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.

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Classified Advertising | WholeNote CLASSIFIEDS can help you recruit new members for your choir, band or orchestra; find a new music director or accompanist; sell your banjo! Starting at only $24/issue. INQUIRE BY September 26 for the NOVEMBER issue. AUDITIONS & EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES Available pro bono positions with the KINDRED SPIRITS ORCHESTRA: Oboe, Horn, Trumpet, Violins, Violas, Violoncellos and Contrabasses. For information, visit or email ROSEWOOD CONSORT OF HAMILTON SEEKING MUSIC DIRECTOR to commence duties in January 2019. We are an early music ensemble of talented amateurs playing all voices of recorder from sopranino to contrabass, viola da gamba and harpsichord, with music primarily from 1200-1800 as well as Christmas and folk music The music director should have an understanding of time periods and styles in the Western repertoire and a working knowledge of recorder technique to advance the group’s knowledge and skill level. Responsibilities include leading rehearsals for three 10-week terms, working with the Program committee choosing appropriate music for teaching and performance, and conducting performances in a variety of venues each term. Remuneration will be negotiated. Please send resume and cover letter to by 15th October 2018. SING AWESOME CHORAL MUSIC with other skilled singers! Perfect your electric guitar solo. Create incredible musical experiences! Excellent place to meet women. AUDITION for the Canadian Men’s Chorus’ 2018 season! More info at: THE WYCHWOOD CLARINET CHOIR is seeking enthusiastic clarinetists! Contact to arrange an audition. NEW! Wednesday night rehearsals, Contact to arrange an audition. CHOIR DIRECTOR/ACCOMPANIST WANTED: Bloordale United Church, 4258 Bloor West, Toronto 5-10 hours per week. Resume by October 19, 2018 BUY & SELL WOMENS CONCERT OUTFITS Used. consisting of three pieces: 1 black floor length skirt; 1 off-white and 1 maroon top. Several outfits in all sizes. Contact Mary bvaangus@ Price negotiable. MENS’ BLACK TUX: Gently used, 4 sizes available, Contact Mary /each CLASSICAL RECORD AND CD COLLECTIONS WANTED. Minimum 350 units. Call, text or e-mail Aaron 416-471-8169 or A@A31.CA. FRENCH HORN: very nice Selmer double horn in excellent condition, with a hard case. Suitable for a committed student or working musician. STEINWAY MODEL M GRAND PIANO. 1915. Completely refurbished. ,000 OBO. Call Paul, 416 929 5770 BASS TROMBONE: King Dual Gravis with special Partch modifications, in excellent condition. TRUMPET Bach Stradivarius model 37 (never used); SAXOPHONE Bundy Selmer alto; BASSOON Linton; TENOR saxophone, Yamaha. Phone 416-964-3642. VIOLINS BY EUROPEAN VIOLIN MAKER call after 6pm 905-886-7374. Weekends anytime. WHAT’S IN YOUR CLOSET? Does your old guitar gently weep? Give that nice old accordion / clarinet / drum kit a new life with a WholeNote classified! Ads start at just $24.00 INQUIRE BY October 26 for the NOVEMBER edition. INSTRUCTION FRIENDLY, WISE PIANO TEACHER with loyal following and buckets of patience. Conservatory washouts and hesitant adult beginners most welcome. Lovely Cabbagetown studio. “Best teacher ever! - Beaches tween. “Beats studying with those Quebec nuns!” - Rosedale senior. Peter Mose, 416-923.3060. (This might change your life.) FLUTE, PIANO, THEORY LESSONS. RCM Certified Advanced Specialist. Samantha Chang, FTCL, FLCM, LRAM, PGDip, ARCT. Toronto, Scarborough 416-801-9196, Jamming with a Coach - a ten week adult band workshop seeks singers, piano, guitar, bass, drums and horns etc. for a weekly workshop. For those who want to reconnect with music, play in a band, make friends and most of all have fun. Like “School of Rock” for adults. Marc Enkin Music 647 522-4213 LESSONS FOR ALL! Friendly and firm - I’m an experienced musician and mom teaching piano and singing to children (and the young at heart) in my Toronto home (East Leslieville). To discuss your child’s need for music-making please contact If you can read this, thank a music teacher. PIANO, VOCAL, THEORY LESSONS in Etobicoke and East Mississauga with RCM piano advanced certified specialist. MUSIC THERAPY SERVICES and ADAPTED LESSONS. 416-574-0018. SERVICES ACCOUNTING AND INCOME TAX SERVICE for small business and individuals, to save you time and money, customized to meet your needs. Norm Pulker, B. Math. CMA. 905-251-0309 or 905-830-2985. RESTORE PRECIOUS MEMORIES lost on old records, tapes, photos etc.? Recitals, gigs, auditions, air checks, family stuff. on 78’s, cassettes, reels, 35mm slides etc?. ArtsMediaProjects will lovingly restore them to CD’s or DVD’s. Call George @ 416-910-1091. VENUES AVAILABLE / WANTED ARE YOU PLANNING A CONCERT OR RECITAL? Looking for a venue? Consider Bloor Street United Church. Phone: 416-924- 7439 x22. Email: PERFORMANCE / REHEARSAL / STUDIO SPACE AVAILABLE: great acoustics, reasonable rates, close to Green P Parking, cafés & restaurants. Historic church at College & Bellevue, near Spadina. Phone 416-921-6350. E-mail NEED HELP WITH YOUR TAXES? Specializing in personal and business tax returns including prior years and adjustments HORIZON TAX SERVICES INC. • free consultation • accurate work For CRA stress relief call: 1-866-268-1319 PRECIOUS MEMORIES & PERFORMANCES transferred to CD, DVD. records | tapes VHS | Hi-8 | mini DV slides | photos | clippings RESTORED & PRESERVED ArtsMediaProjects 416-910-1091 BEN EWING RECORDINGS Professional, on-site recording solutions for albums, concerts, demos and more. 416-999-4640 Need a concert or recital venue? 416-593-5600 x223 BUSINESS CLASSIFIEDS Economical and visible! Promote your services & products to our musically engaged readers, in print and on-line. BOOKING DEADLINE: OCTOBER 17 ADVERTISE music-related needs, skills and services Recruit new members for choirs, bands, orchestras. Find a new music director | Find a music teacher | Buy or sell Just $24 for the first 20 words. .20 for each additional word. Discounts for 3x, 5x and 10x insertions. INQUIRE BY OCT 27 for the NOV edition. DO YOU DRIVE? Do you love The WholeNote? Share the love and earn a little money! Join The WholeNote’s circulation team: 9 times a year, GTA and well beyond. Interested? Contact: 62 | October 2018

