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Volume 17 Issue 2 - October 2011

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As the Fur FliesBENJAMIN

As the Fur FliesBENJAMIN STEIN2011-2012 SeasonExultate, Exultate!October 29, 2011, 7:30 pmA Rose by Any Other Name:Music for the Virgin MarySt. Thomas’s Anglican ChurchDecember 17, 2011, 7:30 pmExultate in ExcelsisSt. Thomas’s Anglican ChurchMarch 24, 2012, 7:30 pmBaltic VoicesSt. Thomas’s Anglican ChurchMay 26, 2012, 7:30 pmOn a Pacific CurrentSt. Anne’s Anglican ChurchFor ticket, concert andsubscription information:phone: 416-971-9229e-mail: exultate@exultate.netwww.exultate.netConversations among musicians centre around familiarsubjects — the low rate of pay, the perfidiousness of conductors/sopranos/arts granting organizations, the difficulty of findingan accountant who truly understands that artists can’t be constrainedby things like HST collection.After these topics have been exhausted, one can always liventhings up by tossing in a verbal grenade about musical education.State firmly that “pianois a lousy first instrumentfor children” or “dance ismore important to musicalitythan sight-reading” andthen stand back and watchthe pedagogical fur fly.Education, after all, isour attempt to define andshape the future of music,to retrieve from the pastwhat we feel we want tobequeath to those who willcome after. When memoryis at stake, feelings alwaysrun high. The more wepersist in assigning tovaried musical styles andtechniques the pointlessdesignations of “good”and “bad” rather thanBach Children’s Chorus’sLinda Beaupré.“appropriate, useful and pleasurable in different contexts and fordifferent people,” the more widely and obstreporously opinions varyas to what constitutes the best musical education for children.Choral education is both a dynamic field of musical training anda battleground for conflicting ideologies. The paradigm that prizesensemble, sight-reading, pitch accuracy, blend and purity of toneis both well-established and absolutely necessary. Fostering of thismodel needs constant attention in a world that chronically underfundsschool music programs and views music as a frill rather than acentral aspect of cultural literacy.But improvisation, which was an integral part of a “classical”musician’s skill set well into the 19th century, tends to be givenshort shrift. To be sure, improvisation is difficult to integrate intoa choral context, in which ensemble uniformity and fidelity tothe printed score are paramount. But it is also neglected becauseclassically trained conductors and piano/vocal coaches often have noidea how to do it themselves, and are ill-equipped to give childrenthe careful attention that this skill needs to be properly developed. Awell-rounded musician needs many varied skills, and it’s importantto be receptive to not only different types of music, but the differenteducation systems which foster these musics.Happily, the GTA is home to many excellent children’s choirs,with dedicated choral musicians striving to pass on their traditionsand skills. Here are a few of them.Linda Beaupré’s Bach Children’s Chorus, founded in 1987 andbased in east Toronto, has become a fine resource for the educationof young singers. On October 1, the BCC performs “Angels in Song”in Barrie’s excellent autumn music festival, Colours of Music. Theconcert includes the premiere of a new composition by EleanorDaley, who is composer-in-residence for the choir.On October 29 The Toronto Children’s Chorus presents a concertentitled “Mysterious Moments” at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church.This concert also includes a new work by a Toronto composerLarysa Kuzmenko, titled Behold the Night.14 thewholenote.comOctober 1 – November 7, 2011

Markham Theatre_WholeNote_September 2011LYDIA ADAMS . Conductor & Artistic Director2011/12SEASONThe Armed Man: A Mass for PeaceNovember 12, 2011 at 8:00pm . Metropolitan United ChurchThe Amadeus Choir and the Hannaford Street Silver Band presentKarl Jenkins’ masterwork The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace.Glorious Sounds of the SeasonDecember 17, 2011 at 7:30pm . Yorkminster Park Baptist ChurchCelebrate the 25th anniversary of our Seasonal Song-WritingCompetition. Featuring the winning compositions with otherholiday favourites. Special guests The Bach Children’s Chorus.The Sealed AngelFebruary 3, 2012 at 8:00pm . Koerner HallRodion Shchedrin's hypnotic choral opera The Sealed Angel isone of the most important Russian works of the 20th century.Performed by Toronto's Elmer Iseler Singers and the AmadeusChoir and featuring ProArteDanza.Music of the SpheresApril 21, 2012 at 8:00pm . Ontario Science CentreJoin us as we celebrate Dr. Roberta Bondar’s 20th anniversary offlight in space. The Amadeus Choir and Elmer Iseler Singerscombine their voices for a stunning presentation of two worldpremieres by Lydia Adams and Jason Jestadt.SUBSCRIBE NOW AND SAVE!www.amadeuschoir.com . 416-446-0188with pianist Serouj KradjianOctober 21, 8 pm“A soprano voicethat combineslyricism withremarkabledramatic instincts”~ Timepresents171 Town Centre Blvd., Markham, ONOctober 1 – November 7, 2011 thewholenote.com 15

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