Welcome to The Canary Pages - The WholeNote’s 18th annual directory of Ontario choirs.

We hope you’ll enjoy browsing these profiles where choirs introduce themselves, in their own words.There’s so much to sing about! Are you are new to the region, maybe a lapsed chorister looking to sing again, a chorister on the hunt for new challenges? Are you secretly thinking of joining a choir for the very first time? This is the perfect place to start your search. There are choirs that have been around for decades, and groups new to the scene. There are choruses of hundreds of voices, small chamber ensembles, children’s and youth choirs, auditioned choirs and those open to all, for every level of skill and commitment. Whether you want to sing or listen, there’s a whole rich world of choral music just waiting for you to discover and enjoy.

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, and will be published in our upcoming September 2020 issue. For more information contact canary@thewholenote.com or phone Karen Ages at 416-323-2232 x26.

View our canary members on a map!

For a complete list of all profiles, click here.


canary sitelinkCharlotte

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Serenata Singers is a 60-voice, four-part community seniors’ choir who rehearse during the day. This fall we begin our 45th year, under the guidance of our accomplished Choral Director, Leanne Piller. Serenata’s repertoire covers a wide range of music, including classical, show tunes, pop, and folk. Traditionally, rehearsals are held on Wednesday mornings from September to May at Wilmar Heights Centre, 963 Pharmacy Ave., Scarborough. Currently, due to COVID-19, our plan is for rehearsals to continue in the fall in a virtual format. When it is safe to do so, we will return to choral singing in person. Anyone interested in joining the choir is encouraged to visit our website for further information.

canary sitelinkAlexander Veprinskiy

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Shevchenko ChoirThe Shevchenko Choir, with the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra, constitutes the Shevchenko Musical Ensemble. Although its roots lie in the Ukrainian community, through its 70-year history, the choir has evolved into a multicultural choir with a repertoire of folk songs and classical works reflecting the diversity of our society. The choir presents an annual choral concert, participates in ‘Singing Together’ with other community choirs and appears with the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra as part of the full ensemble. 

A non-audition choir, it rehearses Sunday mornings (10am to 12pm) at Borochov Centre, 272 Codsell Ave. Both choir and orchestra are under the artistic direction of Alexander Veprinskiy, graduate of the Lviv Conservatory of Ukraine.

canary sitelinkSociety of Singers

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The Society of Singers is a non-auditioned SATB choir that rehearses Wednesdays from 1pm to 3pm at Blythwood Road Church (80 Blythwood Rd). Under the direction of pianist/composer Peter Ness, we sing a wide repertoire of music ranging from classical hymns to traditional ballads to show tunes to swing numbers. We perform one or two afternoon concerts per month at Toronto seniors’ residences, where we are always much appreciated. If you love to sing and are looking for a happy, relaxed choir that is still serious about music, you are warmly invited to drop in to any Wednesday rehearsal or to contact us (by email, preferably) for more information.

canary sitelinkScott Pietrangelo

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SoundcrowdSoundCrowd (www.soundcrowd.ca), Toronto’s first large-scale a cappella ensemble, is the brainchild of artistic director Scott Pietrangelo. The group made its concert debut in 2016 alongside former Barenaked Ladies front-man Steven Page at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall. Since then, it has been featured guests on a national TV show (The Social), created viral music videos, appeared together with other notable Toronto-based a cappella groups (Cadence, Countermeasure, Retrocity), sang backup for Jonathan Antoine (Britain's Got Talent), opened for Disney's a cappella sensation DCappella, and performed at Carnegie Hall with choirs from around the world under the direction of Deke Sharon (Pitch Perfect, The Sing Off). SoundCrowd is releasing its debut album, All Voice No Limits on June 13, 2020.

canary sitelinkVirginia Evoy

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St. James Town Children's ChoirWe’re online! St. James Town Children’s Choir (SJTCC) welcomes kids in grades 1 and up, from St. James Town and surrounding area. Additionally, we offer instruction in piano, violin, ukulele and singing. Choir and Ukulele choir is free. Private lessons fees scaled to income. ROTM artistic staff are all professional musicians, and have extensive experience working with children's choirs and instrumental instruction. Over the years, the SJTCC has enjoyed many opportunities to perform in our community and throughout the city. SJTCC has sung with professional choirs, at sports events, in senior's facilities, in schools and community events, and, recently, collaborated with The Canadian Opera Company in its Hansel & Gretel opera. The repertoire is secular, diverse, inclusive, fun and musically enriching.

