Now in its 36th season, the Toronto Children’s Chorus is recognized as one of the finest treble choirs in the world. The Chorus is committed to the enrichment of children’s lives through the discipline, teamwork and unique camaraderie of fine choral singing. The unparalleled music education and life-changing opportunities to perform exceptional music in local, national and international venues help to promote the personal welfare, growth and a portfolio of life skills that prepare children to become effective citizens.
The TCC offers artistic excellence, character-building experiences and leadership opportunities while nurturing musical academic and individual achievement. Over 36 years, the TCC has built a musical education structure that includes sight singing, theory training, master classes and workshops with expert clinicians while offering exceptional performance opportunities and collaborations with other musicians such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The choir’s vast repertoire embraces diverse cultures and traditions and covers an extensive range of musical genres. The TCC has commissioned many new Canadian works that have greatly influenced the treble voice repertoire.
“Each time the TCC performs with the Toronto Symphony, I am struck by the maturity of their sound. The children are incredibly disciplined with a warmth and richness rarely heard in children’s choirs.”
The TCC was founded in 1978 by Jean Ashworth Bartle, at the request of Sir Andrew Davis, then Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Under her leadership, the TCC earned national and international acclaim and performed under the baton of such internationally celebrated conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Helmuth Rilling, Sir David Willcocks, Michael Lankester and Jukka-Pekka Saraste.
Now marking its 6th season under Artistic Director Elise Bradley, the Chorus has earned a reputation for artistic excellence and music education. Elise Bradley has developed not only a challenging annual concert series but continues the legacy of the Chorus, leading its annual School Choir Invitational as well as the Toronto District School Board Choral Project, originally established in cooperation with Founder and Conductor Laureate Jean Ashworth Bartle to provide professional development for music teachers.
Ihlombe South African Choral Festival (2013)
Let The Future Sing Festival in Stockholm (2012)
Linköping Cathedral in Linköping, Sweden (2012)
Melodia Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina (2011)
9th World Symposium on Choral Music in Puerto Madryn, Argentina (2011)
Haydn Hall in Eisenstadt, Austria (2009)
The Musikverein in Vienna, Austria (2009)
Served as Artist-in-Residence for international festivals in both Italy and Australia
The Dom in Salzburg, Austria (2006)
Royal Albert Hall – Proms concert in London, England (2002)
The Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia (1999)
The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, USA (1995)
Carnegie Hall in New York City, USA (1994)
March 2013 – The Toronto Children’s Chorus performed to critical acclaim with Soundstreams and the renowned Fujii Family Trio in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. In Stanley Fefferman’s glowing review of the Koerner Hall performance, he noted: “The Toronto Children’s Chorus, conducted by Elise Bradley, brought the evening to a spectacular conclusion… The TCC sang from memory the long Japanese libretti with complete confidence.”
2011/2012 Season – The Toronto Children’s Chorus was honoured to help celebrate the opening and closing of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s 90th Anniversary season. The Chorus joined Christopher Plummer in performing Walton’s Henry V, followed by Larysa Kuzmenko’s Behold the Night, specially commissioned for children’s choir and orchestra by the TSO. The Chorus joined the TSO in closing their season with Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand.
August 2011 – The Toronto Children’s Chorus was one of only 25 choirs invited to participate in the 9th World Symposium on Choral Music, Patagonia, Argentina.
January 2010 – The Toronto Children’s Chorus was selected to perform with Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki in “The Power of Penderecki,” a concert organized by Soundstreams Canada. Ken Winters of the Globe and Mail wrote, “Bradley conducted the freshest and most touching Penderecki, a Sanctus and Benedictus, sung simply and exquisitely from memory by the children’s chorus alone.” (Globe and Mail, February 1, 2010).
November 2009 – The Toronto Children’s Chorus performed Britten’s War Requiem with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to great reviews. Ken Winters of the Globe and Mail wrote, “The treble choir (Toronto Children’s Chorus, conducted by Elise Bradley) was a particular treat.” (Globe and Mail, November 13, 2009).
June 2004 – The Chorus was invited by Sir Simon Rattle to return to Birmingham to record Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 for EMI, which the choir had performed in August 2002 under his direction at the BBC Proms Concerts at Royal Albert Hall. The disc, launched by EMI Canada in April 2005, has received critical praise in major publications in the United Kingdom and abroad: “…Rattle’s Mahler Eighth is arguably the best we have had since Solti’s…” (Edward Seckerson, Gramophone) and it was named the April 2005 Record of the Month by The Gramophone Music Magazine.
