The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir is planning many online programs for the Fall, but we really wanted to gather together (safely) in person to say good-bye to David Fallis who is completing his two year term as Artistic Advisor and conductor, and to welcome Simon Rivard who joins us as Associate Conductor for the 2020/21 season.
- Found an appropriate outdoor space (the park in front of Yorkminster Park Baptist Church).
- Got singer’s masks (cloth masks with more room that make it easier for singers to open their mouths fully and stay covered) sewn for us by Toronto-based Diana Coatsworth Design based on a design created by Joan Fearnley, an Ottawa-based singer and choir director who shared her design widely to help other choirs.
- Marked out the grass with physically-distanced markers to show where choristers could stand or sit.
- Emailed music to be sung to choristers to print out (or upload to a tablet) at home.
- Sent a mandatory health questionnaire to choristers to be completed the day of the event.
- Zoomed the event so that choristers who couldn’t attend or were uncomfortable attending could participate.
On Monday, August 31, the weather held and a group of TMC choristers and conductors gathered for an hour. Three TMC conductors took turns conducting the singers and making music – our 2019/20 conductor David Fallis and associate conductor Ezra Burke, and our new 2020/21 associate conductor Simon Rivard. Our collaborative pianist Gergely Szokolay was on hand with a portable keyboard. We welcomed 53 singers to the park – 44 current TMC choristers and nine TMC alumni who have recently sung with us. Under the leadership of David, Ezra and Simon, the choristers sang the following works:
- Hashiveinu & By the waters of Babylon in round
- Song of the Mendelssohn (composed by David Fallis for the Choir during the pandemic)
- Felix Mendelssohn: Psalm 43: Richte mich, Gott
- W.A. Mozart: Ave verum corpus
- Andrew Balfour: Ambe
- Maurice Duruflé: Ubi Caritas
This was the first time that our singers could make music together in person since March – a moving experience for all.
Here is a short video clip of the choristers singing Ubi Caritas under the direction of conductor Simon Rivard:
For more information on The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, please visit: https://www.tmchoir.org