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The Toronto Beach Chorale

The Toronto Beach Chorale, under the direction of Mervin Fick, presents its second concert of the season, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m. at Kingston Road United Church, 975 Kingston Rd. The highlight is the Chorale's performance of John Rutter's Gloria.
Rutter was born in London, England in 1945, and studied music at Cambridge. He was invited to the United States in 1974, and premiered his cantata, Gloria, in Omaha, Nebraska. The choral work has been called a “many metered montage of ethereal aural bliss” and “joy for your ears, mind and heart.” Accompanying the Toronto Beach Chorale for this performance will be a brass quintet. The Chorale will also be singing some more traditional seasonal music.
Tickets to Gloria are $20 for adults, $10 for children 7 to 18, with children under 7 free. Tickets should be available at the door, or for more information, and to order online, visit torontobeachchorale.com.

Beaches Presbyterian Church (BPC), 65 Glen Manor Dr., presents a reading of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. This reading – from Dickens' own abridged version of the story that he used on his speaking tours throughout Canada and the U.S. – will feature a star-studded cast including Tony Award-winning actor Brent Carver, Juno Award-winning singer Molly Johnson, CBC personalities Eleanor Wachtel (Writers and Company) and Tom Allen (Fresh Air), and Vancouver actor Bruce Dinsmore. Musical accompaniment will be provided by a band consisting of Lori Gemmell, harp; Don Anderson, piano; Wes Allen, bass; Evan Cartwright, drums; and the Beaches Presbyterian Church Choir. This reading is a fund raiser for the BPC Refugee Committee which is working with a family from Pakistan that has fled to Sri Lanka to avoid persecution, and is hoping to come to Canada.
Tickets to A Christmas Carol are available at the door for  $20. For more information call BPC at 416-699-5871.

St. John's Catholic Church, 794 Kingston Rd., presents a concert to honour the Christmas Season called Through Advent to Christmas Celebration, Dec. 9, at 3 p.m. There will be readings, carols and songs that re-tell the prophecies of old, and Mary and Joseph's courage along their journey to Bethlehem. The concert will feature members of the St. John's Adult and Chidren's Choirs under the direction of Eric Walker.
All are welcome. Admission is free with a goodwill offering, and there will be light refreshments to follow.

The East York Concert Band presents Tis the Season for Peace, Love & Joy, an evening of holiday-themed music, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m., at St. Clement of Ohrid Cathedral main banquet hall, 767 Overlea Blvd. There will be a lively mix of holiday music arranged for concert band, as well as sing-along favourites.
The band, founded in 1948, is open to residents of the GTA of all ages. It consists of 50 members, and is under the direction of Joseph Resendes. Proceeds from the Christmas and spring concerts go towards allowing the band to perform free of charge at nursing homes, Legions and churches throughout the year.
Tickets to Tis the Season for Peace, Love & Joy are $15 for adults,  $5 for children 12 and up, and are available by calling 416-251-4957, or by emailing tickets@eastyorkconcertband.ca. For more information visit eastyorkconcertband.ca.

If you're Christmassed out, and looking for something completely yule-free, drop in to Fitzgerald's, 2298 Queen St. E., every Friday night from 8 to 12 p.m. and catch Mike & Mike, featuring Michael Keys and Toronto Blues legend Mike McKenna.
If you were around Toronto in the 60s and 70s you will most definitely remember McKenna as part of the great blues band McKenna Mendelson Mainline. Duane Allman (of the Allman Brothers) once called Mike his favourite guitarist. McKenna will join pianist Michael Keys for some smokin' R&B that will definitely get those Christmas songs out of your head.
For more information call Fitzgerald's at 416-698-8588, or visit fitzgeralds.ca.

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