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Volume 25 Issue 3 - November 2019

  • Text
  • Orchestra
  • Composer
  • Performing
  • Symphony
  • Musical
  • Arts
  • Theatre
  • Jazz
  • Toronto
  • November
On the slim chance you might not have already heard the news, Estonian Canadian composing giant Udo Kasemets was born the same year that Leo Thermin invented the theremin --1919. Which means this is the centenary year for both of them, and both are being celebrated in style, as Andrew Timar and MJ Buell respectively explain. And that's just a taste of a bustling November, with enough coverage of music of both the delectably substantial and delightfully silly on hand to satisfy one and all.


• THE ANNUAL • City CAROL SING In collaboration with SATURDAY DECEMBER 7 | 2:00PM YORKMINSTER PARK BAPTIST CHURCH HOST Dina Pugliese SPECIAL GUESTS Murray McLauchlan Marc Jordan Ian Thomas FEATURING HOGTOWN BRASS Bach Children’s Chorus Yorkminster Park Baptist Church Choir Hedgerow Singers William Maddox, Organ Eric Robertson, Conductor Beat by Beat | Choral Scene Choral Relevance Amidst Today’s Disarray MENAKA SWAMINATHAN music is not one of life’s frills. It’s something that goes to the very heart of our humanity, our sense of “C,horal community, and our souls.” – John Rutter Some of my earliest memories of community are from being a member of choir. It has always held great prominence in my life. A few weeks ago, I watched a short YouTube video from J.W. Pepper of an interview with John Rutter, a renowned composer of choral music. Although the clip is only a few minutes long, his words resonated with me, for he spoke so eloquently and profoundly of the significance of choir. My Introduction to the Choral World I was seven years old when my family immigrated to Canada. Shortly after settling down in Toronto, my mother became involved with the choir of our then-community church as their pianist. Soon after, she encouraged my sister and me to join it. In addition to singing in church, my sister and I also became members of a choir called VOCE, a children’s choir affiliated with the Toronto Catholic District School Board. The rehearsals were held at Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts. (We would go on to attend the high school a few years later.) Because I was considerably younger than the other members of the church choir, attending rehearsals weekly was something I did primarily because of my mother. However, being part of VOCE, with other singers my own age, was a completely different experience. As Rutter says during the interview, “When you get together with a group of other singers […] all of those people are pouring out their hearts and souls in perfect harmony.” I felt at ease in choir as I mingled with like-minded children; all of us bonding over music, learning our parts together, competing for solos but also supporting one another. I remember having a lot of fun. ADMISSION FREE A collection will be taken for the Churches on-the-Hill Food Bank Yorkminster Park Baptist Church 1585 Yonge St. (1 block north of St. Clair Ave.) YORKMINSTERPARK.COM | 9SPARROWSARTS.ORG 28 | November 2019

Canadian Vocal Ensemble and members of St. Michael's Choir School Alumni Carol Woodward Ratzlaff Choral Community and Inclusivity I recently was affiliated with VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto, as I worked part-time with them and sang with their Main Chorus. Founded in 2000, VIVA! is a welcoming space inclusive to singers with disabilities. After listening to the Rutter video, I was moved to discuss this theme of community with someone deeply rooted in the choral scene, so I reconnected by email with Carol Woodward Ratzlaff, founder of VIVA!, to get her perspective both as a conductor and a chorister. When schools started eliminating arts programming 20 years ago, Ratzlaff, who was working for the Toronto District School Board at the time, felt she needed to turn to the private sector to respond. She tells me: “We need to work to inform education leaders and those in government of the personal advantages, educational benefits and holistic impact of arts opportunities. Too often, adult-centred economic concerns inform educational outcomes. I was aware of many other excellent private-sector choral experiences in the GTA, but I was not focused on what the market was already providing; it was not a business response. I was motivated by the fact that there were many children (as well as youth and adults with disabilities) who were not being provided with opportunities to sing and to create beautiful music together.” Ratzlaff’s words resonate strongly with Classic String Quartet, Michael Barth - Trumpet, Donna Kiousis - Flute, James Brown - Guitar IN REMEMBRANCE CONCERTS Friday November 8, 2019, 7:30 pm Holy Name Catholic Church 71 Gough Avenue, Toronto, M4K 3N9 Pastor: Fr. Jinto Puthiyidathuchalil and Saturday November 9, 2019, 7:30 pm St. Patrick Catholic Church 921 Flagship Dr, Mississauga, L4Y 2J6 Pastor: Fr. John Facey Founder, Artistic Director and Conductor Gordon D. Mansell (SMCS 1975) For further information, call/text: 416-571-3680 or email: ON WINTER’S NIGHT Toronto Youth Choir with The Salvation Army North York Temple Band Sun. Dec. 8 | 4 PM St. Andrew’s Church 19/20 Season A CHORUS CHRISTMAS: CELESTIAL CELEBRATIONS co-presented by Sun. Dec. 15 | 2 PM Roy Thomson Hall November 2019 | 29

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)