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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

WHO'S WHO | TMC Offers A Powerful Interpretation Of One Of The Pinnacles Of Choral Music

By Member on October 20, 2016

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Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Noel Edison (conductor) (Photo: Brian Summers)

UPDATE FROM THE TORONTO MENDELSSOHN CHOIR

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir celebrates Artistic Director Noel Edison’s 20th anniversary season with the Choir with a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s great oratorio, Elijah.  When asked why he chose Elijah for this milestone season, Noel commented:

“How could I not choose a work by Felix Mendelssohn, the namesake of the Choir?  And Elijah is one of my all-time favourite orchestral-choral works. Orchestral works are in the Choir’s DNA and this work is chock-full of big chorus effects. I love the drama and the way the story plays out — it’s religious opera bursting with the hellfire and brimstone of the Old Testament.  And it’s tuneful and fulfilling, full of one beautiful piece after another.”

The 135-voice TMC and Festival Orchestra will be joined by four critically-acclaimed soloists.  American bass-baritone David Pittsinger, praised for his roles in opera and as Emile de Becque in South Pacific, will make his debut performance of Elijah. David says of taking on this role for the first time:

“To be a vulnerable and honest storyteller is what every artist ultimately strives for and this piece abounds with opportunities for just that. It resides in an ecclesiastical lexicon with Bach’s Matthew Passion, and Handel’s Messiah, but uses Mendelssohn’s own Romantic style to great emotional effect.”

Joining Pittsinger is Toronto’s own internationally celebrated tenor Michael Schade, whose parents sang for many years with the TMC, and emerging Canadian soloists soprano Lesley Emma Bouza and mezzo-soprano Christina Stelmacovich.

Under Noel Edison’s baton, the TMC’s signature grand symphonic sound will highlight the intensity of the story and heighten the emotional experience for the audience – TMC’s goal for all concerts of the great masterworks.

TMC performs Elijah

Saturday, November 5 at 7:30 pm

Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. West

Noel Edison, conductor
David Pittsinger, bass-baritone
Lesley Emma Bouza, soprano
Christina Stelmacovich, mezzo-soprano
Michael Schade, tenor
Festival Orchestra

Tickets $35-$87 with $20 VoxTix for patrons 30 and under.

Tickets available online or by calling RCM Tickets at 416-408-0208.

Details

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Email: admin@tmchoir.org

Phone: 416-598-0422

Website: www.tmchoir.org

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Photo Gallery

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About

“The choir is amazing – it never fails to impress. The entire experience was wonderful.” — Concert patron

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir is praised by patrons and media alike for the emotional intensity of its performances, and for its grand symphonic sound and clarity of expression. The Choir continues to be dedicated, since its founding in 1894, to engaging audiences with the power of great choral music performed live.

The 135-voice choir, under the artistic leadership of Grammy-nominated Noel Edison, includes auditioned choristers, choral apprentices and 20 members of the professional Elora Festival Singers.

The TMC champions choral music in Canada beyond the live concert experience. Many TMC performances are accessible across the country and beyond through webcasting. The Choir’s education and outreach activities contribute to the development of professional and amateur choral musicians: welcoming singers aged 17 to 22 to the Choir through an Apprentice Program, offering a series of fun and educational Singsation Saturday choral workshops for amateur singers, and supporting the development of emerging choral artists with the Choral Composition Competition, the annual TMC Choral Conductors’ Symposium, and the two-year Associate Conductor position.

The TMC’s 2016/17 season, Noel Edison’s 20th with the Choir, includes six concerts and a number of guest appearances, including many with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

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The Folks Behind It All

Noel Edison (Photo: Brian Summers)
Noel Edison (Photo: Brian Summers)

Noel Edison

Noel Edison has been widely recognised and appreciated by choristers, critics and patrons for his skilful interpretive work with both choir and orchestra. His vision for the TMC is to create performances that connect audiences emotionally with some of the greatest traditional and contemporary choral repertoire.

Edison co-founded the Elora Festival in 1979 and, a year later, the Elora Festival Singers as its choir-in-residence. In 1997, Noel Edison was named interim conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and the Elora Festival Singers were selected as the professional core of the TMC.  He assumed the position full-time two years later. He has recorded and toured with the Elora Festival Singers and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. He is a champion of Canadian composers, commissioning and premiering a number of works, and of the education of emerging choral conductors, launching the TMC’s annual Choral Conductors’ Symposium in 2010. In 2009 Edison was appointed to the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest honour, and in 2012 he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.

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Events

TMC presents Elora Festival Singers in concert

Sunday, October 16, 2016, at 3 pm
Church of the Holy Trinity

TMC brings the Grammy-nominated Elora Festival Singers to Toronto for an intimate concert of a cappella music by the Italian Renaissance master Palestrina, complemented by contemporary works by Arvo Pärt and Jocelyn Morlock.

More details here.

