Welcome to The Canary Pages - The WholeNote’s 19th 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.

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.

canary sitelinkGail MacLennan

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20200405083809 ChoirAchill is a welcoming 80-member community choir, which has been committed to performing quality choral music since 1982. We are an auditioned choir, with a repertoire that includes classical, contemporary, and traditional works. Our artistic team is composed of director, Shawn Grenke, who is also the associate conductor and accompanist of the Amadeus Choir and accompanist of the Elmer Iseler Singers, and our collaborative pianist, Nancy Sicsic.

We normally rehearse in Orangeville, northwest of Toronto, and perform in Alliston, Bolton and Orangeville. During the COVID pandemic we have been rehearsing, learning and producing concerts virtually. New members are welcome. To join Achill or learn more about us, please email us or visit our website.

canary sitelinkKam

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Bel Canto Singers is a four-part community choir with singers of various ages. Under the guidance of our accomplished music director, Leanne Piller, members enjoy the rewards and challenges of a varied repertoire including classical masters, Broadway and movie tunes, opera choruses and pop songs. Traditionally, rehearsals are held on Tuesday evenings, 7pm to 9:30pm, from early September through May at Scarborough Bluffs United Church, 3739 Kingston Road. Presently, we are meeting virtually, but we will return to rehearsing in person and performing in concerts as soon as it is safe to do so. We invite experienced and committed choristers to contact us about auditions and membership. Please visit our website.

canary sitelinkDiana McAdorey

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Chorus NiagaraChorus Niagara, the Power of 100, is a passionate group of singers of diverse ages and walks of life. As the Niagara region’s premier auditioned symphonic chorus since 1963, Chorus Niagara performs classic choral masterpieces, innovative new modern, and seldom-heard works, providing a showcase for emerging Canadian talent. Chorus Niagara attracts singers of all ages through its Chorus Niagara Children’s Choir (CNCC), Side-by-Side High School Chorale (SXS), Robert Cooper Choral Scholars program (RCCS) and its Apprentice Conductor program. CN performs in Partridge Hall in the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St.Catharines, and our artistic director is Robert Cooper, CM.

View our flash mob with over 54.5 million views on YouTube. Please visit chorusniagara.org and chorusniagaracc.org for more information.

canary sitelinkMary-Lou Montgrain

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Chorus York is a growing community auditioned SATB choir newly inaugurated in February of 2016 and already grown to about 30 voices. Led by our passion for singing, we are setting out to inspire the growth of choral music in our community through the performance of a variety of choral music ranging from Bach to Broadway, Show Tunes to Classical.

canary sitelinkGilles

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Ensemble vocal Les voix du coeurLes Voix du Cœur is a vocal ensemble of more than 40 amateur singers that, for 25 years, has offered lively concerts showcasing the richness of French popular songs from Canada and abroad. Our shows present choral singing and cabaret style numbers, combining music, theatre and dance in a highly entertaining performance. The only group of this nature in the GTA, we reach an ever-growing public, and we play a dynamic role in the French-speaking cultural community in Toronto.

Please visit our website to discover who we are and what we do, all in French!

canary sitelinkAlbert Wong

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As choral singing contributes to health and happiness, Harbourfront Chorus, a non-auditioned community choir, has been meeting via Zoom twice a month. We perform a wide range of music that spans from early Renaissance music to contemporary popular songs. Traditionally, rehearsals have run Tuesdays from 7:45pm to 9:15pm at the Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre, located at the south-east corner of Queens Quay W. and Bathurst St. from September through May. Our next season will begin as soon as it is safe to sing together.

canary sitelinkPauline McKenzie

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The Jubilate Singers have adjusted to our needs as people who want to sing together without spreading the virus. We are a community choir who offer opportunities for singers of varied interests and musical experience. Jubilate’s tradition is to sing music from many cultures and time periods, in the original languages. This season has included German, Arabic and Swedish as well as a rollicking Newfoundland sea shanty. We invite all who are interested to look at our website, where you will find some examples of our singing. We can also be found on YouTube.

Zoom provides us with a “virtual rehearsal hall” on Tuesday evenings from 6:45pm until 8:30pm. Our director, Isabel Bernaus, provides instruction and voice training. The choir is also blessed with section leaders who provide instruction.

canary sitelinkCynthia Hawkins

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Under the leadership of artistic director David Bowser, Pax Christi Chorale’s overarching aim is to experience the deep joys of choral singing, and to communicate that joy to our audience. We perform a vast repertoire, from the historic masterpieces of the oratorio tradition to newly commissioned works by Canadian composers. We encourage the development of a cohesive choral culture in which choristers are invited to contribute and encouraged to improve their musicianship. We aspire to a disciplined atmosphere of respect and professionalism in our rehearsals and concerts, and warmly welcome audience members, choristers and volunteers from all backgrounds and walks of life. For information on Pax Christi Chorale activities for the 2021/22 season, visit our website.

canary sitelinkCharlotte

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Serenata Singers is a 50-voice, four-part adult community choir who rehearse during the day. This fall we begin our 46th 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 and its variants, 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 a fun and caring choir is encouraged to visit our website for further information.

canary sitelinkKathy Dixon, membership director

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Tempus Choral Society is a welcoming, 100-voice SATB non-auditioned community choir based in Oakville, led by director Brian Turnbull, who also leads Tempus4Us (our free-to-sing children’s choir) and our select Tempus Jazz Choir. Our repertoire is diverse, including contemporary, Broadway, sacred, classical, and jazz. We love to travel, and to reach out to our community. TCS has sung Handel’s Messiah at Lincoln Center, and performed Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem at Carnegie Hall, as part of an international choir of auditioned singers. In 2018 we completed a successful European singing tour.

