Music Theatre and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra!

The Music Theatre Department continued its collaboration with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra last week with two great opportunities for its students. On Tuesday, a group of Grade 9 students attended the dress rehearsal of the TSO’s Broadway Pops concert and enjoyed a Q & A with Resident Pops Conductor Steven Reineke and soloists Amy Wallis, David Curry and Jonathan Estabrooks. On Thursday, five of our graduating Music Theatre students traveled to Roy Thomson Hall for a special private masterclass with TSO Resident Pops Conductor Steven Reineke and Canadian born/New York bass Jonathan Estabrooks. The students dazzled the panel and came away with positive and constructive feedback as they each pursue a career in performance at the post-secondary level this fall. Thank you to the TSO for making this possible!

reinekePictured above: David Ambrose (teacher), Jonathan Estabrooks, Michaela Mar, Lindsay Roland Mills, Hailey Balaz, Tyler Pearse, Jacoba Barber-Rozema and Steven Reineke


Showcase tickets going fast!

The Music Theatre department’s annual Showcase is coming up quickly on April 10 and 11, and tickets are already more than 60% sold! The evening features all of ESA’s award winning ensembles, including recent Chicago festival winners Glo, Chamber Choir, Jamme and WoCo, along with our two time national Show Choir champs Splash. Also featured are the grade 9 and 10 classes as well as our Aria competition winner, BroCo and the department wide Concert Choir. A fantastic evening of song and dance! Tickets available by clicking on the link on the main page of this website.

ESA Music Theatre a Windy City Success Story!

This past week 122 Music Theatre students, teachers and chaperones traveled to Chicago to participate in two music festivals, and returned home triumphant and proud! Five different extracurricular ensembles competed in two different festivals and each group was honoured with fantastic results and advanced to a higher level of competition. Chamber Choir, Jamme and WoCo competed as part of the national Heritage Music Festival series, each group winning Gold in their category, and Jamme being named best overall choral ensemble and ESA named best choral program. These choirs qualified to participate in next year’s Festival of Gold at Carnegie Hall, and were lauded with praise for their musicality and professionalism. Splash and Glo competed in the FAME Show Choir competition and brought home 3rd place and 1st place in their respective categories, and both were invited to compete in the FAME Finals next month. In addition, Splash was awarded Best Show Design and Tyler Pearse was named Best Male Vocalist of the competition in an extremely competitive field.

Congratulations to all of our incredibly talented students and their leaders for the success of these competitions, and for representing ESA with pride and professionalism!

Showcase tickets on sale!

ESA Music Theatre proudly presents its annual Showcase for two nights only on April 10 and 11, featuring the many talented students of the department in curricular and extra-curricular ensembles. Included in this year’s show is the Canadian premiere of the 2014 Moulin Rouge set by the award winning Splash, along with JAMME, Glo, WoCo and Chamber Choir, fresh from their competition trip to Chicago. The evening also features the Grade 9 and 10 classes in production numbers from Matilda, How To Succeed in Business and Children of Eden. Aria competition winners, BroCo and the department wide Concert Choir round out the exciting program. Join us for this celebration of Music Theatre at ESA!

Purchase tickets by clicking here:



Attention all families with students travelling to Chicago with the Music Theatre ensembles on March 19th! The deadline for all forms and final payments is Thursday March 6th – none will be accepted after that date and you may forfeit your trip with no refund. Each student is required to provide a signed TDSB permission form, a completed TDSB medical form, a photocopy of the photo page of your valid passport and a copy of proof of out of country medical insurance. In addition, there was a $30 extra charge because of the exchange rate change (cash or cheque payable to ESA Music Theatre). All of these items are due to Mr. Ambrose by 3:10 on Thursday.

Links to forms are below:

Chicago Parents Medical Form-Chicago

ESA Music Theatre presents Into The Woods!

ITW posterTickets are now on sale for Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods, a brilliant and edgy weaving of fairy tales featuring the students of Grade 11 and Grade 12 Music Theatre and the ESA Pit Orchestra. The Grade 11 production (Feb.11 at 7 pm and Feb 14 at 1 pm) features an abridged performance (roughly 70 minutes, no intermission). The Grade 12 production (Feb. 8 at 1 pm, Feb. 10, 12 and 13 at 7 pm) features the full show with intermission.

