5 years ago

Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018

  • Text
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Arts
  • Choir
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Concerts
  • Performing
  • Orchestra
  • Theatre
Presenters, start your engines! With TIFF and "back-to-work" out of the way, the regular concert season rumbles to life, and, if our Editor's Opener can be trusted, "Seeking Synergies" seems to be the name of the game. Denise Williams' constantly evolving "Walk Together Children" touching down at the Toronto Centre for the Arts; the second annual Festival of Arabic Music and Arts expanding its range; a lesson in Jazz Survival with Steve Wallace; the 150 presenter and performer profiles in our 19th annual Blue Pages directory... this is an issue that is definitely more than the sum of its parts.


BLUE PAGES 2018/19 SECTION I: PRESENTERS & PERFORMERS and learning from one another as we prepare our programs. The dedication, scholarship, and spirited energy of our collaboration is a mere reflection of the mentorship and encouragement of the rich historical performance community in Toronto. Ruth Denton 416-371-6999 ●●Counterpoint Community Orchestra Founded in 1984, Counterpoint Community Orchestra is an inclusive LGBTQQ2SA orchestra. As the first gay-positive orchestra in the world, Counterpoint has been in the vanguard for gay rights and bringing awareness to the community’s struggle for equality and acceptance for 35 years. A non-profit, member-run, full symphony orchestra for amateur and professional musicians, Counterpoint welcomes all. Drawing its programming from Baroque to contemporary repertoire, Counterpoint is committed to sharing the magic of orchestral music with audiences across the country. Kevin Uchikata 647-970-8057 ●●DaCapo Chamber Choir The 24-voice DaCapo Chamber Choir was founded in 1998 in Kitchener-Waterloo under the direction of Leonard Enns. The mission of the choir is to identify, study, rehearse and present outstanding choral chamber works of the past 100 years and to champion music of Canadian and local composers. In 2018/19, DaCapo will celebrate its 20th anniversary season with the release of its newest CD, with selections received through NewWorks, its national choral composition competition. The choir is currently in the middle of a 3-season exploration of themes related to the global refugee crisis: 2017/18 Displacement, 2018/19 Resettlement, 2019/20 Renewal. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @DaCapoChoir! Sara Martin, manager 519-725-7549 ●●Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western University The Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University in London, Ontario is situated in a research-intensive university on a campus that is inviting and striking. It is an environment that enables students to grow artistically and academically. Our students are among 650 of the brightest and most talented young artist scholars, who come to study in one of our many undergraduate and graduate programs. With the faculty and staff, they are committed to excellence in creative and scholarly work. In our 2018/19 season, we invite you to experience the incredible diversity of musical styles and genres our students, faculty and guest artists have to offer. Included within 350+ performances each year are student ensemble performances (from choirs and opera to orchestra, band, jazz, percussion, contemporary and early music), faculty concerts, and our signature Fridays@12:30 concert series. Celebrate with us in October 2018 as we officially open our new Music Building. As proud contributors to London’s vibrant music community, we also look forward to the city’s host celebrations for the 2019 Juno Awards in March. Rachel Condie 519-661-3767 ●●Eglinton St. George’s United Church Choir Our non-auditioned 45-voice choir meets Thursday evenings for two hours and Sunday mornings for