2308 Canary Cover RFSWelcome to The WholeNote’s 16th annual Canary Pages, a directory featuring a broad range of Ontario choirs. The Canary Pages provides an opportunity for choirs to introduce themselves, in their own words, to individuals of all ages seeking choirs to sing in or to listen to, in a variety of genres and at every level of skill and commitment. If you are new to the region, a lapsed chorister looking to start singing again, on the hunt for new musical challenges or thinking of taking the plunge for the first time, here’s a perfect place to start your search. The 123 choirs presented here include those that have been around for decades, groups new to the scene, choruses of hundreds of voices, small chamber ensembles, children’s and youth choirs, auditioned choirs and those open to all.

Missed the Canary Pages? If a choir you thought should be here isn’t, it’s not too late! Choirs are added year round to our online Canary Pages at thewholenote.com/canary. For more information contact canary@thewholenote.com or phone Karen Ages at 416-323-2232 x26.


WEBSITE: Kevin King

Click the cover to view our 2018 Canary Pages book, as it appeared in the May 2018 Issue or browse profiles published in an online format here.


Toronto Chamber ChoirProudly marking its 50th anniversary, the Toronto Chamber Choir of around 40 skilled singers has held a prominent place in Canada’s early music scene since 1968. It specializes in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire, collaborating regularly with Toronto’s rich pool of period instrumentalists, but also with forays into other periods. Four concerts per season – two Saturday evening concerts and two Sunday afternoon “Kaffeemusik” presentations – explore the cultural context of our repertoire through narration, often with a special guest expert. Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings at St. Patrick’s Parish Hall with occasional Saturday “retreats.” Auditions for new volunteer members are held anytime by arrangement with the director, while auditions for our Toronto Chamber Consort section lead program are held in May or June.

Lucas Harris, artistic director

Toronto Children’s ChorusThe award-winning Toronto Children’s Chorus marks its 41st season, and its 12th under artistic director Elise Bradley, this 2018/2019 season. The Chorus comprises a family of choirs: KinderNotes for children aged 3 to 6 (no audition required), four Training Choirs, Main Choir (four ensembles) and Toronto Youth Choir (aged 16 to 30). More than 300 choristers develop skills in vocal technique, sight-singing and music theory each year. Main Choir offers masterclasses and exceptional performance and recording opportunities, including with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Bonnie O’Sullivan
416-932-8666 x225

Founded in 1845, the Toronto Choral Society fosters a musical environment in which members learn and develop both musical ability and choral repertoire, presenting the greatest choral works, from renaissance to contemporary. An integral part of Toronto, we explore the music of the many cultures that make up our community, and contribute to the life of the city by participating in community events. The choir’s new tradition is to celebrate Christmas at Koerner Hall: in 2017 we performed Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and in 2018 we will present Ariel Ramirez’ Missa Criolla. We welcome new singers in September and January. We are a non-auditioned ensemble, but choral experience and regular practice are expected. We are currently accepting tenors and basses. Sopranos and altos are encouraged to add their names to our waiting list.

Leandro Palacios

Toronto Classical SingersToronto Classical Singers is an auditioned choir with professional standards and outlook. Now in its 27th season, the organization continues to celebrate and contribute to the glorious tradition of choral music with performances of Bach, Mozart and Mendelssohn over 2018/19.Toronto Classical Singers is known for its unique musical point of view and its diverse and high-quality programming, featuring lesser-known and rarely performed pieces as well as well- beloved vocal/orchestral repertoire. Led by founding conductor and artistic director Jurgen Petrenko, the choir has established a long-standing partnership with Talisker Players who accompany the choir in their presentations of the great choral masterpieces. In addition to its regular season, the group has performed in co-productions with other musical entities. Please visit our website for information about our auditions.

Kathleen Payne

Toronto Mass ChoirThe choir formally began in 1988 and over the past 30 years has travelled to 10 different countries and released 12 albums. The Toronto Mass Choir (TMC) incorporates elements of contemporary gospel, traditional gospel, jazz and Caribbean music into its vast repertoire.

Karen Burke, a professor of music at York University is TMC’s artistic director and her husband, Oswald Burke serves as business/technical manager.

Now 40-strong, plus a five-piece band, the not-for-profit multi-denominational choir has shared the stage with well-known artists such as Tramaine Hawkins, Take 6, Michael Burgess, Jane Bunnett and jazz legend, Jon Hendricks.