To purchase tickets, click on this link:
The Grade 11 production has the same cast for both performances. For the Grade 12 production, casting is as follows:
Feb. 10 and 13
Narrator- Marianna Viele
Cinderella – Lindsay Rolland Mills
Jack – Tyler Pearse
Jack’s Mother – Julia Simon
Baker – Michael MacLaren
Baker’s Wife – Hailey Balaz
Stepmother Dove Salsberg
Florinda – Grace Gilbert-Walters
Lucinda – Maria Rueda
Cinderella’s Mother – Martina Myskholid
Little Red – Sadie-Ann Hirschfield
Witch – Michaela Mar
Mysterious Man – Dylan Coutts
Wolves – Jamarie Brown and Eli Sokoloff Harris
Cinderella’s Father – Eli Sokoloff-Harris
Granny – Tess Lavelle-Sutton
Rapunzel – Jacoba Barber-Rozema
Rapunzel’s Prince – Joel Purvis
Cinderella’s Prince – Cooper Agar
Steward – Tristen Hewitt
Harp – Evelina Zoubareva
Milky White – Robbie Graham-Kuntz
Birds/Beanstalk/Ensemble – Olivia Warner, Jesica Cuaresma, Jessica Tumen-Ulzii, Akilah Chichester-Jameer, Rebecca Mudrick, Richard Goodman

Feb. 8 and 12
Narrator – Katie Gorham
Cinderella – Lindsay Rolland Mills
Jack – Tyler Pearse
Jack’s Mother – Shernelle Phillip
Baker – Shawn Molko
Baker’s Wife – Leah Hamid
Stepmother – Amanda Berger
Florinda – Zoe da Silva
Lucinda – Isabella Grossi
Cinderella’s Mother – Sophie Sutcliffe
Little Red – Sadie-Ann Hirschfield
Witch – Rachel Cvecich
Mysterious Man – Dylan Coutts
Wolves – Jamarie Brown and Eli Sokoloff Harris
Cinderella’s Father – Eli-Sokoloff Harris
Granny – Tess Lavelle-Sutton
Rapunzel – Cassandra Reid
Rapunzel’s Prince – Joel Purvis
Cinderella’s Prince – Tristen Hewitt
Steward – Cooper Agar
Harp – Nailah Ramcharan-Gibbs
Milky White – Evelina Zoubareva
Birds/Beanstalk/Ensemble – Olivia Warner, Jesica Cuaresma, Jessica Tumen-Ulzii, Akilah Chichester-Jameer, Rebecca Mudrick, Richard Goodman

ESA Music Theatre Dazzles with the TSO and Broadway’s Ashley Brown

More than 70 students from Grade 11 and 12 Music Theatre joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and singer Ashley Brown for the annual TSO Holiday Pops concerts. Singing everything from traditional carols to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, the choir was uniformly praised for their sound, energy and professionalism. Maestro Steven Reineke (Principal Pops Conductor for the TSO) also conducts the New York Pops and National Pops in Washington DC, but calls ESA “the best young choir he’s ever heard”! ESA has already been invited to join the TSO for the 2014-15 season and is grateful for the opportunity to perform with such world class performers and conductors. Congratulations to all involved for the well deserved standing ovations!IMG_4086IMG_1349

ESA’s Legacy Project – Still Looking for Input

Just a reminder that staff are still looking for input regarding the possible renovation of our lobby spaces at ESA. A Student consultation is happening on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at lunch in room S20 and parents are invited to send in their ideas by November 30th. Here is a link to the original post -

Looking forward to your ideas!

David Ambrose, Pam Bettger, Darren Black, Matthew Varey and Rob MacKinnon


Music Theatre’s TSO Choir in Performance with Stars of Broadway!

