The TMC Community consists of a wide circle of support: choristers, subscribers, audience members, volunteers, donors, staff and Board of Directors all play a role in championing choral music in Canada. Among our donors, a small number of corporate and individual donors make specific programmes and performances possible. In 2015-16, so far, two individuals and one corporation have cast their support behind specific programmes: The Middlefield Group has continued its sponsorship of the Choir’s performance of Messiah with the Toronto Symphony, while a generous anonymous donor and Lloyd and Dorothy Chiotti have sponsored our webcasts of the German Romantics concert and the Festival of Carols, respectively.
The Anonymous Sponsor (we’ll call her”Anonymous,” for short) is also a long-standing member of the TMC community. She sang in choirs from the age of 14, and loves choral music, especially Requiems. Because of this love of choral music, she has bought tickets for Toronto Mendelssohn Choir performances every year for “about the past 35 years.”) Being in a position to “give back” to the community, Anonymous has supported the TMC for many years with donations in addition to her annual subscription. It was a conversation with Executive Director Cynthia Hawkins that lead Anonymous to sponsor the German Romantics Livestream: “Cynthia was chatting about how they want to record concerts, and I said ‘I can certainly underwrite that,'” Anonymous recalls.
Donors who sponsor programmes tend to have a long history with the TMC. Lloyd Chiotti, who is sponsoring the Festival of Carols Livestream has been associated with the organization for over 17 years, much of that on the Board of Directors. His involvement with the TMC began when he worked for Enbridge (formerly the Consumers Gas Company), and two employees who were also choristers approached him about sponsoring the Choir. Lloyd convinced his company to sponsor Messiah that year, attending for the first time in his life. His Messiah experience made such an impression that Lloyd convinced his company to become the full sponsor of Messiah, a sponsorship it maintained for many years. Lloyd was soon asked to join the Choir’s Board of Directors
Lloyd recalls his first TMC performance:
I didn’t really know what to expect. It was Roy Thomson Hall. I remember the orchestra playing the opening passages with the choir seated in the loft. Then the entire choir (160 strong at that time), rose to their feet in perfect unison and that alone was an inspiring sight. Then they began to sing and the glory of the sound just blew me away. I was hooked! To this day, every time I hear the choir sing, I have that same inspiring experience. When we used to have our board meetings on rehearsal night, after the meeting, I would often sit in on the rehearsal for a while. In a hectic and sometimes crazy world, it was always soothing and comforting to sit quietly and listen to the choir making beautiful music.
Through 17 years of association with the TMC, Lloyd has supported the TMC’s mission in many ways. He thinks that “we all need the profound emotional experience this choir can deliver,” an experience he describes as “uplifting.” The webcasts, he says, are a “a wonderful way to share the choir with as many people as possible.”