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 ●The ● St. James Town Children’s Choir The St. James Town Children’s Choir, founded in 2007, welcomes children from grades 3 to 8 living in St. James Town, a multicultural community in the heart of Toronto with children from many backgrounds. The choir’s conductors over the years have had many years of working with children’s choirs, many of them music specialists from the Toronto District School Board. Over the years, the choir has sung with professional choirs, at hockey games, in longterm care facilities and in schools, and collaborated with professional musicians (e.g. Ensemble Vivant, Suba Sankaran, Pax Christi Chorale); one year the choir performed a musical play under the direction of then-conductor Deborah Griffin. New members are welcomed for September 2018. Information is available on our website and specific questions may be directed to JOHN LOOSEMORE 416-605-4562 ●●St. Michael’s Choir School Founded in 1937 by Monsignor John Edward Ronan, St. Michael’s Choir School has served the Archdiocese of Toronto by educating and training musicians who sing at St. Michael’s Cathedral. The school is unique – offering an enriched academic program for boys from grades 3 to 12, with extended French instruction as well as a lively ministry of sacred music. Choirs from SMCS perform annually on tour and at many local concerts and events. From September to June, the choirs sing weekly Masses at St. Michael’s Cathedral. Auditions are held annually between January and March. MUSIC OFFICE 416-397-6367 ●●Stratford Concert Choir The Stratford Concert Choir is a 90+ voice community choir committed to the presentation of the best classical choral repertoire in an annual fourconcert series. Our director is Ian Sadler, internationally renowned choral director and concert organist. The choir is a registered not-for-profit organization. Our healthy financial position is due in no small way to the generosity of our corporate and private sponsors, several of whom sing in the choir. We are grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for its financial support to the choir. IAN SADLER 519-273-9292 ●●Summer Singers Looking for a summer choir to join? Look no further! The Summer Singers is a fun and musicloving adult ensemble of over 60 voices which meet Wednesday evenings, 6:30pm to 8:30pm, in June and July (eight weeks) at Bloor Street United Church, 300 Bloor St. W., Toronto. Repertoire is a cool mix of folk, pop, standards, classical and more. An informal concert is presented on the last evening. No audition. A nominal membership fee is charged. LINDA EYMAN 416-455-9238 ●Tafelmusik ● Chamber Choir The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, specializing in Baroque and Classical performance practice, was formed in 1981 to complement the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. Under the direction of Ivars Taurins, the Chamber Choir has become one of the most fêted in North America, awarded the Healey- Willan Prize in 1991, and described as “the best period-performance choir anywhere in the world” (The Globe and Mail). The Chamber Choir has made several critically acclaimed recordings, including a live-concert CD of Handel’s Messiah recorded in 2011 at Koerner Hall, which was nominated for a 2013 JUNO Award. Tafelmusik’s annual performances of Messiah and “Sing-Along Messiah” have become an established part of Toronto’s holiday tradition. MARA BROWN 416-964-9562 x226 ●Tallis ● Choir Tallis Choir, founded in 1977 and directed by Peter Mahon, specializes in Renaissance choral music but performs a wide variety of musical styles. Our upcoming 41st season includes four concerts, featuring the music of Byrd (October), Gabrieli (December), and Gesualdo (March), concluding with a program which reflects on 10 centuries of music using the theme of Light (May). Concerts are performed at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 141 McCaul St. DAVID MARTIN, CHOIR PRESIDENT 416-286-9798 ●Tempus ● Choral Society Tempus Choral Society is a 100-voice SATB community choir based in Oakville, led by director Brian Turnbull. Its repertoire encompasses contemporary, Broadway, Great American Songbook, gospel, classical and jazz. In 2015, a Tempus4Us children’s choir and a Tempus Jazz Choir were formed as part of a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. In December 2014, the group sang the Messiah at the Lincoln Center. Members performed Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem at Carnegie Hall in April 2015 as part of an international choir of auditioned singers. And in November 2016, Brian assembled about 600 singers in five choirs in a “Choral Xtravaganza” at the Oakville Conference Centre, to be reprised this fall. A European tour is planned for summer 2018. Hot off the presses is our fabulous new Choral CD; see a member for details. BRIAN TURNBULL 905-466-2168 ●That ● Choir Celebrating its 11th season in 2018/19, That Choir is one of Toronto’s most exciting a cappella ensembles, combining high-calibre performance with storytelling through choral music. Conducted by Craig Pike, the ensemble now draws together 30 auditioned singers with diverse backgrounds in work and study. Each season, That Choir presents a four-concert series of contemporary choral works and an exciting cabaret series, undertakes a range of professional development projects, and appears at many local and provincial music festivals and arts events. That Choir’s repertoire ranges from Eric Whitacre, Ola Gjeilo, Pentatonix and Rajaton, to works by Canadian composers Matthew Emery and Kathleen Allan. Visit our website for more details! COLIN FROTTEN 416-706-5221 ●Toronto ● Beach Chorale Toronto Beach Chorale (with artistic director Mervin W. Fick) is an auditioned SATB choir of up to 65 voices with a passion for presenting excellent choral music. TBC invites professional musicians, soloists, actors and other arts organizations to join in classical choral repertoire in 3-4 concerts per season. TBC organizes and participates in “Messiah for the City” and in many local community events. TBC’s “Choral Scholars” Program offers subsidy and training to singers aged 19 to 24. Rehearsals are Wednesdays, 7pm to 9:30pm, September to May, usually at Kingston Road United Church (975 Kingston Rd.). Auditions in September and January; the ability to read music and choral experience are assets. DAVID GARDE 416-699-6634 ●Toronto ● Beaches Children’s and Youth Chorus TBCYC, founded in 2005 by artistic director Bronwen Low with the invaluable contribution of drama instructor, Joanne Mitchell, has grown from a membership of 30 to over 150 children and youth C14

