North York Open Rehearsal April 24 & Program Expansion

North York Open Rehearsal April 24 & Program Expansion

Join Associate Conductors Linda Song and Louise Lui in our expanded North York Training Choir program for 2018/2019!

We are expanding our North York Training Choir program* for the 2018/2019 season so that we can better serve young singers in the North York area.
 
  • Children aged 6-10 can audition for a placement in either Preparatory Choir, Training Choir I or Training Choir II with rehearsals taking place at Claude Watson School for the Arts. Read more about our ensembles and rehearsal schedule here.
  • Children aged 3 to 6 can join KinderNotes, our introductory music program. No audition is required for this 45-minute music class. One class for ages 3-4 and one class for ages 5-6 will be held on Thursday evenings at Claude Watson School for the Arts. Online registration opens June 11, 2018. Read more about Kindernotes here.
 *All programs at our North York location must meet minimum registration requirements in order for the program to run. Successfully auditioned choristers will have the alternative option to enroll at the equivalent program at our St. Clair location.
 

Join us for an Open Rehearsal on April 24 in North York

We invite you and your child (ages 6-10) to join us for an open rehearsal on Tuesday, April 24Please RSVP by emailing Choir Coordinator, Eunillyne Lazado, with your child’s name and age as well as attending parent’s name. Please note, this is not a drop-in session; an RSVP is required.
 
What: Training Choir Open Rehearsal (Ages 6-10)
When:
Tuesday, April 24 from 4:45pm to 6:30 pm*
*This is not a drop-in rehearsal, please prepare to arrive with your child for 4:45pm.
Where: Claude Watson School for the Arts (130 Doris Avenue)
How to RSVP: Email Eunillyne Lazado with your child’s name and age plus attending parent’s name by April 23.
 

Ready to Audition for the 2018/2019 Season

Register your child today (ages 6 to 10) to audition for our North York Training Choir program. (Attending the Open Rehearsal is not required to register for an audition.) Children will be placed according to age and skill level.
 
When are auditions?
May 12 and May 26 at Yonge/St. Clair
 
Where are auditions?
May 12 Auditions: 
26 Delisle Avenue (Calvin Presbyterian Church)
May 26 Auditions:
1570 Yonge Street (Christ Church Deer Park)
 
 
Free concerts this February – Sistema Toronto sings with the TCC

Free concerts this February – Sistema Toronto sings with the TCC

This season, the Toronto Children’s Chorus has created a jam-packed year of concerts and events in celebration of our 40th anniversary. As part of our celebrations, the Chorus is conducting 40 good deeds to give back to Toronto. So far, the TCC has donated used clothing, pet supplies, personal hygiene products and toys to those in need. Choristers and staff have also given their time to a number of charitable causes. Naturally, the Chorus also wants to show its appreciation by performing for the local Toronto community. This February, we invite you to three FREE concerts!

  • The TCC’s senior choir (including the award-winning touring choir) and Toronto Youth Choir will welcome February with stunning repertoire on Sunday the 4th. Catch this free concert at Calvin Presbyterian Church at 4pm.
  • On February 20th, Toronto Children’s Chorus Main Choir (that’s about 100 senior choristers!) will perform at 7pm at Calvin Presbyterian Church.
  • Finally, the Chorus is incredibly excited to present a joint performance with Sistema Toronto on February 21st! TCC’s Training Choir III and ensembles from Sistema Toronto will sing their favourite winter and movie-themed songs at Calvin Presbyterian Church starting at 7pm. Sistema Toronto uses ensemble-based music education to transform the lives of at-risk children. Training Choir III choristers can’t wait to sing with friends from Sistema and hope that you will join our audience on the 21st.

Catch one or all of our free performances this February!

Sunday, February 4th, 4PM, Calvin Presbyterian Church: TCC’s Chorale ensemble with Toronto Youth Choir

Tuesday, February 20th, 7PM, Calvin Presbyterian Church: TCC’s Main Choir

Wednesday, February 21st, 7PM, Calvin Presbyterian Church: TCC’s Training Choir III with Sistema Toronto

Elise Bradley Receives Royal Honour from New Zealand

Elise Bradley Receives Royal Honour from New Zealand

The Toronto Children’s Chorus is honoured and thrilled to congratulate Artistic Director Elise Bradley who has been recently named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM), ‘for services to Music’ during her distinguished 40-year career. Ms. Bradley’s award, recently approved by Queen Elizabeth II, has just been published in New Zealand in the 2018 New Year Royal Honours List. A passionate and powerful force in the growth of choral music in New Zealand and, for the past ten years, in Canada, she is held in very high regard internationally as a conductor, educator, clinician, and adjudicator.

For three decades in her homeland, Ms. Bradley was a respected and visionary leader, helping found and sustain both the New Zealand Choral Federation and the country’s important cultural choral festival, Sing Aotearoa. As the Director of two award-winning choirs, Key Cygnetures and the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir, she collaborated closely with local composers, commissioned and premiered new works and, in partnership with indigenous composers and dancers, promoted the notation and performance of traditional Maori works to wide acclaim. She was especially moved and humbled to be named a Kaumātua by her Maori colleagues, who ‘gifted’ their music to her to perform. Ms. Bradley was also recognized in the field of education, receiving both Regional and National Awards for Excellence in Secondary Teaching.

