Welcome to The WholeNote’s 15th annual Canary Pages, a directory of a wide range of Ontario choirs. The Canary Pages directory 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 every genre 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 very first time, this is a perfect place to start your search. The 123 choirs here include some that have been around for many decades, new groups on the scene, choruses of hundreds of voices, small and intimate chamber ensembles, children’s and youth choirs, groups of singers with workplace, worship or identity as their focus, choirs with socializing, community or high-level performance as their driving force – every colour of the choral rainbow is represented for you to browse.

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: Bryson Winchester

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Toronto Childrens ChorusToronto Children’s Chorus’ 2017/18 season marks its 40th anniversary and its 11th year under artistic director Elise Bradley. The Chorus comprises a family of choirs: KinderNotes for children aged 3 to 6 (no audition required), four Training Choirs, Main Choir (Cantare, Chorale, Chamber and Choral Scholar levels) and Youth Choir. More than 300 choristers develop skills in vocal technique, sight-singing and music theory each year. Main Choir offers workshops and exceptional performance and recording opportunities, including with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Chamber Choir is the 2017 ambassador for the International Federation for Choral Music and the only North American children's choir selected for the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music. Chorus auditions are held in May and September.

Bonnie O'Sullivan
416-932-8666 x225

Before there was Canada there was the Toronto Choral Society! We have been around since 1845, and we know how to celebrate!
We invite you to attend our 2017 Spring concert "Songs of Celebration,” on May 17 at 7:30pm, Eastminster Church (near Chester Subway). Tickets online $21, or $26 at the door.
The Toronto Choral Society is a non-auditioned choir, made up of men and women of all ages. As with Canada, this year is a landmark year for us. For the first time we will perform on December 6 at Koerner Hall. We will sing selections from J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio! We would love you to be there.

Debby Blyth

We are a non-auditioned mixed choir of over 100 voices, mainly retired teachers and others who have worked in the field of education. Under the direction of Ralph Peters, we sing a wide range of musical works: selections from Broadway musicals, religious and spiritual anthems, jazz, works by Canadian composers and medleys from various musical genres, just to name a few. We sing one concert in December and two concerts in May each year. Our practices occur each Thursday from September to May. New members are welcome to join our choir.
Our annual spring concert at Sir John A. MacDonald Collegiate Institute, 2300 Pharmacy Ave., between Sheppard and Finch, takes place on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15 each, available from choir members or at the door. For more information or to order tickets, please call John Sinclair at 647-693-4671. We love to sing and to share the enjoyment of choral singing. We invite you to be a part of the audience at this concert.

John Sinclair

In 2017/18, Toronto Classical Singers celebrates its 26th performance season, led by artistic director and founding conductor Jurgen Petrenko. Mark your calendars for performances on December 10, 2017, February 25, 2018 and May 6, 2018.

We welcome enthusiastic singers who wish to experience the thrill of singing the great choral works with full orchestra, all while having a lot of fun. We rehearse on Mondays 7:30pm to 9:30pm from September to May at Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge St. Our (non-terrifying!) auditions are held throughout the year.

Contact TCS at members@torontoclassicalsingers.ca to book your audition with Jurgen. You’ll discover what a joy it is to sing for him, and why TCS is considered one of the gems of the Toronto musical scene.

Jane Cluver, audition coordinator
416-859-0788 (text or phone)

Toronto Mendelssohn ChoirGrand symphonic sound has been the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s trademark for over 120 years. Under artistic director Noel Edison, the TMC offers audiences authentic interpretation of some of the greatest sacred and secular music ever composed. The 130-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 Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, Sacred Music for a Sacred Space on Good Friday at St. Paul’s Basilica, and performances of Messiah and other works with the TSO. As part of its outreach initiatives, the choir webcasts select concerts. The choir also presents Singsation Saturdays, popular choral workshops for singers of all levels.

