Oakham House Choir in the News

Check out these articles in the Ryerson press about the choir:
Ryerson Today:  Celebrating the Universal Language
Ryersonian: Oakham House Choir Celebrates its 30th Anniversary at Ryerson
The Eyeopener: Oakham House Choir performs at Carnegie Hall

Oakham House Choir in Berlin

Twenty-two members of Oakham House Choir traveled to Berlin, Germany to perform “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace,” conducted by the composer himself, Sir Karl Jenkins. The choir was joined by 2,485 choristers from 30 countries to perform at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

Canada 150 Celebrations

Oakham House Choir celebrated the 150th anniversary of Confederation with a gala concert, “Canada 150, With Glowing Hearts”, held on April 29, 2017. 

In recognition of Indigenous peoples in Canada , the concert began with a haunting Kepmite`tmnej (Mi`kmaq Honour Song.) The highlight of the first half was a choral piece commissioned for the Oakham House Choir to honour Canada 150. The work, The Future of a Nation (In posterum gentem) composed by Norbert Palej was a beautiful modern composition. The Ontario Arts Council awarded Professor Palej with a grant to recognize his accomplishment. The first half of the concert also featured excerpts from Haydn’s Creation.

For the second half, the choir featured the music that was written and performed at the time of Canada’s formation in 1867 through to the present day. This included The Maple Leaf Forever, Un Canadien Errant as well as contemporary works including Deep Peace and excerpts from Canadian composer Ruth Henderson’s Magnificat.

 

30th Anniversary Season

The April 2016 concert was a special occasion. We moved to a larger venue, Bloor Street United Church, and performed Carmina Burana (Part 1) as well as favourites from the past 30 years. The choir was joined by the Toronto Sinfonietta and featured performances by Mira Solovianenko, soprano and Andrew Tees, baritone. We produced a 30th-anniversary booklet with photo history of the development and accomplishments of the choir over the years. Please let us know if you would like to buy a copy – they are for sale and can be ordered by contacting us at choir@ryerson.ca.

 

Oakham House Choir Members Perform at Carnegie Hall

On, January 18, 2016, twenty choristers from the Oakham House Choir joined fifteen other choirs from around the world to perform Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man; Mass for Peace at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The other choirs included groups from England, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Bolivia and the United States. The composer, Karl Jenkins, was in attendance. This highly popular work was commissioned to celebrate the millennium in London, England. Mr. Jenkins composes his works strictly as a means to bring the people of the world together in music. We are honoured to have been invited and represented Ryerson University and Canada on this world-famous stage with enthusiasm and pride.

 

Oakham House Choir Members Perform at Luminato

A focal point of this year’s Festival, Apocalypsis was created in the late 1970s by R. Murray Schafer. This epic work in two parts – John’s Vision and Credo – and involved over 1,000 people. It has been performed in its entirety only once before. Apocalypsis maps out two possible directions that our existence might ultimately take – towards destruction or towards rebirth. Nineteen members of the Oakham House Choir participated in Part One, John’s Vision, which explores the cataclysmic events of the bible’s final book and includes a cast of 5 different choruses (men, women, children, spoken word, and mixed), 6 instrumental ensembles, organ, electronics, 8 soloists and 25 dancers. Part Two, Credo, is a serene and ecstatic meditation on the majesty of God and the universe.

You are probably wondering what was it like… In the words of some the participating choir members: “Confusing, exhausting, exhilarating, disturbing, absorbing, fascinating, excellent, artistic, creative, intense, focused, brilliant, exceptional, frustrating, demanding, provoking, pensive, dark, foreboding, prophetic and more…” “I have been part of many productions and NOTHING can compare to this in scale and magnitude. I feel extremely privileged!” “It’s been a thrill and a privilege to be part of this epic production… one fantastic, unforgettable experience!” It was quite an honour to be invited and a huge opportunity to be part of something so remarkable. We leave you with a sense of what it has been like.

 

Exchange Visit with the Karlsruhe University Choir

What a blast! We had the pleasure of hosting 51 visitors from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Concert University Choir, Germany for four days in late September 2014. The students and faculty from Karlsruhe entertained the Ryerson community with a lunch time concert near Lake Davo and performed in a joint concert with the Oakham House Choir on Saturday, September 27. We made great music together – the German choir was very strong and the OHC was well prepared. (We had been meeting twice a week in September to prepare for the concert so early in our school year.) We were thrilled to have the German Consul General attend the concert. The Karlsruhe visitors had a great time in Toronto. They had a tour of Ryerson and lunch at Oakham House, visited the Islands, the ROM, AGO, Koerner Hall, St. Lawrence Market and various restaurants and coffee shops! They ended their visit with a post-concert reception, hosted by the Office of the President. The reception was full of lively discussion and laughter. The Oakham House choir would like to thank everyone who made the visit possible. We could not have hosted the visit without support from PFACS; the Office of the President; the Office of the Vice Provost, Students; Oakham House; the Ryerson Bookstore; and Undergraduate Admissions (the tour). And last, but definitely not least, a very special thanks to the dedicated OHC volunteers who worked tirelessly to plan the visit!