WATCHDOG: VOCA Chorus to perform at Carnegie Hall concert
East York has been more than simply a bedroom community, producing and nurturing a number of talented people and groups in the arts.
One of the most notable of these groups is the former East York Choir, now known as the VOCA Chorus of Toronto.
The choir was founded in 1986 by Stephanie Piercey-Beames as a mixed voice auditioned ensemble.
The choir has grown from the local group it once was, performing in different parts of the East York community such as Leaside, to one that has reached international standing.
As part of their maturation and success, the group has reached what many consider to be an important milestone.
On May 23, part of the choir will be singing with other groups at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
In addition, Jenny Crober, the artistic director for the VOCA Chorus, will be co-conducting the Carnegie Hall orchestra during the performance, along with Halifax conductor Pierre Perron.
The work to be performed will be Scott Macmillian’s Celtic Mass for the Sea, which reflects Macmillian’s deep love of Celtic music and his unbridled passion for the sea.
This performance will be a magnificent one as it will not just include members of the VOCA Chorus, but also members of the Orpheus Choir, the Toronto Beach Chorale, The Annex Singers and the Toronto Choral Society, just to name a few.
The performance will also include singers from London Ontario, Peterborough, Kitchener and Ottawa, as well as others from Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Manitoba.
In order to fit so many singers and a full orchestra together the performance will take place in the fabled Stern Auditorium/ Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall.
There will also be three other American choral ensembles performing that evening, along with a children’s choir.
The Canadian contingent, under the direction of Jenny Crober, will sing a half-hour excerpt from the Celtic Mass for the Sea.
Crober is looking for more enthusiastic and experienced choristers who would like to perform at Carnegie Hall on May 23.
There will be two Toronto rehearsals on Saturday, April 18 and Saturday, May 9, with the registration date being extended to April 30.
You can contact her at 416-463-8225 or 416-931-8224.
More information about the VOCA Chorus can be found on their web page at www.vocachorus.ca
Those who cannot travel to New York City to take in this memorable performance can still catch the choir locally on Saturday, May 2 at the Eastminister United Church on Danforth Avenue. The theme of the evening will be Stage Song II, featuring songs from the stage, operetta, opera and musical theater.
The evening promises to be full of music that will be both moving and fun, with a number of surprises in store that will please you.
I will write about that evening of song and music in more detail when it comes closer to the date of performance.