David Fallis leads Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in a program of 20th century a cappella works for Sacred Music for a Sacred Space – April 17 and Good Friday, April 19

TMC’s popular annual Sacred Music concerts are intended to provide a moment of calm for patrons with a program of contemplative a cappella music.  For 2019, David Fallis has created a program of 20th century composers with the first half featuring composers from France and Switzerland, while the second half features composers from Eastern Europe and Russia.David opens the concert with Olivier Messaien’s O sacrum convivium – a composition to help patrons step out of time. In his program notes, David remarks that this motet is “a perfect example of Messiaen’s preoccupation with the suspension of the perception of time in music by the use of extremely slow tempos and subtle changes in length of notes, all designed to bring us closer to something outside of time, eternal.”  The first half also includes Poulenc’s Salve Regina and Martin’s Mass for Double Choir, all performed by the 70-member Mendelssohn Singers.The second half of music of the Eastern Orthodox Church will be sung by the full TMC.
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Categories: 2018-2019 Season and Media Releases.

Conductor David Fallis to lead Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, orchestra and stellar soloists in Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli and Handel’s Coronation Anthems

Conductor David Fallis has put together a stellar group of soloists for this concert of two beloved 18th century greats on February 27, 2019.  The Choir and orchestra will be joined by soprano Mireille Asselin, mezzo-soprano Christina Stelmacovich, tenor Asitha Tennekoon, and bass-baritone Stephen Hegedus. Of the Missa in tempore belli, David writes in the program notes: “The mass has many extraordinary touches. The overall feel is optimistic and confident, appropriate to the basic key of C major, but the beautiful cello and bass singer duet at the Qui tollis in the “Gloria”, the deeply moving Et incarnatus est in the “Credo” and the gorgeous harmonic colouring at so many moments mark this mass as the work of a great composer working at the height of his powers.”
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Categories: 2018-2019 Season and Media Releases.

Spotlight on North America: Toronto Mendelssohn Choir FREE Community Concert and Webcast

Spotlight on North America. Saturday, January 26 at 3 pm EST. Interim Conductor David Fallis has put together a program featuring works by Canadian and American choral composers for the TMC’s 2019 free community concert.  David notes “We want to shine our spotlight on three key areas: the exciting new generation of Indigenous artists across Canada who are leading contributors to so many aspects of our cultural life, choral music included; local Toronto composers from Healey Willan to Stephanie Martin; and the fact that some of our most alluring melodies are folksongs whose origins are obscure but which live on in lively arrangements by important composers.” This concert is a wonderful opportunity for people to hear the Grammy-nominated 120-voice Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and discover some stunning contemporary choral music, including two works by Andrew Balfour, the prominent Winnipeg composer of Cree descent.
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Categories: 2018-2019 Season and Media Releases.

TMC to hire its own professional core for 2019/20 season

Starting with the 2019/20 season, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir will hire its own professional core of singers. This professional core will replace the Elora Singers, the acclaimed professional chamber choir who for 20 years formed the professional core of the TMC. The 20 members of the professional core will participate in all TMC and TMC/TSO rehearsals and concerts.  Contractual details are being finalized, but will include a two-year agreement and increased stipend. Auditions for the new TMC professional core will be held in early 2019.
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Categories: 2018-2019 Season and Media Releases.

TMC announces winner of 2018 Choral Composition Prize

Edmonton choral singer and composer Russell Wilkinson is the winner of the TMC’s 2018 Debbie Fleming Prize for Choral Composition. The fourth annual TMC Choral Composition Competition received 19 entries from across Canada. The winner of this competition receives the $1000 Debbie Fleming Prize for Choral Composition and their work is performed by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in concert. The 2018 competition asked emerging composers to submit a sacred or secular work for the Christmas season. Submissions were reviewed by the jury of TMC Interim Conductor David Fallis, Festival of Carols guest conductor Howard Dyck, and TMC Associate Conductor Ezra Burke. The winner was There Is No Rose by Russell Wilkinson.  Russ is a retired lawyer living in Edmonton. Over the last 40 years he has sung with Greystone Singers (U. of S.), Edmonton Opera Chorus, Pro Coro Canada, I Coristi Chamber Choir and Da Camera Singers. Choral composition is a relatively recent endeavour which he hopes to continue in his retirement.
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Categories: 2018-2019 Season and Media Releases.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir rings in the Christmas season with its annual Festival of Carols on two nights – Tuesday, Dec 4 and Wednesday, Dec 5

