1 year ago

Volume 25 Issue 8 - May / June 2020

  • Text
  • Choir
  • Performing
  • Performances
  • Orchestra
  • Musicians
  • Jazz
  • Recording
  • Toronto
  • Musical
  • Concerts
"COVID's Metamorphoses"? "There's Always Time (Until Suddenly There Isn't)"? "The Writing on the Wall"? It's hard to know WHAT to call this latest chapter in the extraordinary story we are all of a sudden characters in. By whatever name we call it, the MAY/JUNE combined issue of The WholeNote is now available, HERE in flip through format, in print commencing Wednesday May 6, and, in fully interactive form, online at Our 18th Annual Choral Canary Pages, scheduled for publication in print and flip through in September is already well underway with the first 50 choirs home to roost and more being added every week online. Community Voices, our cover story, brings to you the thoughts of 30 musical community members, all going through what we are going through (and with many more to come as the feature gets amplified online over the course of the coming months). And our regular writers bring their personal thoughts to the mix. Finally, a full-fledged DISCoveries review section offers cues and clues to recorded music for your solitary solace!

technique, so that when

technique, so that when the rescheduled concerts arrive, I am ready to perform at a high level. As for how best people reading this can stay in touch, there are two places: the first is St. Thomas’s website (https://www.stthomas., where recordings and updates are posted regularly; and my own personal website (, where a listing of recitals and concerts, as well as recordings, provides an outline of what I’m up to on a regular basis. We would love for any Northern Ontarians interested in interested in bringing top-level classical music and musicians to their communities to contact us Online technology is effective as a means to learn new LAURIE EVAN FRASER music but ... we all miss the I am a free-lance musician and founding artistic actually singing together, with synergy and support of director of the Upper Canada or without an audience. Choristers, a non-auditioned community choir based in mid-town Toronto. We have had to cancel two public concerts, one of which we have rescheduled for October 2, 2020. We have also cancelled our early summer fund-raising garden social. In addition to our usual spring and winter concerts, community service is the cornerstone of our choir and each year we typically visit over a dozen venues where people do not otherwise have the opportunity to hear live choral music. We share diverse music with audiences at long-term care facilities, seniors’ residences, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and schools. In May 2019, we celebrated our 25th anniversary of this mission with our ‘Peace Through Music Tour,’ rehearsing and performing with community-based choirs throughout Japan. This is the aspect of our work that has taken the hardest hit in the current circumstances and we are actively exploring new ways to continue practising together and to serve our audiences. We are also taking this time to refresh our website, including the addition of a ‘virtual’ choir performance. I also host regular online choir visits, sectional rehearsals, and “Choir Cocktail Parties” where we sing repertoire chosen by our singers. Online technology is effective as a means to learn new music but not for experiencing the magic of ensemble performing, and we all miss the synergy and support of actually singing together, with or without an audience. Visit our website: For the map, The Upper Canada Choristers rehearse at Grace Church on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Road. JEN AND PETER MCGILLIVRAY Northern Debut Nord seeks to establish a bi-annual touring project that will allow Northern Ontarians to access world-class, professional, classical music performances and encounters in their own backyard, working closely with local arts councils and community presenters. We were heartbroken to have to postpone our final concert of our inaugural season by the Drive Shaft Trio that would’ve included our very first commissioned piece by local Sudbury composer, Robert Lemay. We hope to reschedule the concert to the early fall or at least to organize a digital solution to seeing the concert through. We’re a small organization just starting out on our artistic and creative journey. We had hoped to present the concert online instead of in person but it became almost impossible logistically to make happen. We want to honour the music we have commissioned and premiering the work online, without the trio being able to properly rehearse together seems contrary to that spirit. So we have concentrated on making optimistic plans for our 2020/21 season and rolling the postponed concert into those efforts. Sudbury, ON, is our home base of operations and where we plan our main concerts of our series and fundraising events. We are building our network of contacts around Northern Ontario for touring concerts in future seasons. Next season will see the first of our regional runout concerts attached to our main Sudbury season. We would love for any Northern Ontarians interested in interested in bringing top-level classical music and musicians to their communities to contact us at, to visit our website at, and to sign up for our newsletter to be included in our season launch announcements and kept up to date with our activities. That, and following us on social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. LESLIE ASHWORTH I am a Canadian violinist and composer, a Master’s of Music student at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and a recent graduate of The Glenn Gould School in Toronto. I am also the founder & director of the Suite Melody Care volunteer program. Of all the things I had planned when COVID-19 hit,I have had to completely let go of orchestra and chamber music playing. I was studying at Rice in Houston when COVID-19 rapidly escalated and I had Hospital patients and the to return back home to elderly ... can view these virtual Oakville, Canada. Though my academic classes and private performances from the safety lessons continued online and comfort of their own rooms for the rest of the semester, orchestra and chamber music were cancelled completely and similarly summer plans for orchestra/chamber music festivals in the U.S. and Germany have been rescheduled. I really miss the unique experience of making music together with my colleagues and, for now, I am enjoying the alternative of making recordings and syncing these together with friends. I also run a volunteer program called Suite Melody Care (founded in 2012) which encourages young musicians and singers to give back to the community by performing in their local hospitals, retirement residences, and long-term care facilities. We give over 100 live 18 | May and June 2020

