8 years ago

Volume 7 Issue 4 - December 2001/January 2002

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • December
  • Theatre
  • January
  • Choir
  • Symphony
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Singers
  • Wholenote
  • Stuffers
  • Dvds
  • Discs


CONCERT NOTES •:• 0 THE CHORAL SCENE by !Arry Beckwith The busiest season of ' the year for choirs in Toronto is upon us, with multiple holiday concens taking place vinually every night during the month of December. Please consult the comprehensive WholeNote listings (commencing page 24) for all the details. I OFfEN GET ASKED to recommend concerts around this time of year that·involve young people. So, to start, here's a sampling of interesting-sounding programs by children's and youth choirs in the city, followed by a few other suggestions for top-quality holiday choral fare. The Canadian Children's Opera Chorus, under Ann Cooper­ Gay's direction, are seemingly everywhere, this month. They give their own Winter Concert at the George Weston Recital Hall on December 1, then participate in a performance of Britten's St. Nicholas (Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir) on December 19; and are the guests of the Mississauga Symphony for Christmas crackers show on Dec 22. The relatively new (and newly named) Viva! Youth ~ingers of Toronto, directed by the talented Carol Woodward­ Ratzlaff, offer a Christmas concert at Trinity-St. Paul's United Church on Dec 1, and Glenda Crawford's superb Oakville Children's Choir sing "seasonal favourites" on December 1 and 2. Also out west, Thomas BeWs Mississauga Children's Choir give a performance of Britten's Ceremony of Carols on Dec 8. Mid-month, the Trebles of Grace Church on-the-Hill play a central part in Britten's A Boy Was Born Dec 12 at St. James' Cathedral with the Orpheus . Choir of Toronto, all conducted by Brainerd Blyden-Taylor. The phenomenal Bach Children's Chorus, conducted by Linda Beaupre, are ·in concert at the George Weston Hall Dec 15, singing Christmas and Hanukah music. And Mark Bell's flourishing Riverdale Youth Singers team up with some of the city's finest baroque musicians on December 17 to present "Personent Rodie", a concert of early choral music for Christmas. OF COURSE, the Toronto Children's Chorus, directed by Jean Ashworth Bartle hit stride tthis month, giving several concerts. They presen1 their annual Chorus Christmas at Roy Thomson Hall on December 15, participate in an OnStage radio concert at the Glenn Gould Studio on the 19th, and then join with several other of the city's musical institutions for a carol sing in the rotunda of City Hall Dec 21. And while the Toronto , Camerata are an adult choir, they are offering "Carols for Kids from 2 to 92" at Grace Church on-the-Hill Dec 22. OTHER HIGHLIGHTS of this bustling choral season: Amadeus Choir: They present the winners of their annual Carol/ Chanukah song-writing competition and raise the roof of the George Weston Hall on Dec 2. Annex Singers: This community choir gives an intriguing program, including the seldom-heard Cantata #1 of J.S. Bach, at St. 'fllomas' Church on December 8. Les Chapelle de Quebec: . Bernard Labadie brings his choir, orchestra and sparkling soloists to Roy Thomson Hall for a pristine performance of Handel's Messiah on December 8. Pax Christi Chorale: The Mennonite choir of Toronto, directed by Stephanie Martin, sings "Ancient Noels" with a Renaissance band on December 8 and 9. Bell' Arte Singers: Lee Willingham's choir is enjoying a season of premieres: In their Christmas program on December 15, they give the first performance of local composer Ben Holden's Requiem of Ice and Snow. Tafelmusik Choir: Our own "world-class" baroque choir performs Messiah seriously for three nights, then parties a bit for the sing-along version at Massey Hall on December'23, led by a spindly-legged G.F. Handel. JANUARY As always, choral activity l

\ events that are taking place later in 2002. From May 16-19, Toronto plays host to Podium, the biennial conference of the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors. Events include public concerts (National Youth Choir, Exultate Chamber Singers), workspops and competitions. For information and to register, visit the conference website at www. choirsontario. org/events/pooium On November 7, Nicholas boldschmidt announced the . details of his upcoming Toronto International Choral Festival, entitled The Joy of Singing Within the Noise of the World. The festival features nearly 40 concerts from May31-June 22, with choirs coming from Japan, Austria, Senegal, Cuba, Scotland, · Hungary, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Russia, and from all across Canada. Also featured is a staggering array of all-Canadian soloists. For the amazing details, go to the festival website at 2001 has been an eventful year. I turn to choral music for strength and comfort aild highly recommend it for feeding a hungry mind and heart. And I somehow feel - maybe naively - that as long as we keep making music together we can face the future with hope and joy. So You Want To Do Something You Did In High School, Huh? •!• •!• •!• Muscles sore? Wind gone Can't play ball anymore? Remember singing? Call John Kirk at 905-707-7099 · ' For more informa0tion on this newfound-hobby The Chancel· Choir o Kingsway Baptist Church presents A Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols Sunday, December 16, 2001 7:30 pm at Kingsway Baptist Church 1 Birchview Blvd. (Bloor St. at Montgomery Rd., Etobicok 416-239-2381 Melvin]. Hurst, Director of Music and Organist A service of qeau and tradition in the Cathedrals I . I , ' ' Tuesday, February 26 at 8pm Metropolitan United Church Tonu Kaljuste, conductor A magnificent program of 'Rachmaninov's Vespers and music by Estonia's Veljo Tormls. (students/seniors ) Wednesday, February 27 at 8pm Metropolitan United Church Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir Tonu Kaljuste, conductor Elmer lseler Singers Lydia Adams, conductor Recent works by Arvo Part, the stunning Mass for double choir by Swiss composer Frank Martin, a world premiere for double choir by James Rolfe and John Estacio's Eulogies. In cooperation with the Elmer lseler Singers (students/seniors ) The North Toronto Women's Chamber Choir AUDITIONS Committed. to high quality, thjs polished women's choir has spaces for new members.· We begin new repertoire ii) January for our Spring· concerts. Some music reading ability is required. For an audition or more information call Anne Yardley at 416-485-2259. Music and dialogue with cutting edge Australian and Canadian composers at 8pm Glen.n Gould Studio PETER SCULTHORPE & ERIC MORIN Tuesday, April 4 ELENA KATS-CHERNIN & OMAR DANIEL Thursday, May 7 (students/seniors ) Artists & programs subject to change ,,. .. Tll.E ~:~:~:~~~~;:~he l.f.···· ~r . Estonian Arts Centre ............ CBC'*' rad i~

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