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Posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012.

Our very own Brainerd Blyden-Taylor is being presented with the Planet Africa Heritage Award on Saturday, October 27th, 2012 at Roy Thomson Hall. To find out more about the Planet Africa Group, the Planet Africa Awards and tickets, please visit the Planet Africa Group website. Congratulations Brainerd!

Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale- I Dream A World 2012
Scotiabank Nuit Blanche
“An All Night Contemporary Art Thing”
Saturday September 29 – Sunday September 30th

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale has been selected to perform at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, a 12 hour Contemporary Art Festival that takes place on September 29th and 30th, 2012 in Toronto. The Chorale’s presentation I Dream A World 2012 is part of a larger exhibit entitled Museum for the End of the World. Mounted in various locations around Nathan Phillips Square and City Hall (from Council Chambers to the underground parking garage), Museum for the End of the World is an exercise in creativity and crisis. One of the greater ironies of human existence is the persistent anticipation of its end. Whether the result of monster waves, unstoppable pandemics, nuclear calamities, or the sun ceasing to shine, the idea of Doomsday can be at once the fire of speculative lamentation and the spark of insightful creativity.

I Dream A World 2012 – Lyrics

My Lord, What A Morning

Who Built the Ark – Moses Hogan

And God looked upon the earth and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, “The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold I will destroy them with the earth. Make me an ark.” (Genesis 6: 12-14a)

Ol’ Noah was a hund’ed an’ twenty years, buil’in de ark o’ God,
An’ ev’ry time his hammer ring, Noah cried “Amen.”

Refrain:
I wanna know who built de ark? Noah built it. Cut his timber down.
Who built de ark? Noah built it. Hammer keep a-ringin’.
Said, “Noah built it.” Who built the ark? Yes! Noah built it. Cut his timber down.

Den the Lord tol’ Noah buil’ it good an’ strong. Buil’in the ark o’ God,
‘Cause it’s gwinter rain hard an’ it’s gwin rain long. Noah cried, “Amen.”
Make fas’ ev’y winder, make fas’ ev’y do! Buil’in de ark o’ God,
‘Cause when it starts in it’s sho’ gwine po’. Noah cried, “Amen.” Refrain

Take yo’ wife an’ yo’ sons an’ yo’ sons’ wives too, into de ark o’ God,
‘Cause ev’ybody gwinter git drow’n but you. Noah cried, “Amen.”
Take a married couple of ev’ry beast, into the ark o’ God.
So when de trouble’s all over, day kin start to increase. Noah cried, “Amen.” Refrain

Forty days, forty nights, how de rain did fall, all ‘round de ark o’ God,
‘Till it kivver’d up de mountains, tops an’ all. Noah cried, “Amen.”
Dere was water, water all aroun’. All ‘round de ark o’ God,
Wasn’t nothin’ lef’ livin’ on top o’ de groun’. Noah cried, ‘Amen.” Refrain

Noah took an’ sent out a mo’nin’ dove, out of the ark o’ God,
An’ when she brought back a token of Heb’nly love, Noah cried, “Amen.”
Den God gave Noah de rainbow sign, when he come out de ark o’ God,
Be no mo’ water, but de fire nex’ time. Noah cried, “Amen.” Refrain

Hold On – Moses Hogan

Hold on! Hold on! Hold on! Lawd! Just a-hold on!
Noah, Noah, let me come in; de door’s all fastened an’ de winders pinned!
Just keep yo’ hand on de plow, an’ you hold on, yes, you gotta hold on!
Noah said, “You lost yo’ track, you can’t plow straight an’ keep a-lookin’ back.”
Just keep yo’ hand on de plow, an’ you hold on, yes, you gotta hold on!
Well, my brother, hold on! Yes, you gotta hold on!
Yes, just keep yo’ hand on de plow, an’ you hold on, yes, you gotta hold on!

If you wanna get to heaven, let me tell you how:
Jus’ keep yo’ hand on de gospel plow.
Just keep yo’ hand on de plow, an’ you hold on, yes, you gotta hold on!
If dat plow stay in yo’ hand, land you straight in de promised land.
Just keep yo’ hand on de plow, an’ you hold on, yes, you gotta hold on!
Well, my sister, hold on! Yes, you gotta hold on!
Yes, just keep yo’ hand on de plow, an’ you hold on, yes, you gotta hold on!

Mary had a golden chain, an’ every link spelled my Jesus’ name.
Just keep yo’ hand on de plow, an’ you hold on, yes, you gotta hold on!
Keep on climbin’ an’ don’t you tire, ‘cause ev’ry rung goes higher an’ higher!
Just keep yo’ hand on de plow, an’ you hold on, yes, you gotta hold on!

Well, my brother, hold on! Yes, you gotta hold on!
Yes, just keep yo’ hand on de plow, an’ you hold on, yes, you gotta hold on!
Well, my sister, hold on! Yes, you gotta hold on!
Yes, just keep yo’ hand on de plow, an’ you hold on, yes, you gotta hold on!
Hmm, hmm, yes! Hold on! Prayin’! Hold on! Singin’! Hold on! Shoutin’ Lawd!
Well, my sister, hold on! Yes, you gotta hold on!
Yes, just keep yo’ hand on de plow, an’ hold! (Lawd!) Just hold on!

Ezekiel Saw de Wheel – Moses Hogan

Ezekiel saw de wheel, way up in the air.
An’ de lil’ wheel run by faith, oh yes, an’ de big wheel run by de grace of God.
‘Tis a wheel in a wheel in de middle of de wheel way in de middle of de air.

Oh, some go to church fo’ to sing an’ shout, (Glory hallelu!)
Some go to church fo’ to sing, (Glory!)
An’ befo’ six months dey’s all turned out!
Turnin’ (Wheel a-turnin’) yes, turnin’.
Tis a wheel in a wheel in de middle of de wheel way in de middle of de air.

Let me tell you what a hypocrit’ do, (Yes, go on an’ tell it.)
Let me tell you what a hypocrit’ do, (Tell me.)
He’ll talk about me and he’ll talk about you
Oo turnin’ (Wheel a-turnin’) yes, turnin’.
Tis a wheel in a wheel in de middle of de wheel way in de middle of de air.

