Toronto Oratorio Society
The Toronto Oratorio Society. One of several large choirs in early 20th-century Toronto. It was founded in 1910 and survived 15 years despite a period of inactivity 1912-14. It was an outgrowth of the choir at the Jarvis St Baptist Church, where its conductor, Edward Broome, was organist. The 200-voice choir presented annual festivals of two or three concerts at Massey Hall, engaging such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cincinnati SO, and the Detroit SO. The orchestras also presented their own concerts. In 1924 the New SO (later TSO) appeared with the society. At first the repertoire was drawn from the standard oratorios, including Messiah, Elijah, and St Paul, but shorter choral pieces and more contemporary works were added later. A children's chorus under the aegis of the society also performed under Broome's direction at Massey Hall. The organization disbanded in 1925 when Broome moved to Calgary.
An earlier choral group of the same name was founded first (1903) as the Sherlock Vocal Society by the conductor J.M. Sherlock and renamed the Toronto Oratorio Society in 1906. It gave annual concerts from 1904 until about 1909.