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Volume 11 Issue 4 - December 2005

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  • Toronto
  • December
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CHORAL Scene by Larry

CHORAL Scene by Larry Beckwith Chrys A. Bentley Artistic Director & Conductor Leslie Fagan, soprano Anita Krause, mezzo soprano Denn is Giesbrecht, tenor Bruce Ke lly, baritone with The Sinfony Players Give your ho liday season a joyful start by joining us for this awe-inspiring masterpiece performed in Hammerson Hall at the Living Arts Centre. Sunday, December 11, 2005 3:00 pm Tickets - In person or by phone at the Living Arts Centre Box Office 905-306-6000 Chrys A. Bentley Artistic Director & Conductor Coronation Mass, K. 317 Mehgan Atchison, soprano Karen Olinyk, mezzo soprano Eugene Burke, tenor Jesse Clark, baritone Favourite arias and choruses featuring: Jesse Clark, baritone Michael Downie, baritone Jason Nedecky, baritone Mehgan Atchison, soprano with The Sinfony Players A tribute to Mozart's choral and operatic works. The choir's superb team of professional soloists will be introduced by Stuart Hamilton of CBC's Saturday Afternoon at the Opera. Sunday, February 26, 2006 3:00 pm Tickets - In person or by phone at the Living Arts Centre Box Office 905-306-6000 A programme of beloved anthems, hymns and solos drawn from the rich repertoire of timehonoured religious music will be performed in the grandeur of St. Patrick's Church in Mississauga. Saturday, May 6, 2006 7:30 pm Purchase your tickets as part of the subscription series through the Living Arts Centre Box Office or individually by calling the Mississauga Choral Society at 905-278-7059. Visit www.oclapyourhands.ca to register your favourite. Whether it's Channukah, Advent, the holiday season or humbug, the choirs in Toronto start celebrating early and continue almost all the way through December, then hibernate for the month of January, except for a few special events. It makes me misty-eyed to consider the well-over 100 choral events planned for the last month of the year. These events are primarily not-for-profit, featuring amateur singers giving their time and energies, not only as singers, but as setter-uppers of chairs and risers, bakers of cookies, organizers and sellers of tickets, decorators of halls, members of the unsung clean-up crew, etc. The effort that goes into these events is Herculean and so important to the community life of our city. Whether one follows the creeds and dogma of an organized religion or not, the themes of peace, joy, mystery, fellowship and goodwill - not to mention new life and hope - have to resonate within even the most hard-hearted of us. And somehow the miraculous sound of voices raised together in song is the surest way to move us out of our immediate and ordinary preoccupations into considerations of the eternal. Each weekend in December features at least a couple of dozen choral events, with slightly fewer during the week, but I daresay every choral singer in the city is donning gay apparel at least once, and most likely many times to climb up onstage and perform a major seasonal work , or a co llection of carols from around the world, or a program dedicated to the Virgin Mary, or the themes of peace, joy and hope. What fo llows, then, is a handful of recommendations on the understanding, dear reader, that you will peruse the complete listings carefully and promise to get out to as many of these energetic offerings as you can ... . you won't regret it. Children's choirs are in full flight this month, including the Mississauga Children's Choir on December 3rd, the Oakville Children's Choir on the 9th, 10th & 18th, and the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus, who are premiering a stage work by Errol Gay and Michael Albano commencing on December 10th. The Bach Children's Chorus is in action on the 10th and the 17th (with the Amadeus Choir), Teri Fowler's York Region Children's Chorus on the 10th (with the Bell' Arte Singers) and the Riverdale Youth Singers, under their new conductor Alkividadis Leontarakis, performs "Winter Tails" on December 12th. The Toronto Children's Chorus fills Roy Thomson Hall on December 17th and the High Park Choirs perform in the west end that same day. Slightly older "youth " are a­ singin' as well: the University of Toronto downtown choirs give a holiday concert on December 2nd and the Scarborough campus choirs on the 3rd. Also in concert on the 3rd is the Etobicoke Youth Choir and U of T Gospel Choir. The Hart House Singers perform on the 4th. The St. Michael 's Choir School begins its annual run of concerts at Massey Hall on December 9th and the Mississauga Festival Youth Choir performs on the 10th. The Moscow Boys Choir, directed by Leonid Baklushin, is on tour in Ontario this month as well , performing excerpts from Handel 's Messiah, among other things. All of our chamber choirs are showcased this month, also, with Director Wanted for BRA VADQ This Barrie-based "show-choir': an excellent group with wide-ranging styles, seeks a new musical director starting Sept 2006. For job description and choir information contact Charlie Carswell (705) 727-0473. chasec@look.ca Application deadline Jan. 15, 2006 WWW. TH EWHO LENOTE, COM D ECEMBE R 1 2005 - FEBR UARY 7 2006

