Come Sing in
the Village Square!
MULTI-CULTURAL SINGING COMMUNITY IN TORONTO
A unique celebration of community
singing traditions from around the world.
SING FOR PLEASURE – NOT
more information, please contact Alan Gasser
Village Square is a unique celebration of
Community Singing Traditions from around the world,
including Sharpenote (Sacred Harp), Shaker tunes,
South African choruses, Balkan and Georgian styles.
Favourites Old and New.
"We gather to sing together, for pleasure...
without the anxieties of public performance,"
explains Alan Gasser, one of the project's
leaders. Public performances are not the
objective of this new Toronto-based gathering, which
is open to anyone who likes to sing. The group
meets to sing "with" and "for"
each other, and warmly welcomes new singers.
"The Village Square is an actual square,"
Becca Whitla, the other leader, elaborates.
"We stand to form a 'hollow' square, beloved
of community singing enthusiasts, with Soprano, Alto,
Tenor & Bass singers on each of four sides, and
singing towards the centre, towards each other."
Whitla is a community music maker and organizer in
Toronto. She is co-founder and co-director of
the Echo Women's Choir (a vibrant community choir) and
is Music Director at the Church of the Holy
Trinity. She is on the board of Friends of South
African Performing Arts and is helping to organize a
Canadian tour for South Africa's Polokwane Choral
Society in June of this year.
Gasser has sung Georgian folk music since 1985,
with the Kartuli Ensemble, and was a founding member
of the Trio Kavkasia and founding leader of Darbazi.
He has co-directed the Echo Women's Choir with Whitla
since 1993. More recently, he began teaching and
conducting choirs in the Music Department of York
University and the Royal Conservatory.