IVCF 2000

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Over February 11-13, 2000, the Hart House Chorus at the University of Toronto hosted the 51st annual Intervarsity Choral Festival. Joanne Chong and I (Madhava Enros, for those of you linking in from the main IVCF site) co-chaired the festival planning committee. This page is an overview of the event, including the programme, posters, and information packages used, all in PDF format.


In addition to hosting the traditional four Ontario university choirs (U of T, McMaster, University of Western Ontario, Queen's University), we sent out invitations to the non-music faculty university choir of every one of Ontario's 18 universities -- where such a choir existed. We ended up hosting choirs from Trent University and the University of Ottawa, bringing the full roster to the following:

Ensemble Calixa LavalléeUniversity of OttawaLaurence Ewashko
Hart House ChorusUniversity of TorontoJohn Tuttle
McMaster University ChorusMcMaster UniversityPhilip Sarabura
Queen's Choral EnsembleQueen's UniversityIan Juby
Trent University Concert ChoirTrent UniversityFaye McMillan
The UWO ChoirUniversity of Western OntarioCarol Strachan

Festival Itinerary

We followed the traditional three-day IVCF format, but with a few changes we'd been wanting to make for a couple of years. It proceeded as follows:

The festival began with registration and an ice-breaker/open stage event at Hart House, in the Great Hall and East Common Room, respectively.

Saturday began with donuts, muffins, coffee, and a bottles of water for the participants. By 8:30am members of all six choirs were in the Great Hall of Hart House, arranged as one large choir. We introduced our guest conductor, Brainerd Blyden Taylor, and launched into a rehearsal of the massed choir work, Omnes Gentes by Giovanni Gabrieli. We broke at 11:00am for an early lunch, which we provided in the lower gallery.

At noon, we moved into the workshop rotation. We expanded from the traditional model of two workshops attended by everyone to six workshops from which participants balloted for two by ranking their choices in a pre-registration form. Our six workshops were the following:

  1. Massage (Carmel Bouzanne, RMT)
  2. Breathing Technique (David Walden)
  3. Alexander Technique/Eurythmics (Kelly McEvenue)
  4. Conducting (Marcus Howard)
  5. Afro-Centric Choral Music (Brainerd Blyden-Taylor)
  6. Intonation/Voice Production (Peter Barnes)
Short rehearsals for the individual choirs were worked into the workshop rotation. Also, we hosted a "Conductor's Tea" in the Hart House Gallery Grill from 1-2pm.

From 3:00pm to 5:00pm we did a concert walkthrough and then more rehearsal of the massed work in the concert space, the University of Toronto's Convocation Hall.

Finally, we reconvened around 6:30 at the Arcadian Court in the Simpson's Tower downtown for the banquet and dance.

We held a Plenary Brunch to talk about the next year's IVCF from 10:30-11:30am, but, for everyone else the first event of the day was concert call at 12:00pm. There was time for some final massed rehearsal before the concert began at 2:00pm. Con Hall is circular, with seating on the ground floor (facing a dais at one end), seating in the "bowl" ascending to the first balcony ring, and then another ring of balconies above that. The audience sat on the ground and on the bowl level, whereas the choirs sat in the first balcony level, moving down to the dais to sing their individual performances. During intermission, all the choristers moved into place in the balconies, creating the four choirs required for the Gabrieli work. After the presentation of the Willan Cup by Mary Willan Mason, Brainerd Blyden-Taylor moved to the middle of the hall to conduct the massed work.

There was a reception back at Hart House after the concert, after which the 5 departing choirs got back on their buses and returned home.

Related Links

  • IVCF website
    Liam Birch of UWO has created a central Intervarsity Choral Festival website
  • IVCF 2000 Multi-Camera Shoot
    We recruited Calum Tsang and company to do a multi-camera shoot of the IVCF 2000 concert. This website is about how they did it.