I’m goin’ jine the heav’nly choir (Praise de lawd!)
When dis worl’ is set on fiyer, (Praise de Lawd!)
One o’ dese days, ‘bout twelve o’clock, (Praise him!)
Dis ole worl’ gonna reel an’ rock.
Oo turnin’ (Wheel a-turnin’) yes, turnin’.
Tis a wheel in a wheel in de middle of de wheel way in de middle of de air.

Ezekiel saw de wheel, way up in the air.
An’ de lil’ wheel run by faith, oh yes, an’ de big wheel run by de grace of God.
‘Tis a wheel in a wheel in de middle of de wheel way in de middle of de air.

God’s Gonna Set This World On Fire – Moses Hogan

God’s gonna set dis worl on fiyer, yes, yes, yes.
God’s gonna set dis worl on fiyer one of these days Hallelujah!
God’s gonna set dis worl on fiyer,
God’s gonna set dis worl on fiyer one of these days.

I’m gonna sit at the welcome table, yes, yes, yes.
I’m gonna sit at the welcome table one of these days Hallelujah!
I’m gonna sit at the welcome table,
I’m gonna sit at the welcome table one of these days.

I’m gonna eat and never get hungry, yes, yes, yes.
I’m gonna eat and never get hungry one of these days Hallelujah!
I’m gonna eat and never get hungry,
I’m gonna eat and never get hungry one of these days.

I’m gonna drink and never get thirsty, yes, yes, yes.
I’m gonna drink and never get thirsty one of these days Hallelujah!
I’m gonna drink and never get thirsty,
I’m gonna drink and never get thirsty one of these days.

God’s gonna set dis worl on fiyer, yes, yes, yes.
God’s gonna set dis worl on fiyer one of these days Hallelujah!
God’s gonna set dis worl on fiyer,
God’s gonna set dis worl on fiyer one of these days.

My Lord, What A Morning – Harry T. Burleigh

My Lord what a morning, oh my Lord what a morning when the stars begin to fall.
Done quit all my worldly ways – join that heavenly band, Oh!
My Lord what a morning, oh my Lord what a morning when the stars begin to fall.

Wake Me Up, Lord – Uzee Brown, Jr.

Wake me up, Lord, when it’s over, Oh wake me up, Lord, when it’s over;
When the shouting is done and the course is run,
Wake me up, Lord, when it’s over.
When your promise is fulfilled, and your child has come home,
Wake me up, Lord, wake me up, Lord, wake me up, Lord, when it’s over.
Ja Jahannes

Abide With Me – William H. Monk; Arr. Greg Jasperse

Abide with me fast falls the eventide,
The darkness deepens – Lord with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me!

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day,
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see.
O Thou who changest not, abide with me!

Hold now your word before my closing eyes,
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heav’n’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee.
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!
Henry Francis Lyte

Oblivion

Canciones Por Las Américas – Sid Robinovitch

1. Noche de Lluvia

Espera, no te duermas.
Quédate atento a lo que dice el viento
Y a lo que dice el agua que golpea
Con sus dedos menudos en los vidrios.

Todo mi corazón se vuelve oídos
Para escuchar a la hechizada hermana,
Que ha dormido en el cielo,
Que ha visto el sol
Y baja ahora, elástica y alegre.

Cómo estará de alegre el trigo ondeante!
Con qué avidez se exponjará la hierba!
Cuántos diamantes colgarán ahora
Del ramaje profundo de los pinos!

Escuchemos el ritmo de la lluvia.
Apoya entre mis senos
Tu frente taciturna.
Yo sentiré el latir de tus dos sienes,
Palpitantes y tibias.

Espera, no te duermas. Esta noche
Somos los dos un mundo,
Aislado por el viento y por la lluvia
Entre las cuencas tibias de una alcoba.

1. Rainy Night

Wait, do not sleep.
Listen to what the wind is saying
And to what the water says tapping
With little fingers upon the window-panes

All my heart is listening
To hear the enchanted sister
Who has slept in the sky,
Who has seen the sun,
And now comes down, buoyant and gay.

How gay the waving wheat will be!
How eagerly the grass will thrive!
What diamonds will cluster now
In the deep branches of the pines!

Let us listen to the rhythm of the rain.
Cradle between my breasts
Your silent forehead.
I will feel the beating of your temples,
Palpitant and warm.

Wait, do not sleep. Tonight
The two of us are a world,
Isolated by wind and rain
In the warmth of a bedroom.
Juana de Ibarbourou (Uruguay)

3. Olvido

Cierra los ojos y a oscuras piérdete
Bajo el follaje rojo de tus párpados.

Húndete en esas espirales
Del sonido que zumba y cae
Y suena allá, remoto,
Hacia el sitio del tímpano,
Como una catarata ensordecida.

Hunde tu ser a oscuras,
Anégate en tu piel,
Y mas, en tu entrañas.

En esa sombra líquida del sueño
Moja tu desnudez:
Abandona tu forma, espuma
Que no sabe quién dejó en la orilla.

Piérdete en ti, en tu infinito ser,
Mar se pierde en otro mar:
Olvídate y olvídame.

En ese olvido sin edad ni fondo
Labios, besos, amor, todo, renace:
Las estrellas son hijas de la noche.

3. Oblivion

Close your eyes and lose yourself in darkness
Beneath the red foliage of your lids.

Sink within those spirals
Of sound buzzing, falling,
Echoing there, remote,
Toward the place of drums,
Like a muted waterfall.

Submerge your being in the darkness,
Drown yourself in your flesh,
Even more, in your very heart.

In that liquid shade of sleep
Drench your nakedness;
Renounce your form, that lace of spume
Left on the shore by – whom?

Lose yourself, in your infinite self;
A sea merging with another sea:
Forget yourself, forget me.

In that oblivion, ageless and without bottom,
Lips, kisses, love, all things are reborn:
The stars are daughters of the night.
Octavio Paz (Mexico)

Seven Songs of the Rubaiyat – Adolphus Hailstork

1. Come! Come! Come fill the cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your winter garment of repentance fling:
The bird of time has but a little way to flutter,
And the bird is on the wing.
Come fill the cup!

