Season 2023 / 2024

Season 2022/ 2023

Please review our Purchasing and COVID-19 policies prior to visiting the “Ticket Store.”

Be sure to visit this page often to see updates and details on upcoming concerts, as they become available. Seat purchase now available. 

March 2024

SEVEN LAST WORDS

from the cross

for choir & string orchestra
by James MacMillan

Orchestra sponsored by Guy and Chiyo Mommaerts

Good Friday, March 29, 2023- 7:00 pm
Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, 28 Norfolk Street Guelph, ON  N1H 4H8

Many believe that James MacMillan is the most significant composer of our day. Written for string orchestra and choir, Seven Last Words from the Cross is a dramatic powerhouse of brilliant musical writing. It was commissioned by BBC Television and first screened in seven nightly episodes during Holy Week 1994. It was performed by Cappella Nova and the BT Scottish Ensemble under Alan Tavener. The traditional text is based on a compilation from all four gospels to form a sequential presentation of the last seven sentences uttered by Christ.

“ […] highly original conception with the composer’s fertile imagination stamped all over it. […] the work is terse, dark and deeply emotional, yet for all its crude depiction of total suffering, the listener is left with a spiritual fulfillment of intense gratitude and joy. This is music where one must be prepared to suffer in silence if he wants to grasp and appreciate the immense beauty of Macmillan’s stupendous creation.”

— Classical.net

“[Seven Last Words] is probably MacMillan’s masterpiece… the maturity in this composition is astounding: the tonal structure of the seven settings, harmony which can be spare or lush without ever being overwritten, an inexorable sense of the drama in the text, the balance between voice and strings.”

— The Guardian

 

Please be sure to reserve your seat by noon on the day of the performance date or purchase at-door at the venue.

REGULAR — $50

STUDENTS 18 and under — $30

(Prices include HST)

 

Please review our Purchasing and COVID-19 policies prior to visiting the “Ticket Store.”

April & May 2024

WARM BREATH OF SPRING: Folksongs & Spirituals

Sunday April 28, 2024- 4:00 pm
St. Mark’s Anglican Church – 41 Byron St, Niagara-on-the-Lake  ON L0S 1J0

Saturday May 4, 2024- 4:00 pm
The Church of St. Peter & St. Simon, 525 Bloor St. East, Toronto ON M4W 1J1

Sunday May 5, 2024 – 4:00 pm
Knox Presbyterian Church Elora,  51 Church Street, Elora ON  N0B 1S0

Last season’s concert was such a success, that we had to do it again.

Please join us for a heartwarming and intimate performance that celebrates the long traditions of folk music and spirituals, with commentary about the songs, by our singers.

Our concert title Warm Breath of Spring comes from the first verse of the late, great Gordon Lightfoot’s song Pussy willows, Cat-tails:

Pussy willows, cat-tails, soft winds and roses     
Rain pools in the woodland, water to my knees
Shivering, quivering, the warm breath of spring
Pussy willows, cat-tails, soft winds and roses

This soothing song was inspired by Gordon Lightfoot’s upbringing in Orillia, Ontario. In his Complete Greatest Hits liner notes, he called the area “a very idyllic spot,” adding, “it was classic: a river, a pond, and a dam, a stream down below.”

Please be sure to reserve your seat by 10 pm on the day prior to the performance date or purchase at-door at the venue.

REGULAR — $45

STUDENTS 18 and under — $25

(Prices include HST)

 

Please review our Purchasing and COVID-19 policies prior to visiting the “Ticket Store.”