Programmes, Posters, and other files

FormatDescriptionFile Size
IVCF concert programme - paginated for printing
(low quality graphics)
Participant info package (itinterary, maps, etc).
Also included floorplans of Hart House and Convocation Hall
Workshop rotation and information package71k
11x17 Concert Poster261k
8.5x11 Concert Poster303k
Concert advertisement in The Varsity304k
Advertising Flyers281k
Name tags for members of the Hart House Chorus53k
The IVCF 2000 Logo (Hi-Res)2419k

IVCF2000 Guests

Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, Massed Choir Conductor
Brainerd Blyden-Taylor is a talented conductor, clinician, and adjudicator who has been making his musical reputation in Canada and the United States over the past 26 years. Mr. Blyden-Taylor was born in Trinidad and moved to Canada in 1973 to assume the duties of Music Director at Oakwood Wesleyan Church. Since then he has gone on to hold similar positions in two other prominent Toronto churches. He has also been director of several university, youth and concert choirs. He is currently Artistic Director of the Orpheus Choir of Toronto and the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, as well as Master Teacher/Consultant to two Municipal Boards of Education, coaching teachers and students in choral technique, and is an inspiring mentor and teacher to young professional singers and conductors. He is in frequent demand across Canada and the Unites States as a guest conductor, adjudicator, lecturer, and consultant.
Biography and photo courtesy of the Orpheus Choir of Toronto

Marty Smyth, Accompanist
Marty Smyth began playing piano at the age of eight, completing formal piano studies after receiving the A.R.C.T. diploma in piano performance at the age of 18. He began playing the pipe organ at the age of 16, receiving organ lessons through the R.C.C.O.'s yearly regional contest. He is currently in year three of a Bachelor of Music program, studying organ performance with John Tuttle and improvisation with William Wright at the University of Toronto. He also sings in and accompanies the McMillan Singers. Marty is assistant organist to William Wright at Deer Park United Church.

Larry Beckwith, Master of Ceremonies
Larry Beckwith is a chorister who has sung with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Tafelmusik Choir, the Exultate Chamber Singers, the Elora Festival Singers, the choirs of the Church of St. Thomas' and Deer Park United Church. He is currently the General Manager of Choirs Ontario, the service organization dedicated to the promotion of choral activities and standards of excellence.
Established as the Ontario Choral Federation in 1971, Choirs Ontario provides services to choirs, conductors, choristers, composers, administrators and educators, as well as anyone who enjoys listening to the sound of choral music. Choirs Ontario administers the annual Ontario Youth Choir and Children's Choir Camp and the biennial Ruth Watson Henderson Choral Composition Competition and the Leslie Bell Prize Competition for choral conductors.

Peter Tiefenbach, Adjudicator
Peter Tiefenbach is well-known to festival audiences for his on-stage appearances as host of CBC programs The Arts Tonight and Radio Concert Hall. He also appeared in the 1997 "Fatal Movement" murder mystery evening at the festival, as Dr. Peter Shallowbach. Since leaving the CBC in 1997, he has enjoyed a varied and hectic existence as a pianist, composer and conductor. He collaborates frequently with soprano/comedienne Mary Lou Fallis, and has performed with Maureen Forrester, Richard Stoltzman and the Elmer Iseler Singers, to name but a few. He currently serves as vocal coach and Instructor in Orchestral Repertoire in the Glenn Gould Professional School at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. In his spare few minutes, he sings with the St. Thomas' Church Choir and the Exultate Chamber Singers.
Recent commissions include a cantata for Robert Cooper's Chorus Niagara and Soir d'hiver for soprano Elizabeth Pomes and guitarist Michael Connor. Current commissions include words for the Gryphon Trio, mezzo soprano Jean Stilwell, and for the Regina Lutheran Choir and Saskatoon Children's Chorus. Peter is a native of Regina, and is a graduate of St. Olaf College and Northwestern University. He also holds diplomas from the Royal Academy of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

© Madhava Enros, 2002 (not including biographies)