Michael Vincent, Ludwig van Toronto
September 16, 2021
In 2018, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir was hit with the abrupt resignation of their renowned conductor, mired in controversy. Two years later, they, along with the entire world, indefinitely shut down amid a pandemic that made singing a health hazard.
In what would have shaken the best of us, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir stayed the course with spirit. They found a fitting Artistic Director in Quebec’s Jean-Sébastien Vallée. Last week, they hired a new Collaborative Pianist.
Today, they announce a post-pandemic season that sees Canada’s premiere choir rise from hard times with a fresh start — a season tailored for a choir with a renewed sense of home and belonging.
“After the challenges we all faced in the past 18 months, we are thrilled to be joining our voices together again — not despite these challenges, but rather to express them in meaningful ways,” says Artistic Director Jean Sébastien Vallée.
Besides reconnecting with TMC audiences, there is also a surprise new commission for composer Barbara Assiginaak.
“I am so honoured to be invited to work with the Tkaronto Mendelssohn Choir and to seek a way to honour my ancestors and family who did not always have a voice, or else had no one who would listen to them,” says Assiginaak. “It is a huge responsibility I have carried as the child of a residential school survivor, through decades of working through the medium of so-called classical music and finding a way to respect that tradition while also honouring Anishinaabeg traditions and language. Chi miigwetch.”
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