October & November 2023

ROYAL SPLENDOUR

A Celebration of  Royal Music In Words, Music and Song

The Niagara-on-the-Lake performance is sponsored by Kathy and Timothy Taylor

Sunday October 29, 2023- 4:00 pm
St. Mark’s Anglican Church – 41 Byron St, Niagara-on-the-Lake  ON L0S 1J0

Saturday November 4, 2023- 4:00 pm
The Church of St. Peter & St. Simon, 525 Bloor St. East, Toronto ON M4W 1J1

Sunday November 5, 2023- 4:00 pm
Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, 28 Norfolk Street Guelph, ON  N1H 4H8

Researched and written by Hugh Brewster and narrated by him and Shaw Festival actress, Brigitte Robinson (an accomplished actor who has appeared in theatre, film and television across Canada), Royal Splendour is a multimedia production complemented by a screen show of archival images and video. This programme will feature everything from Mendelssohn’s “Italien” OP 8, No 3 (once performed by the young Queen Victoria for the composer at Windsor Castle), to Paul Mealor’s Kyrie Eleison sung in Welsh by Bryn Terfel at this year’s coronation of King Charles III. It also highlights Canada’s connection to the Crown from the first royal visit in 1860 by the Prince of Wales to the anthem composed by Canadian composer Healey Willan for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

From the music of Gilbert and Sullivan (a piece from one of Queen Victoria’s favorite operettas) to Queen Elizabeth’s best-loved song from Oklahoma, Royal Splendour is a regal production not to be missed!

REGULAR — $45

STUDENTS 18 and under — $25

(Prices include HST)

 

Please review our Purchasing and COVID-19 policies prior to visiting the “Ticket Store.”

December 2023

HANDEL’S MESSIAH (Abridged to 90 mins)

Sunday December 3, 2023- 3:30 pm
Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, 28 Norfolk Street Guelph, ON  N1H 4H8

Launch your festive season with this best-loved of all choral works.

Dr. Noel Edison once again draws on years of experience to interpret this magnificent oratorio in a way that is both fresh and powerful. With a splendid choir, outstanding soloists and full orchestra, and performed amid the beauty and acoustic perfection of Guelph’s Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, this is a Messiah you will never forget!

Please be sure to reserve your seat by 10 pm on the day prior to the performance date or purchase at-door at the venue.

REGULAR — $50

STUDENTS 18 and under — $30

(Prices include HST)

 

Please review our Purchasing and COVID-19 policies prior to visiting the “Ticket Store.”

‘TIS THE SEASON: Carols new and old

The Elora performance is sponsored by Marie Spencer

Monday December 18, 2023 – 7:30 pm
Court House Theatre, 26 Queen St, Niagara-On-The-Lake ON L0S 1J0

Wednesday December 20, 2023 – 7:30 pm
St. Andrew’s United Church, 95 Darling St, Brantford ON

Saturday December 23, 2023 – 4:00 pm
Knox Presbyterian Church, 51 Church Street, Elora ON N0B 1S0

Join us for a joyous celebration of the music of Christmas!

“Even though I have been in the choral music business for over 45 years,” says Musical Director and Conductor, Noel Edison, “I still look forward to the month of December with all the concerts and all the wonderful music that is written for the season.

“Christmas is principally about our yesteryears, looking back, hearing and remembering those carols that you’ve heard all your life. The music of Christmas comes in many forms, shapes and emotions. It’s about past gatherings with family and friends, adult memories of good times — and sometimes bad times — but it’s the one time of the year that always conjures up a deep emotion of goodwill towards all. It’s amazing to think that a little newborn would somehow bring so much hope and humanity to our rather fragile world.”

“Yule” want to make this concert a family tradition!

 

Please be sure to reserve your seat by noon on the day of the performance date or purchase at-door at the venue.

REGULAR — $45

STUDENTS 18 and under — $25

(Prices include HST)

 

Please review our Purchasing and COVID-19 policies prior to visiting the “Ticket Store.”

Past Events

May 2023

SWEET EXPRESSIONS: Folksongs & Spirituals

Saturday May 6, 2023- 4:00 pm
St. Mark’s Anglican Church – 41 Byron St, Niagara-on-the-Lake  ON L0S 1J0

Sunday May 7, 2023 – 4:00 pm
Knox Presbyterian Church Elora,  51 Church Street, Elora ON  N0B 1S0

Wednesday May 10, 2023 – 7:30 pm
Hart House (The Great Hall) – University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Cir, Toronto ON    M5S 3H3

Please join us for a heartwarming and intimate performance that celebrates the long traditions of folk music and spirituals, with commentary about the songs, by our singers. (Running time about 1.25 hours.)

