Agnes Grossman, on warming up the choir

Years ago I had a very experienced choral singer come up to me in Cantala and tell me that I spend a lot of time on warming up and inquired "isn't there an urgency to get to rehearsing the repertoire?".

Can Everyone Sing?

As a singing teacher and choral conductor for many years, I have yet to meet anyone I can not teach to sing. Pleasant voice? not guaranteed. But singing? Yes. You can if you either don’t believe it or have been told so. Trust me. You can sing.

Upcoming 2018 Fall/winter repertoire

We made it. 10 years have passed and Cantala is brimming with passionate choral singers, long lasting friendships and excitement for the year ahead. Here is the upcoming 2018 Fall/Winter repertoire. 

Kate Spade & Anthony Bourdain

Very recently Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain committed suicide.  I have often asked my choir members-“why choir?”. And you know, the most popular answer is not “because I love to sing!” or “I want to meet others” or “I love music”. Nope-the most popular, reoccurring answer I receive might not surprise you after all.

That's What I'm Talking about

One can always add another reason to join Cantala. If you already sing in Cantala, then someday, by passion, perseverance, hard work and a little bit of luck, you may get the chance to sing again at Lincoln Centre in New York City, under the direction of one, Eric Whitacre, famous conductor and composer. Guest post by a passionate Cantala choral member.

A spring flourish of Russian Beauty from Cantala

The Cantala Women’s Choir Spring concert Russian Beauty brought an extraordinary rendition of Sergei Rachmaninoff and more familiar choral music to Toronto. Listen to their version of Rise Up, My Love. Guest post by John Gregory @gregiej

Russian Beauty: Spring Concert Program

The final concert of our 10th Season is quickly approaching and we are celebrating in many ways, including performing Rachmaninoff’s Six Choruses for Treble voices, op. 15; a special gem from the Women’s choral literature in May. 

Consonants + Singing: part 3

In part 1 and 2 of  "Consonants + Singing" we have looked at the differences between voiced and unvoiced consonants. Now in part 3 we take a closer look at why Julie Andrews' voice is so vibrant and what we can do to apply her techniques to our singing. 

Consonants + Singing: Part 1

There are 21 consonant sounds in the English language, and they are defined as “speech sounds that are articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract”. Now just a minute….Closure of the vocal tract? Let's understand how they are produced then look at how they can improve and/or enhance our singing.

Cantala Concert 2017: In the Bleak Midwinter

I've recently discovered a lesser-known work by Britten, A Boy is Born; a very demanding unaccompanied choral work for mixed choir. But lucky for us, the 5th movement In The Bleak Midwinter, is only for treble voices and Cantala is set to perform it in concert on December 9th, 2017, Toronto.

 

Cantala: The History

Naming Cantala happened rather spontaneously. My husband googled "choral singing names" and came back to me shortly with “Cantala” meaning “on wings of song”. No more than a moments thought later I made it official. "Cantala" it was.

Sight reading: Musical experience and confidence needed

Enthusiastic singers can be nervous about sight reading. Sight reading takes practice. Read here how to build these skills. 

5 Secrets to soul satisfying rehearsal magic

Cantala prepares 45 minutes of music per concert and has 24 hours of rehearsal time to learn and prepare it for a performance. Here are my 5 tips for such magic.

7 easy ways to being a fantastic team player

Everyone remembers those school group projects that made you either pull your hair out or jump for joy. Here are 7 tips to being that A+ team player.

7 tips for Preparing the Singing Breath

The way in which we prepare our bodies and breathe to sing greatly influences the quality of the sound that is produced afterward. It starts prior to the intake of the breath and the shaping of the vocal track.

11 Tips on auditioning for Cantala-Part 2

Last year I wrote about some quick tips on how to audition for Cantala. Here 11 more tips on making the most of your voice and musical talent in the audition for Cantala, Part 2.

Warming up the choir

Everyone seems to come to choir exhausted. It’s the end of their work day and while I know they are looking forward to creating music, their sense of listening and often also their vocal apparatus are fatigued. They are ready for the couch and some tv, but you are asking them to get up, smile and sparkle. Warming up the choir is an important transition from tired work day to musical brilliance.

The ABC's of Singing

One time I was asked if vowels were important in singing. I replied “vowels are like green vegetables in our diets: they are essential!”. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to understand the role vowels have in singing and how they are produced.

Vibrato + Choral Sound: Friends or Foes?

The gold standard of remarkable choral sound is unified sound. No one would dispute that. However, how to achieve this goal is not unified among conductors.