worship, preparing music ranging from Renaissance to jazz and from chant to oratorio. Prior experience in choral singing is a requirement. Outreach and benefit concerts are regular fare with support from our wonderful and talented eight section leads. This year we offer our 2018/19 Concert Series with special guests the Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto, the Elmer Iseler Singers and the Vancouver Chamber Choir; our annual ESG Christmas concert “Christmas Day” with ESG Choir, Orchestra and organ, featuring Holst’s Christmas Day and Ruth Watson Henderson’s “Peaceful This Quiet Night”; and, finally, “Triumph of the Spirit,” with ESG choir and orchestra, highlighting Howard Goodall’s “Requiem: Eternal Light” and Srul Irving Glick’s “Triumph of the Spirit.” Bronwyn Best 416-481-1141 ●●Elmer Iseler Singers The Elmer Iseler Singers (EIS), conducted by artistic director Lydia Adams, celebrates its 40th Anniversary Concert Season in 2018/19. This 20-voice fully-professional choral ensemble, founded by the late Dr. Elmer Iseler in 1979, has built an enviable reputation throughout Canada, the United States and internationally through concerts, broadcasts and recordings—performing repertoire that spans 500 years, with a focus on Canadian composers. EIS present a five-concert series in Toronto each season, and is featured at concerts, workshops, and festivals throughout Canada. Annually, EIS sponsors choral workshops through their GET MUSIC! Educational Outreach Initiative for secondary school conductors and choirs, concluding with a joint public performance. The EIS enjoy a special relationship with the Toronto Symphony, currently celebrating the success of their joint Chandos recording of the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams. The Elmer Iseler Singers are a 2014 National Choral Award recipient and a 2017 Juno Nominee in the “Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance” category. July 2018, Lydia Adams was recognized with Choral Canada’s Distinguished Service Award. Jessie Iseler 416-217-0537 ●The ● Elora Singers and the Elora Festival The Elora Singers, an all-professional Grammy and JUNO-nominated chamber choir, was founded in 1980. Through regular concert series, touring and recordings under the Naxos label, the Elora Singers has established a reputation as one of the finest chamber choirs in Canada. The Elora Singers is known for its rich, warm sound and clarity of texture. The choir is renowned for its diverse styles and for its commitment to Canadian repertoire. Since 1997, the choir has been the professional core of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. As the choral ensemble-in-residence of the Elora Festival, The Elora Singers concerts are always a huge hit. In the summer of 1979, professor Michael Purves- Smith fell in love with the beautiful village of Elora and dreamed of establishing a festival of music there fashioned after the world-renowned Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts. With the help of like-minded residents the first Three Centuries Festival was held in the summer of 1980. The annual Festival continues to grow in stature and fame. Over its 39 years of making beautiful music it has presented popular Canadian luminaries Maureen Forrester, Holly Cole, Sarah McLachlan, Gordon Lightfoot and many more. 2019 is the 40th celebration. Stay tuned! Chris Sharpe 519-846-0331 ●●Ensemble Vivant For over 30 years, Ensemble Vivant, “Canada’s Chamber Music Treasure” (Toronto Star), has been a pioneer in the piano chamber music world, championing exciting, innovative programming including classical, ragtime, Latin and jazz. “No matter the genre, there is magic in Ensemble Vivant’s music-making” (Rick Wilkins, CM). Receiving accolades nationally and internationally, EV has 14 recordings (available at www.OpeningDay. com) that are heard on radio around the world. B8 | theWholeNote 2018/19 PRESENTER PROFILES

