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Community Chamber Concerts

We will visit 15 different senior communities throughout the year, and provide high quality, relevant and engaging free chamber music concerts. The objective of this project is to promote and provide instrumental music to senior communities, and retirement homes. The reception before and after the concerts will allow volunteers to present small workshops for seniors who are interested in learning more about instrumental music.

Benefit To The Community

Community Chamber Concerts will not only provide the service of high quality musical entertainment for seniors in the community, but also allow them to engage with the musicians, encouraging them, should they wish, to learn more about musical instruments and chamber music by engaging with the musicians during the reception after the concerts. At the end of the project, senior audiences from various communities may have a better understanding of instrumental classical music and may even be compelled to attend more live orchestral or chamber concerts. This project will also allow for more social participation and be especially beneficial to some seniors who may feel isolated by various illness and be unable to or uncomfortable leaving their safe environment. In addition, senior audience may be interested in learning how to play the instrument. Should the interest arise, CS would also be open to expanding the performances to include hands on learning, providing private or classes at the senior homes.

Concert Dates

Tuesday Dec 4, 2-3 PM New Horizons Towers,  1140 Bloor St. W.
Monday Dec 17, 1-2 PM Scarborough Finch Yee Hong, 60 Scottfield Dr. TBC
Monday Dec 17, Japanese Community Senior Home
Tuesday Dec 18, 1-2 PM Yee Hong Garden Terrace, 90 Scottfield Dr.
Sunday Dec 23, 4-5 PM Vintage Garden, 1038 McNicoll Ave.
Thursday Jan. 31, 2:30-3:30 PM Chartwell Grenadier Retirement Residence, 2100 Bloor St. W.
Friday Feb. 1, 2-3 PM St. Paul L’amoureux (SPLC) 3333 Finch Ave. E, Scarborough
Sunday Feb 10, 2:30-3:30 PM Providence Healthcare, 3276 St. Clair Avenue East
Date TBC Annex Retirement Residences, 123 Spadina Rd.
Tuesday Feb. 12 or 26, 7-8 PM Sky View on Yonge

If you would like the opportunity to host a live chamber concert in a senior or retirement environment, please contact us.

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Performer Bios

Rose Marie Blanc, piano

Rose Marie is the Music Director and Founder of BAPS Suzuki Program. She has a Diploma in Music from the University of Bucharest. She is also a faculty member of Suzuki Kingston Musicfest, a member of the Royal Conservatory of Music Affiliate Teacher Network, and Music Director of the Beethoven Society for Pianists, Greater Toronto Chapter. She and her violinist husband Jean Blanc have devoted over 30 years to teaching and performing.

Jean Blanc, violin

Violinist Jean Blanc received his training from the University of Bucharest. He is a member of both the Toronto and Ontario Suzuki Association. He has devoted 30 years to teaching at Beverley Acres. His passion and commitment to music instruction and lifelong learning has spawned generations of BAPS musicians. He and his wife, pianist Rose Marie are beloved for their caring, child-centred approach to music education.

Aster Lai, piano

Pianist Aster Lai was born and raised in Hong Kong. She studied at the Vienna Conservatory in Austria before making her home in Toronto, Canada in 1977. Since then Aster has established a name for herself, not only as child pedagogue specialist, but as a passionate and inspiring teacher who cares for each of her students and their families like her own. “Aster’s Music House,” founded in 1983 by Aster, has become a center for talented young pianists. In addition to teaching students, she has also mentored numerous teachers and influenced other internationally acclaimed pianists aspiring to teach with her successful method. Over the years, Aster has produced numerous award winning students including first prize winners from national and international competitions including the Canadian Music Competition, Chopin International Piano Competition in Hartford (CT) USA, Concours Musical de France, Manchester International Concerto Competition, and most recently the American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music and the Bradshaw and Buono International Competition. Asters success as a pedagogue has become world renowned as she continues to mentor other teachers and students, many of whom travel from far to study with her in Toronto. She has given master classes in numerous places including Vienna, Italy, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Gulang Yu, China. As a pianist, Aster is known for her meltingly warm tone, a quality which she has passed onto her numerous students. Aster and Rose Marie Blanc of formed a piano duo and have been sharing their music at numerous outreach venues including fundraising events and senior homes.

