Association of Canadian Choral Condutors

Association of Canadian Choral Condutors

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival: April 13th—15th at Harbourfront Centre

Thousands of Torontonians will celebrate a cappella music at the debut of SING!  The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival, taking place April 13th to 15th at Harbourfront Centre.  Tickets are available now at

Toronto’s first-ever a cappella festival will feature Canadian and international vocal artists from a wide range of genres, including pop and jazz groups, classical and gospel choirs, and world music ensembles. Education will also be a focus of the event, with industry veterans leading vocal workshops for singers of all ages and levels of experience. A total of 43 performances and master classes are scheduled to take place over three days; more than 25 will be free to attend.

“This festival got started in the typical way – a casual conversation over a cup of coffee,” says artistic director Aaron Jensen, an award-winning composer, arranger, performer, and clinician.  “Since then, that seed crystal has bloomed into a hugely ambitious and unique event, the likes of which have never been seen in Toronto.”
The festival’s aim to “give new voice to the voice” coincides with the current popularity of a cappella music on television programs like Glee and The Sing Off. “The timing is right for SING!,” says Jensen.  “Vocal music is on the rise in a serious way.  We are very excited to showcase some of Canada's top vocal groups in conjunction with international powerhouses such as the Grammy award-winning Swingle Singers and The New York Voices.” SING!  The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival will include performances and interactive sessions geared to music fans, amateur singers, and professionals alike.  Programs include the following:

Concert Performances
The festival will feature concert performances by The Swingle Singers, The Nylons, The New York Voices, Elmer Iseler Singers, Retrocity, Toronto Chamber Choir, Countermeasure A Cappella, High Park Choirs of Toronto, Cadence, Human Record, Cantores Celestes, and others.

Vocal Workshops
Vocal workshops for singers of all ages and levels of experiences will be led by industry professionals including world renowned a cappella groups The Swingle Singers and The New York Voices; award-winning composer Aaron Jensen; renowned producer/arranger Dylan Bell; award-winning recording artists Suba Sankaran and Cadence; musical directors/educators Dallas Bergen, Orville Heyn, and Pleasance Crawford; and music marketing expert Patricia Silver.

School Outreach Program
The school outreach program will bring approximately 800 Toronto-area middle school and high school students to workshops conducted by internationally renowned music industry professionals, offering a unique educational opportunity for school choirs.

Mass Singalong
Up to 3,000 festival performers and attendees will join together in a unique and inspirational singalong of two songs in multiple-part harmony.  One of the songs will be a world premiere by Canadian composer Aaron Jensen, festival artistic director and a 2011 grand prize winner of The John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

Intimate and Interactive Sessions
The festival will offer the public the chance to meet and interview performers, recording artists, producers, and music industry personalities who have influenced music for decades.

Lobby Performance Showcases
Free performances from up-and-coming collegiate, community, and semi-professional groups will take place throughout the festival.

YouTube Competition
An online video competition (January 10th to March 15th) will award one vocal group the chance to perform as opening act for The Nylons, who will judge and select the winning group.

More information about SING!  The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival is available at

(Note:  Schedule is subject to change)

Friday, April 13th
10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.       School Outreach Workshops/Performances
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.         Opening Ceremonies and Welcome Speech
8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.       The New York Voices (Brigantine Room)

Saturday, April 14th
9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.         Vocal Workshops
9:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.         Free concerts/Events
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.         Toronto Chamber Choir featuring Cantores Celestes (Brigantine Room)
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.         Retrocity featuring Human Record (Brigantine Room)
8:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.        Concert Performance - The Nylons (Brigantine Room)

Sunday, April 15th
9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.         Free Concerts/Events
10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.       Vocal Workshops
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.        Mass Choir Singalong
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.        Elmer Iseler Singers featuring High Park Choirs of Toronto (Enwave Theatre)                                 
7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.         Concert Performance - The Swingle Singers (Enwave Theatre)
9:30 p.m.                           Closing Speech

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