TMC continues its busy concert schedule, appearing on many radio and television broadcasts across Canada and internationally.

Karen Burke

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir is recognized for its grand symphonic sound and for the clarity and precision of its interpretation of some of the greatest sacred and secular music ever composed. The 120-voice choir includes a professional core, auditioned volunteers, and apprentices (aged 17 to 22). The TMC performs over 20 concerts annually, including major choral works, Festival of Carols at Christmas, and Sacred Music for a Sacred Space on Good Friday. The choir also performs regularly with the TSO, including annual performances of Messiah. As part of its outreach initiatives, the choir webcasts selected concerts and presents “Singsation Saturday” choral workshops for singers of all levels.

416-598-0422 x221

The Chamber Choir with Matthias Maute is a chance to refresh vocal skills and study the great works of choral literature in the intimacy of a chamber vocal ensemble. Spend a fun-filled week rehearsing works including Tchaikovsky’s Hymn of the Cherubim, Monteverdi’s Hor che’l ciel, Brahms’ 7 Lieder für gemischten Chor, and Bach’s Missa in g minor BWV 235 with acclaimed choral conductor, virtuoso recorder player and composer, Matthias Maute.

Dates: July 30 to August 4, 2018. Must be over 18 years of age. Tuition includes a ticket to all TSM Festival Concerts July 30 to August 4, daily lunch and coffee. Cost: $700 plus HST. Apply now: www.torontosummermusic.com/community-academy/

Jennifer Mak
647-430-5699 x111

Toronto Welsh Male Voice ChoirCalling All Male Singers! The Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir (TWMVC) is growing and is seeking more members … If you are a male singer (you don’t have to be Welsh) who has always wanted to sing in a choir or rekindle your singing spirit from the past, drop in to one of our Wednesday night rehearsals at Dewi Sant United Church, 33 Melrose Ave., Toronto. We perform not only in Canada, but the USA and in the UK … We perform a wide variety of traditional and contemporary music. For more information, please go to our website.

Alan Sadegursky

UnivoxUnivox is a mixed-voice SATB community choir for young adults that is part of the larger Vox Choirs organization. The organization holds relationship-building, social responsibility and musical excellence as its core principles. No audition is required for membership but most choristers have previous choral experience or some musical proficiency. Our season runs September to June and rehearsals take place Tuesdays, 5:45pm to 8pm, at New Horizons/Dovercourt Baptist Church. Regular attendance is expected. Selected repertoire spans five centuries, including choral classics, contemporary works and popular music, ranging from Gabriel Fauré to Daft Punk. To join the choir visit: http://voxchoirs.org/join/

Membership Coordinator

Upper Canada Chordsmen ChorusExperience the joy of singing four-part a cappella harmony, in the company of your newest male friends while supporting our local community through various altruistic, artistic and musical events. We are a men’s a cappella chorus totally dedicated to pursuing excellence in entertaining our audiences, and strive to exceed expectations. We are based in Newmarket and Sharon Ontario, serving York Region and surrounding communities. Guests are welcome at weekly rehearsals.

Membership includes The Chordsmen at the level of the local chapter, The Ontario District Barbershop as well the international organization of The Barbershop Harmony Society. Opportunities for performing, quartetting, workshops and competitions abound.

Rene Frappier

The Upper Canada Choristers is a mixed-voice community choir with a diverse membership that interweaves fun with the commitment to musical excellence and vibrant community service. Performances feature collaborations with international choirs, local children’s choirs, and professional instrumentalists and singers. Cantemos is an auditioned a cappella latin ensemble within UCC. Led by artistic director, Laurie Evan Fraser, the choirs perform three diverse choral programs annually. Weekly rehearsals for the Main Choir are Monday evenings from 7:30 to 9:30pm at Grace Church on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Rd. Cantemos rehearses on Saturday mornings from 10:30am to 12:30pm at 2 Romar Cres. The choirs sing up to 20 concerts annually in a variety of community venues.

Laurie Evan Fraser, conductor/artistic director

The Uxbridge Chamber Choir is an amateur SATB choir under the direction of founding conductor Tom Baker. Since 1983, the choir has brought unique performances of the great choral masterpieces, from the Renaissance to modernity, to the rural community of Uxbridge and surrounding area. Together our enthusiastic singers develop and express their musical talents, often collaborating with local professional vocalists and instrumentalists. Recent performances include Beethoven’s Mass in C, Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass, Mozart’s Requiem, Monteverdi’s Vespers, Bach’s St. John Passion and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Faure’s Requiem and Durufle’s Requiem.