Kaye Royer, clarinet

Kaye Royer has performed in orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout Canada, the United States, England and Italy, and as a soloist in concertos by composers such as Mozart, Weber, R. Strauss, Beethoven (an arrangement of the violin concerto), Milhaud, Finzi, Dubois, Telemann and her husband, Ronald Royer. She currently holds the position of principal clarinet with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, Brantford Symphony, Canadian Sinfonietta, the Stratford Symphony Orchestra and Toronto Sinfonietta. As a recording artist, she was a featured soloist on Toronto Sinfonietta’s Romancing Chopin (Cambria CD-1225), and has worked on The Hollywood Flute of Louise DiTullio (Cambria CD-1194), The Storyteller’s Bag, and Conrad Chow’s Premieres (Cambria CD-1204). She has worked on the sound tracks of such films as Gooby, Prisma, The Dog, and The Happy Couple. She also enjoys performing chamber music, ice skating and teaching her clarinet students, both young and adult.

Ron Royer, cello

Ronald Royer is a multi-talented musician who is active as a composer, conductor, cellist and recording producer. Born in Los Angeles into a family of professional musicians, he began his career as a cellist, performing with such ensembles as the Toronto Symphony, Utah Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and American Ballet Theatre Orchestra, as well as working in the Motion Picture and Television Industry in Los Angeles during the 1980’s. A recent commercial CD featuring his cello playing is I Remember, performed by University of Toronto Schools Alumni Musicians and Friends, found on the Cambria Master Recordings label distributed by Naxos Records. He has worked with many prominent musicians such as Placido Domingo, Joshua Bell, Emanuel Ax, John Williams, Henry Mancini, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Loreena McKennitt, Sarah Vaughan, and the Modern Jazz Quartet.

ProVoice Studios Canada

ProVoice Studios Canada provides voice lessons, workshops and performance opportunities for its singers, who range in age from 8 years to 80+, and who sing a variety of repertoire that includes art song, opera and sacred music as well as broadway, jazz and popular songs.   The studio, which has been in existence since 1997, is run by Tina Torlone,  a voice teacher and well known pedagogue who believes in the importance of regular performing as an integral part of the process of voice training and as an opportunity to build community.  ProVoce singers perform in a variety of venues, including churches,  restaurants, hospitals and seniors’ homes in Toronto and most recently in Italy.

Erika Crino, piano

Pianist Erika Crino is very active both as a chamber musician and a soloist, performing extensively both in North America and Europe. Several of her performances have been featured on CBC Radio both as a soloist, as the winner of the Debut Series, and in chamber music settings, collaborating with percussionist Salvador Ferreras, clarinetist Francois Houle, and pianist Brett Kingsbury. Since her move to Toronto, Erika has been regularly heard in several important venues, among which, the Glenn Gould Studio, where she performed and recorded Bach’s Triple Concerto with pianists Robert Silverman and Brett Kingsbury, and the Koffler Chamber Orchestra directed by Jacques Israelievitch, as well as premiered Michael Pepa’s TREMA, for piano, percussion and orchestra , with the Canadian Sinfonietta. Erika has performed at the historic Massey Hall directed by William Shookoff, at the University of Toronto where she collaborated with cellist David Hetherington. In duo with Marianna Humetska, she was also invited to perform at the 7th Meridian-ISCM International Festival in Bucharest, Romania. After obtaining the Diploma in Piano at the conservatory of her own town, Trieste, and the Diploma in Chamber Music with the Trio di Trieste, Erika studied with M. Bruno Canino in Milan. Shortly after, she moved to Canada where she completed her Doctorate in Piano Performance with Dr. Robert Silverman at the University of British Columbia. Erika is currently faculty at the Kingsway Conservatory and teaches part time at U of T.

