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

February 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

February 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...

CHORAL SCENE | Going Big: From Willan to Bach

February 01, 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...

FEATURE | The Craft of Ēriks Ešenvalds

February 01, 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...

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

January 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

November 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

November 01, 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...

SCRUTINY | Toronto Goes Hufflepuff Over Harry Potter With Live Symphony Orchestra

October 13, 2017

“I’m a big Harry Potter Fan”, shares Noa, fully dressed in Slytherin robes, ready to go (Snape would approve). Her enthusiasm for the world of wizardry beams off her. That was me, 15 years ago when the movie came out, albeit a Hufflepuff. I’m still a huge fan, and Noa and I are in good company with the thousands showing up for these live concert performances...

CHORAL SCENE | Musical Lamps to Light the Way

August 31, 2017

Canadian composer Matthew Emery’s musical setting “Peace, my heart” uses a poem by legendary Bengali poet and musician, Rabindranath Tagore. Emery’s composition is spartan and focused, somehow enabling deep mourning and peaceful contemplation to coexist within a single shape. Reflecting on the tumultuous state of current affairs, it’s going to be good to be able to get back to making collective music...

SCRUTINY | The Hogwarts Express Stops By The Toronto Stage

June 29, 2017

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone stops by the Sony Centre on its North American live film concert tour. Brian Chang reviews the show, with insight from conductor Justin Freer...