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!


CANARY PAGES theWholeNote 2019/20 CANARY PAGES DIRECTORY ●●VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto VIVA!’s seven choirs for ages four through adult offer members the opportunity to achieve artistic excellence in a singer-centred, collaborative choral community, featuring youth mentoring programs and the TD Bank Group Inclusion Program. VIVA!’s choirs include: the Preparatory Chorus (ages 4-6); the Junior Choir (ages 6-10); the Main Chorus (ages 9-18); the Senior Treble Chorus (ages 14-18); the SATB Chamber Choir (youth and adults); the non-auditioned VIVA! Community Choir (SATB) and the Everyone Can Sing (ECS) Chorus, for singers with disabilities. This season VIVA! members have been exploring the relationship between singing, song-writing and wellness. For our 20th anniversary next season, we will explore the stories of Ovid’s Metamorphoses through an ambitious multi composer commissioning project. CHARLOTTE BURRAGE 416-788-8482 ●●VOCA Chorus of Toronto The VOCA Chorus of Toronto is a dynamic, auditioned ensemble that performs eclectic repertoire (including arrangements by our artistic director) in collaboration with some of Canada’s finest artists. Each season consists of two major concerts, a cabaret, two retreats (with guest clinicians) and community performances. Rehearsals are Mondays at Eastminster United (near Chester subway). On Saturday, April 27, we will present “Earth, Sea & Sky II,” a celebration of Earth Week, featuring Paul Winter’s Missa Gaia, Andrew Balfour’s Ambe, and works by Paul Halley, Matthew Emery, Sarah Quartel, Ola Gjeilo and others. Director: Jenny Crober. Accompanist: Elizabeth Acker. Guests: Alana Bridgewater, vocalist; Colleen Allen, sax; Shawn Grenke, organ; Roberto Occhipinti, bass; Mark Kelso, drums/percussion; Juan Carlos Medrano, percussion. VOCA CHORUS OF TORONTO 416-463-8225 ●●Voices Chamber Choir Entering into the choir’s 24th season, Voices has firmly established itself as one of Toronto finest chamber choirs and it has received awards and recognition from across Canada. As part of the 2019-20 season, the choir will perform Britten’s Ceremony of Carols for our Christmas presentation in December, followed by our annual Lenten concert in March, and ending with a concert of music set to great poems and writings. To end our current season on Sunday, June 9, the choir will present a matinee concert featuring G. F. Handel’s Coronation Anthems and music by Joseph and Michael Haydn. Voices rehearses from September to June on Wednesday evenings from 7:30pm to 10pm at St. Thomas’s Church, 383 Huron Street, Toronto. Auditions are available throughout the year. RON CHEUNG 416-519-0528 ●●Wayne Gilpin Singers Beautiful melodies, rocking sax solos, edgy new jazz arrangements of Handel’s Messiah – if any of this appeals to you, read on. The Waterloo-based Wayne Gilpin Singers is an auditioned (a singer-friendly audition, we promise!) chamber choir that sings a wide variety of music, including contemporary Christian, gospel, show tunes, spirituals and more. Resident composer/accompanist Andrew Gilpin pens unique arrangements for an ever-expanding Jazz Messiah, an annual event that twins Handel’s beautiful melodies with modern rhythms and musical styles. Also featured in concert are talented guest artists on bass, drums and saxophone, providing an unforgettable musical experience for both audience and choir. WAYNE GILPIN 1-800-867-3281 ●●West Toronto Community Choir We are a mixed-voice, secular community choir serving Roncesvalles, Parkdale, the Junction and surrounding communities. Our group performs 2 major concerts per season as well as guest appearances at other community events, such as Roncy Rocks and the Roncesvalles Community Tree Lighting Ceremony. Music is a mix of contemporary choral, folk tunes, and musical theatre, with a few pop tunes thrown in. Our vibe is fun and social, with a focus on community engagement and shared music-making. We have a mix of seasoned choristers and novices, and there are no auditions. We value the diversity of gender, age, race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, education, and political perspective and are open to all. Rehearsals take place on Monday evenings 7:15- 8:45pm at Roncesvalles United Church. TAYLOR STRANDE 647-388-3604 westtorontocommunitychoir ●●Windsor Classic Chorale Founded in 1977 by director emeritus Richard Householder, the Windsor Classic Chorale has become a core component of the local arts community. Now under the direction of Dr. Bruce Kotowich, the Chorale continues to grow musically and to enjoy collaborations with many other local organizations and solo artists, performing at a wide variety of different venues throughout Windsor-Essex and beyond, including a performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall just last year. The choir is made up of teachers, librarians, administrators, lawyers and accountants. We are working professionals, busy parents and retirees. What brings us together is our love for choral music and the belief that it expresses the deepest parts of our humanity. We believe in using music to connect with each other and with our community. ALLISON BROWN 519-567-7407 ●The ● Yorkminstrels Show Choir The Yorkminstrels Show Choir is an SATB choir, founded in 1974 as an arm of The Yorkminstrels musical theatre company. We sing mostly Broadway music, with oldies, contemporary and seasonal songs added to the mix. With our repertoire, costumes and movement, the show choir has evolved into a unique group. We take entertainment into the community, doing occasional concerts throughout the season at seniors’ residences, and for condo/church/synagogue groups and fundraisers. Rehearsals are held on Wednesday evenings at Cummer Lodge in North York, from September through June. A simple audition is required; note-reading is not essential. We are a warm, fun-loving and welcoming group, so if you enjoy singing, learning harmony and performing, we invite you to join us! SANDI HORWITZ 416-229-9313 ●Young ● Singers Experience the magic of music and release your child’s musical artistry through choral music! A unique musical education is offered to youth in the Durham Region in a supportive and challenging environment. Five distinct choirs include three non-auditioned ensembles for ages four to 14, an auditioned treble choir for ages 10 to 15, and an auditioned SATB choir for ages 14 and older. Repertoire which develops musical skills and vocal technique embraces all styles and genres and often includes choreography. In addition to winter and spring concerts and regular appearances; these proud choral ambassadors have enjoyed recent tours to Ireland and China. Young Singers was founded in 1992! MARK ORACION 905-686-9821 Thank you for taking a gander at this year’s Canaries! If you are looking for a specific group of songbirds, visit our directory online, at where you can do more browsing, read these profiles and easily follow the links they contain to these choir's own websites. C16