This concert title, SWEET EXPRESSIONS, is taken from a Spiritual Hymn “Sweet, Sweet Spirit” written by Doris Mae Akers (May 21, 1923 – July 26, 1995).

“Akers was a biracial African-American gospel music composer, arranger and singer who is considered to be “one of the most underrated gospel composers of the 20th century [who] wrote more than 500 songs. Known for her work with the Sky Pilot Choir, she was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2001.”  — Wikipedia

“Folk music is a living art form that tells and retells its history, even as it creates it. As with any vital art form, there are passionate debates. The very term folk song is contentious. Blues musician Big Bill Broonzy, upon being asked “What is folk music?” is purported to have answered, “All music is folk music…,” a comment that unleashed a decades-long feud among musicologists about the origins and definition of folk music.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the music lives on, enriching our lives. […] We know that […] folk music originated in the oud strummers of the Middle East; the lute pickers of Europe; the balladeers and bawdy pub singers of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Brittany; the fiddle bowers of eastern Europe; the n’goni pluckers of Africa; the chants, plaints, calls, and hollers that came from everywhere to the New World, bringing lyrics, melodies, marches, and polyrhythms that invented and expanded [..] musical horizon forevermore. […] the music ignored boundaries and slipped in and out of parochial communities, creating something bigger than the sum of its parts […]”  Ellen Harper

REGULAR — $45

STUDENTS 18 and under — $25

(Prices include HST)

Our Media Sponsor:

Please review our Purchasing and COVID-19 policies prior to visiting the “Ticket Store.”

April 2023

RACHMANINOFF VESPERS

These performances are generouly sponsored by Marie Spencer in loving memory of a dear friend of Marie and Noel, Thomas Andrew Fitches (1945 – 2023).

Sunday April 2, 2023 canceled due to illness (flu)
Knox Presbyterian Church, 53 Church St, St. Catharines, ON L2R 3C3

Friday April 7, 2023 – 7:30 pm seat purchase available at-door
Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, 28 Norfolk Street Guelph, ON  N1H 4H8

Saturday April 8, 2023 – 1:30 pm seat purchase available at-door
Hart House (The Great Hall) – University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Circle, Toronto ON    M5S 3H3

Hailed as “[…] the greatest musical achievement of the Russian Orthodox Church,” Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Vespers is drawn from texts used in the church’s All-Night Vigil ceremony. Written in 1915 when Russia was embroiled in World War I, it invokes the chants and exquisitely rich harmonies of the Orthodox tradition in a work that is reflective and calm but has a deeply powerful impact. Performed a cappella, this concert will provide a haunting and profound musical experience.

Please be sure to reserve your spot by 10pm of the day prior to the performance date or purchase at-door at the venue.

REGULAR — $45

STUDENTS 18 and under — $25

(Prices include HST)

Please review our Purchasing and COVID-19 policies prior to visiting the “Ticket Store.”

Our media partner:

December 2022

MESSIAH – (abridged)

16th

Sunday December 4, 2022 – 3:30 pm
Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, 28 Norfolk Street Guelph, ON  N1H 4H8

Launch your festive season with this best-loved of all choral works.

Dr. Noel Edison draws on years of experience to interpret this magnificent oratorio in a way that is both fresh and powerful. With a splendid choir, outstanding soloists and full orchestra and performed amid the beauty and acoustic perfection of Guelph’s Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, this is a Messiah you will never forget!

Sponsored by: The Brewster family, in memory of Anne and Ormond Brewster

Please be sure to reserve your spot by 10pm of the day prior to the performance date or purchase at-door at the venue.

REGULAR — $50

STUDENTS 18 and under — $30

(Prices include HST)

Please review our Purchasing and COVID-19 policies prior to visiting the “Ticket Store.”