Through EUTERPE (, Ensemble Vivant is known for fostering a love of great music among our youth. Core quintet: Catherine Wilson, piano/artistic director; Corey Gemmell, violin; Norman Hathaway, viola; Sybil Shanahan, cello; Jim Vivian, bass. Regular guests: Mike Murley, sax; Kevin Turcotte, trumpet; Don Thompson, vibes; Guido Basso, trumpet/flugelhorn; Nick Fraser, drums; Juan Carlos Medrano, Latin percussion. “…absolute magic…” - The WholeNote magazine “…beautiful, poised performances...capture the passion and verve…Wilson’s piano gives this music unerring drive and plenty of sparkle.” - Toronto Star “To my heart, your rendition of ‘Oblivion’ is the most touching I have ever heard: Bravo!” - Radio Classique, Montréal. Catherine Wilson 416-768-8856 ●●Esprit Orchestra Founded in 1983 by music director and conductor Alex Pauk, Esprit’s commitment to commissioning and advancing contemporary music has set it apart as one of the few organizations of its kind on a global scale. Esprit consistently collaborates with outstanding composers, and performs with first-class soloists and ensembles from Canada and abroad. Each concert season, Esprit Orchestra commissions, promotes and performs the work of Canadian composers, and features Canadian premieres of music by leading international composers. With a dynamic annual subscription concert series, this skilled orchestra presents music that is otherwise unavailable in Canada, always performed to the highest standards in the acoustically acclaimed Koerner Hall at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning. Amber Melhado 416-408-0208 ●●Etobicoke Centennial Choir In its 52nd season, Etobicoke Centennial Choir (ECC) offers singers a rewarding choral music experience in a welcoming community. ECC performs diverse repertoire, ranging from classical masterpieces to contemporary compositions and popular music. Our season begins Saturday, December 8 with “Welcoming the Light,” featuring Bach’s Christmas Cantata and other seasonal repertoire. “After the Snow” on April 6, 2019 features a performance of Paul Winter’s Missa Gaia/ Earth Mass - an environmental liturgy integrating singing with world and jazz instrumental music and sounds from the wild that celebrates the earth as a sacred space. This ENSEMBLE VIVANT will be paired with Dvorak’s Mass in D Major. In “After the Rain” on June 1, we join Bulgarian-Canadian Toronto composer/guitarist Anton Apostolov and instrumentalists for a performance of three of his works, along with Morton Lauridsen’s Les chansons des roses and a selection of spirituals. Rehearsals are Tuesdays from 7:30 to 10pm at Humber Valley United Church, Etobicoke. ECC always welcomes new choristers. Interested singers are encouraged to attend a rehearsal. Scheduled open rehearsals will be on September 11 and January 8. Greg Pimento, choir president Lauren Mayer, media relations 416-433-5495 ●●Etobicoke Community Concert Band The Band begins it’s 24th season on Friday, October 26, 2018 with a concert called “Don’t Look Under the Bed,” a halloween-themed show. Our annual Christmas Gala is on Friday, December 7, 2018 titled “A Classic Christmas” with a local celebrity reading the Clement Moore classic “Twas the Night Before Christmas” backed by the Band. In the new year, the two remaining formal concerts are “Dance Like No One’s Looking” in March featuring the great vocalist Meagan Luchko, and finally, in May, “On the Road Again”. All concerts held at Etobicoke Collegiate, 86 Montgomery Rd. at 8pm. Our outdoor “Summer Concerts in the Park” are held at Applewood/Shaver House, 450 The West Mall. All concerts begin at 7pm – rain or shine. Concert dates are as follows: Wednesday, June 19, 2019; Wednesday, July 3, 2019; and Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Rob Hunter, president 416-410-1570 ●The ● Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra The award-winning Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra begins yet another exciting season in its 58 years of presenting great classical music. The 2018/19 series of concerts, starting in October, features the new music director, Matthew Jones, whose energy and enthusiasm bring a fresh, new approach for EPO audiences. The season offers five subscription concerts plus a family matinee featuring star artists Jonathan Crow, concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, performing Sibelius’ Violin Concerto and Arthur Ozolins, the brilliant and popular pianist who returns to Etobicoke in March 2019 to present Schumann’s Piano Concerto. The EPO also welcomes top artists Charlene Pauls, soprano, (“Christmas Concert”); Margaret Von Vaight and Jamie Groote (May 2019 concert: “Love, Death and Hope”); and the orchestra’s new principal horn player, Samir Abd-Elmessih (November 2018 concert). Concerts are at Martingrove Collegiate Institute (50 Winterton Drive, Etobicoke). The Christmas concert “Christmas in the City” and family matinee “Pictures in Sound” are at Humber Valley United Church, 76 Anglesey Blvd. Advanced orchestral musicians of all ages interested in joining the orchestra should contact the EPO President, Judy Gargaro. Student scholarships are by audition in Spring. Rehearsals are every Wednesday at Martingrove Collegiate 7:30pm to 10pm, and continue until mid-May. Valerie Gibson 416-239-5665 theWholeNote 2018/19 PRESENTER PROFILES | B9

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