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Alameda’s McKenzie Warriner to be part of virtual concert

Concert puts a different spin on classical music
McKenzie Warriner performance
Alameda’s Warriner, right, pictured with pianist Danielle Guina, will perform in an online concert in November.

TORONTO - McKenzie Warriner, an acclaimed vocalist who hails from Alameda, will be part of a virtual concert on Nov. 20, and she hopes people from southeast Saskatchewan will be part of the online audience.

The Canadian Music Centre, widely recognized for championing the avant-garde for over 60 years, will host Hanging by a Thread, the inaugural virtual production by Toronto’s newest classical concert series, Slow Rise Music, on Nov. 20.

Slow Rise Music was founded in 2021 by Warriner and Tristan Zaba to both break new ground in classical vocal music and improve accessibility to general audiences.

Hanging by a Thread’s program, made possible through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts as well as private donors, will feature world premiere performances of three newly commissioned pieces.

Representing a diversity of backgrounds – Isaac Zee, a Vancouver-based composer/violinist from Hong Kong; Anika France Forget, a UK-based Franco-Ontarian composer/vocalist; and Zaba, a composer/rock musician originally from Alberta – the composers’ pieces are tied together by the subject matter of survival, with accompanying lyrics by Canadian poets also commissioned for the project.

Slow Rise Music’s mandate includes the showcasing and creation of new Canadian vocal music, mixed-media presentation with live and streaming versions of shows, and cutting-edge takes on classical vocal presentation beyond opera and choral performance. Hanging by a Thread specifically explores multi-instrumentalism, the concept of players singing and playing instruments simultaneously, common in popular music but unusual in classical.

All pieces for the concert will be performed by co-founders Warriner on soprano voice and piano, and Zaba on bass voice and electric guitar. Having performed and created in a variety of musical contexts across Canada and the United States, including new music festivals, choral and opera productions, experimental rock bands, and folk music, the performers are extremely excited to bring this innovative concert to life.

Hanging by a Thread will be viewable as a YouTube livestream on Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m. Saskatchewan time. There will be with no charge aside from an optional donation to Slow Rise Music’s GoFundMe campaign.

Viewing instructions can be found on the event page at and more info on the show can be found on both the Slow Rise Music Facebook page and the Canadian Music Centre’s website.