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April 200
3 - Nr. 4


The Editor
"Happy Easter"
"Boten des Frühlings"
Elizabeth Kuehn
Together We Sing
The Italian Girl...
Rachel Seilern
The President's Ball
Herwig Wandschneider
Siegfried & Roy
Bibi Blocksberg
Öl zuliebe
Salve Imperator
Good Citizen Award
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Germany & Easter Eggs
Oscar for "Nirgendwo..."
Goethe Medal
Age of Chivalry
Powell: Friendship
Places to Work
Fuel Cell Sub
Gunther Grass Novels
Ute Lemper Tour
Help Baghdad Museum
Celebrating Lucas Cranach
Leipzig 2012 Olympics

Together We Sing In Harmony


What to expect? As I walked into the Toronto Korean Presbyterian Church in North York, on March 22, I felt a little overwhelmed. It was not necessarily a bad feeling, just one that would need a musical explanation. And what an experience it was! MC’d by the community’s own Manfred Petz, Singing Together: A Celebration of Choral Music through different cultures began with O, Canada and a word of welcome. The memories of love and the old country would be well represented in this wealthy musical offering; so many different styles and cultures coming together to share with themselves, their colleagues and friends, we the audience, the splendour that is the musical language.

The first of the 7 choirs to sing was the Coro San Marco, the Italian Choir. The traditional sacred pieces such as Vivaldi’s Laudate dominum reminisced to the Italian Churches and Funiculi, funicula had us dancing and singing along in our seats! The Shevchenko Ukrainian Choir welcomed Spring with their strong rendition of Vesnyanka and evoked a vision of dancing with I will go to the distant mountains.

The completely packed Church of more than 700 spectators was now ready to welcome the Forget-Me-Nots. Walking on stage singing the traditional Jodler An alte Muhl, this tight group clearly has the traditional Austrian sound down pat. Their clear, clean sound proudly shows the making of a good ensemble connection. And who could not imagine themselves sitting with friends in a Bauernstube enjoying a Bier with the Stub’nmusi in the background!

Manfred Petz and the Schola Cantorum welcomed us with Liebe Freunde, kommt herbei. The group sang a few traditional German songs evoking a Springtime we were eager to embrace - only to be fooled at the end of March/early April with another snowfall! The Schola Cantorum and the Forget-Me-Nots then joined forces to sing a few more selections, one of which, the Bach Ehre sei Gott was quite well done; the ending’s fugue was particularly well executed.

We were next treated to the Cro Arte Chorale, a Croatian ensemble that had us up and dancing with their final number, Moja Diridika, complete with upbeat instrumental accompaniment. This ensemble sang of patriotism of the old country, while keeping the new country in their hearts! The Armenian Choir of Toronto sang to health and prosperity in Guenatz Yerk, a song dedicated to raising a toast to the long life of the land. These large ensembles have mastered the art of amateur musicmaking, all the way down to the memorization of their pieces. Well done!

Before the Mass Choir Finale, the Chinese Canadian Choir of Toronto evoked moods and pictures associated to the traditional Chinese landscape in The Rainbow. The colours of this part of nature were brought out by the tone colours of the strong soprano solo and the lyrical piano accompaniment.

How could such a concert not end in a joining of voices? The Mass Choir pulled together every singer for a grand finale commencing with Carl Orff’s O! Fortuna from Carmina Burana and ending with Bill Candy’s Common Ground.

It was my first encounter with Singing Together and all I can say is that I’m glad I caught this year’s concert! It was surely a treat to sit in the audience and enjoy the music and voices around me. From dignitaries of the Austrian, German, Italian consulates as well as the Armenian community, every audience member left the concert with a greater appreciation of our common language!

Elizabeth Kuhn


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