Brainerd Blyden-Taylor is the founder, Artistic Director and conductor of The Nathaniel Dett Chorale, Canada’s first professional chamber choir dedicated to the creation and performance of Afrocentric music of all styles.
Born in Trinidad & Tobago, Mr. Blyden-Taylor immigrated to Canada in 1973. He founded The Chorale in 1998 in response to a musical void in Canada; there had never before been a professional ensemble dedicated to the dissemination of Afrocentric choral music. The response that The Chorale has received in Canada and the United States since its inception has certainly given credence to Mr. Blyden-Taylor’s vision.
Mr. Blyden-Taylor has conducted several university, youth and concert choirs, most notably completing a 25-year tenure with The Orpheus Choir of Toronto. He works frequently as a guest conductor, having appeared with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Hannaford Street Silver Band, Nova Scotia Youth Choir, Ontario Youth Choir, Central Manitoba Youth Choir and the New Brunswick Choral Federation Youth Sing. He has also worked as artistic director and advisor for the Algoma Festival Choir, the Nova Scotia Mass Choir and the Chatham-Kent Roots Festival.
Mr. Blyden-Taylor has served as a member of the teaching staff of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and the Faculty of Music, Queen’s University. He is a Master Teacher with the Toronto Board of Education, coaching teachers and students in conducting and choral technique, and was awarded an honourary Doctor of Laws degree from York University in Toronto for his contribution to education.
Mr. Blyden-Taylor is also in constant demand internationally as a clinician, adjudicator and lecturer. He is an active church musician, serving currently as Director of Music at All Saints’ Kingsway Anglican Church in Toronto, ON.