We have been Zooming our way through 2020 and 2021, exploring the world of virtual choir productions. New members are welcome in January and September. Visit our website for more info.

canary sitelinkPeg McCracken

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Peterborough SingersThe Peterborough Singers was founded in 1993 under the energetic and creative leadership of artistic director Sydney Birrell. We are an auditioned 110-voice choir of adults and youth which attracts members and audiences from Peterborough, the Kawarthas, and throughout the Lakeshore. The Singers are proud of their tradition of supporting young emerging artists each season. We perform four concerts a year: a Yuletide concert, Handel’s Messiah, a popular music concert and a major oratorio.

If our 2021/22 season is able to move forward, we will be performing the songs of Paul Simon featuring a group of local musicians and featuring Beau Dixon. We are also planning a performance of Verdi’s Requiem and will be accompanied by a full brass ensemble alongside Leslie Fagan, Laura Pudwell, Jonathan Liebich and Ernesto Ramirez.

canary sitelinkLucas Harris

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Toronto Chamber ChoirToronto Chamber Choir has held a prominent place in Canada’s early music scene since 1968. An accomplished group of 30-40 auditioned singers, the TCC specializes in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire, collaborating with period instrumentalists, but also explores music from other time periods and diverse cultures. A typical season presents two evening concerts as well as two afternoon “Kaffeemusiks” that contextualize our repertoire through narration and a multimedia component.

Rehearsals happen Wednesday evenings with occasional Saturday “retreats” featuring guest presenters. In September 2021, we plan to sing together in person at our new rehearsal venue, Church of the Transfiguration. We are currently seeking new members. Auditions are held anytime by arrangement with the director. We welcome diversity in our members.


canary sitelinkDominic Eboña
416-932-8666, x221

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Toronto Childrens ChorusIn 2021/22, the award-winning Toronto Children’s Chorus marks its 44th concert season and 15th year under artistic director Elise Bradley, MNZM. The Chorus comprises a family of choirs: KinderNotes for children aged 3 to 6 (no audition required), and (by audition) four Training Choir levels, the Main Choir (five ensembles) and Toronto Youth Choir. The Chorus continues to meet virtually during the pandemic but, with the lifting of health restrictions, looks forward to welcoming singers to its Midtown or North York locations.

Each year, more than 400 choristers develop skills in vocal technique, sight singing, music theory and performance. In regular seasons, the Main and Youth Choirs also offer masterclasses, recording and touring opportunities, and guest performances, including with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

canary sitelinkAlan Leonard Sadegursky

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The Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir (TWMVC) was established in 1995 by its founding member and first president, Gwyn Roberts. The choir continues to grow musically under the direction of William Woloschuk and his principal accompanist, Matthew Coons. Our blend of traditional and contemporary music, all sung off book in accordance with tradition, appeals to a broad audience. In September 2017, the Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir was invited to perform at the NAFOW (North American Festival of Wales) Gala in Rochester, New York as the featured guest choir. The next travel stop was Newfoundland, in Atlantic Canada in July 2018; we performed four concerts in the east coast of this great country. The Choir is proud of its accomplishments and seeks to continue to grow by attracting new members and supporters.

canary sitelinkDeb Young

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The Village Voices Community Choir has served the Markham area since 1989. It is a non-auditioned SATB choir of approximately 55 members, performing two large concerts annually (pre-pandemic) and 2 smaller outreach concerts. Our repertoire includes works from a variety of Canadian and International composers, including Ola Gjeilo, Frank Ticheli, Eleanor Daley, Tawnie Olsen, Elaine Hagenberg and Morten Lauridsen, as well as more traditional choral classics. Under the musical leadership of artistic director Shirley Madden, rehearsals are held once a week (Wednesday nights) at Unionville Presbyterian Community Church and we look forward to moving from online to in-person rehearsals soon! For more information, feel free to visit our website or contact us via email.

canary sitelinkJenny Crober

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VOCA Chorus of TorontoThe VOCA Chorus of Toronto is a dynamic, auditioned ensemble which performs eclectic repertoire (including Canadian premieres) in collaboration with some of Canada’s finest artists. Each season consists of major concerts, cabarets, workshops with guest clinicians and community performances. We’ve been meeting over Zoom for the entire 2020/21 season, and have just premiered our first virtual choir recording. Rehearsals are held on Mondays at Eastminster United, near Chester subway. We look forward to performing our "Star Songs'' program (including a world premiere by Cree composer Andrew Balfour) at 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.

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