(JK and up) from all over Scarborough and Toronto’s East End. 2016 marked the inaugural year of the Youth Chorus. TBCYC welcomes all, regardless of ability, offering a high quality musical and dramatic experience within an atmosphere where hard work and fun coexist. Each year, TBCYC choristers are involved in many concerts and events throughout the city. Every spring, the choir mounts a fully-produced musical production. The 2018 show is “James and the Giant Peach.” TBCYC also recently began touring. Most recently in 2016, they participated in the DCINY festival, where they sang as members of the ensemble at Carnegie Hall. JESSICA RILEY 416-698-9864 ●Toronto ● Chamber Choir TORONTO MASS CHOIR Proudly marking its 50th anniversary, the Toronto Chamber Choir of around 40 skilled singers has held a prominent place in Canada’s early music scene since 1968. It specializes in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire, collaborating regularly with Toronto’s rich pool of period instrumentalists, but also with forays into other periods. Four concerts per season – two Saturday evening concerts and two Sunday afternoon “Kaffeemusik” presentations – explore the cultural context of our repertoire through narration, often with a special guest expert. Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings at St. Patrick’s Parish Hall with occasional Saturday “retreats.” Auditions for new volunteer members are held anytime by arrangement with the director, while auditions for our Toronto Chamber Consort section lead program are held in May or June. LUCAS HARRIS, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR 416-763-1695 ●Toronto ● Children’s Chorus The award-winning Toronto Children’s Chorus marks its 41st season, and its 12th under artistic director Elise Bradley, this 2018/2019 season. The Chorus comprises a family of choirs: KinderNotes for children aged 3 to 6 (no audition required), four Training Choirs, Main Choir (four ensembles) and Toronto Youth Choir (aged 16 to 30). More than 300 choristers develop skills in vocal technique, sightsinging and music theory each year. Main Choir offers masterclasses and exceptional performance and recording opportunities, including with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. BONNIE O’SULLIVAN 416-932-8666 x225 ●Toronto ● Choral Society Founded in 1845, the Toronto Choral Society fosters a musical environment in which members learn and develop both musical ability and choral repertoire, presenting the greatest choral works, from renaissance to contemporary. An integral part of Toronto, we explore the music of the many cultures that make up our community, and contribute to the life of the city by participating in community events. The choir’s new tradition is to celebrate Christmas at Koerner Hall: in 2017 we performed Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and in 2018 we will present Ariel Ramirez’ Missa Criolla. We welcome new singers in September and January. We are a non-auditioned ensemble, but choral experience and regular practice are expected. We are currently accepting tenors and basses. Sopranos and altos are encouraged to add their names to our waiting list. LEANDRO PALACIOS 321-421-9799 ●Toronto ● Classical Singers Toronto Classical Singers is an auditioned choir with professional standards and outlook. Now in its 27th season, the organization continues to celebrate and contribute to the glorious tradition of choral music with performances of Bach, Mozart and Mendelssohn over 2018/19.Toronto Classical Singers is known for its unique musical point of view and its diverse and high-quality programming, featuring lesser-known and rarely performed pieces as well as well- beloved vocal/orchestral repertoire. Led by founding conductor and artistic director Jurgen Petrenko, the choir has established a long-standing partnership with Talisker Players who accompany the choir in their presentations of the great choral masterpieces. In addition to its regular season, the group has performed in co-productions with other musical entities. Please visit our website for information about our auditions. KATHLEEN PAYNE 416-986-8749 ●Toronto ● Mass Choir The choir formally began in 1988 and over the past 30 years has travelled to 10 different countries and released 12 albums. The Toronto Mass Choir (TMC) incorporates elements of contemporary gospel, traditional gospel, jazz and Caribbean music into its vast repertoire. Karen Burke, a professor of music at York University is TMC’s artistic director and her husband, Oswald Burke serves as business/technical manager. Now 40-strong, plus a five-piece band, the not-forprofit multi-denominational choir has shared the stage with well-known artists such as Tramaine Hawkins, Take 6, Michael Burgess, Jane Bunnett and jazz legend, Jon Hendricks. TMC continues its busy concert schedule, appearing on many radio and television broadcasts across Canada and internationally. KAREN BURKE 905-794-1139 ●Toronto ● Mendelssohn Choir The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir is recognized for its grand symphonic sound and for the clarity and precision of its interpretation of some of the greatest sacred and secular music ever composed. The 120-voice choir includes a professional core, auditioned volunteers, and apprentices (aged 17 to 22). The TMC performs over 20 concerts annually, including major choral works, Festival of Carols at Christmas, and Sacred Music for a Sacred Space on Good Friday. The choir also performs regularly with the TSO, including annual performances of Messiah. As part of its outreach initiatives, the choir webcasts selected concerts and presents “Singsation Saturday” choral workshops for singers of all levels. ADMINISTRATOR 416-598-0422 x221 theWholeNote 2017/18 CANARY PAGES DIRECTORY C15

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