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.

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.

Sacred Music for a Sacred Space: a special concert for a special day!

David Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews. The lights dimmed at St. Paul’s Basilica bringing a hush over the capacity audience and suddenly heavenly a cappella sounds began wafting down from the balcony in the rear of the church. Since 2007, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir has made it a tradition to present a concert of music appropriate for Holy Week in one of the most beautiful churches in Toronto on one of the Christian church’s holiest days, Good Friday. As the choir began to sing, I squelched the temptation to look back; looking upward at the colourful ceiling paintings of the life of Paul was as far as I dared turn my head. I was transfixed in the moment. The words of Behold the Tabernacle of God reinforced the feeling that I was in a ‘sacred’ space.
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Categories: 2017-2018 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir marks the beginning of the holiday season with glorious sounds!

Dave Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews. For the eighteenth consecutive year, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir has begun its hectic December schedule of performances with its Festival of Carols. The cathedral-like Yorkminster Park Baptist Church was festooned with twenty-five foot high Christmas trees at either side of the chancel, lit with thousands of sparkling lights. The sounds of the TMC, organist David Briggs, the Canadian Staff Band of the Salvation Army, and the Canadian Children’s Opera Company was glorious. This was indeed the beginning of a month of great music, celebration and festivities. From the opening bars of Bob Chilcott’s arrangement of the Sussex Carol, the energy of the choir’s rhythmically charged singing was joyfully uplifting.
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Categories: 2017-2018 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Huddersfield Choral Society combine to create choral ecstasy!

Dave Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews. Yesterday’s concert was a momentous celebration of the great music that grew out of the nineteenth century British choral tradition. It included the music of the famed British composers Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Parry, Holst, Stainer, Sullivan and Tavener as well as Canadians Healey Willan and Elizabeth Ekholm, each heavily influenced by the musical traditions of England. The concert began with organist Michael Bloss performing the long introduction to Handel’s Coronation Anthem Zadok the Priest. The first sound of the two hundred voice combined choir shook me so intensely that the majesty of the music overwhelmed me at a visceral level. It was a sound that produced goosebumps throughout the entirety of my body.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

Good Friday with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir

The concert opened with Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere mei, Deus -- the piece that will forever be associated with the brilliance (and cheekiness) of Mozart, who, at the age of fourteen, wrote it down from memory after just one hearing. With the Miserere, Edison established an aesthetic tone that would govern most of the program: a precise and spacious treatment, notable for perfect intonation and for its restrained approach to tempo and dynamics. I don’t know who the unnamed stratospheric soprano was whose voice soared above all others, but her contribution was impressive.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir soars in a heavenly a cappella performance of sacred music!

David Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews. The pared down version of the choir, The Mendelssohn Singers, sang the first half of the program from the balcony above and behind the nave. The positioning gave a wonderfully mystic effect to the music, allowing the audience to focus on the sounds that reverberated off the arched columns and the vaulted ceiling of the ornately decorated church. The music of Allegri, Pärt and Sanders all made use of plainsong and choral responses to give life to the texts. The recurring solo treble descants in Allegri's Miserere Mei, Deus were particularly beautiful, the high “C” ringing throughout the church. This was a cappella singing at its finest.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

Sacred Music for a Sacred Space, April 2017

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir returns to the beautiful setting of St. Paul’s Basilica for its annual Good Friday concert of sacred choral music. This year, the Choir will present an all a cappella program, filling the Basilica with only the sound of 4-part and 8-part vocal harmony. There will be two performances: Wednesday April 12 and Good Friday, April 14, at 7:30 pm.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Releases.

TMC presents matinee concert of great choral anthems and audience hymn sing – Mar 4

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir is joined by the Minster Singers (of Yorkminster Park Baptist Church) and organist William Maddox for this concert and webcast of choral anthems and an audience hymn sing on Saturday, March 4.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Releases.

Sacred Music for a Sacred Space 2017 Program Notes

Noel loves the rich choral repertoire of the entire Easter season, and enjoys combining ancient music with contemporary. “The new has often been influenced by the old,” he says. “It’s like living in a modern house but with wonderful antique furnishings throughout. Both are worthy and both provide the sense of calm and personal reflection I love.”
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Program Notes.