We Remember: TCC and special guests reflect on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

We Remember: TCC and special guests reflect on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

TCC Head Chorister Charmaine performs with her fellow choristers.

November 2018 marks a significant moment in history. One hundred years ago, Allied Nations and Germany signed an agreement to end fighting at 11am on November 11th. Six months after signing the Armistice, The Treaty of Versailles was signed, which took effect in January, 1920.

During this 100th anniversary, Toronto Children’s Chorus members have reflected upon the sacrifices made by all those who have pursued peace, from years past to present. TCC’s Chamber Choir, under Artistic Director Elise Bradley, MNZM, looks forward to presenting We Remember on Sunday November 11 at 7:30pm. Special guests include British composer/conductor, Bob Chilcott, the Elmer Iseler Singers, under the direction of Lydia Adams, and the Toronto Youth Choir, under conductor Matthew Otto. Works by composers of the four Allied Nations of Australia, Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand will be featured.


TCC Head Chorister, Charmaine, says that it is the choir’s role to serve as a bridge between composer and audience, especially regarding such vital messages as peace and remembrance. “It’s critical to convey the composer’s ideas accurately and wholeheartedly,” says Charmaine. “Whether that transfers into looking into the historical context of a song, gaining a deeper understanding into the text, or simply singing the music with your full heart, the extra effort really does make the difference between chanting text on notes and creating actual music.”

Pictured: TCC Head Chorister Charmaine

The TCC and guests will present a diverse repertoire during its November 11th concert, something Charmaine says is especially important today. “We’re approaching this concert from a very inclusive point of view; our repertoire is incredibly diverse, and I personally think it does a very good job of representing many realities that are often forgotten by the mainstream definition of remembrance.” Students today are provided a more comprehensive education on the groups and individuals involved in war, including World War I. Charmaine says this concert  reflects on the sacrifices made by all.

The Chorus will remember World War I on November 11th as well as other wars and world events from the not-so-distant past.  “One of my favourite songs that we will be singing during the concert is “Lux Aeterna” by Australian composer Sally Whitwell, a song dedicated to the victims of the 2016 Orlando shooting,” says Charmaine. “Performing this song shows that it’s just as important to remember and reflect upon modern tragedies…Its text combines Latin text, Lux Aeterna (a section of a Requiem mass), with its English translation, which symbolizes to me how some aspects of remembrance have remained unchanged throughout the years.”

The Chorus hopes you will join them for this inspiring concert on November 11 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.

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Welcome to our 41st Season!

Welcome to our 41st Season!

Throughout this exciting concert season, the Toronto Children’s Chorus will pay homage to all who have made sacrifices during past world conflicts, and, through music, offer hope for a more harmonious and peaceful world. Welcome to In Remembrance!

On the evening of Remembrance Day, at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, we will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice – signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – which led to the end of World War I. Music by composers representing the Allied nations of Australia, Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand will be featured, as will organist Michael Bloss, trumpeter Stan Klebanoff, percussionist Andy Morris and the bagpipes. The TCC Chamber Choir, Toronto Youth Choir, and celebrated chamber ensemble, the Elmer Iseler Singers, will welcome renowned British composer, Bob Chilcott, as guest conductor.

Other season highlights will include our inspirational holiday concert at Roy Thomson Hall on December 15, featuring all 300 choristers of the TCC, our Toronto Youth Choir, our Alumni Choir conducted by Founder Jean Ashworth Bartle, and guest artists from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Seasonal songs and carols will delight the whole family, as will the Main Choir’s performance of Benjamin Britten’s treble masterpiece, A Ceremony of Carols, accompanied by solo harp. On February 24, the Chorus will present its popular afternoon of children’s classics, A Song for Every Child: At the Movies. On May 4, TCC choirs will again join forces to perform In Remembrance, with its musical message of harmony and hope. The Chorale choir will also have the honour of performing its 46th and 47th collaborations with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra – Benjamin Britten’s powerful War Requiem in November, and Carl Orff’s ever-popular Carmina Burana in June, also featuring the Toronto Youth Choir in its debut performance with the Symphony!

In late June, to bring this exciting year full circle, the Chamber Choir will cross the Pacific for the third time on a thrilling month-long tour ‘Down Under’. While in the North Island of New Zealand, the choristers will perform in Wellington as guests of the New Zealand Choral Federation and in Auckland with Westlake Girls High School, and, in Sydney, Australia, they will be hosted by the national children’s choir, Gondwana Voices, and will also perform in the country’s capital, Canberra.

We are delighted to welcome you to our very special 2018-2019 season!


Elise Bradley, MNZM

Artistic Director

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Chamber Choir travels to Newfoundland and Labrador for Podium

Chamber Choir travels to Newfoundland and Labrador for Podium

Chamber Choir will be flying to Newfoundland and Labrador for Podium Conference and Festival this June for its 7th national tour! While at Podium, the Chorus will be singing a Spotlight Concert on July 2 (11:30am), and will be performing in a Highlight Concert entitled Ring of Fire with Hamilton Children’s Choir and Indonesian Children and Youth Choir on July 3 at 4pm.  Additionally, the Chorus will be singing the 11am service at Cochrane Street United Church. Finally, Artistic Director Elise Bradley will also present two sessions entitled Ring of Fire: The insider’s guide to the repertoire and Choral sound from the inside out: The conductor’s art of listening.

Artistic Director Elise Bradley

In anticipation for this exciting festival, Artistic Director Elise Bradley was interviewed for Amy Desrosiers’ Podium 2018 Choir Blog Series. Read some of the interview below and check out the rest on her blog.

Amy Desrosiers: What is the importance of fostering choral singing for your choir?

Elise Bradley: I firmly believe that studying choral music offers young people the opportunity to achieve artistic excellence, experience the joy of performance, acquire musical and leadership skills, learn self-discipline and teamwork, make life-long friends, and grow in a mutually supportive environment. It is a privilege to offer these life-changing opportunities to the children in our choirs and to share with them my passion for the art of choral music.

Amy Desrosiers: Where did you begin to build a programme list for Podium?

Elise Bradley: I began by selecting the theme for our current season, ‘Fire and Ice’, so that I could build repertoire that would also be suited to my vision for our Podium performances. The TCC is collaborating with the Hamilton Children’s Choir (whose conductor is from Russia) and with the Cordana Youth Choir (from Indonesia), so all the music selected reflects the heritage and languages of countries located around the Pacific Rim on the ‘Ring of Fire’.

Amy Desrosiers: What can audiences hope to see from your choir at Podium?

Toronto Children’s Chorus and Hamilton Children’s Choir performed together at Roy Thomson Hall on June 4, 2018

Elise Bradley: Audiences will hear new repertoire in a new context through our collaborative choral project. A full range of repertoire – from early genres to modern music, as well as dance – will represent the many countries on the Ring of Fire. A variety of instruments will also be played, including quartz singing bowls, Samoan fala, and medieval percussion.

Amy Desrosiers: How important is it for choirs to promote the works of contemporary Canadian composers?

Elise Bradley: As a conductor in New Zealand for almost 30 years prior to moving to Canada, I regularly featured Canadian music in performances with my choirs! I feel it is tremendously important to support and promote the work of Canadian composers. In the Toronto Children’s Chorus, we are fortunate to commission and work with many composers, both in rehearsal and in concert – Elise Letourneau, David Patriquin, Shireen Abu-Khader, Eleanor Daley, Larysa Kuzmenko, and Hussein Janmohamed, to name but a few.


Read the full interview here.