5 years ago

Volume 23 Issue 8 - May 2018

  • Text
  • Choir
  • Toronto
  • Musical
  • Choral
  • Singers
  • Arts
  • Theatre
  • Concerts
  • Jazz
  • Festival
In this issue: our sixteenth annual Choral Canary Pages; coverage of 21C, Estonian Music Week and the 3rd Toronto Bach Festival (three festivals that aren’t waiting for summer!); and features galore: “Final Finales” for Larry Beckwith’s Toronto Masque Theatre and for David Fallis as artistic director of Toronto Consort; four conductors on the challenges of choral conducting; operatic Hockey Noir; violinist Stephen Sitarski’s perspective on addressing depression; remembering bandleader, composer and saxophonist Paul Cram. These and other stories, in our May 2018 edition of the magazine.


CANARY PAGES theWholeNote 2018/19 CANARY PAGES DIRECTORY standards of performance. We are proud of the choral collaborations that we have created with other arts and community organizations, both locally and internationally through our touring program. We continue to focus on empowering all youth to use their voice to lead, connect, learn, and build confidence in their community and beyond. KATHERINE HAMILTON 905-337-7104 ●●Oasis Vocal Jazz Oasis Vocal Jazz, Toronto’s longest-running close harmony ensemble, has been making a unique contribution to the city’s artistic life since 1985. Influenced by pioneers Lambert, Hendricks and Ross and inspired by modern-day masters of the genre such as New York Voices, Take 6 and Toronto’s own Cadence, we enjoy sharing our love of vocal jazz with a wide range of audiences. Whether performing in community or corporate events and charitable fundraisers, or putting on our own concerts backed by some of the city’s top jazz instrumentalists, we have always valued both the pursuit of musical excellence and the joy of making music with each other. We are always looking for new voices to add to our blend. For more information, contact us. Why not become a fan of our Facebook page? ALAN GOTLIB 416-466-7040 ●●ORIANA Women’s Choir ORIANA Women’s Choir is an auditioned ensemble of 30-40 amateur female singers who set a high artistic standard. With artistic director Mitchell Pady, ORIANA explores the possibilities in choral music for the female voice, collaborating with diverse artists to push the boundaries of typical expectations for women’s choirs. We foster the creation of Canadian choral music, regularly commissioning works from Canadian composers for women’s voices. In rehearsal we are focused but friendly, and maintain an inclusive, respectful and supportive environment. ORIANA presents a three-concert series every year at Grace Church on-the-Hill. We welcome potential new singers to attend a rehearsal prior to scheduling an audition. Rehearsals are on Tuesdays, 7:30pm to 10pm, in the Sheppard-Yonge corridor. MITCHELL PADY 416-602-9301 ●●Orpheus Choir of Toronto Orpheus’ vision is to celebrate the transformational power of choral music as an agent of social change and a passionate medium of artistic expression. The 65-voice choir, under artistic director Robert Cooper, champions the new and unusual in choral performance, commissioning and introducing new works and performing overlooked masterpieces. Regularly working directly with living composers and singing a wide range of repertoire styles in concerts with high production values, Orpheus has introduced audiences to many fascinating and accessible works from the current generation of leading composers. Orpheus supports young emerging vocal talent through its highly respected Sidgwick Scholars Program and our newer Vocal Apprentice Program for high school singers. We welcome enthusiastic singers for an “expect something different” experience! LISA GRIFFITHS, MANAGING DIRECTOR 416-530-4428 ●●Pax Christi Chorale Entering its 32nd season, Pax Christi Chorale performs choral masterworks with passion and excellence. The membership of roughly 100 singers