Glebe Road United Church’s fundraiser March 1 was not intended to be only about raising money to keep the community hub going.
It was also about communicating to the surrounding neighbourhoods of Davisville, Eglinton South and Mt. Pleasant Village.
That’s what Maria Case, the church’s music director for the past 22 years, shared in a late-February interview in the sanctuary.
She was there with the other two thirds of The Three Sopranos: From Bellini to Broadway, Ann Sublett and Alison Campbell, rehearsing for what would be their third annual show.
All are classically trained, and all are members of the church choir.
While Campbell is studying classical voice at York University, Sublett and Case, both trained on the piano, are taking classes and refer to themselves as “very serious hobbyists”.
There’s a smile on Case’s face as the three coo about their classical repertoire.
The show had a sprinkling of musical theatre favourites as well, for a change of pace.
“All of us are happy just hanging out in the classical repertoire,” she said. “But it is a fundraiser, which means it needs to be a crowd pleaser, and certainly when we throw in the odd musical theatre piece, people really like that.
“No matter how good you did on that aria, it’s the song from their favourite musical that they remember.”
Music seems to be the best vehicle for the Glebe members to reach out to the neighbourhood.
“Fundraising here is not just about the money,” Case said. “It really is letting people in the community know we’re here.
“This congregation is an amazing group of people.”
The sanctuary — which seats about 235 people — was full for last year’s concert, and Campbell says she was both shocked and humbled by the “amazing” turnout.
This year’s event had two new features: an emcee, Andrew Dundass, and pianist Blair Salter.
Dundass, who is also a member of the church, is well suited for the role, as he entered the sanctuary with a booming singing voice. He hammed it up with his colleagues, and passed a music book to Campbell before sharing more about the artistically inclined church members.
“Actually, I always say the best thing about this church is the music,” he admitted. “The music here is fantastic, and it has always been.
“There are really talented people who are a part of this congregation.”
Actors Deb McGrath and Colin Mochrie are members.
For Case, Campbell and Sublett, the annual event is certainly going to have wings, and carry on.