The Victoria Scholars Men’s Choral Ensemble was founded in 1993 by graduates of Toronto’s St. Michael’s Choir School. Named after Tomàs Luis de Victoria – an outstanding composer of the Renaissance period whose music is renowned for its deep spirituality and emotional expressiveness – the essence of the Victoria Scholars’ music is an emphasis on the clarity and balance of sound so characteristic of Renaissance music, which the ensemble presents through the unique sonority of male voices. The Victoria Scholars’ repertoire, however, is not limited to the Renaissance. It encompasses medieval plainchant, works from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, contemporary pieces in a variety of styles and newly commissioned works.
Each year, the Victoria Scholars present a 3-concert series at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Toronto, as well as at other venues around the city. They also appear frequently as guests of other performing arts organizations in Toronto, and present occasional concerts in other southern Ontario cities (most recently in Barrie, Brantford, Kingston, and Markham). The Victoria Scholars have also completed successful tours nationally (Vancouver and Halifax) and internationally (the United States and the Bahamas).
Past winners of the Canada Council Healey Willan Grand Prize in the CBC Radio National Competition for Amateur Choirs, the Victoria Scholars have had the pleasure of performing with international vocal soloists Russell Braun, Measha Brueggergosman, Norine Burgess, Richard Margison, Robert Pomakov, Sondra Radvanovsky, Catherine Robbin, Michael Schade, Janice Taylor, James Westman and Monica Whicher.
Along with appearing on recordings by Loreena McKennitt and Mary Lou Fallis, we have released 4 of our own well-received recordings (Christmas with the Victoria Scholars: Carols and Lullabies from around the world, John Edward Ronan’s Tenebrae, Distant Voices: A collection of works by Canadian composers and arrangers and most recently in November 2012, O Night Divine).
The Victoria Scholars can also be seen on Soul Music, a series of programs about music and religion throughout the ages, presented by Vision TV.