spans diverse ages and backgrounds. Artistic director David Bowser has programmed an exciting 2018/19 season, featuring outstanding soloists, two concerts with the Toronto Mozart Players, and great repertoire including a new work by Indigenous composer Barbara Croall. The season also includes the annual “Children’s Messiah.” Paid positions exist for choral scholars and leads. Auditions for new members will be held in June and September. To book an audition, please contact Daniel Norman at info@ HELEN NESTOR 647-345-7743 ●●Penthelia Singers Founded in 1997, Penthelia Singers has earned a reputation for presenting high quality, innovative concerts of choral repertoire in a multitude of styles and languages. A vibrant ensemble of women, we are committed to excellence in performing culturally diverse and musically sophisticated repertoire spanning the renaissance to the 21st century. The choir seeks opportunities to collaborate with special guest artists such as Suba Sankaran (world music), Raigelee Alorut (Inuit throat singing) and Steve Mancuso (Brazilian capoeira) to workshop different styles of music, as well as work with many talented instrumentalists who support our performances. Penthelia Singers is a welcoming group of women committed to high standards of music-making, diversity, community outreach and enjoyment through the learning process. ALICE MALACH 416-579-7464 ●●Peterborough Singers The Peterborough Singers, under the energetic and creative leadership of founder and music director Sydney Birrell, is an auditioned 100-voice choir of adults and youth which attracts members and audience from Peterborough, the Kawarthas, Northumberland and locations along the lakeshore. Concerts this season are “Yuletide Cheer,” Handel’s Messiah, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with Fauré’s Requiem, and the February concert “Soul II.” Our February concert is always devoted to popular music outside the box of regular classical programming, fortunately not limited by the lack of availability of sheet music because of local associates who are able to create original arrangements for this repertoire. Rehearsals take place Wednesday evenings in Peterborough; prior to many rehearsals are ongoing educational initiatives which allow members to greatly improve their skill levels. Auditions take place throughout the season. PEG MCCRACKEN 705-745-1820 ●●Royal Conservatory School Children’s Choirs The Royal Conservatory School’s Children’s Choirs provide a full year of exciting activity, emphasizing well-rounded musical development through singing unison and simple two- and three-part pieces. Young singers will learn the rudiments of choral singing in a variety of languages and will be exposed to exceptional vocal training through fun, interactive exercises, activities and workshops. We offer three choirs for children, all of which do not require an audition: Let’s Sing! (ages 4 to 5), Royal Conservatory School Elementary Choir (ages 6 to 8) and Royal Conservatory School Children’s Choir (ages 9 to 12). CONSERVATORY SCHOOL 416-408-2825 ●●Royal Conservatory School Community Chorus + Solo Training Experience choral singing in a friendly and relaxed environment! We cover repertoire from well-known classical selections to crossover music to choral arrangements of classic popular pieces. Specific repertoire selections depend on enrollment. No audition and no prior choral experience required, although music reading skills would be a definite asset. Students may enroll for 14 weeks or for 28 weeks. Students interested in refining vocal skills as a soloist or within a choral setting will benefit from enrolling in our Solo Training course, which takes place right after the Community Chorus. Students in this course will work on repertoire to prepare them for singing solos or in small ensembles (duets/trios/ quartets) in RCS Community Chorus concerts. CONSERVATORY SCHOOL 416-408-2825 C12

