Toronto Mendelssohn Choir takes on Haydn’s magnificent Creation, April 27th

“Haydn’s music is the sorbet of life. It’s fresh – not over-played, not over-worked” says Artistic Director Noel Edison of his decision to program Franz Joseph Haydn’s The Creation this season. The TMC performs this work, with orchestra and guest soloists, at Koerner Hall on April 27th.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Releases.

Composer’s Commentary on I will lift up mine eyes

Leonard Enns writes of his TMC commission, I will lift up mine eyes: Psalm 121 is typically read, and often set musically, as a text of assurance and comfort. My setting is similar in that regard. What I find compelling, though, is the second phrase of the psalm: "from whence commeth my help (?)." Many musical settings treat the phrase "from whence cometh my help" simply as a modifier (no question mark); i.e. "... the hills from whence cometh my help" (take, for example, Mendelssohn's "Lift thine eyes"). Most current translations, however, treat it as a question.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Program Notes.

Sacred Music for a Sacred Space 2016 Program Notes

Artistic Director Noel Edison has always enjoyed the combination of Renaissance with contemporary music in a concert program. For him, it’s the similarity between the openness and simplicity of the structure of these compositions that works so well together.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Program Notes.

Annual Sacred Music for a Sacred Space concert to be presented on two evenings: March 23 and 25

For this annual Toronto Mendelssohn Choir concert, artistic director Noel Edison has put together a program that brings together sublime choral music from the Renaissance with contemporary works that are evocative and approachable. The experience of the music is complemented by the beautiful surroundings and acoustics of St. Paul’s Basilica – a feast for the eye and the ear. New for this year, the Choir will perform the Sacred Music program on two nights: Wednesday, March 23 and Good Friday, March 25 at 7:30 pm.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Releases.

TMC presents free community concert, January 30, 2016

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir concludes the sixth annual Choral Conductors’ Symposium with a free concert on Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 3 pm at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church (doors open at 2:15 pm, seating is first-come, first-seated). This year, the TMC will be accepting donations from patrons to support the Symposium and concert, part of the TMC’s outreach programming. Suggested donation is $10. The concert will also be webcast on Livestream at livestream.com/TMChoir/Symposium2016.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Releases.

TMC announces conductors for 2016 Choral Conductors Symposium

Five conductors from across North America have been selected to participate in the TMC’s sixth annual Choral Conductors’ Symposium (Jan 26-30, 2016), led by conductor and artistic director Noel Edison. Conductors will work with Noel and with the Elora Festival Singers and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir on a variety of choral music for chamber and large-scale ensembles, including works by composers from Palestrina, Mendelssohn and Elgar to Britten, Pärt and Corlis.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Releases.

TMC announces winner of first annual Debbie Fleming Prize for Choral Composition

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir launched a new Choral Composition Competition for emerging Canadian composers in August 2015. This competition called on unpublished Canadian composers to submit a work, not more than five minutes in length, for SATB or double choir, either a cappella or accompanied by piano or organ. The Choir received 28 submissions from composers across the country. In December a jury of four leading choral musicians met to discuss the compositions and awarded the Debbie Fleming Prize for Choral Composition to Stuart Beatch of Regina, Saskatchewan for his work Psalm 100. Beatch receives the cash prize of $1000 and his work will be premiered at the TMC’s Choral Conductors’ Symposium free concert at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church on Saturday, January 30, 2016 (www.tmchoir.org/FreeConcert).
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Releases.

New Ears review Festival of Carols 2015

Christmas may not yet be white, but at least we’re starting the season right A New Ears review by Helen Androlia. It’s an unfortunate truth that when you work in advertising (as I do) that Christmas actually starts in July, as that’s really when you begin planning for the season. So, as December finally rolls around, you can imagine it can be a challenge to muster up some festive cheer. My companion, too, had told me earlier about the garland she had purchased in an attempt to make her home a little more merry and bright, only to have it fall two feet short – an apt metaphor for both of our moods, if you would, and compounded by the still-conspicuously green landscaping of our meeting spot. Fortunately, we were about to step into Yorkminster Park Baptist Church for an evening with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir for their Festival of Carols, which we felt certain would keeping our encroaching Scroogery at bay, and we couldn’t have been more correct. From the very beginning, heralded by the iconic pa-rum-pa-pum-pum of “The Little Drummer Boy,” the performance explored every mood of the season. There were bright, cheerful Christmas classics, punctuated with bold brass interludes that were arranged with enough distinction to perk up your ears, but not so much as to render them unfamiliar. There were thoughtful, meditative hymns that explored the more spiritual side of the season filled with lush, layered vocals. Of course, there were also some moments of audience participation – largely expected when you attend an evening filled with carols – and while they took away a little from the choral performances, they certainly were fun. Then again, how could the rest of us compete with the power of the choir? We all may have the numbers, but certainly not the talent. The curation of the evening’s songs was nearly flawless, with one exception; the penultimate performance, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, felt a little out of place with its a capella styling. The choir is at its strongest when they are either highlighting groups or united as a whole, and the layered approach caused their beautiful voices to become overshadowed by the church’s organ, which was a strange choice for accompaniment, given its volume, power, and the presence of a brass band. In an evening filled with fine performances, two in particular stood out. The second
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season, Media Reviews, and New Ears Project.

Messiah on Messiah turns out even

Michael Vincent, Musical Toronto and The Toronto Star. Toronto boasts over 30 Messiah’s performed across the city, and perhaps with the exception of New York City, makes Toronto Messiah Central. While there are a wide variety of offerings, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Tafelmusik remain the two standbys. Without being too competitive, it’s always fun to compare them.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Reviews.

Big, fat Messiah

John Gilks, operaramblings. Sir Andrew Davis is in town conducting his own orchestration of Handel’s Messiah. In the modern world this is probably as close as it gets to Sir Malcolm Sargent and the Huddersfield Choral Society. He conducts the TSO with brass and woodwinds that Handel never saw and lots of percussion including snare drum, sleigh bells, tambourines and marimba. He also has the not inconsiderable heft of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Reviews.