Allison Luff joins us from Saskatchewan as our new KinderNotes instructor
The Toronto Children’s Chorus is thrilled to welcome new team members to our artistic staff this season, including Allison Luff, who joins us from Saskatchewan as our new KinderNotes instructor. Allison will be running classes at both the Midtown and North York locations of the TCC. Having pursued music education across Canada, the United States, Germany and Hungary, Allison brings a global perspective to teaching music and movement to our youngest choristers, aged three to six.
We chatted with Allison about her teaching methods, inspirations, and what most excites her about living in Toronto.
What sparked your passion for music?
I’ve played the piano for as long as I can remember. Music was always a part of my life growing up.
In Saskatchewan, the Symphony would come to our school as part of its education and outreach program. I remember hearing them perform, Peter and the Wolf, in our school gymnasium.
My parents encouraged me to attend concerts. When the opera came through, we saw the operas, Marriage of Fiagro and Madame Butterfly, as well as countless ballets, musicals and even Reveen the Illusionist. I consider myself very lucky to have grown up attending so many wonderful performances.
What music memory do you cherish the most?
My grandmother loved to sing. When my brother, sister and I were little she would sing Perry Como’s, “A You’re Adorable”. It was composed in 1948, so it definitely comes from a different era. It’s the sweetest song and was a favourite bedtime ritual of mine when she came to visit.
What excites you the most about joining the TCC as our KinderNotes instructor?
I’m very excited to work with so many young singers. My goal is to encourage natural singing in a fun environment so that the students are set up for years of music ahead.
How would you describe your teaching methods?
As a teacher, I have received extensive training in the Kodály concept. This pedagogy was developed by Hungarian composer and philosopher, Zoltán Kodály. Similar to the Suzuki Method, it is a sound-before-sight approach to learning where students discover for themselves the elements of music through movement and singing. Kodály believed an individual must experience the music, developing his or her imagination, to fully understand or perform it. Kodály advocated to train all elements of musicality which he believed include a well-trained ear, well-trained intelligence, well-trained heart and a well-trained hand. As you can see, technique is only one part of Kodály’s philosophy. Love, understanding and meaning are equal to ability.
Who is your favourite composer?
When I was younger, I really loved the music of Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Debussy. They are still among my favourites, but since my travels to Hungary, I’ve really fallen in love with the music of Bartok and Kodály.
Having moved to Toronto recently, what is one thing that has surprised you most about the city?
When I visited Toronto in the past, I spent most of my time seeing the sights. Now that I am living here, I’ve been exposed to so many different neighbourhoods. I look forward to attending concerts and eating some of the great food the city has to offer.
The Toronto Children’s Chorus’ 2017 head choristers interviewed Krisztina Szabó back in December of that year ahead of the holiday concert. As we look forward to our spring concert on May 4, 2019, where Krisztina Szabó will once again join us, we’re sharing some of Krisztina’s inspiring thoughts on singing, performing and being a TCC alum!
Why did you decide to pursue singing?
Krisztina: When I first began my degree at Western University, I was a piano major. My grand plan was to be a high school music teacher. I had always loved singing (6 years in the TCC, I should hope so!), but I had never had any private singing lessons.
Dr. Darryl Edwards changed all of that. After auditioning for ensembles in first year, he approached me and said, “Do you take singing lessons?” I said, “No” to which he replied, “Well, you should!” And with that, everything changed. I started taking lessons with him on the side.
Two years into my degree, I changed my major to voice and by the end of my degree (still in Music Education!), I had caught the “performing bug”. So, I decided to pursue a post-graduate program for voice performance to “see what would happen.” And as it turned out, a career as an opera singer happened!
But to answer the question “why?” is pretty simple. I love singing, I’ve always loved singing and doing it was as natural as breathing. What could be greater than having a career doing something you love? I can’t imagine a greater gift!
What is your favourite TCC memory?
Krisztina: I loved the touring! Europe in 1984, Western Canada in 1986 and Hawaii, Australia & New Zealand in 1988. Doing recordings and concerts with the one and only Maureen Forrester. Performing and recording Holst’s The Planets with the TSO. Singing Carmina Burana at Roy Thomson Hall and being enveloped in a wall of sound. But mostly, I remember the people I met in the Chorus, it was the first place where I felt I truly belonged.
What did you learn during your time at the TCC that helped contribute to the person and musician you are now?
Krisztina: The question should be what DIDN’T I learn… there was so much! Musicianship, work ethic, exposure to vast amounts of repertoire, sight-reading, languages, working on contemporary music with living composers, striving to give your very best at all times, supporting and celebrating your fellow musician and most importantly, the joy of making music and raising your voice in song with others. All of these things have made me the musician I am today and have really fed my soul in a way that allowed me to entertain the idea of having a career in music.
What advice would you give young singers?
Krisztina: Work hard, never take anything for granted and never lose that joy of singing.
Join us at In Remembrance!
