This 14th Annual Edition of The WholeNote Canary Pages provides an opportunity for Southern Ontario choirs to tell you in their own words such things as who they are, how long they’ve been around, where they rehearse and perform, what musical genres they focus on, and what level of skill and commitment they require from individuals wishing to join them. The 116 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 or worship or identity as their focus, choirs with socializing or community or high-level performance as their driving force. 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.

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

PROOFREADERS: Sara Constant, Vanessa Wells


The Achill Choral Society began as a community choir in 1982, drawing members from an area northwest of Toronto. We gather Wednesday evenings to rehearse repertoire. Our membership is around 85 and we are a mixed, auditioned adult choir. Each Christmas and spring, we perform concerts in the churches and halls of our communities, including Alliston, Beeton, Bolton, Bradford, Caledon, Caledon East, Orangeville, Shelburne and Tottenham. We are led by A. Dale Wood. His lifelong musical career also includes directing the Georgetown Choral Society and Georgetown Children’s Chorus, as well as teaching lessons in piano, voice, organ and composition. Thanks to the commitment and vision of our director, the choir maintains an excellent standard of performance, attracting guest soloists and accompanists of the highest calibre.

Catherine Wilson

All Saints Kingsway Choir provides musical leadership at weekly Sunday morning Eucharists, Festival Evensongs, community outreach projects and concerts year-round. The choir has toured notable UK cathedrals, recorded two CDs and performed throughout Toronto. Recent performances include Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols; festal celebrations with the drumming ensemble Beyond Sound Empijah and the Michael Occhipinti Jazz Quartet, and Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale. Jazz Vespers and noon Organ Recitals commence in May 2016. New members are always welcome to the Music at All Saints Kingsway family. Come and be a part of a fantastic choral and instrumental creative community.

D. Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, director of music
416-233-1125 x5

Led by conductor and artistic director Lydia Adams since 1985, the award-winning Amadeus Choir performs the best of choral music and premieres works of Canadian and international composers through a self-produced Toronto concert series, guest performances and special events. Through tours, recordings and radio broadcasts the choir is known well beyond Toronto. The Amadeus Choir partners and collaborates with many professional performing arts organizations in the GTA. The choir also engages in educational and community outreach through choral workshops for students, music educators, composers and conductors. A part of Toronto’s arts community for 42 years, the choir includes members from all parts of the GTA. Annual auditions are held in May and June. Phone or email the choir office for information.

General Manager

The Annex Singers of Toronto is a vibrant and accomplished community choir under the dynamic and creative leadership of Artistic Director Maria Case. Now in its 37th season, the 60-voice auditioned choir performs up to four concerts annually, collaborating with professional instrumentalists, vocalists and ensembles. Recent performances include Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols with harpist Julia Seager-Scott and Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the Talisker Players. The Annex Chamber Choir, a 24-voice ensemble drawn from the larger choir, recently performed with guest cellist Mark Chambers. The choir additionally engages in community outreach and offers choral workshops. Experienced singers wishing to audition should contact our membership coordinator through our website, www.annexsingers.com. We rehearse Monday evenings at St. Thomas’s Anglican Church, 383 Huron St.

Joanne Eidinger
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The Bach Chamber Youth Choir, now in its 20th season, is an award-winning SATB choir for boys with changed or changing voices and girls aged 16 years and up. Award-winning conductor Linda Beaupré has led BCYC to first place honours at the local, provincial and national levels of the Canadian Federation of Music Festivals. As the senior level of the Bach Children’s Chorus, BCYC performs at two annual concerts at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. Additional performances include a cabaret-style concert and a benefit concert. BCYC rehearses Sunday evenings on the Danforth, by Chester Station. Auditions are held in May and November. Interested youth are welcome to observe a Sunday evening rehearsal.

Jane Greenwood
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Bach Children’s Chorus, entering its 30th season, is an award-winning organization of three treble-voice choirs and one mixed voice choir (Bach Chamber Youth Choir – see separate listing). Led by founder and artistic director Linda Beaupré, an award-winning Toronto conductor and clinician, these choirs have a membership of 180 young people, aged 6 and up. Training is offered in vocal technique, sight-singing and theory. BCC rehearses weekly in Scarborough, performs as a company-in-residence at the Toronto Centre for the Arts and appears regularly at Toronto events. Each choir participates in weekend festivals, workshops and concerts with other youth choirs and world-renowned clinicians. BCC has released six solo CDs and has won provincial and national choral awards.

Jane Greenwood

The Bach Elgar Choir is Hamilton’s renowned concert choir and a leader in Canadian choral music. The ensemble performed its first concert in 1905 and has several firsts to its credit, including the North American premiere of Verdi’s Requiem. The BEC presents magnificent works for choir and orchestra, its cherished annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah and programs of varied vocal repertoire from opera to pops. Featuring the very best Canadian talent in its roster of soloists and working together with top orchestras, the BEC has a reputation for excellence. Interested singers from all sections are invited to join us under the leadership of our outstanding conductor Alexander Cann. For an audition, please call 905-527-5995 or email bachelgar@gmail.com.

