We are delighted to announce our 2016-2017 season, on the theme Travels Through Time.
Music takes us through various time periods, past and present, and through myriad emotional experiences. Through music we explore our heritage, our celebra-tions, our spirits, and even things yet to come.
Friday, December 8, 2017, 8:00 pm
St. Thomas’s Anglican Church
383 Huron Street, Toronto ON
We Sing and Rejoice
A Cross-Canada Christmas includes music by Canadian composers from every province. Contrasting settings of “Hodie” by Willan and Telfer open the concert, and a range of English and French music for the season follows. The concert features singers’ stories of the holiday season and includes a carol sing with the audience participating. Organist Dan Bickle joins us.
Stories of Love & Longing features a variety of works on these themes. The humour of Sjolund’s Love Lost is balanced by myriad moods of Brahms’ Op. 52 Liebeslieder Waltzes, which will be presented in chamber music fashion, with a combination of quartets, soloists and choruses. Renaissance and contemporary settings of similar texts are paired: Palestrina’s Sicut Cervus and Enns’ Like as the Hart. Other works include Bissell’s A Song of Longing, Chatman’s Remember, and works by Britten and Mechem. Randall Stroope’s reflective Amor de mi Alma (You are the love of my soul) brings a gentle intensity to the program.
Here is a look into what goes on in the preparation of a piece for a concert. In this video, Hilary talks with Canada composer Eleanor Daley about her composition Ave maris stella, which we performed at our December 2015 concert. The choir is also seen rehearsing the piece.
As our concert on Friday nears, I am thinking of Sir David Wilcox, who passed away earlier this year.
Although in his nineties, it seemed (to me at least) he would live forever. For many singers, familiar with his Christmas Carols for Choirs books (“the green book and the orange book”), his arrangements of many Christmas carols became canonical, the standards, indeed a central part of the sound track of the Christmas season.
Heard so often in services such as the deeply moving Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols made famous in King’s College Chapel, and a staple of so many Christmas concerts worldwide, his beautiful, sensitive arrangements bring such joy; I grew up with them, and they are part of my own personal Christmas experience; without them the season for me would be diminished, and just a little bit empty.
At our concert on Friday, we (and you!) will be singing a few Christmas classics made magical by his deft arrangements. Sir David has passed, but his genius will always be part of Christmas, and in that sense he will live forever, as long as Christmas continues to be Christmas. We hope you will join us this Friday night for a small taste of how he made Christmas special.