CDA Fund Raising Concert

People create beauty.

They flex wood into curving shapes and fill that space with glorious sound.
Sitting in the performance space of Integral House as soprano Shannon Mercer sings and Steven Philcox collaborates, you know that this is beauty.

Shannon and Ste-a

Inside view-aOak fins, planes of concrete and 180 degrees of glass look out to the blue sky and the Don Valley where spring has yet to arrive.

And then there is the music.

Shannon Mercer, soprano, and Steven Philcox, piano, bring enchantment with a program she describes as: “a combination of serious and fun”. She sings in five languages. Mozart’s German moves into Villa-Lobos’ Spanish and then to Welsh Folk Songs and American parody – pickles, hot dogs and “meow”. The acoustics are fabulous, holding and releasing the sound – Shannon’s animated expression, clear diction, and soaring melodies supported by Steven’s elegant piano playing. The architecture and the music together create great art.



This Sunday afternoon concert is in Integral House, one of the most stunning modern residences in Toronto, home of James Stewart, mathematician, professor and classical violinist. It is named for the mathematical integral symbol; Stewart was enormously successful writing calculus textbooks. Completed in 2009, it is an architectural feat that combines home and performance space.

Integral House owner James Stewart, WMCT President Annette Sanger, pianist Steven Philcox, soprano Shannon Mercer, artists’ sponsors Hélène and Peter Hunt 

Eighty “lucky souls” are here to support the 10th presentation of the Career Development Award, the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto’s major prize, supporting young Canadian classical musicians embarking on their professional careers.   Financial returns today provide funding for a live competition in Toronto a year from now when three young Canadian musicians will perform in Walter Hall, U of T, for cash awards and a Music in the Afternoon recital. And for today, the audience enjoys the great beauty, while playing a role in ensuring the beauty continues.


History Meets Website

Miss Florence Taylor, piano , and Miss Hilda Boulton, violin, performed at  the first WMCT concert Jan. 23, 1899.  Leontyne Price entertained in 1957. And big hair and bare footed,  Measha Bruggergosman, soprano, sang Jules Massenet’s Aria: Rêve infini! Divine extase (from “La Vierge”) at Walter Hall on Nov. 25, 2004.

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All information available in the History section of the WMCT website. History of Concerts and Performers, began life as a book, moved into the digital age and now is available on the WMCT website as an indexed and searchable web-based file. Created by Hanna and Fred Feuerriegel it lists performers, repertoires and concerts – right up to the 115th grand concert in Koerner Hall last May 2.  There’s an Index of Performers so you can find who played when, but there’s also an Index of Performed Works where Johann Sebastian Bach pretty much has two whole pages all to himself.

Want to know when Marian Anderson performed? That was 1937, the 39th season, when concerts were held in Eaton Auditorium (corner of Yonge and College).  How about Sir Ernest MacMillan? That was 1930 when he joined Healey Willan and the Conservatory String Quartette and Willan’s  Sonata No. 1 in E minor for violin and piano was on the programme.

The files are rich with names and music underlining once again the WMCT’s commitment to presenting Canadian and International talent to Toronto audiences.

History of Concerts and Performers in PDF format is available here.

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