seasonal offerings from Quodlibet (December 2nd), the Annex Singers and Voices (Dec. 3rd), Toronto Chamber Choir (Dec. 4th) , Lachan Jewish Chamber Choir (Dec. 6th), Exultate Chamber Singers (Dec. 9th), Healey Willan Singers and Studio 16 (Dec. 10th), VocalPoint (Dec. 11th), Nathaniel Dett Chorale (Dec. 14th) and Victoria Scholars (Dec. 18th). If you ' re more partial to larger choirs, you can take in the Etobicoke Centennial Choir on December 2nd, Tallis Choir singing a Marian program featuring their namesake's classic "Spem in Alium" on December 3rd, the Pax Christi Chorale performing lush English music from the 20th century and premiering Missa Pax Christi by Derek Holman on Dec. 3rd and 4th and the Peel Choral Society in concert in Brampton on December 4th. The Mendelssohn Choir presents its Festival of Carols on December 7th, the Oakville Choral Society, Toronto Welsh Male Choir and the Palestrina Choir are all at separate venues on December 9th and the Oakham House Choir and Alexander Singers perform concerts on Dec. 10th. The North 44° Ensemble performs with an arsenal of brass on Dec. 13th, the Amadeus Choir give their annual carol-fest on Dec. 17th and the Orpheus Choir will fill Eglinton-St. George's United Church on December 20th with music of the season, featuring Healey Willan' s Mystery of Bethlehem. Two programs that caught my eye are the Penthelia Singers' concert on December 4th and the Echo Women's Choir's show on the 11th. Mary Legge's Penthelia Singers are connected rather strongly with Rosedale Presbyterian Church, but they are moving to the larger venue of St. Paul's Basilica on Queen St. East for a concert entitled "Songs of Mary" . The program will feature some spatial experimentation, lots of chant, and an eclectic mix of music that will Toronto's Penthelia Singers "endeavour to highlight an oft-neglected aspect of this woman' s dedication and unusual life" . Echo Choir Conductor Alan Gasser welcomes guest conductor Teodora Georgieva and guests Suba Sankaran and Ed Hanley from autorickshaw in a concert of historical antiapartheid songs, prisoners songs, Armenian, Roma, Hebrew and Tamil songs. They can always be counted upon to shake things up and offer great repertoire energetically sung that will challenge and inspire. If you are in the mood for larger works, you can catch several performances of Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria, notably by the Upper Can- BOSLEY REAL ESTATE 1l0Sl[Y J.E AL ES T.:.TE 1.T(J ., ;:[,\.LTOJ>. Sales Representative 416-322-8000 pmahon@trebnet.com www.petermahon.com ~ BARITONE SOLOIST/SECTION LEAD REQUIRED •!•Thursday rehearsal •!•Sunday service •!•Special services •!•Good music programme •!• Excellent remuneration For information contact Chrys Bentley 416-461-5846 or chrysbentley@ yahoo.ca ada Choristers (December 2nd) and Jenny Crober' s East York Choir (Dec. 3rd and again on the 17th), the Toronto Consort recreates a Vespers service with music by Claudio Monteverdi on December 9th and 10th , the Toronto Classical Singers perform Magnificat by J.S. Bach and the TrypTych Chamber Choir tackles Saint-Saens' Christmas Oratorio on December 11th. With so much going on, there is bound to be a colossal conflict and indeed that happens on December 16th. The Bach Consort offers its annual benefit performance of the Christmas Oratorio by J .S. Bach, with wonderful soloists under the direction of Yannick Nezet-Seguin and more Bach will be heard at Roy Thomson Hall that same night with the performance of four Christmas cantatas by La Chapelle de Quebec, with equally wonderful soloists, conducted by another Quebecois phenom, Bernard Labadie . Flip a coin! All this and Messiah too! Yes, there are several performances this month, as you can see from our "choose your Messiah" coverage, next page). Starting Dec 14th, the Toronto Symphony and Tafelmusik begin their multi-night runs of the work . The marketing departments of these organizations (and others) go into overdrive to try to attract audiences, with over-the-top claims that have nothing to do with the music. The fact is that these are two drastically different, perfectly legitimate presentations of Messiah. If you want an intimate, immediate, powerful performance with a small period instrument orchestra and choir in an 800-seat hall, go to Tafelmusik. If you want a grand, majestic, powerful performance with a larger modern instrument orchestra and choir in a 2000-seat hall, go to the Symphony. There's very little common ground on which to compare them. Either way, you'll experience great soloists, a first-rate conductor and some very moving music. (Tafelmusik has issued an invitation to G.F. Handel CONTINUES ~~~~ Lydia Adams, Conductor HANDEL'S MESSIAH Friday, December 2, 2005 8:00 pm Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen St. E., Toronto Soloists: Meredith Hall, soprano; Marianne Bindig, mezzo-soprano; Colin Ainsworth, tenor; Gary Relyea, bass with orchestra. Tickets and . J.S. BACH'S ST. JOHN PASSION Friday, February 3, 2006 8:00 pm Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen St. .~ E., Toronto Soloists: Leslie Fagan, Soprano Christine Stelmacovich, Alto Floyd Gadd, Evangelist Lawrence Wiliford, Tenor John Avey, Bass/Christus with orchestra. Tickets / Seniors/Students; ~ Concert Sponsor CANADIAN-GERMAN FESTIVAL 2180 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4N 3K7 BfB Canada Council Consell des Arts to ro ntdartsbo u n c i I © for the Arts du Canada An a, m's tenglh t>od y ollhe City ofToronlo FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS, TICKETS OR BROCHURE CALL 416-217-0537 Monday to Friday 9 am • 5 pm - - - -- - D ECEMBER 1 2005 - FEB RUARY 7 2006 WWW. TH EWHOLENOTE. COM 25

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