How I Came to Love Musical Threatre Music – Toronto GTA Wedding Christmas Singer

I don’t purport to be a Broadway singer but I can assure you that some of my favorite songs to sing have been pieces from musicals.  “Somewhere” from a West Side Story,  “All I Ask of You” from Phantom of the Opera and “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables; these are all songs that I have recorded and try to include in any set list whenever I have a performance.

Although I spent a good portion of my formative years in downtown Toronto and would always see the billboard for The Phantom of the Opera regularly throughout the early 90s, I was never really interested in catching the show, or any other musical for that matter. As a teenager, musical theatre was not even on my radar as a form of entertainment. I figured there were “cooler” things to do with my time than attend a musical where there would be a bunch of dancing, singing and acting. I had convinced myself that I was already exposed to ample singing at St. Michael’s Choir School.

However, once I started taking vocal lessons in the early 2000s, my attitude towards musicals had drastically changed and one of the first musical theatre pieces my vocal teacher suggested I learn was Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera. I found it rather ironic that the first song in the musical theatre genre that I was destined to sing was from the same musical I had paid no attention to during my years of attending school in the downtown core.  Funny how things work out in life.

Shortly after that, I ended up hearing a beautiful rendition of Somewhere. I’ll never forget that moment in 2007 when I was watching a fundraising show for American Idol and heard Il Divo perform the song. After hearing that version, I knew I had to find the instrumental to their rendition and learn the piece. The big challenge in that piece was sustaining the last note for a whopping 14 plus seconds. However, I was up for the challenge and over the years, this song has actually become one of my marquee pieces. Further, because the  sustained note at the end is so dramatic, I have used this song to conclude many of my performances and have received standing ovations for my interpretation of this  this piece.

My vocal teacher then suggested that I learn this song from the musical, Les Miserables, which she thought would suit my tenor voice perfectly. Although I had heard of the musical, I was not very familiar with too many of the songs affiliated with it. However, when she gave me the sheet music for “Bring Him Home”, I knew instantly that it was a great song tailored perfectly for my voice.

Over the years I have learned to have even more of an appreciation for this song not only because of how it tends to evoke emotions in people, but because of its suitability for services for war veterans.  One of the highlights of this past summer was singing at the McCowan Freeman park dedication in Markham. McCowan Freeman was a World War II Veteran and when I was asked to choose a song to sing for the occasion, I knew that “Bring Him Home” would be more than appropriate. Family members of the vet were present for the park dedication ceremony on July 27, 2019 and as expected, the song was well received and caused an emotional reaction from the family members. The song was enjoyed by the City of Markham staff that I was asked to perform the song at the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Flato Markham Theatre on November 11, 2019.

I have continued to learn a number of other musical theatre songs and perform them quite regularly when ever I have performances. Although I was late getting to the party, I am now a very big fan of musical theatre genre.

If you are interested contacting me to perform for your function, event, wedding or ceremony, feel free to contact me at musicbyjohn@gmail.com or to visit my website at www.musicbyjohn.ca

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