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THE SCOOP | In The Spirit Of Handel's Messiah, Tafelmusik Gives Back With Charity Event

By Stephan Bonfield on December 10, 2018

Tafelmusik’s 2018 partnership with CBC Sounds of the Season and Daily Bread Food Bank benefits families in need and goes straight to the heart of Messiah’s message of compassion and generosity, hope and faith.

Tafelmusik has returned with its annual Sing-Along Messiah in partnership with CBC Sounds of the Season and Daily Bread Food Bank.

In keeping with the charitable history Handel endowed to his famous oratorio, Tafelmusik has been generously donating proceeds to GTA families in need via Daily Bread Food Bank and other food banks for 16 years. Their donations and charitable leadership go straight to the heart of Messiah’s message of compassion and generosity, hope and faith.

Messiah carries a long association with the work’s charitable intent. Handel’s own performances were designed to benefit the Foundling Children’s Hospital, a London orphanage. The first benefit concert was such a success that many of London’s wealthiest were turned away and the concert had to be repeated two weeks later. From 1750 until its final instalment in 1770, eleven years after Handel had died, the annual Messiah benefit concert ran to lucrative success for the hospital.  It was often considered a major social event in the city.

Messiah concerts in Toronto aren’t much different, as Tafelmusik’s highly popular and well-attended annual performances attest.

Tafelmusik Sing Along Messiah (Photo: Jeff Higgins)
Tafelmusik Sing-Along Messiah (Photo: Jeff Higgins)

It’s a real shout-out not only to the 7000-plus people who annually attend Messiah and Sing-Along Messiah, but to many others who elect to donate food or funds and really make a difference in people’s lives.

And among the many who attend Tafelmusik’s annual Messiah performances, there are always first-timers ready to get into the spirit of the event, supporting the city and those in need, just like the first performances of Handel’s best-known masterpiece benefitted the orphans with food and blankets.

“Tafelmusik is thrilled to be supporting CBC’s Sounds of the Season campaign. As a cultural partner in the city of Toronto, Tafelmusik is committed to a prosperous and thriving community by ensuring we assist efforts like the Daily Bread Food Bank. Our city is richer because of this important investment,” said Tafelmusik Executive Director Carol Kehoe.

In the spirit of Messiah, Tafelmusik will invite audience members attending its concerts to share their holiday goodwill and help families in need.

Tafelmusik will be collecting non-perishable food items at all Messiah performances, December 18, 19, 20, and 21 at 7:30 pm at Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre, and at Sing-Along Messiah on December 22 at 2 pm at Roy Thomson Hall.

“For years, Daily Bread Food Bank has relied on the generosity, partnership and goodwill of others to serve those who need us the most,” said Neil Hetherington, CEO of Daily Bread Food Bank. “Through this initiative, Tafelmusik is not only enriching the arts but also enriching the community around them,” he added.

Also, CBC’s Sounds of the Season is much more than a one-day event. The annual charity drive campaign will run until December 31 to collect food and monetary donations in support of GTA food banks. Last year, CBC Toronto raised more than $675,936.

Stephan Bonfield

Stephan Bonfield

Stephan Bonfield writes about opera and music for Ludwig Van where he reviews primarily the TSO, chamber music, Baroque and contemporary opera and assorted other genres.  He is ballet and dance critic for the Calgary Herald where he also covers Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity every summer, including the Banff International String Quartet Competition.  He is a public speaker about opera, music and dance in Canada.
Stephan Bonfield
Stephan Bonfield

Stephan Bonfield

Stephan Bonfield writes about opera and music for Ludwig Van where he reviews primarily the TSO, chamber music, Baroque and contemporary opera and assorted other genres.  He is ballet and dance critic for the Calgary Herald where he also covers Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity every summer, including the Banff International String Quartet Competition.  He is a public speaker about opera, music and dance in Canada.
Stephan Bonfield
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