toronto choral scene

Retreat at Pioneer Village Camp- September 2019

Cantala is super excited that we are finally launching our first Fall retreat. We will be going to Pioneer Village Camp in Haliburton, Ontario the weekend of September 27-29th.

Beverly Lewis' Five Texts of William Shakespeare

Every year I receive many scores from composers near and far asking Cantala to consider learning and performing their music. So I decided to add on a spring project every year into Cantala’s season where we will workshop and record this music for these composers. It is exciting work and we are thrilled to do it.

Petites Voix: 5 reasons its a Choral Gem

This past January I took out my score of Francis Poulenc’s Petite Voix,: 5 Choeurs faciles pour 3 voix d’enfants to prep for rehearsal. I quickly started feeling regret for picking such a dissonant, difficult piece. Would we survive? Surprise! This is the story of how the piece entered our hearts and dug a bore for life.

Magical Endocannabinoids

We have all come to choir rehearsal feeling drained and walking out feeling energised. This is not just an observation anymore but proven science. And it is due to a chemical called endocannabinoids….. Hubba what??

Me too. No idea.

Choral Cartoons

In 2005 I came to audition at the University of Toronto for choral conducting. I was staying with my cousin in Richmond Hill and at dinner he says to me “ Choral conducting…hmmm…So you’re studying coral reefs?”. This was just the beginning…

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 8, 2018.

 

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?".

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

 

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.