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

Concert includes world premiere of a work by Toronto composer Stephanie Martin

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.”

The Toronto Youth Choir and the Canadian Staff Band will both perform works on their own, as well as joining with the Choir for other works and for the popular audience carol sing-along.

The TMC is thrilled to welcome Howard Dyck as guest conductor for this concert. He is conductor of the Nota Bene Baroque Players & Singers, Artistic Director Emeritus of the Grand Philharmonic Choir (Kitchener-Waterloo) and Conductor Emeritus of the Bach Elgar Choir (Hamilton). He is well known across Canada as the former programme host of Choral Concert and Saturday Afternoon at the Opera on CBC Radio.

Festival of Carols
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, 1585 Yonge Street (just north of St. Clair), Toronto

Howard Dyck, conductor
Ezra Burke, associate conductor
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir
Toronto Youth Choir, Matthew Otto, conductor
Canadian Staff Band of the Salvation Army, John Lam, bandmaster
Michael Bloss, organ

Tickets start at $35, $20 VoxTix for people 30 and under.
Tickets are sold through RCM Tickets at 416-408-0208 or online at: https://www.rcmusic.com/tickets/seats/93601 Online seat selection and print-at-home tickets are available.

More concert information available on the TMC website at: https://www.tmchoir.org/201819-season/festival-of-carols/

Concert repertoire
Hodie, Christus natus est (Willan)
Maria durch ein Dornwald ging (arr. Claas)
Once in Royal David’s City – the audience will be invited to sing along
Alleluia (Jake Runestad)
Ave Maria (Mendelssohn)
An Earthly Tree (Stephanie Martin) – world premiere
All Bells in Paradise (Rutter)
In the bleak midwinter (Darke)
Hodie, Christus natus est (Sweelinck)
Weinachten (Mendelssohn)
O come, all ye faithful – the audience will be invited to sing along
Jauchzet, frohlocket (Bach)
Silent Night
Es ist ein Reis entsprungen (Berg)
Laudate Dominum (Honegger)
The First Nowell – the audience will be invited to sing along

Also including a new work, the winner of the TMC’s Debbie Fleming Prize for Choral Composition (TBA) and band music for Christmas performed by the Canadian Staff Band.

Concert program is subject to change.

Concert Webcast

The TMC will also bring this concert to patrons across Canada and the world with a live webcast of the Wednesday, December 5th concert at https://livestream.com/TMChoir/FOC2018. This important outreach initiative is made possible by the support of an anonymous donor.

A webcast viewer a previous Festival of Carols told us: “I am watching in the far NW of British Columbia where we don’t have these type of performances. They permit me to connect to the bigger world and especially Choral music.”

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Categories: 2018-2019 Season and Media Releases.