2. The worldly hope men set their hearts upon
Turns ashes – or it prospers: and anon,
Like snow upon the desert’s dusty face
Lighting a little hour or two – is gone

3. Ah, my beloved, fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears:
Tomorrow? Why, tomorrow I may be
Myself with yesterday’s seven thousand years.
Ah, my beloved.

4. Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we into dust descend:
Dust into dust, and under dust, to lie
Sans wine, sans song, sans singer, and – sans end!

5. Oh, threats of Hell and hopes of paradise!
One thing at least is certain, this life flies;
One thing is certain and the rest is lies;
The flow’r that one has blown forever dies.

6. The revelation of devout and learn’d
Who rose before us, and as prophets burn’d
Are all but stories, which, awoke from sleep
They told their comrades, and to sleep return’d

7. I sent my soul into the invisible
Some letter of that afterlife to spell:
And by and by my soul returned to me,
And answer’d: “I myself am Heaven and Hell.”
Omar Khayyam, translated Edward Fitzgerald

Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae – Peter-Anthony Togni

3. Silentio

Silentio! Bonum est praestolari cum silentio salutare Domini.

Silence! It is good to wait patiently and with silence for the deliverance of God.
Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah 3:26

I Dream A World

I Dream A World – Rosephayne Powell

I dream a world, where man no other will scorn
Where love will bless the earth and peace its paths adorn.
I dream a world where all will know sweet freedom’s way
Where greed no longer saps the soul nor avarice blights our day.

A world I dream where black or white, whatever race you be
Will share the bounties of the earth and everyman is free
Where wretchedness will hang its head,
And joy like a pearl attends the needs of all mankind.
Of such I dream our world.
Langston Hughes

Truth Pressed to Earth Shall Rise – Ysaye M. Barnwell

1. Nightmares
I have seen my dream become a nightmare.
Yes I am a victim of a dream deferred.
I have seen my dream become a nightmare.
I can tell you just where and when.
When the four innocent girls were murdered in the church in Birmingham –
That was a nightmare;
When I saw my Black sisters and brothers perishing in poverty –
That was a nightmare;
When I saw my Black people, in understandable outrage, rioting –
That was a nightmare;
When I saw my country escalating the war in Vietnam –
That was a nightmare.
But in spite of this I still have a dream because you can’t give up on life.

2. A Call to Action
Who was this man? This Martin Luther King Junior some say he was a dreamer.
This man of God though he did have a dream was a wise and courageous leader.
No watery eyes and no languid sighs, his dream was a call to action.
Stepped out on faith with his non-violent grace, walking that long road to freedom, Oh keep the faith and don’t you never fail.

3. Love
At the center of non-violence is the power of love.
So if we must choose a weapon, let it only be love.
Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice.
Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.
At the center of non-violence is the power of love.
So if we must choose a weapon, let it only be love, redemptive love.

4. Justice
Not by power, and not by might, and not by the almighty dollar.
He was determined to work and to fight until justice runs down like water.
Just like Jesus Christ he gave us his life.
Yes He died that we might have freedom.
Though evil prospers he said truth would prevail,
And the Universe would side with justice.
Oh keep the faith and don’t you never fail.

5. War
The world is sick with war.
Everywhere we turn we see its ominous possibilities.
The world is sick with war.
Wisdom should tell us that war is obsolete.
Experience should tell us that war is obsolete.
If we assume that life is worth living, and if we assume that mankind should survive. If we assume that all life is sacred and if we agree that now is the time,
Then we must find alternatives to war.
The world is sick with war.

6. Leadership
In this juncture of our nations’ history
There is an urgent need for dedicated and courageous leadership.

7. Protest
There comes a time when the people get tired
Of being trampled under feet of oppression.
People are now rising up with a hunger and thirst for freedom.
And the glory we see in this great democracy
Is the right that we have to protest.
How long? Not long,
Because truth pressed to earth shall rise, for no lie lives forever.
Oh keep the faith and don’t you never fail.

8. Come Let Us Build a New World
Oh come let us build a new world together.
It may not come today,
It may not come tomorrow,
But it is well within our hearts.
Adapted from text by Martin Luther King Jr.

Oh How Beautiful, This Finely Woven Earth – Greg Jasperse

Oh how beautiful, this finely woven earth.
We are bound in threads of joy, threads of grief of soul.
Your tears fall from my eyes, my joy rings in your laughter.
We are bound together.

Give me your sorrow,
I will stretch across to you over green pine and sparkling lake,
You will feel how my heart beats with yours.
I know your heart’s journey, it is my own.
Oh how beautiful our finely woven earth.
Gaïa Willis-Owen

Poem for 2084 – Edie Hall

My breath has become water.
Chokecherries and wild roses
grow from the ashes of my bones.

You who wake in human form,
healthy and vigorous,
above the root-shaped rocks,

take heart, evolutionary spirits,
many feared
you would never appear.

If the rivers and oceans
have begun to purify,
if the lead contaminated earth

has begun to heal,
if the mind has grown
less separate from other minds,

rejoice – call
your family and friends
to hear these words

of a dead poet:
gather rosehips for tea,
share bread with chokecherry jelly…
Joan Wolf Prefontaine

Light – Greg Jasperse

Light! Light! Light! Divining light, light of truth
Illuminating light, warming light, softening light,
Soothing light, serene revealing light

Light which pierces the dark shadows of ignorance
The shadows of intolerance, indifference

Night falls on the soul
I awaken from darkness

I awaken to peace
I awaken to love
I awaken to life

To hope
To deep knowing

To – Light                                       Greg Jasperse

Posted on Monday, September 17th, 2012.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale has been invited to perform Voices of Diaspora- Make Me A World for the OneWorld School House Foundation on Saturday September 22nd at the Erin Centre.

OneWorld School House Foundation collects high-quality textbooks and other books from elementary and secondary schools in Ontario and redistributes them to schools in the Caribbean. There are approximately 500,000 accessible texts in excellent condition in Ontario – with more added each year. OneWorld Schoolhouse Foundation is focused on supporting literacy as a human right that empowers social and human development.