Alexander Cann
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Bel Canto Singers is an SATB community choir with singers of various ages and abilities directed by Linda Meyer/Michael Gomiega. Each week we meet to sing and laugh and grow. Members share a love of choral singing and enjoy the challenges of a widely varied repertoire, mixed with friendship and fun. Rehearsals are Tuesdays at St. Nicholas Anglican Church in Scarborough. We are currently looking to strengthen our tenor and bass sections. If you have ever wanted to participate in a group that values music, fun and fellowship please consider joining us. Auditions will take place in the first two weeks of September 2016 or January 2017, during our regular Tuesday night practice.


Entering its 49th season, the CCOC consists of six choruses for ages 3 to 19 and is the only permanent children’s opera company in Canada to regularly commission and produce operas for children. Opera is simply storytelling with music, and those are two things that kids and youth love!  A unique experience, members receive unparalleled performance opportunities and life skills through age-appropriate vocal and dramatic training. Members regularly perform with the Canadian Opera Company and other major professional arts organizations. Rehearsals are weekdays after school in the downtown area. Auditions are held April to June. A non-auditioned in- and after-school workshop program was launched in 2008 as part of the OPERAtion KIDS outreach arm of the CCOC.

Ken Hall
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Completing its sixth season, the Canadian Men’s Chorus is a highly accomplished men’s chamber choir, performing works from the classical repertoire and other genres. The Canadian Men’s Chorus is noted for its beautiful sound, exciting and varied performances and the ability to take audiences on an emotional journey. This auditioned ensemble presents three concerts each season. Commissioning new Canadian music is a major focus, with over 30 new choral works premiered since the CMC was co-founded in 2010 by Greg Rainville and Arlene Jillard. Past performances include Stratford Summer Music, CentreSpace for the Arts in London, Ontario, the Stratford Symphony Orchestra and the Muskoka Concert Series. Men over 18 with vocal training and choral experience are invited to audition.

Arlene Jillard, executive director

The Canadian Orpheus Male Choir is a TTBB choral ensemble of some 30 members known as the men who love to sing. Join us! Founded in 1977, this Hamilton-based registered charity performs to support charitable causes and to entertain. Covering pop, traditional and folk songs, spirituals, jazz numbers and hits from musicals, we’ve sung in Roy Thomson Hall, the Burlington Performing Arts Centre and Hamilton Place, among others, and helped raise some $800,000 for charities. We’ve shared the stage with guest performers like soprano Abigail Freeman and violinist Martin Beaver. Book the COMC for your special event! ‘Like’ Canadian Orpheus Male Choir on Facebook. Subscribe to the Canadian Orpheus Male Choir YouTube channel. Follow @CanadianOrpheus on Twitter!

Keith Thomas

Cantabile Chamber Singers is an auditioned choir of 16 to 20 voices, formed in 2006 by artistic director Cheryll J. Chung. We perform eclectic and challenging repertoire spanning six centuries. We especially strive to bring Canadian music to audiences while attracting a new generation to choral music. In addition to our concert season we have participated in choral festivals and other events, including most recently being featured in the Mozart Project of Toronto. Contact us for an audition as a singer, as a soloist or to submit a newly written choral work. Check out our recordings on YouTube, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CantabileTO. Auditions are held in June and September.

Cheryll Chung

Founded in 2008, Cantala is an award-winning, vibrant choral group in the Toronto choral community. Cantala is committed to performing diverse Canadian and world choral music at the highest level from the baroque, classical and modern eras. The choir is made up of singers with various levels of choral and/or singing experience, from all walks of life. With training and experience in singing and vocal pedagogy, our director, Nancy Singla, brings a unique approach and knowledge to choral singing. Cantala strives for exceptional music-making, and its singers are rewarded with a moving, rich choral experience with the support of a like-minded singing community. For audition interviews and more information, please email info@cantalawomenschoir.com.

Nancy Singla
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Cantemus Singers, conducted by Michael Erdman, perform mainly renaissance and early baroque repertoire. Our 14-voice group gives equal time to secular and religious compositions of the period in a variety of languages, with particular focus on the rich five- to eight-part compositions less familiar to Toronto audiences. We present three programs a year, in late fall, mid-winter and spring. Although we are primarily an a cappella ensemble, we occasionally join forces with ensembles/players of period instruments. Our choristers are a mix of enthusiastic, well-trained amateurs and semi-professionals, all sharing a common interest in early music. We rehearse Wednesday evenings through the season. Membership is by audition. Our main performance venue is the historic and acoustically lively Church of the Holy Trinity, Eaton Centre.

Michael Erdman, conductor

Cantores Celestes Women’s Choir is an auditioned, fun, committed women’s choir conducted by Kelly Galbraith, celebrating its 28th season. The singers are interesting, talented, funny and passionate about life and music. Perform with the best instrumental musicians in Toronto! Repertoire includes everything from medieval and baroque to classical and modern with gospel and Celtic. The choir has released six CDs, has performed live on CBC Radio, donated over $45,000 to charities and was featured in three films, and was the featured women’s choir in Schafer’s Luminato performance. It has toured the Maritimes, Ontario and New York City. Performances: December 3, 2016 and April 22, 2017 as well as exciting projects and tours to be announced. Auditions are held in May, June and August.


Kelly Galbraith, director
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