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About Us
PLEASE NOTE:   The next Christmas Oratorio will be held in the fall of 2016.  IF you wish to volunteer, perform or sponsor this event please let us know.  We look forward to hearing from you. Keep your eye on this site for further details.  See you then! 

Thank you from the performers and volunteers of the Toronto Bach Consort.  

For 20 years the Bach Consort has performed the music of J.S. Bach, exploring the riches of his more than 200 secular and religious cantatas.  This self - run musicians’ cooperative combines the talents of some of Canada’s finest singers and instrumentalists who come together to perform Bach’s music AND to benefit local charitable organizations. The singers consist of some of Canada’s finest vocalists and have included the likes of soprano Monica Whicher, mezzos Elizabeth Turnbull and Allyson McHardy, tenors John Tessier, Michael Schade, Colin Ainsworth and Lawrence Wiliford and baritones Russell Braun , Brett Polegato and Kevin MacMillan.  These and many other Bach Consort soloists have appeared with the Canadian Opera Company, with most Canadian orchestras, and with major opera companies in North America and Europe.  The instrumentalists include fine freelance musicians and players from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company orchestra.

All of our performers sing and play gratis, coming together to raise money for important local charities.  The first charity that brought the group together was Camphill Village Ontario, an international group of communities for adults with disabilities.  Such was the connection with Camphill that the Bach Consort recorded its first CD for them, called the Bach Consort at Camphill.  Sales of this disc quickly paid back the $10,000 recording costs and went on to raise many additional thousands of dollars for Camphill. 

On the strength of this first “hit” CD the Bach Consort was invited to record a second CD for L’Arche, another important organization for adults with disabilities.  It was aptly named the Bach Consort at L’Arche.  The CD was launched at the annual L’Arche fundraiser where it helped L’Arche to raise over $100,000 that evening.

Over the years the Bach Consort has continued its focus on community.  Every concert has been connected with two different local Toronto charities.  Over $400,000 has been raised for these various organizations. This tradition continues with our November 2014 concert (see details on the concert page). 

Bach’s profound faith is evident in all his works, resonating with the idea of charity; of helping one another.  One hears the repeating message that the riches of this world are not gold – they are the love that we bear for one another.  This message couldn’t be timelier today.  We, in our small corner, wish to make it a reality at least for one night a year.   We invite you to join us in our quest of Giving Bach to the Community.  

Head Dreamer

Timothy Dawson
has been a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 1980.  At age 21, upon graduation from the University of Toronto, he became the youngest member of the TSO at that time.   He has played under music directors Sir Andrew Davis, Gunter Herbig, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and Peter Oundjian. 

Over the years Timothy has been instrumental in starting several chamber music groups. One of them, the Bach Consort, continues to this day.  This group now performs an annual presentation of J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.  Timothy also organizes concert series at two churches in Toronto’s east end.   He is music director of the Kingston Road Village Concert Series ( and the Seicho-No-Ie Chamber Music Series (

Teaching is a big part of Timothy’s life.  He is busy at the University of Toronto, the National Music Camp of Canada, and in his own home studio.  For twenty years he was involved with the TSO Adopt a Player programme, acting as the music director for its last three years. 

Timothy lives with his wife Kim in the Beach, and together they enjoy their active family life.    

Founding Member

Julie Ranti
 joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 1985. She grew up in Montreal in a musical family: her father was Principal Trumpet of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM); her mother is a harpist; and her brother Richard is Associate Principal Bassoon of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Ranti began flute studies with Jeanne Baxtresser, principal flute of the OSM at the time. After a year at the Interlochen Arts Academy, she attended The Juilliard School where she studied with Julius Baker and Samuel Baron.

Ms. Ranti is an active chamber musician and a founding member of the Bach Consort. She maintains a busy teaching studio, coaches the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra flute section, is on faculty at National Music Camp, and has taught at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

In her spare time, when not pursuing postdoctoral studies in astrophysics, freediving in Hawaii, or rebuilding a 1968 Chevelle SS 396 convertible, she enjoys walking her dog in High Park.

Founding Member

Keith Atkinson
 has been Associate Principal Oboe of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 1985. In addition to his symphonic duties, Mr. Atkinson is an active recitalist and chamber musician. He is a founding member of the Meridian Trio which specializes in unusual wind chamber music and has a CD featuring music for flute, oboe and piano. He plays with the Bach Consort which has recorded two CDs of Bach arias and cantatas. He also performs with New Music Concerts in Toronto and Music at Metropolitan United Church, Toronto, and he has played Principal Oboe with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Ottawa, and the Hamilton Philharmonic. In demand as a teacher and chamber music coach, he is on the faculties of the University of Toronto and the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, and he has been on the faculty of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. He is also the woodwind coach for the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Atkinson began piano studies at age 5, clarinet at age 9, and oboe at age 12. His first oboe teachers included Richard Johnson, William Harrod, and Adrian Gnam. He earned a Bachelor of Music with High Distinction from Indiana University, studying with Jerry Sirucek, and a Master of Music from Northwestern University, where he was a student of Ray Still. While in graduate school, he was Principal Oboe of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and played extra with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Upon graduation in 1981, he joined the San Francisco Symphony as Second Oboe.

Founding Member

Monica Whicher

Style and musical elegance combined with an intuitive theatrical sense are the hallmarks of 
soprano Monica Whicher's performances on the concert and opera stage. Extravagantly praised 
for repertoire ranging from the title role in THAIS to the most intimate masterpieces of German 
Lieder, the Ontario native continues to captivate listeners from Lameque to Vancouver. Recent 
destinations include the Festival International de Musique Baroque de Lamèque, Edmonton’s 
Richard Eaton Singers, Vancouver’s Music in the Morning series, Orchestra London, ON and 
Toronto’s Amadeus Choir. He latest recording with harpist Judy Loman was released to great 
acclaim and she is also prominently featured in the Fall 2014 release of the continuing Ukrainian 
Artsong Project. Her 2014-2015 season also includes Brahms’ REQUIEM with Symphony Nova 
Scotia, MESSIAH with Vancouver Chamber Choir, WEIHNACHTSORATORIUM for Toronto 
Bach Consort and Wolf’s ITALIANISCHES LIEDERBUCH for the University of Toronto`s 
Faculty of Music Artist Series. 
Winner of the George London Award, Ms. Whicher has been nominated for a Juno Award for 
“Singing Somers Theatre (Centrediscs) as well as two Dora Mavor Moore awards (LE NOZZE 
DI FIGARO, DIDO AND AENEAS) and is featured on the Juno-award winning CD’s 
“Beethoven Lives Upstairs”, “Mozarts’ Magic Fantasy” and “Daydreams and Lullabies”. Her 
recordings of Bach, Schubert and Hatzis are available on Marquis Classics and other labels and 
her critically acclaimed portrayal of Mérope can be seen in the EuroArts DVD of Lully’s 
PERSÉE. Ms. Whicher is on the faculty of both the Glenn Gould School and the University of 

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