Press Release March 2014




SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival will feature more than 100 performances, workshops, and interactive events


Toronto, ON, March 3, 2014 – Torontonians will celebrate a cappella music at SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival, taking place May 30 to June 1 at the festival’s new location of The Distillery Historic District. More than 100 performances, workshops and interactive events will showcase the best of Canadian and international talent. Tickets go on sale in March (date to be announced) at

Now in its third year, SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival features world-class concert performances spanning a wide range of genres and cultural influences, including pop and jazz groups, classical and barbershop choirs and world music ensembles. Toronto’s only a cappella festival educates as well as entertains, with industry veterans leading vocal workshops for singers of all ages and levels of experience.

SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival will also offer a school workshop program featuring Finnish a cappella stars Rajaton, a series of exciting curated concerts, a public sing-along and presentation of the SING! Legacy Award to Canadian composer, writer, music educator and environmentalist R. Murray Schafer.

Concerts will include a first-ever reunion from Canadian a cappella pioneers The Nylons, UK-based classical crossover artists Cantabile – The London Quartet and “Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet” The Kinsey Sicks. Other highlights are Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye: A Tribute to Cole Porter, Shall I Compare Thee? A Celebration of Shakespeare in Song and When Words Sing, a choral concert honouring R. Murray Schafer.

The third year of SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival promises to be better than ever, according to artistic director Aaron Jensen. “With the momentum of two dynamic seasons behind us, an exciting newfound home in Toronto’s Distillery Historic District and a performance lineup featuring some of the very best in Canadian and international talent, we look forward to bringing the best of vocal music to Torontonians for a third year.”

SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival, a registered charity, is committed to celebrating music from a wide cross-section of genres and cultures; educating, inspiring, and challenging audiences; and increasing public understanding and appreciation of the vocal arts. The upcoming festival season, complete with innovative curated concerts and engaging collaborations, will include performances and interactive sessions geared to music fans, amateur singers and professionals alike.

Scheduled events to date include the following:


Headliner concert performances will feature genre-spanning talent from across the globe.  Iconic Canadian a cappella pioneers The Nylons will perform a one-time reunion as current members take the stage with former members multi-JUNO Award winner Billy Newton Davis, singer/songwriter Micah Barnes and Broadway star Mark Cassius. UK-based classical crossover artists Cantabile – The London Quartet will showcase an array of talents from comedy to the classics as they perform their “From Monteverdi to Monty Python” show, with music ranging from a cappella favourites to the sacred music of the last millennium. The festival will also feature two unforgettable late night cabaret performances by The Kinsey Sicks, a “Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet” complete with award-winning a cappella singing, sharp satire and over-the-top drag.

Other highlights are performer collaborations Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye: A Tribute to Cole Porter and Shall I Compare Thee? A Celebration of Shakespeare in Song and When Words Sing, a choral concert honouring R. Murray Shafer.


Interactive workshops for participants of all levels of experience will be led by prominent international musical directors, conductors and clinicians. Workshop topics include “Honing Your Presentation Skills” (The Kinsey Sicks), “Breaking Musical Boundaries with Humour and Harmony” (Cantabile – The London Quartet), “Vocal Percussion and Instrument Imitation” (The Contemporary A Cappella Society of America), “Arranging for Cross Genres using Turkish and Balkan Techniques” (A Cappella Bogazici) and “Rounds, Rhythms and Circle Songs” (FreePlay Duo).
The SING! Legacy Award, presented each year to an artist who has made a significant contribution to vocal music, will be presented to Sarnia native R. Murray Schafer. Schafer is a highly prolific composer, writer, music educator, visual artist and environmentalist. He has produced works in every musical genre, including opera, musical theatre, chamber music and orchestral works, including some of the most prized contemporary compositions for voice and choir.

Schafer’s celebrated book, The Tuning of the World, documents the results of the World Soundscape Project – research into the social, scientific and artistic aspects of sound that introduced the notion of sonic ecology. A number of Schafer’s compositions and writings have become reference points for the evolution of music and musical thought over the last century.  In 2013, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada for his contributions as an internationally renowned composer of contemporary music and for his groundbreaking work in acoustic ecology.

Schafer will be honoured as part of When Words Sing, a choral concert featuring selections from Shafer’s repertoire, taking place May 31 at 2:00 p.m.

SING! SING-ALONG (May 31 – 6 p.m.)

Festival performers, attendees, volunteers and members of the public will join together in the unique and inspirational SING! Sing-Along on Saturday, May 31 (6-7 p.m.).


Free performances will take place around The Distillery District throughout the weekend, featuring vocal artists with a wide variety of backgrounds, cultures and styles.


Geared towards students from grades 7 to 12, the SING! school workshop program will challenge and engage more than 400 students from throughout Ontario and the northeastern US. Students will have the rare opportunity to work with famed Finnish vocal ensemble Rajaton as well as working hands-on with JUNO Award winning vocal clinician Suba Sankaran and Canada’s hippest new a cappella quartet, The Watch.


 SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival tickets go on sale in March (date to be announced) at


SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival is supported by FACTOR, Toronto On, Rogers TV, Songwriters Association of Canada, Centauri Summer Arts Camp, MetalWorks Studios and MetalWorks Institute, Booster Juice,  David Steingart C.A., Canadian Musician Magazine, Canadian Music Week, Sanderson Entertainment Law, JAZZ.FM91, Department of Canadian Heritage through Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage, and Wenstage.  SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters.

More information and updated schedules for SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival is available at

For more information or to arrange interviews with performers, clinicians, or organizers, please contact:

Caroline Horcher
Catalyst Communications

(416) 487-4415