Badge of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Elise Bradley continues to devote her life to music education for children and, through her local, national and international presence, to promote excellence in the art of choral music. The Toronto Children’s Chorus extends warmest congratulations to Elise Bradley, MNZM!

 
Opera Star Lesia Mackowycz Performs with the Toronto Children’s Chorus

Opera Star Lesia Mackowycz Performs with the Toronto Children’s Chorus

On December 16, Toronto Children’s Chorus (TCC) returns to Roy Thomson Hall for its annual holiday concert. This special 40th anniversary performance entitled, The Fire Within, will feature guests including TCC alumnae and international opera stars Krisztina Szabó and Lesia Mackowycz, dancers from Swan Studio in London, Ontario, friends from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Youth Choir and TCC Alumni Choir. The Chorus and its guests will sing festive favourites plus Vivaldi’s Gloria at one of Toronto’s favourite annual holiday concerts!

The TCC’s Head Choristers had the opportunity to ask guest artist Lesia Mackowycz some questions in anticipation of the upcoming holiday performance.

TCC alumna, opera star Lesia Mackowycz (soprano)

Why did you decide to pursue singing?

Well, like many things in life when I found out I was good at it, I pursued it with passion and dedication, even at the age of eight. And when Mrs. Bartle brought me into the TCC and encouraged and developed my young talent (as only she can) I found a real joy and sense of personal accomplishment that I have to this day.

What is your favourite show or song that you have ever performed? What made it so memorable?

My favourite show is the Operetta Die Fledermaus (J. Strauss). I’ve played the role of Adele throughout the world many times during my career. She’s a great character and a lot of fun to play. There was one time when I was performing the role at an outdoor International Festival in Eutin, Germany, when in the middle of my second aria, a shooting star blazed across the night sky…quite a moment!

What is your favourite TCC memory?

My very first concert was Christmas, 1983. I was so proud. We sang Bach‘s Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten. I still remember every word. I was so proud that I forgot my special job of leading the exit after the “WINK“ from Mrs. Bartle (I was the last one in the first row). I was too busy smiling from ear to ear. She just kept winking until she basically had to wave me down!

 

What did you learn during your time at the TCC that helped contribute to the person and musician you are now?

The TCC formed the foundation for my career in music, both performing and teaching. My years in the choir taught me discipline, professional behavior, language and people skills, as well as developing my technical voice ability. And it also gave me the sense of what it means to be part of a successful team working together for a common goal of excellence. Plus, those years showed me I could be a musician as a lifelong career and passion. And for that, I am forever grateful to everyone involved in the TCC.

You were Krisztina Szabó’s (fellow The Fire Within guest artist) TCC apprentice trainee for a year, how did this partnership influence you as a singer?

Krisztina taught me to read music. I‘m not even sure she knows that she taught me how to read music! I owe her big-time for that. She was amazing. I like to think I took what she did for me to other singers through my own teaching career.

TCC alumna, opera star Lesia Mackowycz (soprano)

What have you gained from performing and working in so many different places around the world?

Well, for one thing: a global perspective on life and our profession. I‘ve learned how to work in many languages. I‘ve gotten to see the world and meet so many interesting people along the way. I‘ve experienced more than I could have possibly imagined.

How does teaching voice as a professor at the University of Osnabrück differ from performing?

Being a professor is very different than performing. It takes even more energy! I need to pay attention to every detail – not just of my own voice but also with the voices of others. Plus, you need to find a way to click with each individual student because each is unique in terms of his or her ability, goals and personality. My job is to help everyone achieve his or her absolute best – in that way, Mrs. Bartle is still with me.

What advice would you give young singers?

If you are going to do it, then do it with everything you’ve got. This is not an easy road to travel, it’s demanding and you have to be committed because you are going to take some bumps and bruises along the way. But the rewards are definitely worth it! They have been for me.

Also, be true to yourself, learn to speak more than one language, listen to all different styles of music, go see other people perform, don ‘t be afraid to fail. And, if you can, check your ego at the door… and have fun, you’re getting to do something special!

Toronto Children’s Chorus 2017 Head Choristers: Aramea, Summer & Julie

Questions and responses have been edited for clarity.

This Q&A is not to be reproduced without permission from Toronto Children’s Chorus.

Opera Star Krisztina Szabó Performs with the Toronto Children’s Chorus

Opera Star Krisztina Szabó Performs with the Toronto Children’s Chorus

On December 16, Toronto Children’s Chorus (TCC) returns to Roy Thomson Hall for its annual holiday concert. This special 40th anniversary performance entitled, The Fire Within, will feature guests including TCC alumnae and international opera stars Krisztina Szabó and Lesia Mackowycz, dancers from Swan Studio in London, Ontario, friends from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Youth Choir and TCC Alumni Choir. The Chorus and its guests will sing festive favourites plus Vivaldi’s Gloria at one of Toronto’s favourite annual holiday concerts!

