"To make the journey to Buffalo and Cleveland a success musically it was necessary for the chorus to be relieved from the countless worries usually inseparable from the luxury of travel. It was necessary for some one to assume two hundred burdens." Excerpted from a lavish thank-you letter of illuminated calligraphy presented by the Choir in February 1910 to their Choir President G. H. Parkes.
The Mendelssohn Choir of Toronto (now the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir) performed its first concert on January 15, 1895 in Massey Music Hall under the direction of its founder Augustus Vogt.
Denise Lai, La Scena Musicale. Canada’s oldest choir celebrated its 125th birthday with a gala concert at Koerner Hall yesterday afternoon. Interim artistic director David Fallis put together a diverse program that featured works from each of the three centuries in which the choir has performed. Among the many alumni and friends in attendance was Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
Dave Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews. Interim Artistic Director David Fallis curated a magnificent program entitled Singing through the Centuries, a homage to the longevity of the Choir’s musical excellence. At his creative best, Fallis found works that not only showcased the music of three centuries, but also found music that uplifted the human spirit, including a newly commissioned piece by Cree-descended composer Andrew Balfour.
Leslie Barcza, barczablog. Today the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir celebrated their 125th anniversary with a gala concert at Koerner Hall, joined for the occasion by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (who haven’t yet had their centennial, and who only came into existence in 1922). Led by the TMC’s Interim Conductor & Artistic Advisor David Fallis (whose title could also be “saviour” although he’d probably blush at the suggestion), the program he assembled, titled “Singing through Centuries”, is a fascinating nod to the occasion being celebrated.
Denise Lai, La Scena Musicale. Founded in 1894, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (TMC) is Canada’s oldest choir. It performed its first concert at the inaugural season of Massey Hall in January 1895. John McCrae, who famously penned the war memorial poem “In Flanders Fields,” was in attendance. Throughout its long history, the TMC has been served by eight artistic directors. Since 2018, David Fallis has been its interim conductor, and the choir undertakes an international search for an artistic director to take the helm in 2020-21.
To celebrate the TMC's 125th anniversary, and in line with our long tradition of commissioning Canadian composers, the TMC commissioned a new work by Andrew Balfour to be performed on October 20, 2019 at our 125th anniversary concert at Koerner Hall, with guest artists the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
The TMC has been collecting music scores for most of its 125 year history and has one of the most extensive choral music collections in the country -- more than 400 different works, totalling over 50,000 scores.
In our search through our history we've discovered a couple of acclaimed Toronto artists who were also singers in the TMC - Owen Staples and Herbert S. Palmer - and someone just shared with us a painting by our founder Augustus Vogt.