Journalism

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 | The TSO’s Home Alone: Revisit Christmas like it’s 1990

December 08, 2018

The first time I remember hearing “O Holy Night” was watching Home Alone. I was a toddler when Home Alone first came out in theatre but in the years following, the VHS was well loved in our family. As I grew older, the film became part of the Christmas season and I came to love its pranks and cleverness. Because of the film, “Somewhere in my memory” just always seemed like it was part of the holiday music canon. Only now, older and more experienced, can I truly appreciate the depth of a film like Home Alone...

CHORAL SCENE | Coming Together Through Toronto’s Beloved Messiah

November 29, 2018

Toronto Symphony Orchestra CEO Matthew Loden and I are chatting about the beloved cultural phenomenon that is Messiah in Toronto. Sitting in his office overlooking Roy Thomson Hall, I can see the iconic webbing of the edifice, a physical nest that cradles the music hall. In a few weeks, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and guests, under the baton of Johannes Debus, will present a major six-performance run of Handel and Jennens’ masterpiece...

CHORAL SCENE | Aural Remembrance for a New Generation

November 01, 2018

One hundred years ago, World War I raged on the battlefields of Europe, across the Middle East, in Southeast Asia and in proxy battles the world over. This year, the generation coming of age has lived entirely in the new millennium. Their experience of war is drastically different from the textbooks and grainy history videos in Grade 9 and 10 classes. Their experience of war is that of insurgency in Afghanistan, invasion of Iraq, annexation of Crimea, the global war on terrorism, and irregular migration...

CHORAL SCENE | Slavic Music Traditions In Toronto

September 27, 2018

In this month’s column we have two arts organizations taking on Slavic traditions and history. Pax Christi Chorale presents “Slavic Devotion” and Vesnivka Choir leads a commemorative concert for the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor...

CHORAL SCENE | First Step? Start a Choir. That’s What Annegret Did.

August 30, 2018

All it takes is one person with initiative and a few friends to start a choir.” The speaker is Lucas Harris, current artistic director of the Toronto Chamber Choir (TCC). The person he is talking about is Annegret Wright whose initiative it was, five decades ago, to get the TCC started. Not many arts organizations can sustain themselves for decades, and 50 years is a remarkable feat, requiring not just loyalty to an organization’s founder but also the ability to change...

FEATURE | The Icing on the Choral Conductor’s Cake

April 27, 2018

Jenny Crober and I are chatting over the phone. She’s in New York City with several of the choristers from VOCA Chorus of Toronto and the Achill Choral Society from Orangeville. They’ve spent the last few days rehearsing with James Meaders, the associate artistic director of Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) and composer-superstar Ola Gjeilo...

CHORAL SCENE | Just Sing!

April 27, 2018

The month of May is one of fully ripened choral fruit. At the end of the season for many choirs, these are the signature concerts for many ensembles and in some cases, farewells. I’ve provided some in-depth interviews and insights into a handful of concerts...

CONCERT REPORT | Always Singing: The Guelph Chamber Choir bids farewell to Gerald Neufeld

April 04, 2018

“Thank you for bringing us great music,” said Nicole Neufeld in a heartwarming onstage tribute to her father’s 36 years of work with the Guelph Chamber Choir. Gerald Neufeld is stepping down as artistic director of the Guelph Chamber Choir, having led it for 36 of its 38 years...

PRIMER | Breathing Is Optional: The Relentless Work Of Singing The Bach Mass In B Minor

March 30, 2018

I love Bach, but he writes in a very instrumental way — even for the voice; and you have no time to Breathe,” says Francine Labelle, a Tafelmusik Chamber Choir Soprano...

FEATURE | St. Mike’s Springtime Messiah Sets Momentous Challenge

March 29, 2018

It happens every time after the Hallelujah Chorus in Handel’s Messiah. There are always audience members in tears – profoundly affected by the art and majesty of the music. There are not many other major works that have this effect, and probably none that are so beloved in Toronto...