canary sitelinkWanda Thorne

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Since 1937, St. Michael’s Choir School has served the Archdiocese of Toronto by educating and training the boys’ choirs that sing every weekend at St. Michael’s Cathedral. Founded by Monsignor J.E. Ronan, St. Michael’s Choir School is unique in offering both an enriched academic program, including extended French instruction, integrated with a lively ministry of sacred music. Choirs from St. Michael’s Choir School perform annually on tour and at many local concerts and events. During the school year, they sing three weekly Masses at St. Michael’s Cathedral. School alumni are active in Toronto and beyond, performing in choral groups, operas and more. St. Michael’s Choir School accepts boys Grades 3 to 12. For audition information please visit www.smcs.on.ca/auditions or contact Wanda Thorne at admissions@smcs.on.ca.

canary sitelinkKathy Dixon, membership director

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Tempus Choral Society is a very welcoming, 100-voice SATB un-auditioned community choir based in Oakville, led by director Brian Turnbull. Our repertoire encompasses contemporary, Broadway, Great American Songbook, gospel, classical and jazz. Last year, we celebrated our 20th anniversary. We love to travel and to reach out to our community. Tempus has sung Handel’s Messiah at Lincoln Center, performed Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem at Carnegie Hall, part of an international choir of auditioned singers.

In 2015, Tempus4Us (our 60-voice children’s choir) and Tempus Jazz Choir were formed, with help from an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant. After a successful 2018 European singing tour, we look forward to another adventure soon. New members are heartily welcomed in September and January; please visit our website.

canary sitelinkBronwen Low

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TBCYC, founded in 2006 by artistic director Bronwen Low with drama instructor, Joanne Mitchell, has grown from a membership of 30 to over 150 children and youth (JK and up) from all over Scarborough and Toronto’s East End. TBCYC welcomes all, regardless of ability, offering a high quality musical and dramatic experience within an atmosphere of fun and hard work.

Each year, choristers are involved in concerts and events throughout the city. In the spring, they perform a fully staged musical production at a professional theatre. Select past shows: Shrek Jr, Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Oliver, and Fame. Past touring highlights include singing in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry, the 2016 DCINY festival performance at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center as part of the 2019 Serenade Choral Festival in Washington, D.C.

canary sitelinkLucas Harris

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Toronto Chamber ChoirBuilding on 50 years of concert performances, the Toronto Chamber Choir of around 30-40 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, two Sunday afternoon “Kaffeemusiks”) explore our repertoire through narration, often with a multimedia component.

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. We also run the Toronto Chamber Consort section lead program and an apprenticeship program with Rosedale School of the Arts.

canary sitelinkBonnie O'Sullivan
416-932-8666 x225

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20200415162724 IMG 1399 Bright edits 4In 2020/21, the award-winning Toronto Children’s Chorus marks its 43rd concert season and its 14th year under artistic director Elise Bradley, MNZM. The Chorus comprises a family of choirs: KinderNotes for children aged 3 to 6 (no audition required), four Training Choir levels, Main Choir (five ensembles) and Toronto Youth Choir (ages 16 to 30). The Chorus welcomes singers at its Midtown and North York locations.

Each year, more than 400 choristers develop skills in vocal technique, sight-singing, music theory and performance. The Main Choir offers master classes, recording and touring opportunities, and guest performance experiences, including with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik and Opera Atelier.

canary sitelinkDebby Neill Blyth

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The Toronto Choral Society (TCS) was founded in 1845, to foster a positive musical environment that enables members to learn and develop both musical ability and choral repertoire. The TCS aims to be an integral part of the community, presenting works from traditional choral repertoire while exploring music of our multicultural nation. We have performed our last three Christmas Concerts to sold out audiences at Koerner Hall. Our rehearsals begin in September and continue until May on Wednesday nights 7:30pm to 9:30pm at Eastminster United Church, 310 Danforth Ave. (Due to current conditions our 2020 season will rehearse on a virtual platform). We would, under normal conditions, be performing a minimum of three concerts a year. (Again this year TBD). If you would like more information please go to our website.

canary sitelinkKathleen Payne
416 986-8749

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Toronto Classical SingersToronto Classical Singers is the only choir in the country dedicated exclusively to the great choral/orchestral repertoire. Now in its 29th season, the organization continues to celebrate and contribute to the glorious tradition of choral music in Canada. Known for its unique musical point-of-view, the choir features lesser-known and rarely performed pieces as well as the beloved vocal/orchestral repertoire. Led by founding conductor Jurgen Petrenko, the choir has a long-standing partnership with Talisker Players who accompany the choir in their presentations of the great choral masterpieces.

