The Mistletones, an a cappella vocal group made up of St. Michael’s Choir School alumni, at a Roy Thomson Hall performance. Photo courtesy of The Mistletones

Choir school camaraderie continues with The Mistletones

By 
  • December 1, 2012

TORONTO - After years of singing together on a daily basis at St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, a group of alumni came together to continue making music.

Called The Mistletones, their love of song and unique vocal blend have culminated in a sold-out Christmas concert on Dec. 13 at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio.

“The style of the group is a combination of choral and jazz,” said Gerry Litster, group member and choir school alumni, who is also joined in the group by his brother, Mike.

“We are definitely not barbershop as some have asked in the past, although for the most part our singing is a capella.”

The all-male voiced group, who sing in TTBB vocal formation, have been together since 1980 and have been friends since their days at the choir school — some even knowing one another for as many as 49 years.

“The group was formed to fill the musical void we experienced after graduation from the choir school,” said Douglas Tranquada.

The Mistletones currently consist of nine members: Pat Power and Rob Thomas (bass); Tranquada, Paul Townshend and Paul Kenny (baritone); the Litster brothers (second tenor); Dan Fantin and Leonard Tawaststjerna (first tenor).

Their rich blend and concise, complex harmonic aptitude form a unique and well-developed vocal style.

“We all had musical training during our years at the choir school,” said Townshend. “That included piano, organ, theory, harmony and music history.”

Their sold-out show will highlight the group’s dense vocal harmonics, all while showcasing favourite music of the Christmas season.

“The program is a mix of a few sacred songs along with some popular Christmas favourites, but not your typical Christmas carols,” says Tawaststsjerna.

The group has performed in some of the city’s most storied venues, places such as Roy Thomson Hall, Koerner Hall, the Princess of Wales Theatre and Massey Hall.

This time around, The Mistletones are looking forward to bringing their sound to an audiences at a venue that has a unique atmosphere.

“The beauty of GGS (Glenn Gould Studio) is that it’s like singing in an intimate surrounding — not unlike being in someone’s living room,” said Kenny.

For more information on The Mistletones visit their facebook page at www.facebook.com/therealmistletones.

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