8 years ago

Volume 5 Issue 4 - December 1999/January 2000

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • December
  • Theatre
  • Choir
  • January
  • Symphony
  • Arts
  • Choral
  • Singers
  • Orchestra

Bright Future: Toronto

Bright Future: Toronto Children's Chorus' Jean Ashworth Bartle in conversation SPOTLIGHT ON CHO,RAL MUSIC BY ALLAN PULKER As the artistic director of the Toronto Children's Chorus, Jean Ashworth Bartle is responsible for six choirs in all - the main chorus which is fed by three training choirs, and which itself includes two other choirs - the A Cappella Choir and the Chamber Choir. She is assisted in her work by a team of four full-time administrators and an assistant conductor. Over the past twentyone years she has become one of the world's pre-eminent children's choir directors. It was her strong background as a singer rather than a desire to conduct that propelled her into choral conducting. She had sung throughout her childhood in · church and school choirs, experienced many choral conductors first hand and developed her ear and singing voice, which she calls her two greatest assets as a conductor. As an adult she sang for twenty years in the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir under the late Elmer Iseler, who was, in her words, a powerful influence. When she began her teaching career she saw herself as a singer who led classroom singing and school choirs as part of her job. Somewhere along the way, however, it became obvious beyond the confmes of her classroom and school that she had a very special talent. In 1978, no less a figure in the musical community than Walter Hornberger, General Manager of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, invited her to create a choir to .perform with the orchestra that year. The growth that followed from this 45-voice beginning has been simply a response to the demand from parents for opportunities for their children to sing in her choir. But the growth in children's choral music has not been only in the Toronto Children's Chorus. "Twenty years ago," she says, "there were few models. Now every city and town in Ontario has a community children's chorus. The quality and quantity," she adds, "are staggering. This is happening all over North America." It is also happening in Europe, particularly in former "iron curtain" countries, like Estonia, where, she says, everyone sings, and the Czech Republic, which has five outstanding children's choirs. She is pleased to have been able to contribute to this growth by sharing her knowledge with others through seminars, lectures and workshops. This amazing growth has generated a need for an infrastructure of arts administration professionals, which has · SPOTLIGHT ON CHORAL MUSIC continues on page 14 ~llJeSpresentc. A Renaissance cbristmas Saturday, December 4, 19~_9 8:00p.m. St. Thomas Anglican Church 383 Huron Street (south of Bloor, east of Spadina) Tickets , Call 416-769-1345 VOICES 181A Jane Street Toronto, Ontario M6S 3Y8 Tel: (416) 769-1345 http:! Let music transport you across the centuries.~. Hearworks by:" *Gabrieili *Byrd . *Hassler ~Lassos *von Bingen * Sweelinck and carols from the Renaissance period. with our special guests the Bach Children's Chorus, featuring winning Christmas carols and Chanukah songs from the Amadeus Choir's Christmas Carol and Chanukah Song Writing Competition as well as traditional holiday fare. Sunday, December 5, 1999 at 3:00 p.m. George Weston Recital Hall, Ford Centre for the Performing Arts Adults: and ; Seniors and Students: and at the Ford Centre Box Office or call TicketMaster at (416) 870-8000. The Amadeus Choir is grateful for funding received from The Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.

" ... music doesn't get much better than this ... " Stephen Pedersen, THE HALIFAX CHRON"ICLE-HERALD < 1:· ' \ ' i8 The award-winning VICTORIA SCHOLARS under the direction of JERZY CICHOCKI ff--- Internationally renowned tenor MICHAEL SCHADE The Victoria Scholars is a member of Cboin Ontario, anJ grardullr acknowledges the continuing support of Tbe Canada Comuil(nr the. ·lrt.r. ~ The Canada Council for rhc Arts ~ Le Conseil des Arrs du Canada-

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