You don't have to be Ukrainian....

          …to belong to the Shevchenko Musical Ensemble. Everyone is welcome. In fact, diversity has made us what we are today: a truly Canadian multicultural, and multigenerational, performing ensemble. So, if you are looking for a challenge and regular stage appearance, or a retired singer looking for continued involvement … the Shevchenko Musical Ensemble is worth looking into. Be a part of this one-of-the-kind musical experience by joining and performing in the Shevchenko Musical Ensemble – Canada’s unique combination of song, music and dance.

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Shevchenko Choir

The Shevchenko Choir, a mixed voice choral group, is dedicated to preserving the finest of Ukrainian choral traditions. But it also includes in its repertoire a broad spectrum of songs – Ukrainian and other folk songs, popular classical arias and choruses, and contemporary songs including original Canadian compositions. For men and women who wish to sing but don’t read Ukrainian (or any other cyrillic language), lyrics are easily and quickly learned using phonetics.

Although the choir is an integral part of the Shevchenko Musical Ensemble, it rehearses separately and later joins the orchestra in rehearsal and performance. In addition to its annual presentation as part of the Ensemble, the choir often presents its own concerts or joint concerts with other community choirs. All concerts are held in prestigious theaters in Toronto and area.

Choir rehearsals are Sunday mornings, from 10:00 to 12:30 at the Borochov Cultural Centre, 272 Codsell Ave. Although it is preferable for a singer to read music, it is not mandatory. Auditions to the choir are held at any time by contacting the Ensemble office to arrange an appointment with the Artistic Director. The audition is more for the purpose of evaluating the voice and its range.

Anyone interested in joining the choir is welcome to attend a rehearsal as an observer to better acquaint themselves with the type of repertoire and level of performance. Just call the Ensemble office at 416-533-2725 to confirm.

Toronto Mandolin Orchestra

The Toronto Mandolin Orchestra is one of Canada’s oldest community orchestras. It is a continuation of the proud tradition of mandolin orchestras and schools which flourished in the Ukrainian, Jewish, Russian, Macedonian, Finnish, German and other ethnic communities in Canada.

The orchestra is comprised of the complete mandolin family – prima, mandola, tenor mandolin, mando-cello and bass (both mando and string). It is augmented by accordion, flute, oboe, clarinet and percussion. It currently also has 4-string and 3-string domras in the string section.

As part of the Ensemble, the orchestra accompanies the choir and vocal and instrumental soloists. It also has an extensive repertoire of its own (folk, world, classical) and presents its own concerts in theatres such as Glenn Gould Studio. It presents a broad range of performances with instrumental soloists on domra, balalaika, cimbalom, flute, oboe, clarinet, pan flute; and with professional vocal soloists.

Musicians on either domra or mandolin must read music adequately in order to participate in the string section. Players who need to upgrade their techniques or reading skills can apply for lessons under the program of mandolin (or domra) instruction offered by the Ensemble.

Musicians on accordion (or bayan), woodwinds or percussion must be highly qualified and must audition with the Artistic Director by contacting the Ensemble office to arrange an appointment. Although the orchestra is an amateur group, the level of performance is professional and requires the performance of the above instruments to be at a professional level.

Orchestra rehearsals are held every Monday night from 7:30 to 10:00 at the Borochov Cultural Centre, 272 Codsell Ave. Before making an appointment for an audition, anyone interested in joining the orchestra is welcome to attend a rehearsal as an observer to better acquaint themselves with the repertoire and level of performance.