Auditions are usually held in September, however, this year we are inviting interested singers to contact us through our website. When we can resume our rehearsal/production schedule, our audition coordinator will be in touch.

canary sitelinkMatthew Jaskiewicz

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Toronto Concert ChoirThe Toronto Concert Choir is a reincarnation of the Oakham House Choir, which was based at Ryerson University for 35 years. Like its predecessor, it will specialize in large-scale choral masterpieces and will be accompanied by the Toronto Sinfonietta chamber orchestra. We hope that our first major concert after the pandemic, at Knox Presbyterian Church, will feature Mendelssohn’s Elijah. We will also be performing on campus for the Ryerson community. Membership, which will number about 90, will be open to Ryerson students, alumni, faculty and staff, as well as to singers from outside the university. The choir will be led by its founding music director, Matthew Jaskiewicz. For more details, please visit our website. Experienced choristers are invited to contact us by e-mail for information about openings.

canary sitelinkAdministrator

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Toronto Mendelssohn ChoirThe Toronto Mendelssohn Choir celebrated  its 125th anniversary in 2019 and  plans to continue sharing great choral music throughout 2020/21 and the pandemic – starting with online programming and adding in-person opportunities when health and safety permit.  The 100-voice choir includes a professional core, auditioned volunteers, and apprentices (aged 17 to 22).  Spring and Fall 2020 see choristers involved in virtual choir projects and virtual choir and orchestra projects. For the 2020/21 season, the Choir is under the artistic leadership of Associate Conductor Simon Rivard. The Choir’s international search for a new artistic director is temporarily on hold during the pandemic.

canary sitelinkLawrence Peddie

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Toronto Mozart Choir 2020The Toronto Mozart Choir is an auditioned ensemble designed for our times and supported by an expert technical team enabling performances of live concerts, live-streamed concerts and/or virtual concerts according to government directives related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings and, when impossible in person, are held online with live direction and instruction with artistic director David Bowser, interspersed with pre-recorded rehearsal video segments. We always make time for a virtual social gathering at the end of each rehearsal for those who wish to participate.

With the agility to modify our rehearsals and concerts to changing circumstances, the Toronto Mozart Choir offers an uninterrupted opportunity for singers to make great music. For more information visit our website.

canary sitelinkAlan Sadegursky

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The Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir (TWMVC) was established in 1995 when its founding member and first president, Gwyn Roberts, gathered together a group of like-minded individuals of Welsh heritage, who sought to kindle the spirit of Traditional Welsh Male Voice singing in their adopted country. The TWMVC proudly draws on the great Welsh tradition of singing hymns and songs born of the mountains and valleys of Wales. At the same time it emphasizes a multicultural context in its broad repertoire which also includes spirituals; operatic arias, Canadian folk songs as well as Broadway show tunes and contemporary music. Our blend of traditional and contemporary music, all sung off book in accordance with tradition, appeals to a broad audience.

With the current situation we all have now, our concerts have been put on hold, until we receive clearance to resume our concert schedule. Please visit our website www.welshchoir.ca for all updated information. We are seeking new members to join.

canary sitelinkLaurie Evan Fraser, artistic director

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20200407144724 UCC 19 cropped color adjustedThe 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.

Lead 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 10:30am to 12:30pm at 2700 Bathurst Street. The choirs sing up to 20 concerts annually in a variety of community venues.

canary sitelinkNykola Parzei

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20200408132902 Vesnivka ChoirVesnivka Choir, established in 1965 by founding artistic director Halyna Kvitka Kondracki, is an award-winning women’s ensemble whose repertoire consists 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), often accompanied by local professional musicians. The choir also sings Christmas and Easter Liturgies. Singers are welcome; rehearsals on Tuesdays, 7:15pm to 9:15pm (4 Bellwoods Ave., Toronto). Male singers are welcome to join TUMCC who rehearse on Mondays, 7:30pm to 9pm (2445 Bloor St. W., Toronto). Concert schedule, rehearsal times and venues all subject to change during COVID-19 pandemic.

canary sitelinkJerzy Cichocki

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A past winner of the Canada Council Healey Willan Grand Prize, CBC Radio National Competition for Amateur Choirs, and one of Canada’s finest male choral ensembles, the Victoria Scholars treat 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/internationally, performed with international vocal soloists, and have released five acclaimed recordings, including most recently, “Songs of Love”. If you are an experienced musician with excellent sight reading abilities and would like to join us, please contact us. For updates on the upcoming season, please check our website.

canary sitelinkDeb Young

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We are a community choir in Markham. Village Voices has served the community for 31 years. It is an SATB non-auditioned choir of approximately 55 members. The choir gives two concerts a year, in December and May. In addition, we also do outreach concerts at seniors’ residences in Markham and surrounding areas. Our repertoire comprises works of contemporary Canadian/North American composers, such as Ola Gjeilo, Eleanor Daley, Jake Runstead, Jeff Smallman, etc., as well as old favourites. We rehearse once a week from September to May at Markham’s United Presbyterian Church under the baton of our music director, Shirley Madden. More information is available on our website or by email.

canary sitelinkCharlotte Burrage

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Childrens ChoirsVIVA is a vibrant community of singers and educators committed to equity, excellence, and the belief that every voice matters. VIVA empowers children and adult singers in seven choirs through innovative choral pedagogy and performance experiences. Vital choir components highlight VIVA’s philosophy: the TD Inclusion Program for singers with disabilities; and the Choral Mentoring & Leadership Program for aspiring conductor-educators.
VIVA’s youth choruses include: Preparatory (ages 4-6), Junior (ages 6-10), Main (ages 9-16), and Senior Treble (ages 13-16).