●●Schola Magdalena Schola Magdalena is a six-voice ensemble singing medieval polyphony, chant and new music for women’s voices. Ensemble-in-residence at the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene, Toronto, we have recorded two CDs (available on iTunes) and have toured from Stratford to Chicoutimi, from Waterloo to Waupoos. Our past season centred around touring, recording and holding workshops with amateur singers interested in learning about Gregorian chant and the music of Hildegard von Bingen. Our May 23rd concert celebrates 100 years of Votes for Women in Canada, with chant and polyphony, ancient and modern, and the organ music of Quebec composer Rachel Laurin. In the coming year we look forward to a return to Prince Edward County. For details, please visit our website, our Facebook page, or check out our Bravo Video on YouTube. STEPHANIE MARTIN, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR 416-256-9421 ●●SoundCrowd ●●St. Anne’s Choir ROYAL CONSERVATORY SCHOOL CHILDREN’S CHOIRS ●●Serenata Singers This fall we begin our 43rd year, under the guidance of our new director, Leanne Piller. Serenata’s repertoire covers a wide range of music, including classical, show tunes, pop, folk, and Canadiana. Rehearsals are Wednesday mornings from September to May at Wilmar Heights Centre, 963 Pharmacy Ave., Scarborough. Each season crescendos with a pair of concerts in the spring, and we sing out at seniors’ homes in October and March. The choir welcomes new members in every vocal range. An informal, non-threatening voice screening process is performed by our director to properly place voices and maintain our performance standards. LOIS SULLIVAN 416-223-6885 ●●Society of Singers The Society of Singers is a non-auditioned SATB choir that rehearses Wednesdays from 1pm to 3pm at Blythwood Road Church (80 Blythwood Rd.). Under the direction of Peter Ness, we sing a wide repertoire of music ranging from classical and gospel hymns to traditional ballads to show tunes to swing numbers. We perform one or two afternoon concerts per month at Toronto seniors’ residences, where we are always much appreciated. If you love to sing and are looking for a happy, relaxed choir that is still serious about music, you are warmly invited to drop in to any Wednesday rehearsal or to contact us (by email, preferably) for more information. CATHY 647-202-1800 SoundCrowd, Toronto’s first large-scale a cappella ensemble, made its concert debut alongside former Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page at the Danforth Music Hall in November of 2016. Under the direction of founder and artistic director Scott Pietrangelo, they have since performed at notable public venues around the GTA (Nathan Phillips Square, Distillery District, Richmond Hill Centre for the Arts), hosted sold-out concerts, created viral YouTube videos, performed surprise pop-up performances around the city (#SoundCrowdSaturday), and travelled to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall with choirs from around the world with Deke Sharon (Pitch Perfect, The Sing Off). They will be seen next at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts on June 2, with special a cappella guests: Cadence, Countermeasure and Retrocity. Tix available at SCOTT PIETRANGELO 647-970-1397 ●●Spiritus Ensemble Spiritus Ensemble is a semi-professional choralinstrumental ensemble of 18 voices plus an orchestra of varying size that performs mainly the liturgical music of J.S. Bach and other liturgically-conceived music. We perform four or five times a season in Kitchener-Waterloo, sometimes in concert and sometimes in a Bach Vespers format. Rehearsals take place on the two or three Saturday mornings preceding each performance. Performances are on Sundays at 4pm. During the 2018/19 season, Spiritus will perform Bach’s Cantatas 117, 140, Magnificat and St Mark Passion; The Temple by Zachary Wadsworth; and music by other composers. KENNETH HULL 519-579-8335 St. Anne’s Anglican Church, with its beautiful setting of Group of Seven art and Byzantine architecture, is one of the most attractive visual and auditory experiences to sing in. The semi-professional chancel choir, made up of approximately 30 voices, is quickly becoming one of the finest and most versatile choral ensembles in the city, as we perform mixed repertoire from Renaissance to modern anthems. Some of our past concerts include Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, Bruckner’s Requiem, John Rutter’s Magnificat, Handel’s Messiah, Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass, and The Gospel Messiah. All are welcome to audition! Sunday services are at 10:30am, and choir rehearsals are Thursday evenings at 7:30pm. JOHN-LUKE ADDISON 416-536-3160 ●●St. James Cathedral Parish Choir If you enjoy singing motets that span five centuries – from the sublime offerings of Byrd, Palestrina, and Tallis to the composers of today via Healey Willan, John Rutter, Saint-Saëns, and Charles Gounod – what better remedy for your craving than the exhilarating membership of a cathedral choir of like-minded volunteers with an appetite for musical challenges and artistic companionship? This social group of singers rehearses each Thursday from 7pm to 8pm, and comprises sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses. Their director of music, Robert Busiakiewicz, welcomes enquiries from those who might like to join the ranks, or simply want to give singing a try in a relaxed rehearsal setting. The choir sings at the 9am Cathedral Eucharist each week. We welcome all genders and ages. The choir has four paid leads. Robert Busiakiewicz, director of music ELIZABETH GROSKORTH 416-364-7865 x234 theWholeNote 2018/19 CANARY PAGES DIRECTORY C13

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

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Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)