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Durham Philharmonic Choir celebrates 25th Anniversary
The Durham Philharmonic Choir will be marking 25 years of music-making in the region during the 2017-18 season. Special plans include new music, premieres of new compositions and a newly commissioned work by Canadian composer Paul Halley, along with social events including a fundraising gala in April 2018. Plans are also in progress for a possible new CD release and Maritime tour next summer.
The mixed-voice community choir was founded in 1993 and first performed on November 28 of that year. Since that time, Robert Phillips, the choir’s founding conductor, has led the group through a vast array of repertoire over approximately 80 concerts – many with orchestra. Music performed has included many of the large standard choral works by Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, Schubert, Brahms, Rutter, Vaughan Williams, Rutter, Jenkins and many others. Numerous pieces in other genres (spiritual, folk, celtic, pop/show, etc) have been performed as well. The choir has performed throughout the GTA, and has guested with a number of other organizations.
The DPC has also sponsored budding community youth choirs and has partnered with others, partly as a result of being awarded Trillium Grants back in the late 1990s. In addition, the DPC has for many years awarded a scholarship, in memory of former accompanist Marianne Turner, to advanced music students of voice studying at the college/university level.
Many professional and amateur instrumentalists from throughout the GTA have been part of numerous concerts with orchestra, as have a number of internationally acclaimed soloists including Mark Dubois, Allyson McHardy and Giles Tompkins. Dozens of soloists from the Durham region and others from the GTA including many from the Canadian Opera Company Chorus program have guested with the DPC as choristers and soloists. Many students and graduates from the University of Toronto music programs and other universities from around the province and beyond have also been engaged by the DPC.
With the assistance of a strong executive committee and a group of volunteers, the choir as an organization has thrived over the years and especially so in recent years. Originally, organizing committee members included the late Stan Quinn, the late Helen deBoo, along with Robert Phillips, Tony deBoo and June MacLean. Four choristers have remained with the group throughout its history: Joyce Marsh, Bob Dudar, Dianne Phillips and Marilyn Mankiewicz. Today’s DPC has grown from its original 44 choristers to approximately 70.
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Contact June MacLean at 905-728-1739