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Join a choir in Leaside by choosing a colour

Unless you’re the person who was asked to only mouth the words during classroom or concert choral efforts when you were young, you may well wish to join a local choir. So, what’s available to you in Leaside?

If you like hymn music or classical choral works, then you have a choice of a number of church choirs.

Most rehearse for a couple of hours during the week – for some reason, Thursday nights seem to be the popular choice, with a service on Sunday morning.

There isn’t a formal audition process for any of the choirs, unless you are trying to be a paid section lead, but you are expected to be able to sing as a soprano, alto, tenor or bass. With the help of the leads, if you can listen carefully, you can pick up the notes that you maybe can’t find on your own. You also don’t have to belong to any of the churches, but you do need to be there regularly for the complete service.

Maybe you could make your choice based on gown colour? At Leaside United, it’s burgundy with a white collar. At St. Augustine, it’s beige. At St. Cuthbert’s it’s a black cassock with a white surplice (think any photo of an angelic choirboy), Leaside Presbyterian it’s blue gowns and at Northlea United when it’s hot, street clothes are the uniform. At St. Anselm, the colours are black and white.

If church music isn’t your forte, then you might get lucky and find something similar to John Piper’s  choir. It meets every two weeks in members’ homes and gives a concert once a year, with an accompanying trio. They sing classical, oldies, spirituals, foreign language pieces, uptempo….

Close to Leaside is the VOCA Chorus of Toronto, formerly The East York Choir. A number of Leasiders sing in it. It is an auditioned choir of nearly 100 voices, singing an eclectic mix of classical and contemporary music, rehearsing Mondays at Eastminster United Church.

Another in-the-vicinity-choir with Leaside members, for which you don’t have to audition, is the Upper Canada Choristers. They also rehearse on Monday evenings for their two main concerts a year. In addition, they perform regularly in retirement homes, sometimes joined by students from nearby elementary school choirs.

If none of these suit, maybe start up singing when you’re next at a local pub and see who joins in.

At the end of May, an announcement was made that the Town Crier chain of newspapers and their parent company were out of business. Why are we writing about this?

It’s personal: the original Town Crier newspapers were owned and operated by Harry and Ruth Goldhar, who are now at the heart of Leaside Life. In fact, when they first started in Crescent Town in East York, their two young daughters were the distribution team, along with their mother, Ruth, delivering the papers throughout the complex. Different reactions in the Goldhar family to this news:  for Harry, it’s just something that happened. For Ruth, Kathleen and Caroline, there is sadness that an era is over.