Ancaster-based countertenor, composer and organist Zachary Windus awarded the TMC’s 2019 Debbie Fleming Prize for Choral Composition

The fifth annual TMC Choral Composition Competition asked emerging composers to submit a sacred or secular a cappella work for the Christmas season. Submissions were reviewed by the three-member jury of TMC interim conductor David Fallis, Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra conductor Simon Rivard, and TMC associate conductor Ezra Burke. The winner of the competition receives the $1000 Debbie Fleming Prize for Choral Composition and their work is performed by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in concert.

The 2019 winner is In Bethlehem upon that morn by Zachary Windus.  Zachary is a composer specializing in sacred choral and vocal music, as well as an organist, choral conductor, and a professionally-trained countertenor. Zachary received a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Ottawa where he studied with countertenor Daniel Taylor, and he recently spent four years studying at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He has performed with numerous renowned ensembles including the Ottawa Bach Choir, the Men and Boys Choir of Ottawa’s Christ Church Cathedral, the JSBEnsemble of the Bachakademie Stuttgart, the Weimar Bach Cantata Academy Ensemble and the Tallis Scholars. Zachary’s compositions have been performed across Canada as well as in the United Kingdom and Europe and have won national and international competitions. He has also received commissions from several soloists and ensembles including the Grand River Chorus, the Vox Humana Chamber Choir, and the Choir of Christ’s Church Cathedral in Victoria.

In Bethlehem upon that morn will be premiered at Festival of Carols on December 3 and 4, 2019 at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church.  Visit the concert webpage for more details.

The TMC Choral Composition competition was launched in June 2015 with the awarding of the annual Debbie Fleming Prize for Choral Composition.  Debbie Fleming is a TMC alumna who sang in the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir for 40 years and who retired in June 2015.  The TMC is grateful for Debbie’s commitment to the enrichment of the TMC’s education program and to the growth of Canadian choral music.


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