416-598-0422 x221

Toronto Shape Note Singing CommunityYou are invited to sing shape note music from the Sacred Harp every month at Bloor/Spadina in Toronto. Everyone is welcome, no experience or religious affiliation necessary. The singing is participatory, not a performance or rehearsal, and there are songbooks to borrow.
Singers sit divided by voice part (treble/soprano, alto, tenor, and bass) in a “hollow square” formation. The music is sung in a strong, rhythmically-accented style.
The Toronto community has been singing shape note music together since 2000, and we have never cancelled a monthly singing. Visit our Facebook group or email us for Toronto singing details. For general information about the Sacred Harp and listings of regular singings in Canada and around the world, visit www.fasola.org.

Pleasance Crawford

Chamber Choir with Matthias Maute and Laura Pudwell, July 30 to August 5, 2017: Are you an advanced amateur musician looking for an opportunity to connect with other musicians who share your passion? Refresh vocal skills and study one of the great works of choral literature – Vivaldi’s Gloria – in the intimacy of a chamber vocal ensemble. Must be over 18 years of age. Tuition includes a ticket to all TSM Festival Concerts July 30 to August 5, daily lunch and coffee. Cost: $525 plus HST.

Jennifer Mak

Toronto Welsh Male Voice ChoirCalling all male singers! 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 in May or June at Dewi Sant United Church, 33 Melrose Ave., Toronto. We are a friendly bunch, open to singers of all abilities, performing 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.

Marketing Coordinator

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 7:30pm to 9:30pm at Grace Church on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Rd. Cantemos rehearses on Saturday mornings from 9:30am to 11:30am 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 communities 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.
Membership is by a non-threatening screening process at the first rehearsal. Rehearsals are Monday nights, September to May in Uxbridge.

Hilary Balmer

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 an annual Christmas concert. Vesnivka, together with its partner the Toronto Ukrainian Male Chamber Choir (TUMCC), are 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, 7:30pm to 9:30pm (4 Bellwoods Ave., Toronto). Male singers are welcome to join TUMCC; rehearsals held on Mondays, 7:30pm to 9pm (2445 Bloor St. W., Toronto).

Lesia Komorowsky

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 Victoria Scholars have released five widely acclaimed recordings, including the most recent release in January 2016, Songs of Love, toured nationally and internationally, and perform regularly with international vocal soloists and arts organizations. If you are an experienced musician with excellent sight reading abilities and would like to join the Victoria Scholars for the upcoming season, please contact us today.

Jerzy Cichocki

Village VoicesVillage Voices, a diverse, mixed-voice community choir of about 70 voices based in Markham, will enter its 29th season in September. The choir presents two major concerts annually and sings at seniors’ residences and special community events. Directed by Oksana Vignan, the choir performs a wide variety of choral repertoire, from the great standard classics to contemporary music. Village Voices has collaborated and performed with other choirs in Ontario and as guest artists of instrumental organizations 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. On May 12 and 13, 2017, Village Voices is proud to celebrate Canada150, with the concert "Here's to Song," a mix of traditional and folk songs as well as Missa Pax, a contemporary score by Canadian Tim Corlis.

Ellen Dowswell

VIVA Youth Singers of TorontoVIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto, now in its 17th season, is a vibrant, inclusive choral organization with excellent musical opportunities for all singers from the age of 4 to adults. VIVA!’s Inclusion Program offers support for differently-abled singers. Diverse programming features age-appropriate choral training through instruction in vocal technique, private vocal instruction and music theory. Singers from the Junior Choir and up may choose to perform with VIVA! in the National Ballet of Canada’s Nutcracker. VIVA!’s fine musicians and mentors deliver authentic music-making in a supportive, singer-centred community. During the 2017/18 season, singers will explore music/arts that are inspired by First Nations and Indigenous cultures. For the older choirs, the season will culminate in a cultural/musical exchange to Canada’s north.