For more details on The Nathaniel Dett Chorale’s upcoming performance click here

Saturday September 22, 2012
Erin Centre, 2000 Theatre in Erin Ontario
Doors Open at 6:30pm Curtain Rises 7:30pm

Posted on Friday, May 25th, 2012.

By Ariel Fielding

Treemonisha is an extraordinary opera that was fated to be little known in the lifetime of its composer, Scott Joplin (c. 1867-1917.) As one of the very first full-length dramatic stage works created by an African American artist for African American performers and African American audiences, Treemonisha (1911) proved challenging to publish and to produce, and received only a handful of performances in Scott Joplin’s day. Joplin specialized in ‘classic ragtime’, an intricate and sophisticated version of a highly syncopated style of African American popular music, and a precursor to jazz. While he excelled at ragtime, Scott Joplin was a trained composer of wide-ranging interests who refused to be limited by one particular style. In Treemonisha, Joplin weaves together distinctly African American musical elements such as call-and-response, the vocal quartet, the spiritual, the ring dance, and of course ragtime, along with evocations of Verdi, vaudeville, Native American music, Eastern European Jewish folk music, and the formal conventions of 18th and 19th century opera. In the hands of another composer, the transformation of this array of materials into a cohesive and compelling work of music theatre might have been improbable, but Joplin was a composer of prodigious talents and great vision, and he made Treemonisha sing.

TREEMONISHA AND RACIAL UPLIFT
The opera is set at a fascinating time in the history of the United States, in the year 1884. Slavery had been abolished for almost twenty years, black American men had legally had the vote for fourteen years, and the first black political leaders had been elected to public office. Despite the withdrawal of federal support for former slaves with the end of Reconstruction in 1877, the will for progress on the part of African Americans was unstoppable. Booker T. Washington had embarked on his life’s work as President of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, preparing black teachers to meet the enormous demand for education in the South. Washington’s eventual rival W.E.B. Du Bois was about to begin the university education that would launch him as another of the era’s great leaders. While the ideas and approaches of Washington and Du Bois differed substantially, both men aspired to uplift African Americans by instilling a positive self-image after centuries of degradation, and encouraging economic and social progress through education. This would appear to have been Joplin’s aim, too. By depicting an educated, freeborn young woman as a leader of her people, Joplin intended—as ragtime scholar Rick Benjamin argues—to reach a large popular audience of working class and middle class black folks on the vaudeville stage. His Treemonisha represents the way ahead: the potential for education to cultivate just and intelligent leaders, and the hope of African Americans for a brighter future. Joplin wanted nothing less than to create a refined and uplifting work for the masses.

TREEMONISHA AS TRAILBLAZING LEADER
Treemonisha was completed at a time when women in the United States were close to winning the vote, after more than sixty years of hard campaigning in the face of hostile resistance. While most American women had to wait until 1920 for this right, Joplin was ahead of his time in envisioning a woman in a position of authority and power. Although the suffrage movement was largely led by white women, Joplin would certainly have been aware, when he created the character of Treemonisha, of the parallel reform movement led by Oberlin graduate Mary Church Terrell. Terrell was one of the first African American women to be granted a university degree and was the founder of the National Association of Colored Women (1896) and a charter member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (1909.)

FEAR AND FEARLESSNESS IN TREEMONISHA
While the 1880s were a time of great hope and great progress, the era in which Treemonisha is set also saw the beginnings of white supremacist backlash against black freedom and black enfranchisement. Intimidation tactics ranged from segregation laws, to poll taxes and literacy tests for black voters, to the horrific violence of lynching—which continued through the late 1960s, a century after emancipation. This backlash had intensified by the time Joplin completed Treemonisha in 1911. While racism never enters directly into the plot of the opera, it would have been clearly understood by Joplin’s music hall audience as the ominous background to the sunny life of Treemonisha. The institution of slavery thrived on fear, and, though free, the conjurors—the villains of Joplin’s opera—continue to live fearfully, and to make their living spreading fear of bad luck and evil curses. Joplin thus uses the conventions of Victorian melodrama—also used to great effect in European operas of the day—to depict a stark contrast between the old fearful ways, and the fearless future.

The conjurors, in Joplin’s imagination, are not genuine practitioners of the Yoruba religious practices carried across the Atlantic with the African diaspora, but mere fearmongers hampered by a lack of education. The true spirituality in the opera comes in the African-inflected Christian worship led by the character of Parson Alltalk. The parson’s name suggests that he should not be taken seriously, yet Joplin’s music tells us something else. It is clear from the low and powerful trembling emanating from the orchestra—the timpani and bass like approaching thunder—that the parson is inhabited by the Almighty. While the conjurors keep to the seclusion of their brush arbor, as if the secrecy of slavery times were still essential, the parson leads a worship service fearlessly in the open air.

Joplin, in creating his Treemonisha, was participating in the great project of restoring an oppressed people to full and just humanity, to an ethos of love. His depiction of fear and fearlessness calls to mind the words of John’s Gospel: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear.” Treemonisha knows her own worth and the worth of her community, and looks fearlessly ahead, beloved of her people, the ideal leader striding towards a brighter day.

Ariel Fielding is a producer of culturally diverse performing arts and educational programming, and an applied ethnomusicologist. She holds a M.Mus. in Ethnomusicology from the University of London.

Posted on Wednesday, November 16th, 2011.

The Chorale is proud to be participating in a fundraiser to support the North York General Hospital’s Senior Health Centre. “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens will be an evening of dramatic readings, with beautiful holiday musical selections presented by The Nathaniel Dett Chorale and the Adult Choir of St. Timothy’s Anglican Church in North Toronto.

This wonderful event is taking place on Sunday, December 4th at 7pm, at St. Timothy’s Anglican Church located at 100 Old Orchard Grove. Tickets are available by calling 416-488-0079. Hope to see you there!

 

Posted on Friday, October 14th, 2011.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale’s 2011/2012 season is now on sale. This season, we bring you three very different Afrocentric concerts representing a sweeping range of soulful repertoire, from Afro-Latino and Andean sounds in An Indigo Christmas… Navidad Nuestra; to the African inflections of jazz and spirituals interwoven with readings from Lawrence Hill’s award-winning novel in Voices of the Diaspora… The Book of Negroes; to a brilliant but little known opera by composer Scott Joplin, in And Still We Sing… Treemonisha.

