Musical Journalism

Brian Chang has been involved with choral music as a singer, administrator, and conductor for over a decade. In 2015 he started writing for the Wholenote Magazine as its resident Choral Scene columnist; providing news and insight on choral music to a 30,000-print circulation. In 2016 he became a regular contributor with Ludwig Van Toronto, formerly Musical Toronto. Capable of writing blog-style quick reads, in-depth interviews, editorials, and features, Brian's work always seeks to illuminate the reader with new angles, authoritative voice, and a creative edge. 

*Ludwig van Toronto is a member of the National Newsmedia Council   

PRIMER | Soundstreams Sonic Ripples Through The Water Passion

Mar 6, 2018

Water Passion demands something of you. It also demands a fair amount from the musicians. The percussionists are elbow deep in the water for a good portion of the concert, the soprano must display virtuosity at the top of her range, and the choir plays stones. You have to take in the full theatre of the spectacle that Tan Dun has assembled...

CHORAL SCENE | Sacred Music Aplenty!

Mar 2, 2018

The opening Kyrie of the Bach Mass in B Minor is one of the hardest starts of any major work for a choir; with no starting pitch, the precisely placed hard “K” prior to any other sound, and careful phrasing that starts right away – the opening has much to say about how the rest of the performance will play out...

SCRUTINY | Orpheus Choir of Toronto Shines Northern Light On Ēriks Ešenvalds

Feb 28, 2018

The Latvian community of Toronto was out in force to support the visit of their compatriot Ēriks Ešenvalds and his works being presented by the Orpheus Choir of Toronto. Part of Latvia’s official centenary celebrations, the concert featured the Canadian premiere of Nordic Light Symphony...

PRIMER | Power Up Gospel Music Festival — "Your music friends are forever friends"

Feb 24, 2018

“Thump thump. Thump thump,” Nicole Sinclair-Anderson says with a smile as the room fills with nervous laughter. She’s looking for a lead soloist in her “The Art of Vocal Style” workshop. Everyone’s eyes immediately go to the floor. Maura McGroarty, my high school music teacher who I haven’t seen in years, sticks her hand up and gets up to the front of the room. “How Great is Our God” comes through her deep mezzo and the room erupts with cheers and hollers as the nervousness melts away and transforms into something much more impactful. This is gospel music — people coming together through music to find joy...

ON THE RADAR | The Toronto Symphony Orchestra Heads Down The Yellow Brick Road

Feb 13, 2018

“The Wizard of Oz is one of the most difficult movies I have worked on”, says conductor Emil de Cou. Having spent 20 years conducting film scores, he is no stranger to film music or the Wiz. He was the first to do a live concert format of the Wizard of Oz at (American) National Symphony Orchestra Wolf Trap, the American national park devoted to music, in 2006...

FEATURE | The Craft of Ēriks Ešenvalds

Feb 1, 2018

At a certain point in the blended storytelling, music, and video multimedia monument Ēriks Ešenvalds calls Nordic Light Symphony, he has singers wet their fingers, running them against the rims of glasses filled with various amounts of water...

CHORAL SCENE | Going Big: From Willan to Bach

Feb 1, 2018

There are some big and unique choral experiences this month. There’s a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Healey Willan’s death, the combined forces of choirs from the University of Toronto and York University, a rare performance premiere for Tafelmusik and a new interpretation of Bach’s St Matthew Passion...

ON THE RADAR | The Art Of Honing The Next Great Musical Communicators

Jan 23, 2018

Jennifer Lee, the current Associate Conductor of TMC, is an alumnus of the symposium. “In college programs, you rarely get to work with a choir like TMC, the size, the quality of the (music) reading, the sensitive musicality, and the responsiveness of the musicians.”

CHORAL SCENE | The Dreaded Cough

Nov 30, 2017

Welcome to this double edition of Choral Scene! By the time you get your hands on this magazine the holiday season will be well under way. Carols will get in your ear, festive sounds will echo out and bells will be a-ringing throughout the region. I hope you’ve got your concert tickets in hand. If not, hurry up and reserve your place in these amazing concerts before you’re disappointed...

CHORAL SCENE | On Sonic Remembrance and a Story of Choral Life

Nov 1, 2017

Heading into the month of November remembrance, I’ve highlighted two performances: the first is by Chorus Niagara and the Orpheus Choir, and the second by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with guests. The major works in these two performances commemorate two very different wars separated by 100 years, World War I and the war in Afghanistan...