Susan Suchard, general manager

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, two retreats (one locally with guest clinician; one out of town), a cabaret, and community performances. Rehearsals are Monday evenings at Eastminster United Church, 310 Danforth Ave., Toronto. On Saturday, May 27, 7:30pm at Eastminster, we will present Carmina Burana, featuring the two piano/percussion version of Orff's monumental masterpiece, along with selections by Gjeilo (including an instrumental world premiere), Letourneau (an Ontario premiere) and Tate.  Director: Jenny Crober. Accompanist: Elizabeth Acker. Guests: TorQ Percussion Quartet, Shawn Grenke, Elizabeth Polese, Michael Nyby, Christopher Mayell.

Jenny Crober

Voices Chamber ChoirAs the choir enters its 22nd season, Voices Chamber Choir has firmly established itself as one of the finest amateur choirs in Toronto. Our repertoire spans from the early Renaissance to brand new works by Canadian composers, from standard repertoire performed with orchestra to an all unaccompanied program. Our music challenges the singers to be their best and beyond with exhilarating results. If you would like to sing in a choir that will give you more than just a night out to socialize, a choir that will engage your musical senses, come and join us.

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

Windsor Classic ChoraleWindsor Classic Chorale believes in honouring choral music by singing it well, contributing to its growth and promoting it in our community. We are teachers, librarians, administrators, lawyers and accountants with a variety of backgrounds and interests. What brings us together is our love for choral music and the belief that it expresses the deepest parts of our humanity. Under the direction of Bruce Kotowich, the Chorale celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2017. Season highlights include our annual Remembrance Day Concert, several Christmas appearances throughout the area, and a February concert on themes of love. As hosts of the annual Windsor Choral Festival, we will bring together diverse choirs from Windsor-Essex to sing, learn, and celebrate unity through song.

Jennifer Swanson

Yips Childrens Choir and Youth EnsembleEstablished in 1990, Yip's Children's Choir (Canada) consists of Choir, Musical Theatre and Overseas Concert Group - Chorus Canadiana. The choir is dedicated to the promotion of formal music and fine arts education for children and youth. Repertoire includes classical (Renaissance to contemporary) music, religious works, art music, folk music, musical theatre, Broadway musicals and operettas.
The choir has made appearances in Toronto’s performing arts scene as well as national and international concert tours. In 2014/15, Chorus Canadiana completed successful tours to Europe, as part of the Rhapsody! International Music Festival, and to the Golden Gate International Children's and Youth Choral Festival in San Francisco, under the direction of music director Ron Ka Ming Cheung and accompanist Dorothy Yu.
Weekly rehearsals are Saturday afternoons at Markham area. The choir sings up to 4-6 concerts/events annually in a variety of community venues. Interested children are welcome to observe a choir rehearsal.

Katherine Kwok, administrator
905-948-9477 x2100

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. Four distinct choirs include two non-auditioned ensembles for ages 6 to 14, an auditioned treble choir for ages 10 to 15, and an auditioned SATB choir for ages 14 and older. Our repertoire develops musical skills and vocal technique, embraces all styles and genres, and often includes choreography. In addition to annual winter and spring concerts and regular community appearances, these proud choral ambassadors have enjoyed recent tours to Ireland and China. They are currently celebrating their 25th anniversary season! Interested in joining Young Singers? Visit our website.

Anna Lynn Murphy

Young Voices Toronto Childrens ChoirYoung Voices Toronto (formerly High Park Choirs of Toronto) offers exceptional music education and choral training to Toronto youth ages 4 to 18. Founded by soprano Ann Cooper Gay in 1986, the choir is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary season. YVT has the distinction of being the children's choir-in-residence at the University of Toronto, a unique relationship which allows us to perform with the Faculty of Music choirs at various concerts during the year. Our three choral divisions rehearse once per week at Runnymede Presbyterian Church. All our choirs perform twice per year (June and December) in our self-produced concerts at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre for the Arts, and the older choral divisions also participate in festivals, concerts with other musical organizations, and tours. Follow us on Twitter @YoungVoicesTO.

Shannon Charnock, general manager

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