News

We have a Canadiana collection that rivals that of some of this country's major libraries.  Watch this space for listings that will cover our great land from coast to coast to coast.

 

 

CDs have been around for over 35 years.  Generally, they hold up pretty well.  So there is an active secondhand market, centred on eBay and Amazon.  If that fails, or you haven't got the hours required, you may want to check through our listings or drop us a line from the contact page.

Here are some of our recent listings:

  • Much Too Young - Rayal Thomas
  • Little Stories - Craig Cameron
  • Brahms & Bruch: Violin Concertos - Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
  • Great Verdi Arias - Louis Quilico
  • When I Think of Us - Bruce Carlson
  • Tonight I'm Shining - Doug Alcock
  • Wind Willow - John Allan Cameron
  • Whatever - Jeff Harms (signed)
  • Prairie Voices - The Winnipeg Singers
  • W.I.F.E. - Dave Blakeney
  • Jack of All Trades - Eddie Coffey & Marty Delaney

 

We are currently listing some LPs that feature choral groups, many of them from Ontario communities during the 1960s, 70s and 80s.  This was a rich period in the development of choral music, especially in the schools.

By the 1930s, Ontario churches had burgeoning choirs, rooted in a generation that loved to sing. For people who were raised during the Depression, there was little else available by way of entertainment and they enjoyed the feeling of community that choral singing engendered. The church schools acted as a bridge, bringing the group activity into the schools - a typical example being the St. Michael’s Choir School, established in 1937 to serve the Archdiocese of Toronto by educating and training the boys’ choirs to sing every weekend at St. Michael’s Cathedral.  The public school system eventually followed the lead and developed programs (sometimes extra-curricular) that sometimes spread across entire school districts.  The advent of inexpensive record production took the activity to new heights. By 1971, the Ontario ChoralFederation, was established to promote, support and celebrate choral music across the province.

Despite all this activity, there seems to be little trace remaining of its products.  Choral recordings were often used as a fund-raising technique by church and school groups...but by the 1980s, their output was submerged in a torrent of commercial music production that buried private offerings and the whole lot was swept out to landfill in a tide of black vinyl.  The historical importance of local recordings seemed to have been lost on the community when compared to the universal significance of the latest Duran Duran album.  Then the emergence of the CD sealed the fate of small budget community recordings - it just wasn't worth re-releasing these products in the new format (even if anyone had kept the masters - which they probably hadn't).

 Some of the new releases:

  • The Choir of The Bishop Strachan School, Toronto
  • Young Islanders Sing
  • Faculty of Music Singers (Western)
  • Young Sudbury '72 Concert
  • St. Thomas' Choir
  • Hamilton Orpheus Male Choir
  • Christmas Choral Concert - St. Michael's Choir School
  • If We Only have Love - St. Andrew's Youth Choir
  • Solid Silver Sounds - Brant County May Festival Choir

 If you are related to one or more of the choristers, you will no doubt find the record fascinating...but even failing that, it can be exhilarating to have a window on a bygone era and a place equally distant.