WE ARE ALL MUSIC’S CHILDREN MJ BUELL If you’re a new reader, a word of explanation is in order. In our regular photo contest, We Are ALL Music’s Children, readers identify members of the music community from a childhood photo, for an opportunity to win tickets and recordings. April’s Children were Baritone Russell Braun and his sister singer and composer Adi Braun; Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico; Mezzo-soprano Krizstina Szabó; Tenor Colin Ainsworth; Violist, educator and arts administrator Douglas McNabney A new, equally challenging contest will appear next month. Russell Braun and Adi Braun Christina Petrowska Quilico Krizstina Szabó Colin Ainsworth Douglas McNabney CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS! A few readers managed to correctly identity of all six of last month’s mystery children! WholeNote reader Trina Wasilewski wins a pair of tickets to Hell’s Fury, The Hollywood Songbook. Presented by Soundstreams in partnership with Luminato this new opera features baritone Russell Braun and pianist Serouj Kradjian, with staging by Tim Albery and design by Michael Levine. Hear the wonderful, neglected songs of exile by Hanns Eisler, an Austrian, Jewish, Marxist composer who fled to Hollywood in 1938, only to be deported a decade later, an early casualty of the McCarthy era (Harbourfront Centre Theatre, June 19 to 23). Gregory Millar wins a pair of tickets to hear Christina Petrowska Quilico with the Kindred Spirits Orchestra, in a concert that includes “Canadian Mozart” André Mathieu’s long-lost Piano Concerto No.4, written in 1947 when the composer was just 18 years old; also Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis, and Prokofiev’s Symphony No.2, Op 40. This concert will be given at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts on May 11, conducted by Kristian Alexander, and also on June 29 at the CBC Glenn Gould Studio conducted by Jiří Petrdlík. Adi Braun’s fifth recording and current touring show Moderne Frau is a collection of Weimar cabaret songs from between the two world wars, when women were famously performers, but significantly also becoming cabaret owners and managers. “Clearly Braun’s redemptive gods are Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill and she makes every gesture count meaningfully on this disc, where biting satire and burlesque meet outrageously colourful art song.” (Raul Da Gama, in The WholeNote (Nov 2017). Anne-Katherine Dionne wins a copy of the CD. Christina Petrowska Quilico’s 2018 recording Global Sirens features works by 15 women composers, from the United States, Canada, Russia, South Africa, Germany, Italy, Australia, and France, written between the mid-1900s and the present. Traditional, impressionist, 12-tone, minimalist, folk, ragtime and romantic, these mostly neglected treasures for the piano are “only a fraction of the scope and breadth of works that have been rarely played or forgotten.” [Fleur de Son] Lynda Moon wins a copy of this CD. Previous artist profiles and full-length interviews can be read at Or – you can view them in their original magazine format by visiting our online back issues May 2019 | 41

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