On this night of nights, in this year of years, we invite you to join us for “SIMPLY CHRISTMAS: MCC TORONTO’S ONLINE CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE”.
This year, we will re-visit the Christmas story through scripture and song, as we light candles and celebrate communion together virtually. Enjoy some of Toronto’s finest singing voices, including Thom Allison, Micah Barnes, Julie Michels, Billy Newton-Davis and the Choir of MCC Toronto, under the direction of Music Director Jason Jestadt and organist Mark Guiler.
Our Christmas Eve Service will start with a pre-show at 8:45 PM. Following the Service, we invite you to join us for a special “Christmas Eve Connect” at 10:30 PM online on ZOOM, where you can celebrate the festivities with your MCC Toronto family.
Celebrate with us virtually by inviting your friends, family and neighbours!
Simply Christmas: MCC Toronto’s Christmas Eve Service
Date: Thursday, December 24, 2020
Time: Pre-show starts at 8:45 PM; Service starts at 9 PM
Location: Online at MCC Toronto’s YouTube Channel
Christmas Eve Connect
Date: Thursday, December 24, 2020
Time: 10:30 PM
Location: Online on ZOOM
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Jason Jestadt is a Dora nominated music director who has worked on many musical theatre productions in Toronto from the Queen musical We Will Rock You, to conducting the current Toronto production of Come From Away. He is also the music director for acclaimed singer Colm Wilkinson, whom he accompanied on a recent tour to Japan. Jason’s choral music has been premiered by some of Canada’s finest choirs. In 2016, Jason won the Ruth Watson Henderson Award for his choral composition At Night The Valley Dreams of Snow, which sets Inuit poetry in the Inuktitut language.
Jason joined MCC Toronto as Music Director in October 2019.
Mark R. Guiler is the Principal Volunteer Organist at MCC Toronto. His music studies began when he was six years old. He played his first organ solo in a Christmas Pageant at his hometown church in Simcoe, ON, at the age of 12. Music studies were always part of Mark’s life. Having served as an ordained minister for 13 years, Mark’s focus in music naturally turned to spiritual and gospel music.
Having arrived at MCC Toronto in 2002, Mark continued his volunteer service in the Music Ministry. Mark attributes much of his passion for music to his hometown music mentor, Faith Wilson, and to Diane Leah.
Thom Allison made his Broadway debut in Priscilla Queen of the Desert and since then has starred in concerts, theatre productions, films and TV. Among his many stage credits are Miss Saigon, The Who’s Tommy and Rent. He has been nominated for Dora, Betty, Jessie, and Ovation and Sterling Awards. His film credits include Last Dance and Road to Christmas. He was a judge on CBC’s 2010 series Over the Rainbow and has also appeared in Kim’s Convenience and Murdoch Mysteries. His CD, A Whole Lotta Sunlight is available now.
Micah Barnes cut his teeth in the cabarets and jazz clubs of Toronto while still a teenager, before joining The Nylons in 1989 – introducing his rich, soulful baritone voice to music fans around the world. Post-Nylons, Micah has had a busy solo career touring across the U.S.A. and Canada. His latest album, Vegas Breeze, features songs first recorded by Tony Bennet, Nat King Cole, Mel Tormé, Peggy Lee and Lena Horne. Micah is also a highly respected vocal coach and counts Emmy Award-winning actress Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) among his many clients.
Julie Michels is a singer, composer and coach. She has performed in jazz clubs and festivals internationally and domestically from the Glasgow Music Festival to the Toronto Jazz Festival and many in between. She has performed, toured, and recorded with top artists in several genres of the music business including the Chicago Free Jazz Movement; Don Braden; Joe Sealy; Broadsway, a collaboration with Diane Leah and Heather Bambrick and more.
Her recording projects include Come Together; Bass and Voice; Singing Naked; She Sings He Plays; Live at Statlers; Old Friends; and The Most Wonderful Time (maybe). She has also recorded the title track of the Grammy-nominated Smile.
Julie has collaborated with many shows, events, camps and TV and is currently in pre-production of her new solo recording, reimagining the music of Lyle Lovett, with Grammy-nominated producer Mark Ruffin.
Billy Newton-Davis is a singer/songwriter/recording artist and four-time Juno Award winner. He has performed in venues across Europe and North America and has sung with artists such as Celine Dion, and is perhaps best known for his extensive work with The Nylons.
Billy also donates his talent towards numerous humanitarian causes including AIDS awareness, Actors Equity, and housing for people living with mental illness.
The Choir of MCC Toronto boasts an eclectic combination of singers whose love of music brings them together every week for rehearsals, Worship Services and for annual special events including Pride, Christmas with the Choir and Christmas Eve Service at Roy Thomson Hall. Under the leadership of Music Director Jason Jestadt, The Choir is an integral part of MCC Toronto and a popular community mainstay. The Choir has been featured performers at The Olympic Torch Relay, World Pride Opening Ceremony and the Celebration of Life for Jack Layton, among many others. The Choir of MCC Toronto has recorded 3 CDs: House of Love (featuring Louise Pitre); The Choir: Connected (with Thom Allison, Alana Bridgewater and Julie Michels) and These Old Walls (featuring Stephanie Martin). All are available now.