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Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah

Saturday, November 5, 2016, at 7:30 pm
Koerner Hall, Telus Centre for Performance and Learning

This blockbuster oratorio, first performed in 1846, takes listeners through the vivid story of the prophet Elijah told through Felix Mendelssohn’s stirring choruses, colourful orchestration and dramatic recitatives. Elijah was the crowning glory of Mendelssohn’s successful and tragically short career. The Choir and Festival Orchestra, under the direction of Noel Edison, will be joined by a stellar line-up of soloists including bass-baritone David Pittsinger who has been praised by the Washington Times for his brilliant, knife-clean bass-baritone voice, impeccable enunciation and authoritative and passionate delivery. Pittsinger will debut the role of Elijah with the TMC. He will be joined by soloists who have thrilled TMC audiences with their virtuosity: soprano Lesley Bouza; mezzo-soprano Christina Stelmacovich; and internationally-renowned operatic tenor Michael Schade.

More details here.

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Singsation Saturdays: Music of Haydn with conductor Jennifer Min-Young Lee

Saturday, November 26, 2016, at 10:30 a.m.
Yorkminster Park Baptist Church

Join TMC Associate Conductor Jennifer Min-Young Lee to sing Haydn’s Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo No 7 and also some secular part songs by Haydn.

Jennifer Min-Young Lee is in her second year as Associate Conductor of the TMC. She also teaches music and conducts three choral ensembles at Bur Oak Secondary School. Jennifer holds a Master of Music degree in Conducting from the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, as well as Bachelor of Music and Education degrees from the University of Western Ontario, London.

More details here.

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Festival of Carols

Wednesday, December 7, 2016, at 7:30 pm
Yorkminster Park Baptist Church

The TMC is joined by the Canadian Staff Band and organist David Briggs for its joyous annual celebration of music for the season, including a popular audience sing-along of favourite carols.

More details here.

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TMC Choral Conductors’ Symposium Concert

Saturday, January 28, 2017, at 3 pm
Yorkminster Park Baptist Church

This FREE concert concludes the TMC’s annual Choral Conductors’ Symposium which brings together five emerging conductors from across North America for a week of intensive workshops with Noel Edison. The five conductors will conduct the Elora Festival Singers and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in a lively concert of classical and contemporary choral music.

More details here.

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Singsation Saturdays: French greats with conductor Xavier Brossard-Ménard

Saturday, February 11, 2017, at 10:30 a.m.
Yorkminster Park Baptist Church

Join Quebec conductor Xavier Brossard-Ménard to sing through two fabulous French works – Duruflé’s Requiem and Vierne’s Messe Solennelle.

Xavier Brossard-Ménard is Artistic Director of the St. Lambert Choral Society in Quebec. He is both a conductor and a clarinetist and is well-known for his innovative approach to classical and contemporary music. Over the ten last years, he has worked with a wide variety of ensembles such as the Toronto Children’s Chorus, the McGill Conservatory Singers, and the Drummondville Symphony Orchestra Choir.  He is a previous participant in the TMC Choral Conductors’ Symposium.

More details here.

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Sing Joyfully!

Saturday, March 4, 2017, at 4 pm
Yorkminster Park Baptist Church

The TMC, Yorkminster Park Baptist Church Minster Singers and organist William Maddox join forces for a great hymn sing with audience members invited to sing along.  The two choirs will also perform stirring anthems from traditional to modern.

More details here.

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Singsation Saturdays: The Apostles with conductor Stephanie Martin

Saturday, March 18, 2017, at 10:30 a.m.
Yorkminster Park Baptist Church

Sing through choruses from Elgar’s oratorio The Apostles with conductor Stephanie Martin. Read a synopsis of this work.

Stephanie Martin is an award-winning conductor and composer. She is Artistic Director of Pax Christi Chorale and Schola Magdalena and associate professor of music at York University. Pax Christi Chorale will be performing The Apostles in their 2016/17 season.

More details here.

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Singsation Saturdays: Gospel music with conductor Karen Burke

Saturday, April 8, 2017, at 10:30 a.m.
Yorkminster Park Baptist Church

Toronto Mass Choir co-founder Karen Burke will lead singers through a great morning of gospel music.

Karen Burke is associate professor of gospel choir and jazz vocals at York University. She co-founded the Toronto Mass Choir and is founding director of the York University Gospel Choir. Her music career also includes work as a busy guest speaker, classical piano teacher, adjudicator and clinician offering gospel music workshops.

More details here.

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Sacred Music for a Sacred Space

Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at 7:30 pm AND Good Friday, April 14, 2017, at 7:30 pm
St. Paul’s Basilica

The TMC has added a second performance night for this popular concert which brings together contemplative music with the beautiful setting of St. Paul’s. This concert has become a cherished moment of calm and reflection for many.

More details here.

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Singsation Saturdays: Chichester Psalms with conductor Dan Rutzen

Saturday, May 6, 2017, at 10:30 a.m.
Yorkminster Park Baptist Church

Sing through Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with conductor Dan Rutzen.

Dan Rutzen is Artistic Director of The Greater Toronto MegaCity Chorus and is a performer and board member with the Canadian Men’s Chorus.  He also has extensive experience as musical director for a number of productions in Toronto, including the Dora winning production of Of A Monstrous Child: A Gaga Musical for Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and Ecce Homo Theatre.

More details here.

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