Membership is by a non-threatening screening process at the first rehearsal. Rehearsals are Monday nights, September to May in Uxbridge.

Margaret Cunningham

Vesnivka ChoirVesnivka Choir was established in 1965 by founding artistic director Halyna Kvitka Kondracki. This award-winning women’s ensemble has delighted audiences around the world with its rich repertoire of Ukrainian liturgical, classical, contemporary and traditional folk music. The choir’s regular concert season comprises three major concerts, one of which is its ever-popular annual Christmas concert. Vesnivka, together with its partner the Toronto Ukrainian Male Chamber Choir (TUMCC), is often accompanied by professional soloists and chamber ensembles of area musicians. Vesnivka also sings at Christmas and Easter Liturgies. Singers are welcome; rehearsals are held on Tuesdays, 7:15pm to 9:15pm (4 Bellwoods Ave., Toronto). Male singers are welcome to join TUMCC; rehearsals held on Mondays, 7:30pm to 9pm (2445 Bloor St. W., Toronto).

Nykola Parzei

The Victoria College Choir has been a fixture of the Vic community since the move to Toronto from Cobourg in 1892. Though it has seen many different forms and incarnations over the past century, musical life at Vic has been consistently dominated by the chorus. The present Vic Chorus was established in 1991 as a non-audition, community wide chamber choir open to students, faculty, alumni, and staff. Our concerts are held regularly in the gothic setting of the Victoria College Chapel. Often involving various guest artists, these concerts present a wide range of choral musical selections, from classical to contemporary, global, operetta and more! We rehearse in the Goldring Student Building at Victoria College on Tuesdays starting at 5:15pm.

Taylor Sullivan

A past winner of the Canada Council Healey Willan Grand Prize in the the CBC Radio National Competition for Amateur Choirs and one of Canada’s finest male choral ensembles, the Victoria Scholars Men’s Choral Ensemble treats audiences to a wide range of music, from Medieval plainchant and works from the Baroque, Renaissance and Romantic eras through to contemporary and newly commissioned works from some of Canada’s best-known composers. Along with an annual three-concert series in Toronto, the Scholars have toured nationally and internationally, perform regularly with international vocal soloists and arts organizations, and have released five acclaimed recordings, including, most recently, in January 2016, Songs of Love. If you are an experienced musician with excellent sight reading abilities and would like to join us for the upcoming season, please contact us today.

Jerzy Cichocki

Village VoicesVillage Voices, a diverse, mixed-voice 70-voice community choir based in Markham, enters its 30th season in September 2018. Directed by Oksana Vignan, the choir presents two major concerts annually and sings at seniors’ residences and special community events, performing repertoire from the great standard classics to contemporary music. Village Voices has collaborated with other Ontario choirs and as guest artists of instrumental ensembles such as the Markham Concert Band and the Kindred Spirits Orchestra. The choir’s musical skills are honed regularly through special workshops with outstanding choral musicians. Features of the choir’s May 12, 2018 concert, “Celebrate Love,” include a medley from Les Miserables, along with superb, contemporary worksby Ola Gjeilo, Olaf Christensen and Kim Andre Arnesen. The 2018-2019 season will end with a May concert celebrating our 30th anniversary.

Ellen Dowswell

VIVA! Youth Singers of TorontoVIVA!’s six choirs include three children’s choirs for ages four to 16; the Everyone Can Sing Choir for teens and adults with disabilities; an SATB Community Choir providing singing opportunity for adult beginners and retirees; and an SATB adult chamber choir. Diverse programming features age-appropriate choral training through instruction in vocal technique, private vocal instruction and music theory. VIVA!’s TD Bank Group Inclusion Program offers support for people with disabilities and transgendered singers who are finding their voices. Singers from the Main Chorus and Chamber Choir may choose to perform with VIVA! in the National Ballet of Canada’s Nutcracker. VIVA!’s staff of fine musicians and the members of the Choral Mentoring and Leadership Program deliver authentic music-making in a supportive, singer-centred choral community.

