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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!


CANARY PAGES theWholeNote 2019/20 CANARY PAGES DIRECTORY ●●Resonance Founded in 2016, Resonance is the newest member to the Mississauga Festival Choir family directed by award-winning conductor, Bob Anderson. Resonance is a non-auditioned choir for youth and young adults ages 15 to 28. Each season they have performed their own concert, as well as collaborating in concerts with several choirs and ensembles around the Greater Toronto Area. Their most recent performances were with the Toronto Symphony, the Mississauga Symphony, A Few Good Men, and the Elmer Isler Singers. For information visit their website. JENNY JOHNSTON 416-986-5537 ●●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 Chicago to Chicoutimi, from Waterloo to Waupoos. Our past season centred around touring and holding workshops with amateur singers interested in learning about Gregorian chant and the music of Hildegard von Bingen. 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 ●●Serenata Singers Serenata Singers is a 60-voice, four-part community seniors’ choir. This fall we begin our 44th year, under the guidance of our accomplished choral director, Ms. Leanne Piller. Serenata’s repertoire covers a wide range of music, including classical, show tunes, pop, folk and Canadiana. Rehearsals are held on Wednesday mornings from September to May at Wilmar Heights Centre, 963 Pharmacy Ave., Scarborough. During the year, we sing at seniors’ residences and the season crescendos with two concerts held in the spring. The choir welcomes new members in every vocal range. An informal, non-threatening voice screening process is performed by our choral director to properly place voices and maintain our performance standards. LOIS ●●Shevchenko Choir The Shevchenko Choir is an integral part of the Shevchenko Musical Ensemble with the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra. Although its roots lie in the Ukrainian community, through more than our 65-year history, we have evolved into a multicultural choir whose repertoire reflects the diversity of our society, including folk songs, classical and original works. Currently, the choir presents its own choral concert each year; performs 2-3 times at Seniors Residences; and appears with the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra, including instrumental and vocal soloists, as part of the full Ensemble. A non-audition choir, its rehearsals are held Sunday mornings (10:00-12:30am) at Borochov Cultural Centre, 272 Codsell Ave. Our highly talented conductor, Alexander Veprinskiy, blends the choir and orchestra into a unique musical ensemble. ALEXANDER VEPRINSKIY 905-763-7516 ●●Society of Singers The Society of Singers is a non-auditioned SATB choir that rehearses Wednesdays from 1-3pm 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 SoundCrowd, Toronto’s first large-scale a cappella ensemble, made its concert debut alongside former Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page on 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 (Princess of Wales Theatre, The Opera House, Jane Mallett Theatre, Richmond Hill Centre for the Arts), hosted sold-out concerts, created viral YouTube videos, performed at Carnegie Hall with choirs from around the world led by Deke Sharon (Pitch Perfect, The Sing Off), and have shared the stage with such notable artists as DCappella, Cadence, Lorraine Segata, Countermeasure, Retrocity and cast members from the original Toronto production of “Les Miserables”. 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. The principal works for the 2019/20 season will be Bach’s Cantatas 76, 116, the St John Passion and Handel’s Messiah. KENNETH HULL 519-579-8335 ●●St. Clement’s Eglinton The thriving, growing and inclusive church of St. Clement’s, Yonge/Eglinton is recruiting new members for its three choirs. Our robed choir of 22 sings at our 11am service and rehearses on Thursday evenings. This choir is led by six professional singers and explores the treasures of the Anglican choral repertoire across six centuries of music. We have sung in English, Latin, German, Norwegian, Welsh and Russian and recent performances have included double-choir motets by Tomkins and a number of pieces specially commissioned by St. Clement’s, or written for us. We work hard but have a lot of fun. The standard is exacting but we don’t audition - we’d prefer you to give us a try and see how we find each other! St. Clement’s also has a pick-up choir at its 9am service and a Youth Choir that rehearses on Thursday afternoons. DANIEL WEBB 416-483-6664 ●●St. James Cathedral Parish Choir If you enjoy singing a wide range of 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 - there is no 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 7 to 8pm, and comprises sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses. Director of music Robert Busiakiewicz welcomes enquiries from those who might like to join the ranks, or those who simply want to give singing a try in a relaxed rehearsal setting. The choir sings at the 9am Cathedral Eucharist each week. We warmly welcome all genders and ages. JESSIE-ANN BAINES 416-364-7865 ●●St. James Town Children’s Choir The St. James Town Children’s Choir, founded in 2007, welcomes children from grades 3 to 8 from St. James Town and surrounding neighborhoods. The choir’s artistic directors over the years have many years working with children’s choirs, many of them music specialists from the RCM and Toronto District C12