The Every Voice Matters Chorus welcomes teens and adults with disabilities. Adult choirs include the Community Choir (SATB; non-auditioned) and Chamber Singers (SATB; auditioned). Auditions and assessments are held regularly throughout the year.

canary sitelinkJenny Crober

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The VOCA Chorus of Toronto is a dynamic, auditioned ensemble which performs eclectic repertoire (including arrangements by our artistic director, Jenny Crober) in collaboration with some of Canada’s finest artists. Each season consists of two major concerts, cabarets and workshops with guest clinicians, as well as community performances. Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings at Eastminster United, near Chester subway. We hope to be presenting our "Star Songs" concert program (featuring a world premiere by Cree composer Andrew Balfour, along with works by Halley, Lauridsen, Daley and others) at both Roy Thomson Hall (part of RTH's Noon Hour Choir and Organ Series) and at Eastminster United.  Director: Jenny Crober. Accompanist: Elizabeth Acker. Guests: Colleen Allen, sax; Shawn Grenke, organ; Jamie Drake, percussion.

canary sitelinkRon Cheung

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Voices DecEntering into its 25th season, Voices Chamber Choir has firmly established itself as one of Toronto’s finest chamber choirs. The choir has received awards and recognition from across Canada and at an International Competition. As part of our anniversary season, the choir will reprise our very first Christmas program on December 12, 2020. Antonio Caldara’s Stabat Mater will be performed for our Lenten presentation on March 27, 2021. The season will close with J .S. Bach’s monumental work Mass in B minor with orchestra and soloists on May 29, 2021.

Voices rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings from 7:30pm to 10:00pm at St. Thomas’s Church, 383 Huron Street, Toronto. Auditions are available throughout the year. Apprentice conductor program is also available.

canary sitelinkCheryl Bower

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We have a rock choir for everyone! Started as a children's choir, VRC has grown to include 2 adult choirs, 3 children's locations, a female physician's choir and a senior's daytime program. Since March 2020, we have had a very active on-line rehearsal presence through Zoom. This has (and will) include rehearsals to tracks, musicianship classes, fun karaoke nights and creating virtual videos, one of which has gone viral. We continually monitor the pandemic situation and have 2 options moving forward for our choirs. The most heartwarming thing about our choirs is the community - we are an inclusive, warm and loving group. As a result of this, 95% of our choir re-registered for the Fall. We truly are rock choirs for the 21st Century - ages 9-99! Join Us today! Our artistic director is Anthony Bastianon.

canary sitelinkTaylor Strande

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We are a mixed-voice, secular community choir serving Roncesvalles, Parkdale, the Junction and surrounding communities. Our group performs 2 major concerts per season as well as guest appearances at other community events, such as Roncy Rocks and the Roncesvalles Community Tree Lighting Ceremony. Music is a mix of contemporary choral, folk tunes, and musical theatre, with a few pop tunes thrown in. Our vibe is fun and social, with a focus on community engagement and shared music-making. We have a mix of seasoned choristers and novices, and there are no auditions. We value the diversity of gender, age, race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, education, and political perspective and are open to all. Rehearsals take place on Monday evenings 7:15pm to 8:45pm at Roncesvalles United Church.

canary sitelinkSandi Horwitz

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YorkminstrelsThe 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!

canary sitelinkGena Norbury

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20200416145332 DSC04589 1Founded in 1986, Young Voices Toronto is the Children’s Choir-in-Residence U of T, led by artistic director Maria Conkey - inspiring conductor, clinician, and pedagogue. YVT instills the joy of singing and builds confidence in children, by teaching techniques of healthy singing and rudiments of music. We engage choristers through diverse repertoire, movement and interaction, infusing performance with meaning that connects to their hearts and audiences. 

YVT’s motto is ‘More Than Music.' Our goal is to inspire children to build community and to encourage a sense of togetherness through musical excellence. YVT’s senior ensemble tours annually and travelled to Germany and Austria in July 2019. Choristers range in age from 4 to 18. Vocal placements begin at age 7. There are five choir levels. Rehearsals take place weekly on Tuesday and/or Thursday in the Bloor West area.

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