Susan Suchard

VOCA Chorus of TorontoThe VOCA Chorus of Toronto is a dynamic, auditioned ensemble that performs eclectic repertoire (including premieres of arrangements by our artistic director) in collaboration with some of Canada’s finest artists. Each season consists of two major concerts, a cabaret fundraiser, two retreats (including one with guest clinician) and community performances. Rehearsals are Monday evenings at Eastminster United Church, 310 Danforth Ave., Toronto. On Saturday, May 5, 7:30pm at Eastminster, we present “Dreamsongs,” featuring the Canadian premiere of Dreamweaver by world-renowned composer, Ola Gjeilo, along with a Toronto premiere of his SATB setting of Song of the Universal, and works by Sirett, Daley and others. Director: Jenny Crober. Accompanist: Elizabeth Acker. Guests: Ellen McAteer, soprano; Jason Fowler, guitar; VOCA Chamber Strings orchestra.

Jenny Crober

Entering into the choir’s 23rd season, Voices has firmly established itself as one of Toronto finest chamber choirs, and it has received awards and recognition from across Canada. As part of next season, the choir will perform Healey Willan’s The Mystery of Bethlehem at our Christmas concert in commemoration of Dr. Willan’s death in 1968, and Theodore Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ as part of our Lenten presentation. The choir will close out next season with a concert featuring Handel’s Coronation Anthems and music by Haydn. Voices rehearses on Wednesday evenings from 7:30pm to 10pm at St. Thomas’s Church, 383 Huron St., Toronto. Auditions are available throughout the year.

Ron Cheung

Wayne Gilpin SingersBeautiful melodies, rocking sax solos, edgy new jazz arrangements of Handel’s Messiah– if any of this appeals to you, read on. The Waterloo-based Wayne Gilpin Singers is an auditioned (a singer-friendly audition, we promise!) chamber choir that sings a wide variety of music, including contemporary Christian, gospel, show tunes, spirituals and more. Resident composer/accompanist Andrew Gilpin pens unique arrangements for an ever-expanding Jazz Messiah, an annual event that twins Handel’s beautiful melodies with modern rhythms and musical styles. Also featured in concert are talented guest artists on bass, drums and saxophone, providing an unforgettable musical experience for both audience and choir.

Wayne Gilpin

We are a small community choir serving Roncesvalles, Parkdale, the Junction and other surrounding communities. Rehearsals are Monday evenings 7pm to 8:45pm and take place at Roncesvalles United Church. Music is a mix of folk tunes and secular classical, with a few pop favourites thrown in. Our vibe is fun and social, with a focus on community engagement and low-pressure music-making. We have a mix of seasoned choristers and novices. Reasonable schedule and a small fee.

Taylor Strande

Windsor Classic ChoraleThe Windsor Classic Chorale is an auditioned volunteer choir with a variety of backgrounds in professional music fields, and with a shared passion for music, singing and community. Founded in 1977 by Director Emeritus Richard Householder, the Chorale has become a core component of the local arts community, presenting an annual concert season and singing at a variety of other events throughout the Windsor area, from the Heritage Auditorium at the University Of Windsor to Pelee Island’s Stone & Sky historic quarry series, to All Saint’s Church, to Viewpointe Winery’s tractor parade, to carolling at Jackson Park’s Bright Lights to Caesar’s Windsor’s Colosseum, stage backing The Tenors. The Windsor Classic Chorale believes in honouring the tradition of choral music by singing it well, contributing to its growth and promoting it in our community.

Allison Brown

Yorkminstrels Show ChoirThe Yorkminstrels Show Choir is an SATB choir, founded in 1974 as an arm of the Yorkminstrels musical theatre company. We sing mostly Broadway music, with oldies, contemporary and seasonal songs added to the mix. With our repertoire, costumes and movement, the show choir has evolved into a unique group. We take entertainment into the community, doing occasional concerts throughout the season at seniors’ residences, and for condo/church/synagogue groups and fundraisers. Rehearsals are held on Wednesday evenings at Cummer Lodge in North York, from September through June. A simple audition is required; note-reading is not essential. We are a warm, fun-loving and welcoming group, so if you enjoy singing, learning harmony and performing, we invite you to join us!

Sandi Horwitz

Experience the magic of music and release your child’s musical artistry through choral music! A unique musical education is offered to youth in the Durham Region in a supportive and challenging environment. Five distinct choirs include three non - auditioned ensembles for ages four to 14, an auditioned treble choir for ages 10 to 15, and an auditioned SATB choir for ages 14 and older. Repertoire which develops musical skills and vocal technique embraces all styles and genres and often includes choreography. In addition to winter and spring concerts and regular appearances; these proud choral ambassadors have enjoyed recent tours to Ireland and China. Young Singers is in their 26th season!

Anna Lynn Murphy

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