MUSICAL LIFE OPERA LOVE: A CASE FOR SURVIVAL ELIZABETH ABRAHAM (WITH MICHELE ANDERSON) In 2014, after a very long year of treatment for Stage 3 breast cancer, a 2.4cm tumour compressing my spinal cord threatened to stop me from breathing or my heart from beating. Urgent spinal cord surgery on C1 interrupted my chemotherapy. When I was able to walk assisted, I started the next three rounds. After the spinal cord surgery, my family doctor said: “When this is all over, get out of town. At least two months!” It turned out to be a life-changing decision, and the best advice ever. On a quest to heal on this two-month adventure, little did I know that the universe had a plan that would change my life. I chose Bologna, Italy. For the first ten days, I was with my daughter, Emily, during her break. Her desire for leather led us to an overnight in Florence. Emily and I booked a hotel for the night. For evening entertainment, we both were keen on a concert of Italian love arias. We arrived at the venue on time, but too late. Tickets were sold out, yet the woman checking the tickets smiled at us. “Just wait.” Miraculously, two empty seats in the front row became free because of a no-show. St. Mark’s English Church in Florence has a resident opera company with an active list of professional vocalists. There are always three singers, two concerts mid-week, and a full opera (minus the choir) on weekends. It’s a freelance gig, and well-paying. Once everyone was seated, the first piece was a soprano solo. The piano began and no sooner had the singer opened her mouth, my daughter and I had tears running down our faces. We had no idea these were professional opera artists! And they were just five or ten feet from us. A baritone, Álvaro Lozano Gutierrez, began his solo with a guitar. By the end of his song he had the entire audience singing “Figaro Figaro Figaro.” Later, Álvaro sang a duet with the soprano. When it was his turn to sing, Álvaro put his arms around her and danced her across the stage while singing, as she laughed. In fact, everyone was laughing. The audience couldn’t get enough of him. Neither could we. This artist had a sizzling energy that flooded the room – and it was exactly what I needed. Following the visit to Florence, I sent a note to Álvaro, care of the opera company. In it, I complimented him on his performance and invited him to have a drink after the next concert. The director of the opera company, not Álvaro, responded to me with an offer of a front row ticket. During the intermission, Álvaro came over across the stage and sat down in the empty seat next to me. I was unable to speak. He was chatting away, and then as he was Álvaro Lozano Gutierrez conducting Opera for All. getting up, he said, “So we’re going out after the concert, right?” During that second act of the concert, Álvaro ran across the stage, fell to his knees and slid right up to my feet. He opened his arms and sang a verse to me. It was, truly, the most incredible moment of my entire life; and the rest is a much longer story. I was in Italy twice that year, and we visited Bologna and Florence, basically whichever city Álvaro was performing in. That November, we decided he should come to Canada to study English. (He speaks four or five languages, but English was not one of them.) I told my choir director, Harriet Wichin (now executive director of the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre), that my friend the opera singer was also a conductor. She agreed to let him guest conduct a rehearsal. That evening, Harriet received a flood of emails from the choristers. She cut and pasted the feedback. Compiled, it was six pages, single-spaced. Álvaro guest-conducted a second rehearsal, then guest-conducted Suzuki students at the MNJCC, then a community choir, then a big band called the New Horizons Band, and so on. These organizations all wanted him back. So, with the support of Harriet Wichin at the MNJCC, Álvaro and I proposed a program to bring the high art of opera into a community setting. No auditions, no note-reading, no experience required. The first session, a pilot hosted by the MNJCC, was a surprise to everyone. Over 150 singers registered. Who knew so many people wanted to sing opera? Following the second program, in collaboration with a church and a few language organizations, we formalized a not-for-profit organization, with Solomon Gómez as the general manager, called Opera For All (OFA). We performed at Koerner Hall in April 2018, followed by a summer concert at the Jane Mallett Theatre (St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts). Now we have a steadily growing group of people who are falling in love with opera. Álvaro is a world-class singer and conductor, but the reason he continues to support OFA is his passion for life. It is so easily transmitted to all of our choristers and soloists. People who think they are coming to sing, or coming to hear an opera concert, are shocked to discover that they are instead coming to join us in living life to the fullest. Whether you have forgotten what it feels like to shout your praises to the universe, or whether you never have before, OFA will make you want to! Elizabeth Abraham is a co-founder, along with Álvaro Lozano Gutiérrez and Solomon Gómez, of OFA and is currently in remission. She is a mother, a Spanish-English translator, a language access strategist and OFA singer, leading other choristers into the rabbit hole of life, from which none return the same. October 2018 | 63

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