We have a stellar lineup of guest artists for you this season, including Maderaz Latin Music and COBA (Collective of Black Artists); author Lawrence Hill and the Joe Sealy Quartet; and some of our most talented Chorale alumni, who will return to take the principal roles in Joplin’s Treemonisha.

Like our colleagues at some of the city’s best-loved arts organizations, we are pleased to announce our move to a new venue, Koerner Hall. Its excellent acoustics and central location at the newly expanded Royal Conservatory of Music on Bloor Street convinced us that it was the right time for us to relocate to what the Toronto Star has called “the best concert venue in Toronto.”

Enjoy all three Nathaniel Dett Concerts and save: tickets are on sale now–click on this link for the Koerner Hall box office. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Ariel Fielding
Director of Touring, Production, and Development

Posted on Friday, January 14th, 2011.

On March 6, 2011 the Chorale will join the King Edward Choir to perform a concert rich with Afrocentric choral music. The King Edward Choir, a classically based ensemble, has enjoyed rehearing this wonderful repertoire with Dr. Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, and is thrilled to be able to bring this concert to the stage.

Join us at Collier Street United Church in Barrie at 8pm as we present a tribute to Afrocentric choral music and is influence on choral music today. To read more about this exciting concert, check out this great article from Simcoe.com

Posted on Monday, January 10th, 2011.

On February 23 & 26, Toronto audiences will have the opportunity to experience a concert event unlike any other in the city. The Nathaniel Dett Chorale will take to the stage at the Glenn Gould Studio to present Voices of the Diaspora…Haitian voices, thanks to the generous support of TD Bank Group. The Chorale will also take this outstanding concert to Montreal on February 25th to the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul.

Voices of the Diaspora...Haitian Voices promo image

The concert will feature the music of Haitian-American composer Sydney Guillaume, who’s music is rich with the beautiful melodies and percussive rhythms that are indicative of Haitian traditions. Guillaume sets most of his music to the Crèole text of his father, Haitian poet Gabriel T. GUillaume. The marriage of this moving text and alluring music takes the listener to the heart Haiti and highlights the strength and spirit of this extraordinary nation.

Click here see The Nathaniel Dett Chorale and The Nathaniel Dett Youth Chorale in rehearsal for Voices of the Diaspora…Haitian Voices.

Posted on Saturday, October 16th, 2010.

On Saturday, October 16, 2010, the front page of the Toronto Star told the story of Lovely Avelus – a little girl who, after being trapped under the rubble left in the wake of the devestationg earthquake in Haiti, was found alive.

One of the Chorale’s ensemble members wrote a calypso about this strong, courageous little girl. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read this amazing story, and listen to ‘Lovely’, a beautiful song written and performed by Darryl Huggins a.k.a. Lord Splaina.

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Posted on Tuesday, June 29th, 2010.

Darryl Huggins, choirister and Nathaniel Dett Youth Chorale  conductor, wrote two new pieces for And Still We Sing…Steel Singin‘, the final installment of our 2009/2010 concert series. It was a proud moment for Darryl, and a proud moment for us to be supporting one of the members of the Chorale family in such a special way.

Darryl (a.k.a. Lord ‘Splaina) grew up listening to the old calypsos that his parents would play around the house, and now has a deep appreciation of calypso music. When Brainerd began to create the program for And Still We Sing…Steel Singin’, he knew that Darryl would play an integral role in the concert.

Check out this video to hear the world premiere of Lovely by Lord ‘Splaina.

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Posted on Monday, June 28th, 2010.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale works hard to prepare for every performance. We spend lots of time in rehearsal fine tuning the intricacies of our repertoire, and Brainerd puts a lot of thought into the underlying thread of the concert to tie it all into one beautiful, educational, and truly unique concert experience for our audiences. So, it’s rewarding to see that our efforts have a lasting effect.

More that one year after our And Still We Sing…Life, Love & Lullabies concert, Africlassical has made a blog posting about that concert, and about the prolific African American composer Adolphus Hailstork’s Five Short Choral Works.

Life, Love & Lullabies was a wonderful soundscape of repertoire befitting of the concert’s title, and we look forward to continuing to share the many facets of the African Diaspora with audiences in Toronto and abroad.

Posted on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010.

Posted on Saturday, April 25th, 2009.

Exerpts from The Nathaniel Dett Chorale’s February subscription season concert (Voices of the Diaspora…Dett to Africa) will be featured on CBC Radio 2’s Choral Concert program tomorrow morning (Sunday, April 26) from 8:00AM to 9:30AM.

This concert showcased a number of favorite R. Nathaniel Dett compositions, as well as other Afrocentric compositions in the spiritual and contemporary classical styles. The Chorale was joined by about 30 alumni (including powerhouse soloists Justin Bacchus and Peter McGillivray) for several of the pieces, and if the CBC plays the concert encores, you may also hear the Chorale singing Moses Hogan’s Battle of Jericho or Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel.

Posted on Friday, April 3rd, 2009.

Posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2009.

Posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2009.

Excerpts from our February subscription season concert, Voices of the Diaspora… Dett to Africa, will be featured on CBC Radio 2’s Choral Concert program on Sunday morning, April 26 between 8AM and 9:30AM. Check out CBC’s website for more information.

Voices of the Diaspora… Dett to Africa
Sunday, April 26, 2009 – 8AM
CBC RADIO 2

For this concert, NDC was joined by more than 25 former alumni, including Peter McGillivray and Justin Bacchus, who can be seen in this YouTube video performing one of pieces featured on the program – R. Nathaniel Dett’s Chariot Jubilee. Also featured were a number of other works by Dett, as well as the Ontario premiere of Canadian composer Brian Tate’s Africa (commissioned for the National Youth Choir, and containing a combination of Ghanaian and Latin sacred texts), which was premiered by us in Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon earlier in February during our Western Canada tour.

Posted on Monday, February 23rd, 2009.