The TCC’s Head Choristers had the opportunity to ask guest artist Krisztina Szabó some questions in anticipation of the upcoming holiday performance.

TCC alumna, opera star Krisztina Szabó (mezzo-soprano)

Why did you decide to pursue singing?

When I first began my degree at Western University, I was a piano major. My grand plan was to be a high school music teacher. I had always loved singing (6 years in the TCC, I should hope so!), but I had never had any private singing lessons. Dr. Darryl Edwards changed all of that. After auditioning for ensembles in first year, he approached me and said, “Do you take singing lessons?” I said, “No” to which he replied, “Well, you should!” And with that, everything changed. I started taking lessons with him on the side. Two years into my degree, I changed my major to voice and by the end of my degree (still in Music Education!), I had caught the “performing bug”. So, I decided to pursue a post-graduate programme for voice performance to “see what would happen.” And as it turned out, a career as an opera singer happened! But to answer the question “why?” is pretty simple. I love singing, I’ve always loved singing, and doing it was as natural as breathing. What could be greater than having a career doing something you love? I can’t imagine a greater gift!

What is your favourite show or song that you have ever performed? What made it so memorable?

It is so hard to pick favourites, what a hard question! I have many favourites! So, I’ll go with what popped to mind first. In 2015, I sang the role of The Woman in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Schönberg’s opera, Erwartung. It’s a 40-minute opera of just me singing some seriously complicated music. Ewartung tells the story of a woman’s madness. Every show, I was tied into a straightjacket and left alone on stage. I thought to myself, “Am I actually crazy? I’m up here by myself in a straight jacket about to sing the hardest music I’ve ever done!” And then the first notes from the orchestra started and I thought “Too late! Here we go!” and then began 40 of the most incredible minutes – exhilarating, terrifying, satisfying, intense. I loved every minute of it!

TCC Days: Krisztina Szabó singing the part of Angakok during a workshop of Ruth Watson Henderson’s Clear Sky and Thunder, which she composed for the TCC.

What is your favourite TCC memory? 

Again, it is so hard to pick a favourite! I loved the touring – Europe in 1984, Western Canada in 1986 and Hawaii, Australia & New Zealand in 1988. Doing recordings and concerts with the one and only Maureen Forrester. Performing and recording Holst’s The Planets with the TSO. Singing Carmina Burana at Roy Thomson Hall and being enveloped in a wall of sound. But mostly, I remember the people I met in the Chorus, it was the first place where I felt I truly belonged.

What did you learn during your time at the TCC that helped contribute to the person and musician you are now? 

The question should be what DIDN’T I learn… there was so much! Musicianship, work ethic, exposure to vast amounts of repertoire, sight-reading, languages, working on contemporary music with living composers, striving to give your very best at all times, supporting and celebrating your fellow musician, and most importantly, the joy of making music and raising your voice in song with others. All of these things have made me the musician I am today and have really fed my soul in a way that allowed me to entertain the idea of having a career in music.

You mentored fellow The Fire Within guest artist, Lesia Mackowycz, as a senior chorister in the TCC. How did this partnership influence you as a singer? 

It was a VERY long time ago (ahem…about 30 years!) when Lesia was my apprentice, so I honestly can’t remember too much about that specifically. But, I do remember that being her “mentor” was not only fun (she was a great kid, and very on top of things!), but I loved being able to help her and I felt responsible for her and her success in the Chorus.

What advice would you give young singers? 

Work hard, never take anything for granted, and never lose that joy of singing.

How do you usually prepare for a role, such as your debut at Covent Garden in the opera, Lessons in Love and Violence? Do you have any pre-performance rituals?

First and foremost, I learn my music and learn it thoroughly. When working with a living composer like George Benjamin, who is extremely detailed in his writing, it is very important to not only learn your notes, but to also respect every detail he has taken the time to write into his score. And how he has written that music informs your character. Yes, the director will also give you his or her take on it, but always look first to the music.

As for pre-performance rituals, I don’t have anything particular that I do. As a mom to an 11-year-old daughter, I have become pretty low-maintenance as a performer – moms don’t get a lot of time for self-indulgence! I do try to get a good night’s sleep before a show day, and I do try to eat something healthy before the show, enough that I’ll have energy, but not too much so I will be digesting when I sing. And I like to get to the theatre in good time to just settle in, get ready slowly and settle my nerves.

TCC Days: Krisztina Szabó and her chorister friends at National Music Camp. Ms. Szabó is second row, fourth from the left.

What composers are on your wish list to perform, and why? 

I can’t think of any composers on my wish list, but one role I haven’t done that I would love to do is to sing the role of Octavian in Strauss’s opera, Der Rosenkavalier. It’s some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard and that final trio is just exquisite!

Toronto Children’s Chorus 2017 Head Choristers: Aramea, Summer & Julie

Questions and responses have been edited for clarity.

This Q&A is not to be reproduced without permission from Toronto Children’s Chorus.