First-place award – CBC Choral Competition (1997-2006)
First-place award – Let the Peoples Sing Competition (sponsored by the European Broadcasting Union) (1993)
First-place award – International Choral Kathaumixw, British Columbia (1984)
Healey Willan Award for Amateur Choirs – Canada Council for the Arts (1983)
First-place award – International Musical Eisteddfod, Llangollen, Wales (1982)
Elise Bradley, Artistic Director
This season marks Elise Bradley’s seventh season as Artistic Director of the Toronto Children’s Chorus. Ms. Bradley came to the position from her role as Head of Department, Music at Westlake Girls’ High School in Auckland, New Zealand. In demand both in New Zealand and internationally as an award-winning conductor, adjudicator and clinician, she was also a soloist in New Zealand and a member of New Zealand’s national chamber choir, TOWER Voices NZ.
Since arriving in Toronto in 2007, Ms. Bradley has garnered praise for her artistry and for her deep commitment to children and the art of treble choral music. She has not only developed a challenging annual concert series and prepared the Toronto Children’s Chorus to perform with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Bach Consort and Soundstreams Canada, but has also continued the legacy of the Chorus, leading its annual School Choir Invitational Festival as well as the Toronto District School Board’s Choral Project, originally established in cooperation with Founder and Conductor Laureate Jean Ashworth Bartle to provide professional development for music teachers.
In the summer of 2009, Ms. Bradley and the Touring Choir spent two weeks in Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany, performing with the Vienna Boys Choir in the 9th World Choral Festival at Vienna’s celebrated Musikverein concert hall and also at the Haydn Hall in Eisenstadt, at Bach’s St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, and at the Berlin Dom. In November 2009, the Toronto Children’s Chorus had the honour of performing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem under the baton of Conductor Peter Oundjian and, in January 2010, with Krzysztof Penderecki and Soundstreams Canada.
During its 2010-2011 season, the Chorus performed three concerts with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, followed by a tour to Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires to participate in the Melodia Festival, and was one of only twenty-five choirs invited to participate in the 9° World Choral Symposium in Puerto Madryn, Argentina. This past season, Ms. Bradley and the Chorus were honoured to participate in the world-renowned Adolf Fredrik Music School’s ‘Let the Future Sing’ festival in Stockholm, Sweden, and in the national ‘Podium 2012’ in Ottawa. The season opening and closing was celebrated with performances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Carole Anderson, Associate Conductor
Carole Anderson received her Bachelor of Music at the University of Western Ontario where she studied choral conducting with Deral Johnson. During her 35-year teaching career Carole taught music at all grade levels and was a music consultant in both Brant and Peel Districts. Recently retired from the Peel District School Board, Carole taught for the last 15 years at Thomas Street Middle School in Mississauga where her choral and concert band ensembles were recognized for excellence at local, regional and national festivals. At the 2011 National Music Festival of Canada the Thomas Street Middle School Chamber Choir was awarded First Place in the David Ouchterlony class and was selected by the adjudicators to receive the Paul J. Bourret Grand Choral Award. In the fall of 2012 Carole was honoured by the Ontario Music Educators’ Association with an Honorary Life Membership.
Since 2006 Carole has been an Associate Conductor with the Toronto Children’s Chorus and currently conducts Training Choir 1, Training Choir II and Cantare, the junior half of the Toronto Children’s Chorus Main Choir. Carole acknowledges the kind encouragement and mentorship of the Toronto Children’s Chorus founder Jean Ashworth Bartle, whose workshops she first attended in 1982, and the inspirational vision and guidance of current artistic director, Elise Bradley.
Judith Bean, Associate Conductor
Judith Bean is very happy to be joining TCC as the new director of Prep Choir.
Judith has been teaching with the Waterloo Region District School Board for more than 22 years. She currently resides in Kitchener and teaches Grade 1- 6 vocal music and drama at Ryerson Public School in Cambridge. Judith is founder and director of Menno Youth Singers (Kitchener-Waterloo) and also directs the St. Peter’s Lutheran Junior Church Choir in Kitchener. In addition, she has taught piano and voice at The Beckett School of Music (Kitchener) and is a former director of Inter-Mennonite Children’s Choir (Kitchener-Waterloo).
For the past 8 summers, Judith has been teaching Level 1 Sight Singing at Appleby College for the Main Choir summer camp and she is looking forward to working with TCC throughout the season.
