Toronto Children’s Chorus’ Chorale ensemble is excited to host this year’s Senior Treble Festival on Saturday, March 4th at Clearview Christian Reformed Church in Oakville! Children’s choirs from across Ontario will come together to inspire and celebrate through song during this annual festival. Oakville Children’s Choir, Hamilton Children’s Choir, Mississauga Children’s Choir, Bach Children’s Chorus and Guelph Youth Singers will join the Toronto Children’s Chorus for this unforgettable event.
The six choirs will participate in rehearsals during the day, and will each have the opportunity to work with guest clinician, Venezuelan Conductor Maria Guinand.
Read on to find out more about our guest clinician and participating choirs.
Maria Guinand joins us from Caracas, Venezuela where she is the Artistic Director of Schola Cantorum of Venezuela and conducts choral projects throughout Latin America, Europe, the United States, and Asia. Renowned as an authentic interpreter and trainer of Latin American choral music of the 20th and 21st centuries, she is a recipient of the Helmuth Rilling Preis (2009), the Robert Edler Preis für Chormusik (2000), and the Kulturpreis of the InterNationes Foundation (1998), three of the most distinguished prizes in choral music conducting.
Toronto Children’s Chorus: The 300 member Toronto Children’s Chorus is now celebrating its 39th Anniversary season and its tenth year under the baton of internationally renowned conductor, Elise Bradley. The Toronto Children’s Chorus comprises a ‘family’ of choirs for ages six to 17. Chorale is the more experienced half of Main Choir. As members develop stronger skills in vocal technique, sight singing and theory, they may also be selected to join the prestigious Chamber Choir, which tours both nationally and internationally – and possibly the Choral Scholars. Over the course of its history, the Chorus has won many competitions, including the International Eisteddfod in Wales and the CBC, Kathaumixw, and Let the Peoples Sing Competitions in Canada. The choir has also performed at such revered venues as the Musikverein, the Berlin Dom, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and Royal Albert Hall. In 2016, Chamber Choir performed with the Boston City Singers, at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and travelled to Nassau to perform with the Bahamas National Children’s Choir in the Songbridge Festival. In July 2017, Chamber Choir will tour Spain and participate in the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona. This season, entitled ‘In Peace and Celebration’, features special appearances by many acclaimed guest artists – including the Nagata Shachu taiko drummers, Stratford Festival actor Geraint Wyn Davies, harpist Judy Loman, and members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Oakville Children’s Choir: The Senior Choir is comprised of singers in Grades 7 and up who have achieved a high level of vocal and musicianship skills. In Oakville, they have appeared as guests of the Oakville Symphony Orchestra, the Oakville Chamber Orchestra, St. John’s United Church, Halton Youth Symphony and the Mayor’s Awards for Business and the Arts. Beyond the Oakville community, they have performed at Convocation Hall, the Toronto Centre for the Arts, Hamilton Place, the Mississauga Living Arts Centre, and Roy Thomson Hall. The Senior Choir regularly engages in community partnerships having performed for “Jack’s Lemonade” to help raise money for SickKid’s Hospital, with the ArtHouse organization, and with ErinoakKids Centre for treatment and Development. The OCC Senior Choir has recorded several CDs and premiered many new choral commissions by Canadian composers, such as John Govedas, Sarah Quartel, Jamie Hillman, Janet Stachow, and Jeff Enns. The Senior Choir is known for their high standard of artistic interpretation and performance excellence. The choir received a gold medal and third place finish (children’s choir category) and silver medal (folksong category) at the International Choir Olympics in Bremen, Germany (2004), was a finalist and second place winner in the CBC National Radio Amateur Choral Competition. The Senior Choir was awarded Gold standing at the Ontario Vocal Festival (2008) and at the MusicFest National Competition (2009). The choir received two silver medals for the Children and Youth categories in Greece at The 28th International Choral Festival of Preveza (2010) and was honoured to receive Gold Standings in the Youth Equal Voices category at The 7th World Choir Games in Cincinnati, Ohio. In July 2014, the choir won a Gold Medal at the 8th World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia as part of a European tour which also included artistic collaborations and performances in Estonia and Finland. Most recently the Senior Choir performed at the Pacific International Choral Festival in Eugene, Oregon where they were honoured to work with choirs from across North America. Led by a choral executive, Senior choristers are encouraged to contribute artistically in rehearsal and performances through collaboration, improvisation, and idea sharing. The girls of the Senior Choir work together to build a sisterhood and empower themselves and others through singing.
