Toronto Children's Chorus Announces New Artistic Director



    TORONTO, April 2 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of the Toronto Children's
Chorus announces the appointment of Elise Bradley as its new Artistic
Director. Ms. Bradley will succeed Jean Ashworth Bartle, founder and Artistic
Director of the Toronto Children's Chorus (TCC) for the past 29 years, who
will be retiring from the choir at the end of the 2006/07 season.
    The new Artistic Director was selected from among a distinguished group
of Canadian and international candidates. She will officially assume her new
role on August 16, 2007.
    Elise Bradley is currently Head of Department Music and Director of
Choral Studies at Westlake Girls' High School in Auckland, New Zealand. She
founded the school's internationally recognized top choir, Key Cygnetures, in
1992. For the past seven years, she has also been the musical director of the
New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir.
    Under Ms. Bradley's artistic direction, both choirs have traveled
extensively, earning national and international accolades and winning numerous
gold medals at choir competitions throughout the world, including Canada.
    An accomplished choral singer in her own right, Ms. Bradley is a founding
member of TOWER Voices New Zealand, a renowned semi-professional chamber choir
that performs major concerts and works with visiting international conductors.
    "Ms. Bradley has an outstanding reputation in her native New Zealand, and
beyond, in leading children's and adult choirs of international repute," said
Wendy Hannam, Chair, Toronto Children's Chorus Board of Directors. "In
addition to her extensive choral talents, she has a deep passion for working
with children. We look forward to her building on the legacy of excellence
that has made our own Toronto Children's Chorus recognized as one of the
premier children's choirs in the world."
    The TCC will enter its fourth decade under Ms. Bradley's artistic
direction. Founded in 1978 by Jean Ashworth Bartle, the TCC began its 29th
season in 2006. Its 300 choristers, aged 7 - 17, study and perform in one of
the choir's six levels, including training choirs, the Main Choir and its
touring ensemble, the Chamber Choir. Recognized as one of the world's leading
choral ensembles for children, the TCC Chamber Choir has performed throughout
the world, including Carnegie Hall (1994), The Kennedy Center (1995) and
London's Royal Albert Hall (2002). In 2006, the TCC's Chamber Choir won first
prize in the Children's Choir category and second prize in the contemporary
music category in the prestigious CBC/Radio Canada 16th National Radio
Competition for Amateur Choirs. Last summer, the TCC's Chamber Choir performed
in Hungary, Slovakia and Austria in venues that included Vienna's Stephansdom
and Salzburg's Dom on the opening night of the Salzburg International Summer
Festival. The TCC has produced 12 recordings, the most recent of which is "How
Sweet the Sound" released after the TCC's 2006 European tour.


    
               Toronto Children's Chorus: Media Backgrounders
                                April 2, 2007

                          Elise Bradley - Biography
    

    Elise Bradley began her musical career in her native New Zealand during
the 1970s as both teacher and performer. She has music and teaching diplomas
from Victoria University at Wellington and the Wellington College of
Education. She began her musical teaching career in Masterton in 1980 when she
became Head of Music at Wairarapa College - founding the internationally
recognized Wairarapa Youth Choir.
    Ms Bradley moved to Auckland in 1990. In 1991 she was appointed Director
of Choral Music at Westlake Girls' High School and in 1992 founded Westlake's
premier choir, Key Cygnetures. In 1996 she was appointed to her current
position as Head of Department Music. She was appointed to the position as the
Musical Director of the New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir in 2000. Under
Ms Bradley's leadership both choirs have achieved much success at a national
and international level:

    
    -   Key Cygnetures has recorded for television, radio and on CD. In 2006,
        the choir attended its fifteenth year of the NZ National Finale of
        the National Secondary Schools' Choral Festival, winning the newly
        awarded, supreme platinum award. It has toured extensively
        participating in international choral competitions, winning top
        awards and showcasing the music of New Zealand - in Australia,
        Argentina, Hawaii, Vienna, Slovenia, Germany and Vancouver.

    -   The New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir first performance in 2001
        under the leadership of Ms Bradley was reviewed as "a stunning
        concert and practically without exception, all aspects of the singing
        heard were of the highest order". Since then the choir has continued
        to reach the highest standards winning top awards in competitions
        held in Canada, Hong Kong and China and making several recordings on
        CD.
    