Tonight I went to the first rehearsal for the 10th anniversary reunion concert of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale. Singing at the centre of a choir of forty big-voiced musicians with a wall of basses reverberating behind me was truly wondrous. As the sound swelled up in a wave around and through me, a tumult of emotions filled my heart to overflowing. It was such a joy to sing with so many who not only excel at their craft, but were on the same jubilant high as me, deeply engaged, and delighted to be making music together. If you are in Toronto, and you are free on Wednesday or Saturday of this week, c’mon down to the Glenn Gould Studio at CBC for our concert. You won’t be disappointed. For the rest of you, CBC will be taping our Saturday show for future broadcast.

Ariel Fielding, NDC alumna

What: Voices of the Diaspora…Dett to Africa
Where: Glenn Gould Studio
When: Wednesday and Saturday nights, February 25 and 28 @ 8PM
Tickets: Contact the Roy Thomson Hall box office, 416-593-9918

It’s a Dett reunion as NDC alumni return to join current Chorale members for a program of favorite R. Nathaniel Dett compositions and a number of contemporary Afrocentric choral premieres including Africa by Brian Tate (commissioned for the National Youth Choir and containing a combination of Ghanaian and Latin sacred texts).

Posted on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009.

Flickr has been busy helping me upload my pictures from the trip. They can be viewed here:

Nathaniel Dett Chorale Collection

These, of course, are just what I was able to take whenever we weren’t singing. A number of the girls also wanted me to take some portraits of them, and those are in their own folder.

Hope you enjoy them!

Posted on Saturday, January 24th, 2009.

York music grad part of music celebrations for Barack Obama

York music grad Trisha Dayal Gunpath (BFA Spec. Hons. ‘01) is in Washington, DC to perform with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, a Canadian choral music ensemble, in celebrations surrounding the historic inauguration of Barack Obama as America’s first African-American president.

Dayal Gunpath is a soprano with the 21-member, multicultural choral group that specializes in Afrocentric music. The Nathaniel Dett Chorale will give a 40-minute concert this morning at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian as part of musical celebrations of Martin Luther King Day and the presidential inauguration. The chorale is the only Canadian ensemble to participate in the festival. The choir will then perform outside the Canadian Embassy tomorrow as part of Inauguration Day celebrations. The Canadian Embassy, is situated on Pennsylvania Avenue, right on the Inauguration Day parade route.

Both performances are part of the Out of Many three-day festival, inspired by Obama’s election night speech.

We are profoundly honoured by these invitations, says the chorale’s founder & artistic director, Brainerd Blyden-Taylor. The Nathaniel Dett Chorale has always sought to dissolve barriers of stereotype, to empower and inspire through the unity of music and celebration. We are touched that our performances in Washington are considered to be a tribute from Canada to the American people at this remarkable time in their history.

Dayal Gunpath began her singing career with the Toronto Children’s Chorus, directed by Jean Ashworth Bartle, in 1990. After graduating from the vocal music program at Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, Dayal Gunpath studied at York University under Canadian voice instructor, composer and tenor Albert Greer. While at York, Dayal Gunpath sang with the ensemble Wibijazz’n', as well as various other York University Concert Choirs.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is Canada’s first professional multicultural choral group dedicated to Afrocentric music of all styles, including classical, spiritual, gospel, jazz, folk and blues. The 21 members of the choir are classically trained vocalists who have shared the stage with internationally recognized artists such as Juno Award-winning jazz pianist Joe Sealy, opera star Kathleen Battle, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The choir has performed for world leaders such as Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale will follow up next week’s Inauguration Day performance with a series of Canadian performances as part of Black History Month. For more information and for a listing of performance dates, visit the Nathaniel Dett Chorale Web site.

Posted on Tuesday, January 20th, 2009.

Our tour manager, Ariel Fielding, sent this message to the office earlier today:

“8:30 AM and already hundreds of 1000’s of people outside. Anyone who goes through a ‘hard’ checkpoint must have every belonging sniffed by dogs. I went to bed at midnight, up @ 2, left on the bus @ 3. The bus couldn’t get anywhere near the embassy for security reasons. Ushered my people through dark and crowded streets well before dawn, dodging some of the many so-called ’soft’ checkpoints and speeding through others, our photographer sprinting ahead and scouting out the best routes. Thank goodness we had each been given ‘credentials’ the day before, nothing more than a laminated paper pass on a lanyard. Once we got inside, I was ushered into a corner office overlooking the Capitol bldg and the parade route on Pennsylvania Ave. Dead tired and hoping to nap sometime soon, but will have a primo view of parade.”

~Ariel Fielding, NDC Tour Manager

Posted on Tuesday, January 20th, 2009.

Blogger Photo
I’ve been watching the live coverage of the inauguration events on CNN.com, and noticed that one of the feeds was focused on something called the Newseum. Wondering how far away the Canadian Embassy was from this landmark, I did some Google map searches, and was astonished to discover that the Embassy is just next door to the Newseum! (The Newseum is the glass-lined building on the left in the above photo.) How amazing that I can watch the crowd-filled streets in front of the Newseum and know that the Chorale is seeing the exact same view. The outdoor rotunda where the Chorale was scheduled to perform can be seen in the centre of the photo.

Posted on Tuesday, January 20th, 2009.

I’m streaming live coverage of the events in Washington, DC, and I can hardly contain my emotions. It is 10:45AM as I begin to write, and I am wondering what my friends are doing right now in Washington.

Our trip to the inauguration has been a huge endeavor, with plans dating back to late fall when we wondered, “What if…? Wouldn’t it be great to be there?” Being invited by the Canadian Embassy to participate in the festivities in Washington was a dream come true, but it has also been a lot of hard work – securing funding and media coverage, and coordinating all of the million details of the tour, as well as practising our music. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our wonderful Board of Directors, our publicist, Victoria Lord, and the many staff and ensemble members who have contributed to this tour.

When Obama’s cavalcade drove down Pennsylvania Avenue, I tried to see where the Canadian Embassy – and the Chorale – was. Earlier news reports had indicated that the Embassy would have the Chorale positioned – singing – in an outdoor rotunda as Obama drove by. (Many of the women in the choir had purchased warm black dresses or coats in anticipation of performing outside.) As late as last Friday, when the Chorale left for an engagement in Ann Arbor, we didn’t know exactly what our schedule would be like today. I still don’t know – although I hope our tour manager and Brainerd have received more information in the meantime.