had to be cancelled. Our concert season runs from September through May. If circumstances allow we hope to be back in the concert hall to begin on our 2020/21 Season in September! We also hope to be able to program some of the cancelled concerts in future seasons. Meanwhile we’ve launched “Friday Night at the KWS”: free, online broadcasts of KWS concerts from the archives, some with video and some that are audio only. Each broadcast will feature a video introduction and a live chat with musicians throughout. Work is also continuing as normal for the beginning of the 2020/21 season in September. People reading this can stay in touch with what we are doing and planning via our website ( and social channels: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. themed, interactive performances annually for hospital patients and the elderly across Ontario, Iowa, and just recently in Houston. Unfortunately, all of these live performances have had to stop for the time being to protect our audience members and performers. Once circumstances turn for the better, I look forward to resuming orchestra and chamber music studying, rehearsals, and performances. I will also be particularly excited for Suite Melody Care performances to continue and grow to involve many more young musicians and reach even more audience members in hospitals, retirement residences, and long-term care facilities across Canada and in the U.S. In the meanwhile, in order to bring some happiness into the lives of hospital patients and the elderly during these challenging times, Suite Melody Care has launched a Virtual Performance video series for hospital patients and the elderly in Canada and the United States to raise their spirits. They can view these virtual performances from the safety and comfort of their own rooms and with their own personal devices. I created the first of these videos to inspire others who will be submitting videos to me which I will be combining and sharing. We have just published the first results, “Spring Together”, a Suite Melody Care COVID Virtual Performance, on our YouTube Channel. Suite Melody Care Inaugural COVID Virtual Performance links: Suite Melody Care Virtual Performance; “Spring Together”; Suite Melody Care website: For any musician, singer, or dancer interested in bringing some joy into the elderly and hospital patients’ lives, I would welcome you to contact me and find out how you can take part in the Suite Melody Care Virtual Performance videos. My email address is KARI HUEBER Meanwhile we’ve I am director of audience engagement for the Kitchener launched “Friday Night Waterloo Symphony. at the KWS”: free. We provide professional orchestral concerts, education programming, and community outreach to Waterloo Region and beyond. Unfortunately the remainder of the 2019/20 Season Right now, this all kind of feels like jazz: we’re improvising… JOHN AND PATTI LOACH, KITCHEN CONCERTS John: Patti and I have hosted jazz and cabaret concerts here at our house for several years. Patti plays piano, I on trumpet. We are very appreciative of an extremely loyal following, and love our fellow musicians dearly. We miss them. Things we had planned we have had to let go of completely since COVID-19 hit? Pretty much all of it. We’re optimistic that things will eventually return, but it’s going to take a long while. We have about 40 paying customers every six weeks or so. Even if restrictions were “lifted” it’s doubtful that we, or our guests, would have the confidence to sit together in a confined space, right now. Challenging. Once circumstances allow we will resume with all of it, to whatever extent is practical. Meanwhile? Waiting. Practising. You can stay in touch with what we are doing and planning at Patti: Further to John’s response, we had to postpone – let’s not say “cancel”! – Mike Murley’s CD release for “Taking Flight with Special Guest Renee Rosnes” at a “Jazz in the Kitchen” here which was to have been May 10th. That evening would have featured Mike Murley, Reg Schwager, Renee Rosnes, and Steve Wallace. You can imagine, there was some long range planning involved in setting that up. It really hurt to postpone it. Right now, this all kind of feels like jazz: we’re improvising… Attention all members of the music community WE INVITE YOU TO ADD YOUR VOICE TO THIS Information: May and June 2020 | 19

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)