Tuesday, 29 January 2013


Rosedale Presbyterian is proud to present our very own Gillian Keith, internationally recognized Soprano, in recital on FEB 9 '2013, at 7:30pm.

She will be accompanied by distinguished guest pianist, Keith Weber. Music will include works by Schumann, Britten, Purcell, Copland and more!

Tickets available at the door ($20). Rosedale Presbyterian is located at 129 Mount Pleasant Avenue, two blocks north of Bloor, by Sherbourne station.
We hope to see you there!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Toronto Brass Quintet: A beautifully played concert

Last Sunday (Jan 20' 2013), the TORONTO BRASS QUINTET shared their music making with an attentive and happy audience. The program 'Classics for Brass' featured music by Bach, Gesualdo, Calvert, and Ewald. I especially enjoyed the virtuosic playing in a rendition of Bach's 'My Spirit be Joyful', from the great master's Cantata 146. The rhythmic theme was brilliantly treated by the TBQ's five instrumentalists, and  articulation details were always brought out with fine care (particularly the coordinated ornamented trills with the two trumpeters that seemed so easy).

Next were four madrigal by Gesualdo. Who knew he was such a colourful character? Apart from being an aristocrat, Gesualdo was a highly imaginative composer. This was evident in the wild turns of harmonies throughout the four madrigals. (note: History also tells us that Gesualdo had an extra-ordinary personal life, and was particularly vengeful towards a cheating spouse...)     The Suite from the Monteregion Hills by Morley Calvert had a distinctive "contemporary" feel to its energetic dance-like tunes and passages. The music was fun, and some children in attendance were highly animated during movements like the 'marche'. 

The second half of the program consisted of Quintet no.3 by Victor Ewald, an original member of the groupf of five Russian composers called "The Mighty Handful"  (including Balakirev, Cui, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov). The four movement work is cast in the mold of the classical symphony, and is full of beautiful melodies (of Russian romantic flavour) that sticks with the listener long after the performance.

Special thanks to the TBQ's members for the wonderful afternoon of music! We hope to hear them again in the future ! 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Canadians and the Brass Quintet

Rosedale Presbyterian is hosting the Toronto Brass Quintet this coming Sunday (Jan 20 3pm), and I got curious about the origins of the brass quintet. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Canadians have been a champion of this terrific brass ensemble medium !

A brass quintet is a five-piece musical ensemble composed of brass instruments. The most common instrumentation is two trumpets or cornets, one horn, one trombone or euphonium/baritone horn, and one tuba or bass trombone.
As an ensemble type, the brass quintet is very flexible, with a repertoire encompassing musical genres from madrigals to jazz and everything in between. The instrumentation for a brass quintet is very flexible. Often trumpets will double on piccolo trumpets and flugelhorns. In some pieces the horn is replaced by a trombone. In some ensembles a euphonium substitutes for the trombone part. While a tuba is considered standard, the range and style of many pieces lends themselves to being played on bass trombone. Additionally some pieces call for the use of percussion instruments, particularly tambourine, snare drum and especially timpani.
The contemporary brass quintet was started in the late 1940s by two different groups operating independently—the Chicago Brass Quintet and the New York Brass Quintet. Two members of the Chicago Brass Quintet can arguably be credited with helping plant the seed for today's success of the brass quintet medium: Arnold Jacobs, tubist of the CBQ was teacher to the two founders Daellenbach and Watts of the Canadian Brass, while Renold Schilke, trumpet player in the CBQ and master craftsman, was mentor to the entire group, successfully crafting the first-ever matched set of gold-plated quintet brass instruments. Canadian Brass has gone on to establish both the style and popularity of the quintet medium throughout the world having performed more than five thousand concerts and having sold more than 500,000 quintet music books for performers around the world, affirming the rise of the brass quintet as a worldwide phenomenon. The wealth of new music for brass quintet can be attributed to the American Brass Quintet with over 100 premieres of new quintet works.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


Rosedale Presbyterian Church is pleased to present the TORONTO BRASS QUINTET in concert with CLASSICS for BRASS! (Sunday JAN 20' 2013 at 3pm). Works by Bach, Gesualdo, Calvert, Ewald etc.
Wine & cheese reception to follow !

Saturday, 5 January 2013


Dear Visitor,

Welcome to a new blog about music and arts activities at Rosedale Presbyterian Church(RPC), here in Toronto. 

(Here is a brochure link of full winter activities at the church: http://rpcc.ca/160-christmas-2012-p1.htm)

We appreciate music very much at RPC as it plays an important role in our worship activities. Our choir is made up of volunteer members of the congregation, lead by professional soloists. We are also celebrating the 30th anniversary of a beautiful two-manual organ by Karl Whilhelm. 

RPC has developed relationships with several distinguished artists from the Toronto's classical music community. We are pleased to have as a regular performer, MEHDI GAHZI,   a young piano virtuoso based at the Royal Conservatory of Music. We are also pleased to be presenting internationally reknowned soprano, GILLIAN KEITH, in recital with accompanist KEITH WEBER this FEB 9' 2013

We are looking forward to continuing an artsong collaboration with distinguished opera coach, RACHEL ANDRIST  (Canadian Opera Company, Royal Conservatory, Salzburg Festspiel). Many of Toronto's talented singers will continue to share their vocal talent with the public in future RPC concerts.

RPC has also fostered an interest in partnerships with Toronto-based ensembles. We are pleased to have as our resident ensemble, the fabulous TORONTO BRASS QUINTET. The TBQ were part of our Christmas worship last December 2012, and we are excited to present the group on JAN 20' 2013 in a program of splendid brass music.

Other ensembles that have an association with RPC are the Rosedale Winds, and the Rosedale Chamber Orchestra

Rosedale Presbyterian has community outreach in other arts initiatives: we have an annual Fall Festival of the Arts, where we invite local artists to exhibit their works, and we invite the Toronto community to drop in and see the artwork (with wine and cheese!). We are also home to the Penthelia Singers, a ballet program for young children, and a music therapy program.