Browsing: Choral

It was a shocker in an age of shocking stories. Fifty-five members of the Skagit Valley Chorale in Mount Vernon, Washington, met at the local Presbyterian church on March 10 for a rehearsal. Three weeks later, 45 had tested positive for COVID-19. Two were dead. Despite the availability at the door of hand sanitizer and a general moratorium on handshaking and other forms of physical contact. Despite the testimony of several members that no one was heard to cough during the two-and-a-half-hour rehearsal. Nor is the Skagit Vallet story the only documented case of choral super-spreading. The Amsterdams Gemengd Koor (Amsterdam Mixed Choir)…

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Andrew Gray couldn’t have chosen a better city than Montreal when, in 2010, he decided to leave the U.K. to start a new chapter in his already flourishing career. In fact, the “city of a hundred bells” boasts a well-established choral tradition, with two symphony orchestras, a ballet company and hundreds of vocal ensembles of all levels. It was in this rich musical landscape that Gray won his first official position as conductor of the Montreal Children’s Choir, which he left in 2015 to take over artistic and musical direction of the Montreal Choral Institute (MCI) and its ensemble, the…

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The dangers of choral singing has been in the news since the beginning of the pandemic. Arthur Kaptainis’s article Choral singing: a long road back went viral. especially the French translation in Quebec and Europe. Today, Canada’s Professional Choir leaders respond to the dangers of singing in the following letter. June 23, 2020. To Whom It May Concern: We are writing in response to the articles published by the CBC on June 16, No singing or dancing allowed even as Ontario patios, places of worship reopen, and June 20, Choirs reimagine themselves as singing proves an effective way to spread…

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[Originally published on Dec. 6, 2014] How a performance of Mozart’s Requiem marked my musical passage By Wah Keung Chan Last Sunday (November 30, 2014), I attended conductor Iwan Edwards’s Farewell at Concerto Della Donna’s final concert at a standing room sold out St. Georges Church. It was good to see Iwan on the podium again, having sung for him with the St. Lawrence Choir and the MSO Chorus many times in the 1990s. Midway through the first half, I suddenly remembered the first time I sang with him, 25 years earlier in 1989. It was days following the December…

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Founder of the St. Lawrence Choir, the FACE Senior Treble Choir, Concerto Della Donna, the Canadian chamber choir and the Choeur des Enfants de Montreal, Iwan Edwards is one of the premier choral conductors in Canada as well as an international figure by virtue of his years as chorus master of the OSM. La Scena Musicale has asked Edwards to reflect on his long career, starting in his native Wales and involving, surprisingly, expertise on the violin. by Iwan Edwards It was my good fortune to grow up in Wales, where music played such an important part in everyday life.…

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La Chapelle de Québec isn’t performing its first Messiah by Handel – far from it. On this side of the Atlantic, tradition has it that this oratorio is sung during the Christmas season. Each performance seems to bring its share of new experiences. This year, the ensemble will be joined on stage by soloists of international renown, including British countertenor Tim Mead. “Collaborating with such talented artists opens up new interpretive possibilities, such as the choice of arias I can do,” said Bernard Labadie. For the founder and music director of La Chapelle de Québec, it’s essential to keep the…

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Led by conductor and founder Lisette Canton, the Ottawa Bach Choir presents A Bach Christmas in Toronto on Nov. 30 and in Ottawa on Dec. 1. Now in its 18th year, the ensemble will perform three Bach cantatas for Epiphany: Meinem Jesus lass ich nicht BWV 124, Ach Gott, vie manches Herzeleid BWV 3, and Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit BWV 111. “In 1725, these cantatas would have been sung during Epiphany Sundays,” said Canton. “Bachfest Leipzig requested these cantatas. We wanted our Canadian public to discover them.” The choir will perform them as part of the prestigious…

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Oct 21, 2019, Toronto — Canada’s oldest choir celebrated its 125th birthday with a gala concert at Koerner Hall yesterday afternoon. Interim artistic director David Fallis put together a diverse program that featured works from each of the three centuries in which the choir has performed. Among the many alumni and friends in attendance was Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. What you missed The concert opened with two acappella works of the choir’s namesake composer, which aptly showcased the choir’s agility in producing balanced, pure sounds and lush harmonies. It was one of the most memorable moments of the…

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Founded in 1894, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (TMC) is Canada’s oldest choir. It performed its first concert at the inaugural season of Massey Hall in January 1895. John McCrae, who famously penned the war memorial poem “In Flanders Fields,” was in attendance. Throughout its long history, the TMC has been served by eight artistic directors. Since 2018, David Fallis has been its interim conductor, and the choir undertakes an international search for an artistic director to take the helm in 2020-21. The choir consists of a professional core of about 20 and has its own concert series featuring a broad…

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Thanks to amplification – yes, the Ballet has no qualms about using microphones to enhance choristers and soloists – the musical experience was satisfying, no, rewarding in normally dungeonous Wilfrid-Pelletier.Twenty years ago, ballet seemed to be third place behind the OSM and the Opéra de Montréal. No longer. This season’s opening production of Carmina Burana is fast selling out for its 9 performance run at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier’s 2552 seat configuration (the Balcon is closed off). That’s 22,968 seats versus 11,984 in Opéra de Montréal’s four performance productions (recently Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin) in SWP’s 2996-seat capacity, and 6,300 in the OSM’s…

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