafelmusik has an exciting year ahead, not least of all some great programming with the Bach Mass in B Minor and the coming of a new artistic director, Elisa Citterio, who fully takes the reins next season. Mike Garboll Tenor, Grand Philharmonic Choir Regionally, there are excellent choirs all around. The Grand Philharmonic in Kitchener is one such example. Mike Garboll shares his thoughts on the experiences. “The excitement and opportunity to sing so much of the world’s choral repertoire with the Kitchener- Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and outstanding soloists under our conductor Mark Vuorinen, is exhilarating, soul fulfilling and magical,” he shares. “It is the depth and breadth of the intoxicating and addicting vast choral literature by the giants of classical music that compels me every year to subject myself to Mark Vuorinen’s ‘voice checks’ (basically a re-audition).” Garboll’s story and path in choral music had an early start. “(It) would be as a Grade 9 high school student in the North York Youth Choir under the legendary Lloyd Bradshaw. It was during the first orchestral rehearsal of Zadok the Priest…the mounting expectation in the orchestral introduction that leads to the overwhelmingly brilliant, powerful and majestic explosion by the chorus took my breath away and left me awestruck. It continues to do this to me to this very day.” influences how we understand the human experience. Because of all these beautiful memories that I had making music with others, I want to allow other people, through conducting and singing, to have the same wonderful experiences that I had and will continue to have.” Sarah has a host of diverse musical experience from around the world, starting in Hong Kong and including Los Angeles and European stops. She has many stories from along the way including singing Britten’s War Requiem, in Walt Disney Hall, but the experiences go much further back. “I guess I’ll trace back to one ‘concert’ back in my high school days,” she shares. “It was about a week before competing in the biggest school music festival in Hong Kong, and it’s our choir’s tradition to perform our pieces in front of the whole school during an assembly. In order to boost our confidence (or throw us a challenge, whichever), our music director at the time decided to have us scatter in the audience. Not just in the aisles, but in the seats – so our schoolmates and teachers were right next to us! But I wasn’t scared at all – one thing I learned in singing in that choir was that singing is about touching people’s hearts with our music…We really sang our hearts out. Many of our teachers and classmates cried after hearing our performance. Afterwards, over 100 people (from about 500 students) auditioned for the choir the next time we held an audition!” Ann-Marie Barrett-Tandy Soprano, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Ann-Marie tells me about the places she is humbled to have performed in over her 19 years with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. “The music we perform, and the places where we’ve performed them, the friendships we form, and the sense of community and the support system that is developed is altogether memorable.” TMC is at the pinnacle of large ensembles in not only the region, but the country, in terms of history, the quality of sound, the size, the administrative support, reputation and diversity of performance opportunity: from singing on the stage of Roy Thomson Hall, the Sony Centre, the atrium of Brookfield Place or the Student Learning Centre at Ryerson Concert Celebrating Li Delun's Centennial 纪 念 李 德 伦 100 周 年 诞 辰 音 乐 会 Sarah Maria Leung Soprano, Exultate Chamber Singers Sarah Maria Leung is a singer and a conductor. Just finished in her master’s in Choral Conducting at the University of Toronto, she’s been part of Exultate Chamber Singers for several seasons now, but it’s not the first choir she has sung with. “I have been singing since first grade, so…it’s been a wonderful 18 years now. Each ensemble I sang with taught me something valuable as a musician and as a human being. I received most of my aural skills and sight-reading skills through singing in choir, especially in university. I got to travel to many countries and gained some lifelong friends from all over the world.” She provides added insight, “I understand how the music we sing Sunday, June 25th, 3 pm Toronto Centre for the Arts George Weston Recital Hall, 5040 Yonge St Conductor: Peter Oundjian, Zushan Bian, Dongxiao Xu Violin: Kerson Leong, Toronto Festival Orchestra Music by Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Luding He and the Canadian premiere of Anlun Huang's Symphony in C Major dedicated to Maestro Li Delun Tickets: (VIP include 1 free CD ), , , , Enquiry: 416.490.7962 Box Office: TCA 416.250.3708,, 1.855.985.2787, 16 | May 1, 2017 - June 7, 2017

an Ontario government agency University, St. Paul’s Basilica, Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts or Mississauga’s Living Arts Centre – performing in these venues is a real privilege. One of the crown jewels for performance in Canada is Koerner Hall at the Telus Centre at the Royal Conservatory. For Ann-Marie, last November provided one of those amazing experiences unique to the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir – Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah. “The choir sang exquisitely! We breathed and sang as one, and were perfectly attuned to Noel’s [Edison, conductor] every gesture. Speaking for myself, I was transported by the music, and the excellent soloists. It was a truly symbiotic performance. Although a recording could not have duplicated the mood of both the audience and the singers, and that it was a unique experience, it would have been amazing to have a physical record of that performance and to be able to say, ‘I was there.’” Don Pyper Tenor, That Choir “I think That Choir has a really unique dedication to storytelling and performance,” shares Don Pyper, a That Choir tenor. “That all starts with Craig [Pike, the conductor]. He always challenges us to bring more to the music than just singing the notes on the page. Doing contemporary choral music reminds me that choral music is alive, it’s evolving, and has something to say about the modern world.” That Choir focuses entirely on a cappella choral music. Few choirs focus entirely on this repertoire and few do it as well as That Choir. Due to Pike’s extensive relationship-building, charisma and contacts all over the place, That Choir is incredibly active beyond just the boundaries of the 6ix. Pyper shares a rather perfect story of the power of music to connect and enhance communities it touches. “That Choir sang a concert in Barrie a few months ago. At one point Craig asked a little girl in the front row if she knew how to conduct and she responded “I’m only seven!” Craig brought her onstage and told her to move her arm up and down, down beat, up beat, really basic, then brought us in on something we had just sung and then walked off the stage, leaving this girl all by herself, arm waving, all of us eyes-glued to her while we sang. She looked awestruck, thrilled, terrified, spellbound. You choose an adjective. But the look on her face was the distillation of why everyone in the choir loves choral. I think most of us, audience included, both laughed and cried when she walked back to her seat next to her dad. It was just a beautiful moment in time.” Brian Chang sings tenor in the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and other Toronto-based choirs. He is The WholeNote’s Choral Scene columnist. 2016-17 Season Identities Ukrainian 125 th Anniversary Celebration Identities Glorious and Free May 14, 2017, 3:30 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. Join us for this glorious musical tribute commemorating the 125 th anniversary of Ukrainian immigration to Canada and their arduous journey to new beginnings. Featuring the Ontario premiere of Larysa Kuzmenko’s The Golden Harvest and John Estacio’s The Houses Stand Not Far Apart in a choral celebration to the unity of diverse cultures. Guests: Renowned soloists Andriana Chuchman, soprano, and James Westman, bass-baritone, the Vesnivka Choir & Toronto Ukrainian Male Chamber Choir, Kvitka Kondracki, Artistic Director, and the Orpheus Concert Choir, Robert Cooper, Artistic Director. Tickets: BMO Financial Group Andriana Chuchman Soprano James Westman Bass-baritone Koerner Hall Financial Group Orpheus Choir’s season sponsor BMO Financial Group un organisme du gouvernement de l’Ontario Ihnatowycz Family Foundation The Jackman Foundation Olzhych Foundation TEMERTY FAMILY FOUNDATION May 1, 2017 - June 7, 2017 | 17

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