4 years ago

Volume 24 Issue 8 - May 2019

  • Text
  • Theatre
  • Symphony
  • Concerts
  • Singers
  • Arts
  • Jazz
  • Choral
  • Musical
  • Toronto
  • Choir
What a range of stuff! A profile of Liz Upchurch, the COC ensemble studio's vocal mentor extraordinaire; a backgrounder on win-win faith/arts centre partnerships and ways of exploring the possibilities; an interview with St. Petersburg-based Eifman Ballet's Boris Eifman; Ana Sokolovic's violin concert Evta finally coming to town; a Love Letter to YouTube, and much more. Plus our 17th annual Canary Pages Choral directory if all you want to do is sing! sing! sing!

to 4pm. Limited to 12

to 4pm. Limited to 12 participants, this intensive mentoring experience with six experts of traditional Georgian choral repertoire is the closest Torontonians can get to this music short of a very, very long plane ride to Tbilisi. For more information about registration check MusiCamp’s website. Monday June 10, Didgori drives east for a 12:15pm concert at St. George’s Cathedral, 270 King St. E, Kingston, Ontario, before travelling to dates in Québec. WORLD VIEW QUICK PICKS !! MAY 1, 5:30PM: the Canadian Opera Company presents Stomp the Floor with the sibling-fuelled Métis Fiddler Quartet at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, as part of its noon hour World Music Series. The concert is free, but note that a “no late seating” is strictly observed. !! MAY 2, 7PM: North York Central Library/University of Toronto Faculty of Music offer Toronto audiences the rarely heard Music of Rajasthan with vocalist Abhishek Iyer, harmonium player Sushant Anatharam and Tanmay Sharma on tabla, at the North York Central Library. The event is free but registration is required. !! MAY 2, 8PM: the popular sitarist Anoushka Shankar and party perform at Koerner Hall, Telus Centre in a concert produced by the Royal Conservatory of Music !! MAY 3 AND 4, 8PM; MAY 5, 3PM: Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company stages its latest show Impulso at the Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre. The production features works by choreographers Esmeralda Enrique and José Maldonado. Guitarists Caroline Planté and Benjamin Barrile, vocalists Manuel Soto and Marcos Marin, are joined by percussionist Derek Gray to provide the energizing dance music. !! MAY 4, 7PM: Singing Together 2019 presents A Celebration of Cultural Diversity, a “multicultural choral concert with seven choirs from different ethnic backgrounds,” at St. Paschal Baylon Church, Thornhill. Groups include the Chinese Canadian Choir of Toronto (Cantonese); Coro San Marco (Italian); Joyful Singers (Korean); Nayiri Armenian Choir of Toronto (Armenian); Noor Children’s Choir (Armenian); Toronto Taiwanese Choir (Mandarin), plus the guest Filipino Choral Group. !! MAY 4, 6:30PM: the Mississauga Festival Choir, joined by guest world music ensemble Autorickshaw, offers songs from South Africa, South Asia and Canada’s far north in a concert titled Building Bridges at the Living Arts Centre, Mississauga. !! MAY 5, 1PM: the Royal Conservatory of Music presents the illustrious Toronto vocal quartet Turkwaz at the Mazzoleni Concert Hall, Royal Conservatory. Maryem Hassan Tollar draws on her Arabic language heritage, Jayne Brown and Sophia Grigoriadis bring their experience with Greek music and Brenna MacCrimmon adds her expertise in Turkish song repertoire to the mix. !! MAY 12, 3PM: Echo Women’s Choir performs a Mother’s Day Concert: Thanks to Life, A Celebration of Songs from the Americas at the Church of the Holy Trinity. The repertoire includes Calixto Alvarez’s Cuban Suite and Violeta Parra’s Gracias a la Vida (arr. B. Whitla). Guest singer-songwriter Amanda Martinez joins veteran Echo conductors Becca Whitla and Alan Gasser. !! MAY 17, 8PM: Small World Music Society presents Anindo Chatterjee & Guests, a North-meets-South-Indian percussion summit at the Small World Music Centre, Artscape Youngplace. Tabla master Pandit Anindo Chatterjee headlines, joined by Gowrishanker Balachandran (mrdangam), Ramana Indrakumar (ghatam), Shirshendu Mukherjee (vocalist), Hardeep Chana (harmonium), and local tabla maestro Ravi Naimpally. !! MAY 26, 3PM: the Kyiv Chamber Choir conducted by Mykola Hobdych sings a program titled Sounds of Ukraine at the Koerner Hall, Telus Centre. !! MAY 26, 7PM: Jewish Music Week in Toronto presents Nomadica: Music of the Gypsies, Arabs and Jews featuring David Buchbinder on trumpet and vocalist Roula Said at Lula Lounge. !! MAY 28, 12PM: the Canadian Opera Company presents Celebrate Japan! in its World Music Series. Nagata Sachu, directed by Kiyoshi Nagata, will makes the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre ring with festive percussion-centric sounds. !! JUN 2, 7:30PM: Sing! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival continues with Cuban Fantasies with Vocal Sampling and Freeplay at Lula Lounge. Andrew Timar is a Toronto musician and music writer. He can be contacted at Beat by Beat | Bandstand Anniversary Time for Waterloo and Wychwood JACK MACQUARRIE In my previous column I mentioned some anniversaries on the horizon. One of these will be a May 5 celebration by the Waterloo Concert Band of the 100th anniversary of the arrival in town of “Professor” Thiele, as he was known, by performing his newly discovered Festival Overture. This will be at Knox Presbyterian Church, 50 Erb St. W., Waterloo. Since mentioning the event last issue, I have been overwhelmed by information about Thiele from a variety of sources. From one friend I received a copy of a 130-page university thesis on Thiele’s life, work and contributions to Waterloo; and writer Pauline Finch, who plays piccolo and flute with the Waterloo Concert Band and others, provided far more information on Thiele than I could ever have discovered on my own. Charles Frederick Thiele’s newly discovered Festival Overture Charles Frederick Thiele did not study or teach at any prestigious music school. He was largely self-taught and earned his renown through natural talent and experience. The title “Professor” (always in quotation marks) was an informal mark of respect often given to popular concert and show-band conductors during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It did not have any real academic connotations, but might well, in his case, equate to an honorary doctorate today. Thiele was a self-employed freelancer like many in his day – holding multiple positions, often several at one time. As celebrated as he became in Canadian music during first half of the 20th century, he wasn’t a hometown boy either. When he arrived in Waterloo 100 years ago on April 1, 1919, hired to direct the Waterloo Musical Society Band, he was nearly 35, having been born in the Lower East Side neighbourhood of New York City to impoverished German immigrant parents. Despite their only son’s early aptitude for music, they were too destitute to provide him with lessons. However, the boy in question was also gifted with disciplined ambition, hints of a true leader’s charisma, and a shrewd instinct for business opportunities – qualities that served him well in his parallel careers as composer, entertainer, impresario and industrialist. Well before the turn of the 20th century, and still in his teens, Thiele made his first money as a street photographer. With his earnings he was able to acquire a cornet. By 19, he’d married his 17-year-old girlfriend Louise (an accomplished singer, actress and instrumentalist in her own right). By his early 20s, he was finally able to afford regular PAULINE FINCH 38 | May 2019