The 75 member choir of Grade 11 and 12 Music Theatre Students will be performing this Sunday night as part of a fundraising concert at Runnymede United Church in aid of a great cause – The Stop Community Food Centre. The evening features a reading of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol with celebrity readers such as Les Miserables stars Ramin Karimloo (Jean Valjean), Lisa Horner (Mme. Thenardier) and Melissa O’Neill (Eponine), along with renowned actor Fiona Reid, CBC Radio Host Jeff Douglas, local arts figure Pia Bouman and ESA’s own Michael MacLaren!. The evening also features great music interspersed with the readings and is a guaranteed sellout. Tickets are $25 and available by calling (416) 767-6729.
And in two weeks, the same choir takes to the stage at Roy Thomson Hall on Dec. 10 and 11 for three concerts with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in their Holiday Pops Concerts. This year features ESA more than ever before, along with guest vocalist Ashley Brown (Broadway’s Mary Poppins) under the direction of maestro Steven Reineke. You can purchase tickets online (, by phone (416) 593-4828 or in person at the Roy Thomson Box Office. Use the code “ESA” for a discount!

Festive – just three weeks away and tickets are on sale!

ESA Music and Music Theatre Departments’ Festive concerts are coming up soon! On Dec. 4, 5, and 6 at 7:00, join almost 400 students in various ensembles as they present an exciting and fast-paced program of choral and instrumental music. Tickets are only $16.50 (including $1.50 service charge) and are available by clicking on the link below. Come out and join the festive celebration!



Walking our Hallways – and looking for ideas!

ESA is currently undergoing a consultation with students, parents and staff to look at some of our public spaces, focusing on two of our most visited areas of the school – our front foyer and our auditorium lobby. Both of these spaces are currently home to a number of display boards featuring the names of award winners from the last 60 years of Royal York Collegiate and ESA. Unfortunately, these displays have become quite outdated (5 to 15 years) because of the lack of additional wall space. A group of teachers and administration are leading a consultation to find ways in which these names can be updated and kept as part of our legacy, and new options may be found to use these spaces more effectively. Options such as an online ESA Legacy website and an interactive lobby screen with past award winners are being considered to preserve our past. Ideas to revitalize these spaces include flat screen TV’s with rolling announcements and other ESA content, a formal display space for academic and arts departments, a place to recognize significant donors, “Coming Soon” and “Now Playing” displays, and a listing of all award and honour roll recipients from the previous year. Photos of these areas are attached below.
We would like your input! Please send any thoughts you may have on this, especially ideas for the revitalization of these spaces, to committee Chair David Ambrose at [email protected] by November 30th. Your input will be added to the contributions from the staff and students to help form a proposal for consideration. After input is received, the committee is hoping to have draft plans in place for January/February for feedback before finalizing a plan. As always, any plans are subject to administration and availability of funding.

We look forward to hearing from you!

David Ambrose, Pam Bettger, Darren Black, Rob MacKinnon and Matthew Varey.

Auditorium hallway

Auditorium hallway 2

Auditorium hallway 2

Front lobby

Front lobby

ESA Music Theatre and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

TSO_webpage_header_greyBGOnce again, the world class Toronto Symphony Orchestra has invited ESA to join them for their Pops Concert series as their guest choir. This year, students in Grade 11 and 12 Music Theatre will be performing with Steven Reineke (Principal Pops Conductor) and Broadway star Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins) in the TSO Pops Christmas on Tuesday, December 10th and Wednesday, December 11th for three concerts of holiday music, including our own featured number conducted by TSO Choir conductor David Ambrose.
Starting Friday, November 8th, the TSO also has a Special Offer for Friends & Family of ESA

TSO Pops Christmas
30% off Tue, Dec 10 at 8:00pm & Wed, Dec 11 at 8:00pm
20% off Wed, Dec 11 at 2:00pm
Roy Thomson Hall

Visit TSO.CA/Christmas or call 416.598.3375
Promo Code: ESA*

The TSO Chorus will also be part of an annual fundraiser for The Stop Community Food Centre on Sunday Dec. 1st at 7:30 at Runnymede United Church. The evening features the reading of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” with celebrity readers such as the CBC’s Susan Ormiston and Jeff Douglas, renowned actor Fiona Reid, and two stars of Les Miserables – Ramin Karimloo (Jean Valjean) and Lisa Horner (Mme. Thenardier), who will also sing with our TSO chorus. It’s a wonderful evening of entertainment for a great cause. To purchase tickets ($25), call (416) 767-6729 or email [email protected]