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Our Voices Together: Corazones al Unísono



Cantemos Choir
Latin Vocal Ensemble Cantemos
Upper Canada Choristers Celebrate Cantemos at 15, Featuring Old Favorites, A Premiere And Visual Delights

For 15 years, the accomplished Latin vocal ensemble Cantemos has been brightening the Toronto soundscape with music in Spanish, Portuguese, Latin and native languages of the Americas. Comprising singers mostly from Venezuelan members of the Upper Canada Choristers, the ensemble – along with its parent choir – has commissioned and introduced many new works to its audiences.

Friday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m., the Upper Canada Choristers and Cantemos, conducted by Laurie Evan Fraser, with pianist Hye Won (Cecilia) Lee, celebrate Cantemos’s 15th anniversary in Our Voices Together: Corazones al Unisono. The spirited mixed-media event features a new work, old favorites, visual art and dance.

The performance takes place at Grace Church on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Road, Toronto. Tickets, $25, can ordered via Eventbrite or purchased at the door. Children 16 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Mask-wearing is strongly recommended. Information is available on the choir’s website, or by calling 416-256-0510 or emailing  

Audiences may also watch the live stream through the choir’s website or directly on YouTube. There is no charge for the stream, but donations are welcome.

Our Voices Together: Corazones al Unísono
Our Voices Together: Corazones al Unísono

Highlight is the world premiere of El Pajaro Que Espero (The Bird I Await), commissioned from Venezuelan composer César Alejandro Carrillo, whose music is often presented on Cantemos programs. Written to poetry by Carrillo’s wife, Laura Morales Balza, it is the latest in a series of songs dedicated to their son, Simon, who died young a few years ago. According to Carrillo, “The poem is based on the idea of the bird, from a poetic point of view, linked to migration and nature.”

Performed against a filmed, kaleidoscopic background of visual arts, the concert features music created for the UCC and Cantemos through commissions and collaborations, along with other favorites. Among them are Carrillo’s La Rosa de los Vientos, written for Cantemos, to a poem by ensemble member Jacinto Salcedo.  Salcedo’s lyrics are also sung in Cantando Flores by Canadian composer and world music specialist Stephen Hatfield, with shadow puppetry created by the Spanish-based team Cia. Olveira Salcedo.

There are also two selections by Canadian Steven Chatman – Voices of Earth (poetry by Archibald Lampman), the first work commissioned by the Upper Canada Choristers, and excerpts from his second UCC commission, Teasdale Love Songs (poems by Sara Teasdale).   

Also written for the choir by Canadians and on the program are Mark Sirett’s Two Songs of Peace and David Tomlinson’s Inspiration. Adding to the musical variety are Canadian Sid Robinovitch’s Noche de Lluvia, a choral arrangement by Liliana Cangiano of Astor Pizzolla’s Chiquilin de Bachin,a lively Colombian merecumbe, and Tleycantimo Choquiliya by Mexican-Portuguese composer and organist Gaspar Fernandes (1566-1629).  

To conclude, the choir’s anthem Blessing – Bendicion, written by the choir’s Laurie Evan Fraser, Cantemos founder and UCC co-founder with Jacqui Atkin, pays homage to traditions from the main choir and Cantemos. With texts from the Irish blessing and a traditional children’s prayer known throughout Latin America, this song highlights the commonalities between cultures. A dancer will perform to it on screen.

Award-winning artist Camila Salcedo will be seen during some of the Cantemos selections, creating an artwork in a time-lapse video. 

Laurie Evan Fraser is proud of having formed Cantemos in 2008 and of including it within the main choir. As she says, “The members, who are mostly from South America, have inspired the rest of us with a different cultural perspective. The more we learn about each other’s musical traditions, the smaller – and richer – the world gets.”

The concert is sponsored by The Mills Team, Royal Lepage Signature Realty.

Content source: Linda Litwack Publicity

Founder, Editor and Webmaster for Latin Jazz Network and World Music Report. Danilo is a passionate and committed communicator with a sensibility for the arts whose hometown is Toronto, Canada.

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