cornet lessons and quickly made up for lost time, soon progressing to the rank of a steadily employed freelance musician, learning on the job, playing with numerous professional bands in parades, political rallies, lodges, social clubs, sports events, festivals, circuses, silent films, and just about any occasion where paid live music was required. After answering the band’s advertisement in early in 1919, he travelled to Waterloo (which had only 5,000 people at the time) to meet his potential employers in person. He landed the job at a salary of ,200 a year, roughly equivalent to ,706 in 2019, supplementing this part-time income by teaching and freelancing, and wasting no time imprinting his legendary creative energy on his new hometown. As early as 1921, he’d founded the Waterloo Music Company as a sheet music mail-order business in a spare room of his house. The business began as a profitable service to silent movie houses throughout Canada; by the time “talkies” put an end to demand, less than a decade later, Thiele already had Plan B figured out – providing educational music for schools. Thiele was actually the Waterloo band’s ninth bandmaster, but because he served in the post for 32 years, even some locals assumed he had founded the band. When radio came along just before the Depression, Thiele managed to have the Waterloo Musical Society Band chosen to play the first live band concert in Canadian broadcast history. Worthy of further investigation, I also learned that Thiele was instrumental in the introduction of the Ontario “Band Tax Law” in 1937 which enabled many smaller Ontario town bands to survive during and after the Great Depression. I had never heard of such a law before, but, continuing to dig, discovered that somewhat earlier, in 1921, the State of Iowa had enacted the Iowa Band Law, municipalities in the state to fund town bands. In fact, in 1923, composer Karl King wrote a fine march titled (there are at least two versions of it on YouTube) to commemorate the law’s passage. Wychwood The other previously mentioned May anniversary (May 26) belongs to the Wychwood Clarinet Choir. The choir’s musical director Michele Jacot responded to my inquiry about the concert with this: “Yes, it will be our tenth! A special show complete with cake and bubbly afterward. We are going to raise a glass to the first ten (if I may toot our own horn for a moment, very successful) seasons. The team is amazing. All I do is wave my arms around until the music stops and then turn around and bow.” The selections for this show are a “best of” from those first ten seasons, featuring works by their “composers’ collective” and core group of talented arrangers. They have tried to include something by all of the members in that talent hub. Included will be Fen Watkin’s Anne of Green Gables Medley; Selections from Canteloube’s Chants d'Auvergne (arr. Moore); and a stellar arrangement of Gershwin’s An American in Paris by Roy Greaves. As a prelude to the concert, on May 4, St. John’s Music, Toronto invites interested parties to take part in a Wychwood Clarinet Choir Michele Jacot and Roy Greaves with “Oscar” at their last concert when the theme was “A Night at the Oscars” PAUL BRYAN A WORLD CLASS MUSIC FESTIVAL AN ENCHANTING SETTING JUST TICKETS AWAY! The Elora Singers Natalie MacMaster State Choir Latvija Lemon Bucket Orkestra Unforgettable: Nat King Cole Measha Bruegergossman Kuné Global Orchestra Voices Of Light Daniel Taylor Piano Six . . .and much more! May 2019 | 39

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Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)