When: Saturday, May 4 at 3PM
Where: Toronto Centre for the Arts (5040 Yonge Street)
Tickets are available at all TO Live Box Offices, online at ticketmaster.ca or by calling 1-855-985-2787.
The Toronto Children’s Chorus is excited to host choirs from across Ontario and beyond for Junior Treble Festival and YOUTHSing this April. Tickets to festival concerts are on sale now!
Junior Treble Festival: Sing. Dance. Laugh. Repeat.
On Saturday, April 6, 2019, TCC’s Training Choir III will welcome nine choirs to Junior Treble Festival at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church for Sing. Dance. Laugh. Repeat. We are thrilled to welcome guest clinician and composer, Dr. Cristian Grases for this exciting choral festival. This season’s participating Junior Treble Festival choirs are:
- Bach Children’s Chorus
- Chorus Niagara Children’s Choir
- Gaudeamus Choirs of Halton Hills
- Hamilton Children’s Choir
- Mississauga Children’s Choir
- Oakville Choir for Children & Youth
- Toronto Children’s Chorus
- VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto
- Young People’s Chorus of New York City
- Young Voices Toronto
Join us at 7PM!
YOUTHSing 2019: Sure on this Shining Night
On Sunday, April 7, 2019, TCC’s Toronto Youth Choir will welcome three choirs to YOUTHSing 2019 at Eglinton St. George’s United Church for Sure on this Shining Night. Guest clinician and composer, Dr. Cristian Grases, will join the TCC once again for this Sunday festival. This season’s participating YOUTHSing choirs are:
- Bach Children’s Chorus and Bach Chamber Youth Choir – Bach Chamber Youth Choir
- Toronto Children’s Chorus – Toronto Youth Choir
- Mississauga Festival Choir – Resonance
- VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto – Chamber Choir
Join us at 7PM on Sunday!
The TCC wishes you a very happy 2019 and hopes your year will be filled with beautiful music!
The Chorus is excited to present a number of inspiring concerts and special events during the second half of its 2018/2019 season. Take a look at what the TCC will be up to this February and March!
Thank you, Calvin Presbyterian Church
Sunday, February 3 | 10:30AM
Calvin Presbyterian Church | 26 Delisle Avenue
What better way to begin 2019 than by saying a huge thank you to Calvin Presbyterian Church, home to many of our rehearsals, community concerts, and the TCC office? Chamber Choir will sing at Calvin’s 10:30am Sunday Service, then we invite you to enjoy some light refreshments before an hour-long concert in the sanctuary.
Community Concert with Sistema Toronto
Wednesday, February 13 | 7:00PM
Calvin Presbyterian Church | 26 Delisle Avenue
Training Choir III will host Sistema Toronto’s choirs in this annual joint performance promoting friendship.
A Song for Every Child at the Movies
Sunday, February 24 | 4:00PM
Timothy Eaton Memorial Church | 230 St. Clair Avenue West
One of TCC’s most popular performances of each season returns this February. The Training Choirs and Main Choir’s Cantare and Chorealis ensembles present a collection of well-loved children’s classics from movies such as Snow White, The King and I, Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music! Come dressed as your favourite children’s movie character and get ready for a fun afternoon of song! We’re excited to welcome characters from Fantasy Fables as our special guests and hosts. This is a concert you won’t want to miss! Click here for tickets.
Registration for New Chorister Auditions
Online registration opens in late February
Know a young singer between the ages of 6 to 16 who would like to join the Chorus? Online registration for new chorister auditions opens in late-February. Spring auditions will be held on May 11 and 25. Return to our registration page in late February to secure an audition spot.
Senior Treble Festival
Saturday, March 2 | 7:00PM
Cantare and Chorealis will travel to Hamilton to sing in this annual festival, hosted by Hamilton Children’s Choir this year.
Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Choir
March 21-23 (7:30PM) and March 24 (3:30PM)
Trinity-St.Paul’s Centre | 427 Bloor Street West
Members of Chamber Choir will join Tafelmusik to perform Bach’s masterpiece.
Wednesday, March 27 | 7:30PM
Christ Church Deer Park | 1570 Yonge Street
Toronto Youth Choir and the University of Toronto Faculty of Music’s Oratorio Ensemble class (Dr. Darryl Edwards, director) will perform works by Bach, Haydn, Handel, Mozart and Orff.
Want to stay updated with the TCC?
November 27 is Giving Tuesday!
This special global day marks the start of the giving season and is when individuals and groups rally to support their favourite causes. Because of the generous support from friends like you, the Toronto Children’s Chorus has provided exceptional music education and performance opportunities to thousands of children and youth for more than 40 years! Please help us continue this legacy by supporting the TCC through a donation to our annual Sing Loo! campaign!
The Toronto Children’s Chorus’ annual Sing Loo! Campaign
Sing Loo! is a fundraising campaign BY THE KIDS, FOR THE KIDS of the Toronto Children’s Chorus.
The TCC’s 11th annual chorister-driven fundraiser and public concert is presented this year with the generous sponsorship of the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. This campaign represents the largest source of annual operating funds for all choirs in our program.