Matthew Otto, Associate Conductor
Matthew Otto is rapidly establishing himself as a promising conductor with a passionate approach, “real flare for choral work” and “secure authority” at the podium. Matthew joined the artistic team of the Toronto Children’s Chorus as Conductor’s Intern in 2010. Now as Associate Conductor, he co-directs Chorale, Training Choir III and the newly created Youth Choir alongside Artistic Director, Elise Bradley. During his tenure as Associate Conductor of Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Matthew conducted the ensemble and orchestra, and prepared the TMC for appearances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Matthew has also served as Assistant Conductor of Pax Christi Chorale, Music Director at Blessed Trinity Church, Conductor of Hart House Jazz Choir and Director of Music at the Newman Centre. Currently, Matthew is Interim Director of Music at the historic Saint Anne’s Anglican Church.
Twice-recipient of the Elmer Iseler Fellowship in Choral Conducting and finalist in the Sir Ernest MacMillan Foundation Fellowship Award in Orchestral Conducting, Matthew holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition (2007) and a Master of Music Performance in Conducting (2009) from the University of Toronto, where he studied with Doreen Rao and David Briskin. Further conducting studies have taken place with Helmuth Rilling, Simon Carrington and Agnes Grossmann among others. In the spring of 2014, Matthew will begin doctoral work with Dr. Karen Grylls at the University of Auckland.
Patrick Murray, Conductor’s Intern
Patrick Murray is thrilled to join the Toronto Children’s Chorus as Conductor’s Intern for the 2013-2014 season. An active conductor and composer, Patrick is also Music Director of Toronto-based FAWN New Opera and Composer-In-Residence with Univox Choir. Patrick recently completed a conducting apprenticeship with the Grand Philharmonic Choir, and has worked as a music educator with the Canadian Opera Company, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and Pathways to Education. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto.
Dianne Edwards, KinderNotes Director
Dianne Edwards brings twenty-five years’ teaching experience to her career as a distinguished music educator. At the University of Toronto (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) and the University of Western Ontario (Althouse College), she is an instructor in music methods for primary-junior and junior-intermediate teachers in training. For many years she was a classroom music teacher for the Thames Valley Board of Education. As the founder and director of the Young Children’s Music Program at the Western Ontario Conservatory of Music (now Conservatory Canada), the program flourished with over two hundred children in weekly music classes.
Dianne’s presentations as a music clinician include the International Society of Music Education (ISME), the Kodály Society of Canada, and at the University of Alberta summer school in Edmonton. Her expertise in applied music instruction for children finds her in demand by such organizations as the Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association (ORMTA), the Halifax Board of Education, the Ontario Music Educators Association, and for music festival associations in Ottawa, St. John, New Brunswick, and St. John’s, Newfoundland. Her studies in music education for children have included training with internationally foundational figures in the field: Katalin Forrei, Jean Sinor, Lois Choksy and Amanda Montgomery. Dianne Edwards’ focus areas include the development of music curriculum, music literacy, “singing books” as a link between literacy and music, and the transition of learning principles from young children’s music classes to the piano studio. With her husband Darryl Edwards, she is part of the administrative team for the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI) each summer. They live on a quiet, tree-lined street in Toronto with their golden cocker spaniel, Finnegan.
Dr. Darryl Edwards
Dr. Darryl Edwards (darryledwards.ca) is Head of Voice Studies at the University of Toronto, Artistic Director of the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, and the Concert & Opera Group. He holds B.Mus., B.Ed. and M.Mus. degrees from Western University, and a doctorate from the University of Michigan. He has been claimed by the Toronto Star as “the coach behind many of Canada’s best young voices these days.” His 2012-2013 teaching schedule includes master classes with singers in the Opera Studio Nederland, the Central Conservatory Music of Beijing, China, Charles University in Prague, and Brazil’s Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
Darryl Edwards’ voice students appear with major companies and orchestras across Canada, the United States and Europe (Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, New York City Opera, Philadelphia Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Bavarian State Opera – Munich, Zurich Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Greek National Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company).
