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 sitelinkLucas Harris

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Toronto Chamber ChoirBuilding on 50 years of concert performances, 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.

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 of Toronto, presenting important works from the traditional choral repertoire and exploring the music of the many cultures that make up our community.

The TCS has performed our last two Christmas Concerts to sold out audiences at Koerner Hall. The TCS rehearsals take place on Wednesday nights 7:30-9:30pm at Eastminster United Church,
310 Danforth Ave..

Our season (both rehearsals and performance) begins in September and continues until May, performing a minimum of 3 concerts a year. 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 and its diverse and high-quality programming, 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. We will hold auditions either in early September, under the guidelines established by the various health agencies, or later when we can safely resume our rehearsals.

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. We are always looking for new members to join our choir!

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 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, 7:15pm 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).

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 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 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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