THE FIRST NOWELL

Saturday December 17, 2022 – 1:30 pm
Hart House University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Cir, Toronto ON    M5S 3H3

Monday December 19, 2022 – 7:30 pm
Court House Theatre, 26 QUEEN ST, NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE ON L0S 1J0

Wednesday December 21, 2022 – 7:30 pm
Knox Presbyterian Church Elora,  51 Church Street, Elora Ontario N0B 1S0

Join us for Dr. Edison’s personal and joyful musical journey towards Christmas Day:

“Even though I have been in the choral music business for over 45 years, I still look forward to the month of December with all the concerts and all the wonderful music that is written for the season. […]

The music of Christmas comes in many forms, shapes and emotions, but its principal element is one of nostalgia, memories of childhood, past gatherings with family and friends, adult memories of good times — and sometimes bad times — but it’s one that always conjures up a deep emotion of goodwill towards all. It’s amazing to think that a little newborn would somehow bring so much hope and humanity to our rather fragile world.”

Noel Edison

Please be sure to reserve your spot by 10pm of the day prior to the performance date or purchase at-door at the venue.

REGULAR — $45

STUDENTS 18 and under — $25

(Prices include HST)

Please review our Purchasing and COVID-19 policies prior to visiting the “Ticket Store.”

November 2022

Sunday November 20, 2022 – 4:00 pm
East Latvian Lutheran Community (St. Barnabas) , 361 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1P1

Sunday November 13, 2022 – 4:00 pm
Knox Presbyterian Church, 53 Church St, St Catharines ON L2R 3C3

Friday November 11, 2022 – 7:30 pm
Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, 28 Norfolk Street Guelph, ON.     N1H 4H8

FAURÉ & DURUFLÉ REQUIEMS      These concerts are dedicated to the people of Ukraine

Filled with rich, soulful melodies, Gabriel Fauré’s seven-part Requiem is one of the most moving works in the choral canon. Premiering in 1888 at La Madeleine in Paris, where Fauré was the organist, it was later performed at the composer’s own funeral in 1924.

Another masterpiece of French choral composition is Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem, which was completed in 1947 with musical themes drawn from Gregorian chant. It has been described as “supremely beautiful.”

Together these two soul-stirring works guarantee a powerful listening experience.

Please be sure to reserve your spot by 10pm of the day prior to the performance date or purchase at-door at the venue.

REGULAR — $45

STUDENTS 18 and under — $25

(Prices include HST)

Please review our Purchasing and COVID-19 policies prior to visiting the “Ticket Store.”

December 2021

5th

Sunday, 3:30pm
Basilica of our Lady Immaculate, 28 Norfolk Street, Guelph
– click for map –

Messiah

Sponsored by: The Brewster family, in memory of Anne and Ormond Brewster

Launch your festive season with this best-loved of all choral works.
Noel Edison draws on years of experience to interpret this magnificent oratorio in a way that is both fresh and powerful. With a splendid choir, outstanding soloists and full orchestra and performed amid the beauty and acoustic perfection of Guelph’s Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, this is a
Messiah you will never forget!

PRE-REGISTRATION & SALES FOR THIS PERFORMANCE ARE NOW CLOSED

December 2021

17th

Friday, 7:30pm
Basilica of our Lady Immaculate, 28 Norfolk Street, Guelph
– click for map –

Festival of Carols

Sponsored by: Susan Newman and Wilf Trivett

Join us for a joyous celebration of the music of Christmas with carols new and old; and readings by Marilyn Lightstone and Colin Fox of seasonal poems and stories.

You’ll want to make this concert a family tradition!

Please note: The deadline for pre-registration and sales is 24 hours prior to the start of the performance. At this time we are not permitted to have at-door sales. Be sure to review our PURCHASING & COVID-19 policies prior to purchasing.  Proof of full vaccination is required. Properly fitted masks must be worn at all times while inside the venue.

December 2021

20th

Monday, 7:30pm
Court House Theatre, Niagara-on-the-Lake
– click for map –

Festival of Carols

Sponsored by: Susan Newman and Wilf Trivett

Join us for a joyous celebration of the music of Christmas with carols new and old; and readings by Marilyn Lightstone and Colin Fox of seasonal poems and stories.

You’ll want to make this concert a family tradition!

Please note: The deadline for pre-registration and sales is 24 hours prior to the start of the performance. At this time we are not permitted to have at-door sales. Be sure to review our PURCHASING & COVID-19 policies prior to purchasing.  Proof of full vaccination is required. Properly fitted masks must be worn at all times while inside the venue.

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