Toronto Chamber Consort
About the Program
Since 2014, the Toronto Chamber Consort program has targeted singers with excellent choral musicianship, leadership ability with vocal ensembles, and an interest in early music and historical performance. In almost all cases our successful applicants have done special training in early music, in summer courses such as the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute or elsewhere.
Successful applicants commit to serving as section leads to the TCC, and as such are present at all rehearsals. They are asked to take an active role in shaping the choir’s sound by leading vocal warmups and directing sectional rehearsals. In return, they are paid at the TCC’s section-lead rates, are offered solo and small ensemble opportunities at the choir’s performances, and receive coaching with the TCC’s Artistic Director and other invited guests.
The program currently has one lead position for each of four sections of the choir (SATB). At the discretion of the Artistic Director, some positions may be shared between two candidates within the same season. Successful applicants may be able to retain their positions in future seasons without re-auditioning. In fact, the TCC is especially interested in working with singers who remain a part of our singing community for multiple seasons, and the choir now offers a different stipend for Consort members who have sung with us for at least four projects.
The choir benefits from the program in all of these ways:
- The Consort members contribute to making the overall sound of the TCC more polished.
- Consort members bring “youthful energy” as well as professional musicianship to the rehearsal process. They are encouraged to make constructive comments and to demonstrate for their section, which increases their artistic investment in the final product.
- The Consort members run sectionals and vocal warmups for the choir and act as liaisons between their sections and the Artistic Director.
- The Consort members help to promote TCC performances among their friends, colleagues, and family. This creates new and often younger audience members for the choir.
- The choir is able to offer more interesting programming, mixing repertoire which involves the Consort singing as leads with full choir, on its own (in solos or small ensembles), and/or serving as the soloists in a larger work.
- Because Consort members attend all rehearsals, they become part of the TCC community (rather than joining towards the end as a soloist or “ringer”). The Consort also serves as mentors to our apprentice members from Rosedale School for the Arts.
- Because the choir has its soloists built in to its structure, it is spared the expense and effort of finding other soloists (and yet the choir’s audience still enjoys the chance to hear new soloists each season).
- The program increases the choir’s exposure to many other institutions in Toronto’s music scene where Consort members sing (such as the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, University of Toronto’s Macmillan Singers and Schola Cantorum).
The Consort members in turn receive these benefits:
- Compensation at TCC’s section lead rates.
- The opportunity to perform with a well-established early music ensemble working with professional period instrumentalists.
- Solo and small ensemble opportunities.
- Coaching with the TCC’s Artistic Director.
- Opportunities to lead and coach the TCC singers in sectionals and warmups.
- The chance to be recommended by the Artistic Director for other opportunities.
Donations to the Toronto Chamber Choir can be earmarked to support the Consort Program.