School Board. Over the years, the choir has sung with professional choirs, at sports events, in longterm care facilities, in schools and community events, and has collaborated with professional musicians (e.g. Ensemble Vivant, Suba Sankaran). The repertoire is secular, diverse, inclusive, fun and musically enriching. Music literacy and performance opportunities are a priority. Choristers are welcomed for September 2019. Information is available on our website and questions may be directed to, or 416-421-8518. VIRGINIA EVOY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 416-421-8518 ●●St. Michael’s Choir School St. Michael’s Choir School was founded in 1937, with the purpose of providing sacred music for services at St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica. St. Michael’s Choir School is an all-boys school from grades 3 through 12 located in downtown Toronto. Comprised of between 250-300 students, St. Michael’s Choir School is a centre for musical and academic excellence. It is one of only six choir schools in the world affiliated with the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome. Each student attending the Choir School is accepted on the basis of a vocal audition and sings in at least one of the school’s choirs. Each St. Michael’s Choir School student is trained in music theory, vocal and instrumental music. In addition to weekly Masses and numerous annual concerts, SMCS choirs tour regularly and perform at various local events. WANDA THORNE 416-397-6367 ●●St. Olave’s Anglican Church Choir The Choir at St. Olave’s Anglican Church sings music for Communion, Morning Prayer, and Evensong services in the English choral tradition (Berkeley, Byrd, Elgar, Howells, Leighton, Stanford, Willan). While our focus is on British and Canadian composers, we also sing motets by Palestrina and Victoria, and choral music from the 18th to 21st century. Rehearsals are on Thursdays, 7:30-9pm and Sundays at 9:30am for the 10:30am service. Evensongs are sung by our Choir or visiting Choirs approximately once a month. We are an auditioned Choir made up of volunteers and paid leads, and have a passion for what we do. JOHN STEPHENSON, DIRECTOR OF MUSIC 416-768-5686 ●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 for its consistently high level of artistic achievement and for its unique contribution to choral art in Canada, and described as “the best period-performance choir anywhere in the world” (The Globe and Mail). The choir has made several critically acclaimed recordings, including a live-concert CD of Handel’s Messiah, 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. TAFELMUSIK 416-964-9562 ●Tempus ● Choral Society Tempus Choral Society is a very welcoming, 100-voice SATB un-auditioned community choir based in Oakville, led by director Brian Turnbull. Our repertoire encompasses contemporary, Broadway, Great American Songbook, gospel, classical and jazz. This year, we celebrate our 20th anniversary. We love to travel and to reach out to our community. Tempus has sung Handel’s Messiah at Lincoln Center, performed Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem at Carnegie Hall, as part of an international choir of auditioned singers. In 2015, Tempus4Us (our 60-voice children’s choir) and Tempus Jazz Choir were formed, with help from an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant. After our 2018 European singing tour, we are headed to the Baltics in 2020. New members are heartily welcomed in September and January; please visit our website. KATHY DIXON, MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR 416-200-1731 ●That ● Choir That Choir is one of Toronto’s most exciting a cappella ensembles, combining high-calibre performance with storytelling through choral music. Founded in 2008 by artistic director Craig Pike, That Choir now draws together close to twenty auditioned singers with diverse backgrounds in culture, work and study. Recent appearances include the “City Carol Sing” at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, sharing the stage with Sir Christopher Plummer and Louise Pitre as a featured performer at the Shakespeare Globe Centre of Canada’s 25th Anniversary Gala at Casa Loma, featured performances in Barrie and Alliston, Ontario, and feature choir with international touring concerts: “Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience”, “Hans Zimmer Live on Tour 2017” (both at the Air Canada Centre), and “The Legend of Zelda” at the Sony Centre. CRAIG PIKE 416-419-1756 ●Toronto ● Beach Chorale Toronto Beach Chorale (artistic director, Mervin W. Fick) is an auditioned SATB choir of up to 65 voices. Singers share a passion for great classical choral music, a strong commitment to sharing the gift of music, and engaging their community in quality musical experiences. TBC invites professional musicians, soloists, actors and arts organizations to join in 3-4 concerts per season. TBC organizes and participates in “Messiah for the City” - free concert for the United Way charities - and in many local community events. TBC’s Choral Scholars Program offers subsidy and training to singers aged 19 to 24. Rehearsals are Wednesdays, 7-9:30pm, September to May in the Beach area. Auditions are held in September and January. The ability to read music and choral experience are assets. DAVID GARDE 416-699-6634 SOUNDCROWD theWholeNote 2019/20 CANARY PAGES DIRECTORY C13

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