Toronto Children’s Chorus (TCC) performed their annual holiday concert at Roy Thomson Hall on Saturday, December 18, 2022 and Torontonicity was invited to review the performance. Now in its 45th year, the TCC performed their “A Chorus Christmas: Holiday Reflections” concert, accompanied by musicians from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) after a three-year hiatus due to Covid. (You may be interested in reading “Toronto Christmas Concerts 2022“.
As guests arrived in the Roy Thomson Hall lobby, they were entertained by Christmas carols sung by TCC’s Alumni Choir.
This Toronto holiday concert opened with “Welcome Yule,” a Christmas carol welcoming not only the Christmas season, but the audience members to the concert. The modern arrangement signalled the innovative arrangements of holiday classic songs and carols to come.
The next piece, “Venit Lumen”, performed by the Main Choir and backed by the TSO featured soprano soloist Alison Angelo. One could not hear a breath or whisper during Angelo’s impeccable performance.
Judith Bean conducted the Casio (children’s choir) in “Hot Cup of Cocoa”, a charming piece enthusiastically performed that included many hand gestures to emphasize the lyrics. “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” conducted by Zinfira Poloz and featuring all choirs and TSO accompaniment was powerful, especially with gorgeous accompaniment on the organ by Matt Otto.
“Winter Dream” featured a lovely violin accompaniment by Gloria Sophia Verhovsky and Nicholas Wanstall on piano.
The classic Christmas hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” was beautifully understated with just piano accompaniment by Terri Wu.
I was excited to see one of my favourite Gordon Lightfoot songs, “Song for a Winter’s Night” on the programme. This winter-themed song was exceptionally conducted by Matthew Otto. The Toronto Youth Choir created such a mood stylistically and Otto let the song end slowly and quietly with an exaggerated decrescendo so that the audience could savour the feeling.
There was a touching presentation to honour Elise Bradley, Artistic Director for the Toronto Children’s Chorus for 15 years. Bradley was in Toronto visiting from New Zealand. New Artistic Director Zimfira Poloz talked about Bradley’s legacy while students shared their favourite memories of the former Artistic Director.
The Alumni Choir and Toronto Youth Choir’s performance of “Thou Shalt Know Him” with no accompaniment was exquisite. Their next song, “Carol of the Bells” showcased the maturity and expertise of their voices.
“Joy To The World” conducted by Kai Leung and featuring The Main Choir, Toronto Youth Choir, and The Alumni Choir was absolutely glorious. I just wish they had played more verses as this was a powerful arrangement!
For me, Christmas is not Christmas without listening to a wonderful choir sing carols and hymns. I’m so glad we were able to attend The Toronto Children’s Chorus’s spectacular holiday concert this year…it was definitely a highlight of the holiday season!
Do you attend Christmas concerts? If so, let me know in the comment section which ones you’ll be attending in 2022.