Hamilton Children’s Choir: If you’ve ever experienced a performance by the award-winning Hamilton Children’s Choir, you already know why they have a reputation for being one of the leading children’s choral programs. Going far beyond technical excellence, the choir consistently dazzles audiences with its focused sound, brilliant repertoire, and captivating stage presence. Under the guidance of world-renowned conductor, Zimfira Poloz, and a gifted artistic team, the Choir offers approximately 200 young people age 4 to 18 years the unique opportunity to learn and grow through the study of choral music. Choristers experience the joys of singing, teamwork, musical understanding and artistic expression. They share their musical gift at concerts and performances locally, nationally and internationally. Today the performing HCC choir is “Esprimas” (to express) under the direction of Melanie Tellez and accompanied by Brent Fifield. This intermediate group of singers can confidently sing in two and three parts and rehearses two times per week. Based on their skills sets, this choir focuses more on how to “express” themselves through more mature emotions and more complex musical themes. For over 40 years, the Hamilton Children’s Choir has gathered children and youth together in song, enriching their lives and the lives of those touched by their magnificent music. Listen. Can you feel it?
The Mississauga Children’s Choir was established in 1980 by community leaders who felt there was a strong need for a community choir so the youth of Mississauga could share in the joys of choral singing. The MCC represents the communities in which it serves and strives to foster inclusivity and diversity. Early successes included winning the “Best Stage Performance” trophy at the 1984 Mississauga Rainbow Festival. In striving for excellence the Choir has always participated in regional festivals and competitions such as the Peel Music Festival, Kiwanis and Ontario Vocal Festivals and has also competed at the Provincial and National levels. In 2005, the MCC was awarded the Mississauga Arts Council’s Established Performing Arts Award in recognition of its achievement, honour and excellence. In 2010 the Choir was awarded first place by the ACCC at the national competition for amateur choirs, Children’s Category. The Mississauga Children’s Choir held its first Mississauga Choral Festival in 2004 with five choirs from Ontario and Alberta participating under the direction of guest conductor Simon Carrington. Since then, attendance at the festival has grown and MCC hosts the Mississauga Choral Festival every other year. Many talented guest conductors have attended the festival such as James Litton, Stephen Hatfield, Bob Chilcott, Jennifer Moir, Sanna Valvanne and Henry Leck.
Bach Children’s Chorus (BCC) is widely known and highly respected as an organization for its innovative programming and the clear, lovely sound of its singers. Through its education practices, BCC is setting a standard of musical literacy and education for community choirs. The BCC has developed a high profile through its several recordings, and through multiple first-place awards at both provincial and national levels of the Canadian Federation of Music Festival, and in the National Competition for Amateur Choirs sponsored by Choral Canada and CBC Music. BCC/BCYC is an organization of five choirs with singers aged five through university age — three treble choirs for ages 6–16 and a youth choir for boys with changed voices and girls aged 16 and up. This season, BCC inaugurated its latest new choir: a Preparatory Choir for children aged 5 and up who find their singing voices and are introduced to early ear training through play-oriented activities. BCC performs as a Company-in-Residence at the Toronto Centre for the Arts and appears regularly as a guest choir for many Toronto events. Highlights of this season include a tour to perform as guest artists at the State University of New York at Potsdam, and hosting Youth Sing! on April 8, bringing together several youth choirs of the GTA, and clinician Lydia Adams, to celebrate the themes of peace and pluralism through performance. Auditions for placement in the Bach Children’s Chorus take place in May for entrance in September. For more information, visit the website at www.bachchildrenschorus.ca
Guelph Youth Singers (GYS), formed in 1991, has become a high profile representative of the City of Guelph in the field of choral music and is now in its 26th season of providing the children of Guelph and surrounding area with a professional level of musicianship through choral music. Comprised of four main auditioned choirs and several specialized choral groups, GYS brings together children and youth ages 6 – 19+ for a musical adventure like no other. Choir III, (performing tonight,) is further subdivided into Cantabile Choir and Chamber Choir. Chamber Choir members are senior choristers of Choir III who have been chosen for their advanced singing and reading ability. They rehearse both with Cantabile Choir and separately each week, allowing them to prepare extra, more challenging music. Weekly instruction includes vocal technique, theory and sight singing, and is augmented with workshops by guest clinicians in drama, movement and voice throughout the year. GYS III performs up to five major concerts per season as well as workshop, festival, corporate, community and guest performances and enjoys an annual tour, excursion or choir exchange. For more information, contact Guelph Youth Singers at 519-821-8574, or visit our website at guelphyouthsingers.com.