High Park Choirs of Toronto launches new strategy
05/27/2010

The High Park Choirs has refined its long-term strategy to better reflect its unique sound and impressive growth under Artistic Director Zimfira Poloz. Drawing inspiration from Cirque du Soleil, the choirs aim to carve a niche for themselves in the choral world by emulating Cirque du Soleil in their creativity and originality.

Online PR News – 27-May-2010 – – With its 25th anniversary approaching in 2011, the High Park Choirs has taken steps to refine its long-term strategy over the coming years to better reflect its unique sound and impressive growth under Artistic Director Zimfira Poloz.

The choirs have become known in the choral world for being innovative and fearless in their choice of repertoire. From Bach to Stephen Hatfield, the choirs have demonstrated their versatility and have delighted audiences locally, nationally and internationally. Drawing inspiration from Cirque du Soleil, the choirs aim to carve a niche for themselves in the choral world by emulating Cirque du Soleil in their creativity and originality.

Starting in September 2010, the choirs will realign their choir divisions based on skill rather than age. The choir will be grouped into the following divisions:

• Piccolo – Two groups of young school age children, placed according to skill level. Instruction is provided once a week every Thursday for 45 minutes for Piccolo I and for 55 minutes for Piccolo II. Through singing and musical games the children are introduced to musical concepts including beat, rhythm and pitch matching. The children have the opportunity to perform as a group in at least one concert during the year. Conducted by Marina Filippova.

• Intermezzo – As the name implies, for children who successfully audition from Piccolo and can handle the transition musically. This division is about growing in confidence when performing. Instruction is provided once a week for 90 minutes every Thursday. Choristers are expected to take part in an overnight choir retreat each Fall. Conducted by Margaret Stanfield.

• Brio - This choir meets for 2 hours and 15 minutes every Tuesday. The emphasis is on excellent vocal and choral technique. The children sing challenging repertoire, in a variety of styles and languages and involving more complex part singing. Theory and sight singing continue in rehearsals, along with the expectation that some theory
homework will be required. As well as concert performances with the other choir divisions, Brio has the opportunity to perform at community events, workshops, tours and exchanges with choirs in the greater Toronto region and beyond. Choristers are expected to take part in an overnight choir retreat each Fall. Conducted by Zimfira Poloz.

• Vento – COMING SOON - Energetic and refreshing, this all boy choir is drawn from the other divisions and demonstrates mentoring in action. Instruction is provided once a month on a Saturday for 2 hours and includes a fun break. Additional rehearsal time may be required close to concert dates and can be accommodated before or after regular rehearsals of Piccolo, Intermezzo or Brio. Conductor TBA.

• Allegria – Members are selected by invitation only from Brio when positions become available. The choristers in this division meet for 2 hours every Tuesday and Friday. They demonstrate advanced vocal and choral technique and continue to develop independence through sight singing and aural skills. Repertoire is diverse and complex, often requiring singing in up to six parts. These choristers are offered exciting opportunities to perform, including tours and recording. Choristers are expected to take part in the overnight choir retreat in the Fall. Conducted by Zimfira Poloz.

Children are offered excellent choral education and their musical growth is a journey that lasts from approximately 5 years of age to 18 years. By the end of the process, they are seasoned performers who have confidence in themselves and in each other. To listen to the wonderful results of the choristers hard work over the past year, their spring concert, “Reach Out and Sing”, is happening on Saturday, May 29 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Anne’s Anglican Church, 270 Gladstone Avenue in Toronto.

"Having the opportunity to perform with the High Park Choirs during its 2009 Christmas season has been a truly inspiring experience. Not only is the preparation (everything memorized) comprehensive and the stage deportment exemplary, the motivation and camaraderie of the singers is something I have not seen before,” says Erica Goodman, harpist.

Michael McGlynn of Ireland’s famed Anúna said about the choirs, "Anúna and I were very lucky to catch a performance at Festival 500 in Newfoundland of High Park Choirs under Zimfira Poloz. The level of artistry and originality was breathtaking. Technically the group were excellent, but it was in the unselfconscious performance of complex and contemporary work that that High Park Choirs singled themselves out as one of the most original choral voices today."

About Zimfira Poloz
Zimfira Poloz has been the Artistic Director for the High Park Choirs of Toronto since 2004, and under her direction, the choirs have earned praise nationally and internationally. She is a highly respected conductor, educator and adjudicator with a distinguished international reputation. She has been decorated with numerous awards in her long career, including the Honoured Representative of Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan Award, the city of Hamilton's V.I.P. Award and the Leslie Bell Prize Award for Choral Conducting from the Ontario Arts Council. She is invited regularly to serve as clinician for festivals, lead workshops for educators, and jury International Choir Competitions, including the renowned Choir Olympics.

About High Park Choirs
The High Park Choirs was founded in 1986 as a girls’ choir and now comprises over one-hundred-and-twenty boys and girls aged five to eighteen arranged in five skill-based divisions. The choirs develop the children’s choral and musical ability while promoting inclusiveness, fun, teamwork, cultural diversity and choral excellence.

The choirs are guided by highly acclaimed artistic staff whose talent and choice of innovative repertoires has drawn singers from 71 schools across the GTA. The choirs have also benefited from collaborations with renowned Canadian and international composers and are the children's choir-in-residence at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. Children interested in joining the choirs are encouraged to attend an open rehearsal and audition at Runnymede United Church.