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir welcomes the holiday season with a concert of Yuletide favourites combined with some new discoveries. The Choir will be led by guest conductor Howard Dyck and will be joined by the Toronto Youth Choir (Matthew Otto, conductor), the Canadian Staff Band of the Salvation Army (John Lam, bandmaster), and Michael Bloss on organ. Conductor Howard Dyck has put together a program that brings together music of celebration and music for contemplation. It’s also a program that acknowledges some choral greats, including Healey Willan, while also featuring works by contemporary composers. The Choir will open with Healey Willan’s Hodie, Christus natus est. And later in the program the Choir will perform the world premiere of Toronto composer Stephanie Martin’s An Earthly Tree which was commissioned by St. John Cantius Church in Chicago as homage to Healey Willan in this year commemorating 50 years since his death. According to composer Stephanie Martin, “An Earthly Tree entwines the well-known Gregorian Christmas chant Hodie Christus natus est in 21st-century harmonies.”
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Categories: 2018-2019 Season and Media Releases.

TMC announces 2018-19 Season and appointment of David Fallis as Interim Conductor

Acclaimed Toronto conductor David Fallis has been named as Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Interim Conductor and Artistic Advisor for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons. “David brings to the TMC a life-long passion for choral music, incredible conducting experience, and a wide-ranging knowledge of choral repertoire and creative programming," commented TMC Executive Director Cynthia Hawkins.  "We are thrilled to work under the leadership of such an accomplished musician over the next two seasons while the TMC carries out an international search for our new artistic director.”   The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s 2018/19 season starts with performances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the Fall, including Benjamin Britten’s compelling War Requiem in a concert that commemorates 100 years since the conclusion of the First World War. The TMC’s own concert season begins in early December with Festival of Carols, the Choir’s annual joyous welcome to the season.  Then in January, a Free Community Concert will focus on the music of great composers from Canada and the United States. In February the TMC, with orchestra, will perform two great 18th century choral-orchestral masterpieces by Handel and Haydn. The season concludes with Sacred Music for a Sacred Space in April with a program that brings together two rich choral traditions: the French subtlety of Messiaen, Poulenc and Martin, and the mystical traditions of Eastern Europe and Russia.
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Categories: 2018-2019 Season and Media Releases.

Noel Edison resigns as artistic director of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir

The Board of Directors of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (TMC) has received and accepted the resignation of artistic director Noel Edison,
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Categories: 2017-2018 Season and Media Releases.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Board reviewing results of investigation into complaints against Noel Edison

In February of this year, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (TMC) Board of Directors, along with the Board of Directors of the Elora Festival and The Elora Singers, retained an independent workplace investigator to investigate complaints made against artistic director Noel Edison. (Read the March 1st Letter to the TMC Community.) The TMC is now in receipt of the investigator’s report. The TMC is aware that the Board of the Elora Festival and The Elora Singers has met and announced their decision regarding Noel Edison. The TMC Board of Directors expects to issue its own statement as soon as it has convened and reached a decision. The TMC wishes to thank all those who participated in the investigation process.
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Categories: 2017-2018 Season and Media Releases.

TMC announces critically-acclaimed conductor David Fallis will conduct Choir in March Sacred Music concerts

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir is pleased to announce that renowned Canadian conductor and music director David Fallis will be guest conductor for the TMC’s annual Sacred Music for a Sacred Space concerts on March 28 and Good Friday, March 30 at St. Paul’s Basilica. David Fallis is a Canadian conductor and music director renowned for his work in many genres of music. As Music Director of Toronto’s Opera Atelier he has led critically acclaimed productions of major operatic works. As Artistic Director of the Toronto Consort, Canada’s leading ensemble specializing in the music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and early Baroque, David has toured extensively in Canada, the US and Europe, and has led the ensemble in their numerous recordings.  He also directs Soundstreams Choir 21, a vocal ensemble specializing in contemporary choral music.
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Categories: 2017-2018 Season and Media Releases.