As I sit in the hot summer heat I find myself, again, whistling jingle bells to myself. This is the time of year when I get inspiring repertoire ideas for my upcoming Fall choral seasons with my women’s choir, Cantala. 


Year after year I remark that July and Christmas have to stop meeting like this. Why does this always reoccur? Because planning for a choral year always starts months and months in advance. Actually, I have already planned the entire back a year ago but it is now time to start putting it all into action.

This coming Fall Cantala is going to be performing a seasonal work by William Mathias called Salvator Mundi. The choir has done this many, many years ago but I feel it is time to perform it again. It is an exciting work with many gorgeous melodies and musical moments. One highlight of the work is the accompanying instruments; lots of percussion instruments (include a big bass drum) and piano duet.

Last season saw Cantala put together its first choreographed piece, “Snowforms”. This fall our fabulous and multi talented dancer and singer Hedy Minten has agreed to choreograph again but this time a piece we learned this past spring by Hildegard Von Bingen, O Vivens Fons. I wonder how Hedy will bring this piece to life through movement….

Next on this blockbuster of a Fall is Britten’s In the Bleak Midwinter from his larger work “A Boy is Born”. This is an amazingly difficult and serene piece that I hope will be performed with a small boys chorus from the Toronto Children’s Choir. Fingers crossed that works out! Either way this piece will challenge us to bring out our best concentration and singing skills.

More inspiring picks to round out this Fall season include Jesous Ahatonia (Trad., Annon), Noel Des Enfants (Debussy), an assortment of fun Christmas carols, Barber’s To be Sung on the Water, and Kocsar’s Salve Regina. All this repertoire is so gorgeous! I am really looking forward to the Fall….But now back to that hot Toronto heat wave…..