Tak Ng Lai, violin, music director

Tak Ng Lai commenced his music education at the Canton Conservatory of Music in China. He furthered his studies in Hong Kong and was a member of the first violin section in the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra before completing his studies at the Vienna Conservatory of Music with a joint major in violin and conducting. In 1977, along with his wife, pianist Aster Lai, he immigrated to Canada and was a participant in the Conductor’s Workshop at the University of Toronto. Lai is a past music director and conductor of both the Niagara and the Mississauga Youth Orchestras, as well as working with the Etobicoke Philharmonic for 20 years before retiring. He was the first conductor of the Canadian Chamber Academy and during his early years in Canada, he served as the assistant conductor of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. For several years he served as the Principal Guest Conductor of the Canton Philharmonic and Choral Society. Lai has guest conducted in Europe, North America, and Asia with, among others, the Moscow Symphony, the Ural State Philharmonic, the Vancouver Symphony, the Windsor Symphony, the Niagara Symphony, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Taiwan Symphony, the Beijing Symphony, Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra of Bulgaria. In addition to his work with the Canadian Sinfonietta, Lai currently teaches violin, viola, and conducting in the Toronto area.

Joyce Lai, violin

Joyce Lai enjoys a career as a violin soloist and chamber musician. She has been featured as a guest artist with orchestras around the world, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Szeged Symphony Orchestra of Hungary, the Canadian Chamber Academy, and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong. Locally, Joyce has been guest soloist with, among others, the Stratford Symphony Orchestra, Etobicoke Philharmonic, Scarborough Philharmonic, as well as the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra. As an avid chamber musician, Joyce performs regularly in chamber settings and has been participated at various festivals including the Clear Lake Chamber Music Festival in Manitoba, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Festival and the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival in B.C. In 2017, Joyce, along with pianist Erika Crino, presented a series of duo recitals featuring all Canadian works in Croatia, Serbia and Italy. These concerts were hosted by the Canadian Embassy in celebration of Canada’s 150th.
Joyce was first violinist in the Riverdale Ensemble, a chamber group that specialized in performing rare and unique works, as well as premiering new Canadian works. The Riverdale Ensemble’s highly praised CD, Twelve by the Moon-dial, was released in 2008. In addition to her performing career, Joyce is also an enthusiastic educator as well as a pianist and has a private studio of violin and piano students ranging from ages 3 to 73. She has taught at the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts and the Hong Kong Baptist University, in addition to giving violin clinics in the Ontario area. She is currently the conductor for the Canadian Sinfonietta Youth Orchestra (CSYO) Junior Strings. Joyce holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a Masters of Music Degree and Performer Diploma from the Indiana University.

Ian Clarke, viola

Toronto violinist and violist, Ian Clarke is a member of the viola section in the Canadian Sinfonietta (CS), in addition to being concertmaster of the York Chamber Ensemble, he is also a frequent guest soloist. Ian was concertmaster of the Matsumoto Symphony Orchestra in Japan from 1998-2000 and still returns several times a year to perform. Ian is an avid chamber musician and in addition to working regularly with members of the CS and other prominent Canadian musicians. Ian enjoys performing in summer festivals and has participated in the Kitchener- Waterloo Chamber Music Festival, the Clear Lake Chamber Music Festival in Manitoba and the Pender Harbour Music Festival in B.C. In addition to his musical career, Ian also holds an engineering degree from the University of Waterloo and is currently Director of the Software Research & Development department at EPSON.

Larkin Hinder, bassoon

Born in Toronto, bassoonist Larkin Hinder graduated from the University of Toronto with a bachelor of music degree in performance. Since then she has freelanced in and around the Toronto area with orchestras including the Windsor Symphony, London Symphony, Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, Esprit Orchestra and the Canadian Sinfonetta. She was also an occasional player in the Showboat and Phantom of the Opera pit orchestras. Most recently she has been very actively involved with a chamber music collective called Alchemy whose mandate is to provide high quality chamber music to audiences in facilities such as retirement residences and hospitals.

Tim FitzGerald, bass

Tim FitzGerald was a member of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra for over 15 years and formerly played with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra London. Over the past several years Tim has composed and performed vocal settings, in various styles, of Bahá’í Sacred text. Other performing interests include jazz bass, traditional Irish music, and singing: in a chorus and as a soloist, often for groups of children. His own two daughters, Julie and Zoë, have reached the ages of 20 and 30 in spite of being subjected to many of these performances early on.