    Ms Bradley was presented with regional and national awards for excellence
in teaching in 1996 and 1997.
    Ms Bradley has been very active in the New Zealand choral scene and has
been involved in the conception and implementation of New Zealand's "Sing
Aotearoa". She has studied voice, choral music and conducting with many top
international teachers and conductors, both in New Zealand and
internationally, including in the United States and Sweden. Over the years,
she has given many workshops and clinics for teachers in conducting and choral
training, including as part of New Zealand's National Choral Conducting Team
and for the NZ Choral Federation. In 2005 she was chosen to be a member of the
International Federation of Choral Music's Ethnic and Multicultural
Commission, and in 2006 was invited to conduct and give clinics overseas.
    Ms Bradley has performed widely as a soloist and choir member at NZ and
international concerts, musicals and choir competitions. Her choral experience
includes:

    
    -   1990-2000 - member and soloist for the Auckland Dorian Choir

    -   1993-1994 - member of the NZ Singers - the first semi-professional
        choir in New Zealand

    -   1998-present - founding member and soloist of TOWER Voices New
        Zealand, a semi-professional chamber choir that has performed
        internationally and made several recordings.

    -   1999 - member of a world auditioned choir that performed in Carnegie
        Hall with Charles Dutoit

    -   2006 - member, clinician and soloist of Auckland Chamber Choir
    

    Ms Bradley has two grown children who live in New Zealand-Emma
Christensen, a primary school teacher and Bradley Christensen, a student
studying for his Bachelor of Music (Honours) in singing.

    Toronto Children's Chorus
    Celebrating 29 Years of Children, Music & Excel ence Jean Ashworth
    Bartle. C.M., O.Ont., Founder/Music Director

    Founded in 1978 by Jean Ashworth Bartle, the Toronto Children's Chorus is
recognized as one of the world's leading choral ensembles for children. By
providing life-enhancing experiences to over 300 children each year, aged
7-17, TCC choristers are given unique opportunities to perform in local,
regional, national and international venues. This has included triumphant
debuts at Carnegie Hall (1994), the Kennedy Center (1995), Sydney Opera House
(1999), Philadelphia's Kimmel Center (2001), and Royal Albert Hall (2002).
    The TCC first walked onto the international stage in 1982, winning the
coveted first prize at the International Eisteddfod in Wales. Other accolades
followed, including first place in the CBC National Radio Competition for
Amateur Choirs in the Children's Choir category (six times, from 1982 to 2006)
and in the Canadian composition category; the Canada Council for the Arts'
Healey Willan Prize (1983); a 1986 Juno Award as part of the Toronto Symphony
Orchestra's recording of Holst's The Planets; first place in the prestigious
Let the Peoples Sing Competition (1993); and, Best Recording Award for "A Boy
Was Born", awarded by the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors in 1998.
Last summer the Tour Choir performed concerts in Hungary, Slovakia, and
Austria, having previously toured Great Britain, France, the Netherlands,
Belgium, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Finland, South
Africa, and at home in North America.
    In collaboration with peers and professional musicians, the choir's vast
repertoire embraces an extensive range of musical genres. The TCC has
commissioned over twenty new Canadian works and has performed with such
internationally known conductors as Sir Andrew Davis, the late Elmer Iseler,
Sir Simon Rattle, Helmuth Ril ing, Bramwell Tovey, and Sir David Willcocks.
The choir has produced 12 recordings, having recently released its latest,
entitled "How Sweet the Sound" (Marquis). The choir has been broadcast on CBC,
BBC Wales and the Australian Broadcasting Commission.
    To experience the joy and artistry of each child is an inspiration for
all who hear the Chorus. Perhaps the greatest joy, however, is to witness the
personal growth that membership in the Chorus provides to young people each
year. In its 29th performance season, a second TCC generation has now embarked
on this exceptional musical journey.





For further information:

For further information: John Peltier, Manager of Business
Administration, Toronto Children's Chorus, Phone: (416) 932-8666 ex. 224,
email: john@torontochildrenschorus.com

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