D. Brainerd Blyden-Taylor
D. 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, performance and preservation 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 diffusion 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 a 25-year tenure with The Orpheus Choir of Toronto. He also works frequently as a guest conductor, having appeared with organisations such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Hannaford Street Silver Band, The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Toronto Chamber Choir, Ontario Youth Choir, Nova Scotia Youth Choir, and the Central Manitoba Youth Choir. 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. He launched The North Star Festival in August 2017, in partnership with the Yale Alumni Chorus and the Harriet Tubman Institute at York University.
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 has served as a Master Teacher with the Toronto Board of Education, coaching teachers and students in conducting and choral technique, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from York University in Toronto for his contribution to education.
Mr. Blyden-Taylor is also in frequent demand as a Clinician, Adjudicator and Lecturer both nationally and internationally, and is an active and dedicated church musician.