All of the singers were so excited to travel to Washington. The media interest in our story took us completely by surprise, and Brainerd spent much of last week speaking to reporters when he might have preferred to be preparing for the trip. Regardless, we are enheartened to know how much our story has captured the imaginations of of everyone who hears it, and we are thankful for the many good wishes that have been sent to us. It has been said many times that we are “Canada’s gift” to Obama, and we are so proud to represent our fellow Canadians on this day.

On a personal note, I have suddenly realized that my time as the Chorale’s administrative head has been bookended by two amazing public events. One year ago, exactly two days after I began working as the Chorale’s Artistic Administrator, the Chorale sang at Canadian jazz legend Oscar Peterson’s memorial concert, Simply the Best, at Roy Thomson Hall. Brainerd promised to get me on the back stage list with the rest of the Chorale, so I didn’t have to wait in line with the hundreds and hundreds of other fans who shivered for hours in a chilly January rain, hoping for a seat inside the hall.

Sitting with the choir that evening, I watched an historic concert, and shed many tears. Now, a few short days from my stepping down in my current role with the Chorale, Aretha Franklin is singing My Country, ‘Tis of Thee, and I am crying again. Music has a way of touching our deepest emotions and healing us. At Oscar Peterson’s memorial concert there was a moment when Herbie Hancock was playing an introspective solo that I looked up and watched the audience, united in common feeling, and I felt such tenderness for all of us.

Seeing the millions of people gathered in Washington this morning, I am similarly touched. We are the people who posses the power to effect change. We have participated fully in the coming of this moment.

Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009.

Helping make history doesn’t come easy or cheap. But the toll, both physical and financial, is well worth it to the members of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale.

A multicultural Toronto-based choir dedicated to Afrocentric music of all genres, the Chorale was chosen by the Canadian embassy in Washington as “Canada’s gift” to the celebrations surrounding U.S. President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday.

The choir’s symbolic significance is clear: Composer Nathaniel Dett, the grandson of an Underground Railroad refugee, was born Canadian in 1882 in Niagara Falls (then Drummondville), but trained and composed widely in the United States and Europe.

“He’s someone we share,” said chorister Carolyn Williams.

But as the voyage to this landmark political event started to take shape, their performances at the Canadian embassy and the Smithsonian Institution began to look like the easy part.

Read the rest of the story, here.

Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale, a Toronto-based chorus that performs Afrocentric music, will be in Washington in 10 days to join the celebrations around president-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration.

The 21-member classically trained chorale has been invited to perform at two public events.

The group will sing at the Smithsonian on Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 19, as part of a three-day festival celebrating the many cultures that came together to create the United States.

Then, on Jan. 20, the day of Obama’s inauguration, the chorale performs at a public event at a “tailgate party” at the Canadian Embassy.

The embassy is on the route for the inaugural parade and the event has been organized by the Canadian Tourism Commission.

Read the rest of the story, here.

Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009.

Students from community schools around York University packed Burton Auditorium on January 17 for a concert by the Nathaniel Dett Chorale honouring Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Left: Conductor Brainerd Blyden-Taylor talks about the choir’s repertoire

The award-winning Toronto-based choir, named for the celebrated Canadian-African composer, pianist and educator R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943), sang from its repertoire of Afrocentric classical, spiritual, gospel, jazz, folk and blues music.

The 21-member choir, which includes several alumni of York’s Music Department, performed classics such as Ave Maria, Let Us Cheer the Weary Traveler, Go Tell It on the Mountain and other songs under the baton of founder and artistic director Brainerd Blyden-Taylor.

Read the rest of the story, here.

Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale, a Toronto-based chorus that performs Afrocentric music, will be in Washington in 10 days to join the celebrations around president-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration.

The 21-member classically trained chorale has been invited to perform at two public events.

The group will sing at the Smithsonian on Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 19, as part of a three-day festival celebrating the many cultures that came together to create the United States.

Then, on Jan. 20, the day of Obama’s inauguration, the chorale performs at a public event at a “tailgate party” at the Canadian Embassy.

The embassy is on the route for the inaugural parade and the event has been organized by the Canadian Tourism Commission.

Read the rest of the story, here.

Posted on Saturday, January 17th, 2009.

We’ve landed at the historic Yorktowne Hotel in York, Pennsylvania, and we’re going to have a day of rest before heading into Washington on Monday and Tuesday for the Inauguration celebrations. And I need the rest- I got a stupid cold the day before we left, and by our workshop this morning my voice was not so much my own. I am choosing to be steadfastly convinced that it will return to me before the historic events!

Our concert last night in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was the perfect beginning to this journey. We had the great pleasure of a very receptive and generous audience, on whose articulate faces we could read impassioned response. Recessing down the main aisle of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church through that parted sea of faces nearly floored me. Several of us had been moved nearly to tears at different parts of the program.

And this morning we had the good fortune to revisit some of those same faces in a more relaxed, workshop setting. The audience was lively and full of insightful comments and questions, and Brainerd punctuated the discussion by leading the choir and participants in traditional spirituals (now everyone in the choir seems to want a copy of the hymnbook).

Towards the end of the workshop, a woman in the audience began to speak. She started to thank us, and couldn’t go on. Brainerd moved into the pew to give her a hug, and Carolyn came down from the altar steps to share her tissues. A few minutes later, someone suggested we all sing “We Shall Overcome”. That totally did it for me. I was reminded of our concert in December, the benefit for Grandmothers to Grandmothers and the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The church was packed to the rafters, and we concluded the concert with that same song. It doesn’t take a great stretch of the imagination to get caught up in the potent history of that song, especially in a time as momentous as this past Presidential election. So this morning, I sang approximately two notes of We Shall Overcome, before I was, um, overcome. Carolyn turned around to comfort me. I asked her later if she’d done so because she heard me stop singing, and she said no, she just knew I was crying.