A career vocal music educator, Dr. Edwards initially trained as a choral conductor with Deral Johnson at Western, and at Westminster Choir College with William Trego, Frauke Haasemann, Sir David Willcocks and Robert Shaw. He was the founder and conductor of the Woodstock Fanshawe Singers, conductor of the University of Western Ontario Chorale, the UWO Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Assistant Conductor of the Ontario Youth Choir (and OYC Voice Coach from 1992-2004), and at Saunders Secondary School in London, Ontario, he developed an international award-winning vocal and choral program. He continues in this vain throughout the world as a master class clinician for singers, and as the voice specialist in quarterly articles for the Canadian Music Educator. He is also a specialist in guiding singers and voice teachers through the distinctive similarities and differences in choral, recital and operatic singing production.
As a tenor, he as appeared to critical acclaim in oratorio, recital, and opera in England, Germany, France, Italy, China, Corsica, the United States, and across Canada. His performing engagements have included Britten’s War Requiem with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, the Bach and Handel with the Filharmonie Hradec Králové and The Czech Boys’ Choir, the title role in Mozart’s Idomeneo in Mulhouse, France, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Mozart Requiem with the Pesaro Philharmonic and Chorus in Italy, Handel’s Messiah with the Elmer Iseler Singers, and Mozart concert arias for tenor with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
He has also premiered many new works, including Raymond Luedeka’s cabaret opera, I Confess, I Have Lived (Pablo Neruda), Jack Behrens’ settings of Poems of Christopher Pratt, John Beckwith’s Young Man from Canada, and upcoming premieres of two song cycles: Andrew Ager’s Ovid Songs (in Sulmona, Italy), and Lloyd Burritt’s Image-Nation: settings of Robin Blaser’s texts, for tenor, horn and piano, at the 2012 Songfire Festival of the Vancouver International Song Institute.
Critics praise him as a “rich-voiced, cultured tenor who mastered the high notes effortlessly” (Coburg Tageblatt, Germany), and an “effective communicator who expressed the text with sensitivity and fervour” (Hamilton Spectator). His recordings and broadcasts include performances with American National Public Radio (NPR) (Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the Ilinois Chamber Orchestra), Canadian Music Centre (Centrediscs) (Harry Somers’ The Fool) the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC Radio 2) in Kodály’s Psalmus Hungaricus with the Calgary Philharmonic and Chorus.
Jennifer Swan, Choreographer
Jennifer Swan is on the training/choreography team of Olympic gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Ice Dancing). Since 2008 she has been the bodywork specialist for the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI), working with singers, pianists and instrumentalists regarding their practice and performance of such repertoire as Puccini’s La Bohéme, Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore and Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
The International Symposium for Performance Science, Voice Studies at the University of Toronto, and the American Scottish Teachers Dance Alliance (Philadelphia) are among the many organizations in Jennifer’s busy schedule as a clinician. She also teaches the “Bodywork for Singers” workshop series for Voice Studies at the University of Toronto.
Swan is the founder of the Swan Studio Dance and the Children’s Dance Project. As an Artistic Director the SOHO Joyce Theatre of New York City was the venue for Swan’s world premiere production of Rakuen as reviewed by the New York Times – “Children’s Dance Project captured on stage “the pristine sweetness of youth”.
A central pillar of Swan’s philosophy is exposing students to dance through the medium of professional artists sharing their skills, success, joy and energy.
Swan is also a Stott’s Pilates Instructor, certified through the Cleveland Clinic Sports Medical Institute. Jennifer has a B.A. (Hons) graduate in dance from the University of Waterloo and is Associate of the royal Academy of Dance (ARAD), the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (AISTD) and the Scottish Teachers Dance Association (ASTDA).
The London Pilates Centre was founded by Swan in 1998. It featured customized instruction from Instructors trained at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Stott’s Pilates. The philosophy of the Centre is a skill-mastery progression model wherein students receive training based on their pace and ability. She has trained physiotherapists at the Fowler Kennedy Sports Injuries Clinic at the University of Western Ontario. She is also an international clinician and guest lecturer to medical professionals regarding theory and practice instruction, injury prevention and body alignment.
Elise Bradley, Artistic Director
Caroline Suri, Managing Director
Carol Stairs, Manager, Choir Operations
Ahmad Smaeilnatajarabi, Finance Officer
Monica Parisi, Choir Coordinator
Bradley Christensen, Choir Coordinator
Pam Fossen, Grant Writer
Elaine Lehto, Music Librarian
Jean Ashworth Bartle, C.M., O. Ont.
Board of Directors
Kirstin Grant, Chair
Barbara Cox, Secretary
Roman Olijnyk, Head, Finance Committee
Elise Bradley, Ex Officio
Cathy de Peuter, Ex Officio