5 years ago

Volume 20 Issue 8 - May 2015

  • Text
  • Choir
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Choral
  • Arts
  • Musical
  • Festival
  • Singers
  • Concerts
  • Theatre


KRISTIN FOSTERDistillery district just east of Parliament andFront Streets, but concerts will also take place atKoerner Hall and Glenn Gould Studio, as well asseveral Toronto churches, which are some of thebest performance spaces in the city.R.A.M. to Rajaton: The Estonian NationalMale Choir, known in Estonia as the R.A.M.Koor performs at Christ Church Deer ParkMay 28. This ensemble, which celebrates its70th anniversary this year, has recorded forboth Deutsche Grammophon and Sony records.Their performance includes a premiere byacclaimed Estonian Composer Arvo Pärt : hissetting of the Da Pacem Domini text, in a newversion for string orchestra and male choir. Thechoir’s SING! concert is part of a seven-concerttour of southern Ontario. More details about thetour’s dates and locations can be found at thisFacebook group: other acclaimed vocal chamber ensembleswill be visiting Toronto for SING! 2015.Take 6 is a jazz harmony marvel that hasperformed with Ray Charles, Quincy Jones andStevie Wonder. Finnish ensemble Rajaton, less well known in NorthAmerica, are multi-platinum recording artists in Europe.The Canadian contingent: This year Canada is represented at SING!by a number of different groups, including the Nathaniel Dett Chorale,with guests Countermeasure, one of Aaron Jensen’s ensembles. In aconcert titled “Jubilate Deo: Great Sacred Choral Music through theAges,” four Toronto choirs will sing together: the Cathedral Church ofSt. James, Rosedale United Church, Kingsway-Lambton Chancel, andAll Saints Kingsway Anglican.There will also be a series of intriguing workshops geared towardsmusicians and arts managers interested in networking, developingskills and building viable ensembles. Workshoptopics will address subjects such as securingfunding, the logistics of management, composingmusic for film and television, vocal care, and songwritingand audition strategies, among others.The Take 6 and Rajaton ensembles will be hostingworkshops that investigate the technical andartistic aspects of their concert work. For informationon the SING! concert and workshop schedule– there are many other groups performing that arenot mentioned here –go to May/June concerts:On May 9 the Orpheus Choir of Toronto,one of the city’s staunchest choral championsof living composers, presents “Touch the EarthLightly.” The concert features the premiere ofCanadian composer (and Da Capo Chamber Choirconductor) Leonard Enns’ Ten Thousand Riversof Oil and the Toronto premiere of Norwegiancomposer Ola Gjeilo’s Sunrise–Symphonic Mass .Aaron Jensen On May 10 the ECHO Women’s Choir presents“My Mother is the Ocean Sea.” The concertfeatures special guests Lemon Bucket Orchestra’sMark Marczyk and singer/ethnomusicologist Marichka Kudriavtseva.On May 23 the Masterworks of Oakville Chorus & Orchestra willgive a tenth anniversary concert, performing two popular modernworks, Poulenc’s Gloria and Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms.On May 24 choral audiences will be forced to choose between twodifferent womens’ voices ensembles. The Oriana Women’s Choirperforms “The Voice of Oriana: Music for a New Day,” with worksby Eleanor Daley, Harry Freedman, Derek Healey and others. Andthe Florivox Choir performs “This Woman’s Work,” a concert thatincludes music by Kate Bush.On May 31 the male vocal ensemble, the Victoria Scholars, performs24 | May 1 - June 7, 2015

an Ontario government agencyun organisme du gouvernement de l’Ontario“Simple Gifts,” with what the choir bills as “easy on the ears”: worksby Casals, Copland, Debussy, Kodály and Lauridsen.On June 6 the Etobicoke Centennial Choir performs “Songs ofHope, Songs of Inspiration,” a concert that includes modern choralfavourites such as Paul Halley’s catchy Freedom Trilogy and SamuelBarber’s serene Sure on This Shining Night.Also on June 6 the Voices Chamber Choir performs “Brother Sun,Sister Moon,” with a theme of choral music for the morning and theevening, The concert includes current American choral starMortenLauridsen’s Nocturnes and Canadian Healy Willan’s Magnificat andNunc Dimittis.A final thought on the subject of a cappella singing: Our love of thevoice stems from our love of music, defined very roughly as pitchedand coherently organized sound. The reasons why we love musicare varied, complex and usually expressed with too much floweryverbosity to suit me. Music, executed well, makes us feel good. Wedon’t need any more justification for its pursuit than that. But there isa special and unique quality to music’s expression through the humanvoice. The act of singing affects us in a manner we scarcely understand,but feel at the most elemental level.When we sing, our vocal chords become the reeds that translatevibration into pitch. Our throats become conduits for air flow, ourbones conduct sound and our bodies become the echo chambers thatgive life and resonance to the tones we create. No matter where voicedpitch finds expression – the shower, a concert hall, a school gym, adigital or analogue recording – its source is ultimately flesh and bone.Singing is the closest we come not just to making music, but to beingmusic. It’s the nearest a process of transmutation that human beingscan experience. As we embody music, music embodies us.Benjamin Stein is a Toronto tenor and lutenist. Hecan be contacted at Visit his website at ADAMS, Conductor & Artistic DirectorEarthSongs,LoveSongsTICKETS: Toronto Centre for theArts box office or ADULT / SENIOR / UNDER 30 /$20 STUDENTProgram subject to changeSunday,May 24, 20154:00 pmGeorge Weston Recital Hall,Toronto Centre for the Arts5040 Yonge Street, Toronto(North York Centre subway station)Liebeslieder Waltzes by J. BrahmsVoices of Earth by R.W. HendersonI Will Sing Unto the Lordby I. RaminshPrayer for Peace andSalutation of the Dawn by E. DaleyFEATURING:Amadeus Choir of Greater TorontoLydia Adams, conductorBach Children’s ChorusLinda Beaupré, conductorEd Reifel, percussionRuth Watson Henderson, pianoShawn Grenke, pianoEleanor Daley, piano/organAmadeus Choir • 416-446-0188 • May 1 - June 7, 2015 | 25

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