8 years ago

Volume 19 Issue 1 - September 2013

  • Text
  • September
  • Jazz
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • Musical
  • Orchestra
  • Choir
  • Concerts
  • Guelph

Choir of Toronto,

Choir of Toronto, Cawthra Park Secondary School Chamber Choir andYorkminister Park Baptist Church Choir.The weekend’s events require no registration — this is an amazingopportunity for choral aficionados to watch or work with a mastermusician. The event is co-sponsored by Yorkminster Park BaptistChurch, the Royal Canadian College of Organists and the SouthernOntario Chapter of the Hymn Society as well as by the University ofToronto Faculty of Music. For more info email the head of U of T’schoral program,, Hilary Apfelstadt, as well as running choral activitiesat U of T, has further embraced Toronto’s choral culture by taking onthe directorship of the Exultate Chamber Singers. One of Toronto’s topcommunity choirs, established by John Tuttle (another choral legend),Exultate makes choral music at the highest level.New music needs new singers and new energy, and there is alwaysroom for another choir in the city. This year choral fans can welcomethe newly established Aslan Boys Choir and their artistic directorThomas Bell.Targeted at boys aged 8 to 13, the choir’s mission statement is “toprepare boys for life and leadership through musical excellence andcultural enrichment.” Aslan is apparently still auditioning — if youhave a child who enjoys choral singing, you can contact the choir at416-859-7464 or to arrange an audition.I would certainly encourage interested parties to find outmore — chorus singing was a revelation to me at that age and openedup my awareness of both choral music and yes, modern composition.I will be highlighting other modern works of the concert season inthe months to come. A tip of the hat to west coast soprano CarolynSinclair for the Klingon opera solution to modern music. On withthe show!Ben Stein is a Toronto tenor and theorbist.He can be contacted at his website at | September 1 – October 7, 2013

Beat by Beat | In With the NewImprovisation:Fuel forSocial ChangeWhen september rolls around, there can be a feeling ofanticipation in the air. It’s often a time of new opportunities,change and a chance to expand your horizons. Andin this column, which is dedicated to the “new” in musical practice,there’s no better place to begin than with the Guelph Jazz Festival,running from September 4 to 8. Over the last 20 years, the festival hasblossomed into a “vital social-purpose enterprise” with an artisticmandate rooted in the vision thatmusical improvisation provides amodel for creating social changeand building successful communities.This vision is also the drivingforce behind the innovativeresearch project “Improvisation,Community and Social Practice”headed by Ajay Heble, artisticdirector of the festival.WENDALYN BartLEYTorQ Percussion Quartet.Recently, this project just got a huge boost. It was the recipient ofa substantial grant to launch the International Institute for CriticalStudies in Improvisation at the University of Guelph. And to celebrate,the Guelph Jazz Festival will present an opening concert onSeptember 3, featuring a special one-time improvising percussionquartet of four stellar musicians combining jazz, new music, freeimprov and world music traditions. This “World Percussion Summit”is yet another demonstration of what makes the festival so special andmagical — expanding the meaning of jazz to include creative improvisationfrom across the musical spectrum. In this column I will behighlighting those concerts which fuse creative improvisation andcomposition.A perfect example is a solo performance on September 5 by MattBrubeck, a composer and performer trained in classical music andraised on jazz, who currently brings his focus on the improvisingcello into dialogue with a variety of other musical traditions. Matt willalso join Australian composer and saxophonist Sandy Evans in her“Indian Project” concert on September 4 contributing to the musicalconversation between jazz and Indian music. On September 6, two ofthe performers from the opening night event — virtuoso percussionistsHamid Drake (USA) and Jesse Stewart (Ontario) — will reconveneto provide a free-ranging mixture from their eclectic backgrounds.Stewart is a well-loved favourite of the Guełph festival, and for thisyear’s 20th anniversary, he has composed a lengthy work for thePenderecki String Quartet to be performed on September 8 in duetwith himself at the drum set.Ensemble SuperMusique from Quebec will present its groupcomposition entitled “Pour ne pas désespérer seul” (Not to DespairAlone) on September 7. This diverse group began initially in 1998 withfounders Joanne Hétu, Danielle Palardy Roger and Diane Labrosse,and has evolved into an extensive community of musicians combininglarge group composition, improvisation and “musique actuelle” withmulti-media theatre, dance, and songs. Their artistic practice of groupimprovisation is definitely in step with the broader social vision ofthe festival, as they see themselvesJoanne Hétu.standing in solidarity with communitiesarising from the anti-globalizationmovement and the use ofsocial media.Other festival events of interest toreaders of this column include theColloquium (September 4 to 6), andNuit Blanche with its dusk-to-dawnevents beginning on the evening ofSeptember 7. This year’s colloquiumprovides a wonderful opportunityto dive deeper into the themesof musical improvisation, pedagogy,social justice and activism,through a series of lectures, keynoteaddresses and workshops by festivalartists. Nuit Blanche events includeperformances by members ofSuperMusique — Derome/Hétu andFreedman/Caloïa (12am); Vancouver’s Birds of Paradox exploringelements of jazz and western music with traditional Chinese andIndian music (2am); a Pauline Oliveros tuning meditation (3am);the Ondine Chorus combining improv with scored music (3am) andGrossman/Brubeck interpreting baroque music (4:30am).And if your free spirit is longing for more, there will be an opportunityon September 28 at Toronto’s Music Gallery to hear fromsome of the elder statesmen and scene builders of free improv music:USA saxophonist Larry Ochs playing with drummer Don Robinson,followed by Toronto-based poet and “soundsinger” Paul Duttonperforming with percussionist Joe Sorbara, known for creatingorchestral textures from found objects.Voice and MythologyThis summer, I had the opportunity to experience what is known asthe “eight-octave voice” at the Roy Hart International Artistic CentreTHE MUSIC OF ARVO PÄRTThe Canadian premiere of two Pärt masterpieces for choir and stringorchestra. Conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste, featuring soprano Shannon Mercer.Tuesday October 1, 2013 at 8:00 pmKoerner Hall, TELUS Centrefor Performance and LearningFor tickets call 416-408-0208or visit soundstreams.caBlackEesti Vabariigi AupeakonsulaatConsulate General of EstoniaConsulat Général d’ September 1 – October 7, 2013 | 31

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