The transcendent Fauré Requiem and the Canadian premiere of Missa sine nomine by contemporary Venezuelan composer César Alejandro Carrillo highlight Sanctus, the spring concert by the Upper Canada Choristers. Founder and Artistic Director Laurie Evan Fraser conducts the 45-voice choir of men and women, Friday, May 4, 8 p.m. at Grace Church on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Road.
Special guests are baritone Mark Ruhnke, organist Christopher Dawes, and choirs from the Swansea Public School.
Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, children and high school students free. To order, call (416) 256-0510. More information is available at www.uppercanadachoristers.org.
The Fauré Requiem will feature organist Christopher Dawes, and Mark Ruhnke as baritone soloist, and be joined in some movements by choirs from the Swansea Public School. As well, the Upper Canada Choristers will sing Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine.
Cantemos, the Upper Canada Choristers’ accomplished Latin ensemble, performs the Canadian premiere of the Missa sine nomine, an a capella work by César Alejandro Carrillo of Venezuela – a 20-minute work that Laurie Evan Fraser describes as “absolutely gorgeous”. Cantemos will also be part of the Fauré Requiem.
Concluding its 18th season, the Upper Canada Choristers provides musical diversity and “excellence, community service and mentoring, within a joyous, co-operative learning culture” – as the aims of Founding Artistic Director Laurie Evan Fraser and Founding President Jacqui Atkin are stated. The choir performs widely throughout the GTA for seniors and at various other venues.
This year, the choir has initiated a new mentoring project to support boys with changing voices. As Evan Fraser observes, “There is no question that supporting boys’ voices while they are in school is a way to ensure singing remains a part of their lives later on. In practical terms it means going forward there will be more male voices singing in choirs like ours. Since boys are greatly outnumbered in most school choirs, we are also sending a positive message about voice and gender identity.”
The project is a partnership with Swansea Public School and its music teacher, Catherine West. It also includes some Swansea alumni, who are now high school students, and who sang as guests with the Upper Canada Choristers two years ago.
The Upper Canada Choristers go to Swansea, in the High Park area, once a month to rehearse, and will perform in its school concert at Windermere United Church on April 17.