I was talking to Brainerd about it while eating suspicious chicken tenders at our truck stop dinner. I said “I am going to have to get it together before Washington, or I won’t be able to sing a note!” I was thinking back to my very first rehearsal with the Chorale, when I cried all upanddown the front of my shirt sighreading “Truth Pressed to Earth Shall Rise” for the first time. The words of Martin Luther King Jr. leapt off the page: “At the center of non-violence is the power of love. So if we must choose a weapon, let it only be love. Power at its best is love.” Those words MOVED me: not just to tears, but in a very physical way, in a way they were designed to. Those words are a call to action. They’re liberating not just in a political sense but in a personal sense: King saw the human person’s dignity, and what he saw was very good. We sang “Truth Pressed to Earth” all through our fall tour through the Southern States, during the election campaign, when for the first time in a long time we were hearing a politician talking about universal hope. Now we’re about to sing in Washington on Inauguration Day.

Brainerd said exactly what I expected him to say when I voiced my worry about weeping my way through history being made. “If you’re moved, let yourself be moved”, he said. We’d spent the morning speaking about how the music we sing is so deeply connected to the body, to labour and struggle and movement. He reminded us to sway in order to really internalize the music as we sang.

Brainerd always asks us to sing from our core, and he invites us to offer our full voices in all their uniqueness, as unique as the bodies we’re rooted in. Making the performance so personal is at the heart of Chorale has come here to offer: a musical tradition marked by political and social struggle, rooted in the depths of human experience. Making music like this is the simplest and best thing we can offer, because it’s an offering of the self. There is no response more appropriate to the kind of experience we are about to encounter than to let ourselves be moved.

Posted on Tuesday, January 13th, 2009.

All aboard the Gospel Train workshop.

The Niagara-based chamber choir Choralis Camerata is inviting the general public to an exciting educational day of music making about the influence of the Underground Railroad on spiritual and gospel music.

The musical event features Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, director of Nathaniel Dett Chorale, who will perform at the Jan. 20 inauguration of Barack Obama, in Washington D. C.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is Canada’s first professional chamber choir dedicated to the performance of Afrocentric music of all styles.

Read the rest of the article, here.

Posted on Tuesday, January 13th, 2009.

There were many hidden codes of the Underground Railroad that helped slaves flee the plantations of the southern United States and find freedom in Canada.

Quilts were embedded with clues and spiritual songs had coded messages detailing the route to freedom.

Niagara’s role in the quest for freedom and the music it inspired was the focus of a day-long gospel workshop held at St. Andrews United Church on Saturday.

“Gospel music helped slaves who were escaping to the north by giving them the routes to take and the safe places to stay,” said Laura Thomas, artistic director of Niagara-based chamber choir Choralis Camerata, which hosted the event.

Read the rest of the article, here.

Posted on Tuesday, January 13th, 2009.

NIAGARA FALLS – The next 10 days will be eventful for conductor Brainerd Blyden-Taylor: He’ll start with Niagara and finish with Obama.

First up, the world-renowned artistic director of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale is in town Saturday to participate in The Gospel Train Workshop at St. Andrew’s United Church on Morrison Street, hosted by Niagara chamber choir Choralis Camerata.

Then, he’s off to Washington for festivities surrounding the U. S. presidential inauguration. On Jan. 19, the night before Barack Obama is sworn in, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale will perform at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian on Martin Luther King Day.

On Inauguration Day, the group will perform at the Canadian Embassy on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Read the rest of the article, here.

Posted on Saturday, January 10th, 2009.


For Immediate Release, Thursday, January 8, 2009 “ Canada’s acclaimed Nathaniel Dett Chorale will be part of one of the most significant events in United States history. The Chorale, Canada’s first professional choir dedicated to performing Afrocentric music of all genres, has been invited by the Embassy of Canada to perform at their Pennsylvania Avenue headquarters on January 20, 2009, as part of an Inauguration Day event hosted by the Canadian Tourism Commission.

While in Washington, The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is also being honoured with an opportunity to sing at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 19, 2009. This 40-minute free concert is part of a three-day festival entitled Out of Many, a theme derived from Barack Obama’s election night speech in which he followedout of many with we are one signifying the overwhelming feeling of unity, celebration, sense of hope and belief in the future that Obama has inspired in the American public and the world at large. This sentiment is in keeping with the theme the inauguration has adopted, A new birth of freedom, taken from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

We are profoundly honoured by these invitations, says The Nathaniel Dett Chorale’s Founder and Artistic Director, Brainerd Blyden-Taylor. The Nathaniel Dett Chorale has always sought to dissolve barriers of stereotype, to empower and inspire through the unity of music and celebration. We are touched that our performances in Washington are considered to be a tribute from Canada to the American people at this remarkable time in their history.

The Washington performances are a continuation of The Nathaniel Dett Chorale’s 10th anniversary season, which began with a tour to the southern United States last fall and a two sold-out Indigo Christmas concerts in December, and will include an upcoming Western Canadian tour taking place during Black History Month. The February concert dates include stops in Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon, and will conclude in Toronto with two performances in its subscription series at the Glenn Gould Studio in the Canadian Broadcasting Centre.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is supported in part by TD Canada Trust Music, who also provided 11th hour funding for the Chorale’s Washington journey. Additional support for this tour was provided by the Canada Council for the Arts.

We were thrilled to be able to help make this journey to Washington possible for The Nathaniel Dett Chorale, said Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group. TD is a strong supporter of the music scene, from jazz festivals to youth orchestras to outdoor rock concerts, and we’re proud to help groups like The Chorale achieve their goals. This is an exceptional choir and what a fantastic opportunity for them to showcase their talent on one of the most important dates in history.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is Canada’s first professional choral group dedicated to Afrocentric music of all styles, including classical, spiritual, gospel, jazz, folk and blues. These 21 classically trained, outstanding vocalists have shared the stage with internationally recognized artists such as Juno Award-winning jazz pianist Joe Sealy, opera star Kathleen Battle, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The Nathaniel Dett Chorale’s mission is to build bridges of understanding, appreciation and acceptance between communities of people, both Afrocentric and other, through the medium of music. They seek to dissolve the barriers of stereotype, to empower humans in general, and those of African descent in particular.

Tickets for the Glenn Gould Studio series available in person at the Roy Thomson Hall box office, 60 Simcoe St., by calling 416.872.4255 or online at www.roythomson.com.

For more information please visit www.nathanieldettchorale.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Victoria Lord, Office: 416-484-9047 / victoria@vlpr.com