The Orpheus Choir has made its mark in the Canadian choral community by championing new and rarely performed choral works and celebrating the ‘Expect Something Different’ experience. It has performed a vast repertoire of sacred and secular music, from the Renaissance to the 21st century, the classic to the experimental.
Adding to the richness of the choral art form, it has commissioned new works, including Eric Robertson’s Songs of Remembrance (1985), Imant Raminsh’s Sonnets to Orpheus (1999), Allan Bevan’s No Mortal Business (2011), and Charles Cozens’ Tres Bailes Latinos (2014). Orpheus choir has introduced Toronto audiences to many fascinating and accessible works from the current generation of leading composers such as Ēriks Ešenvalds, György Orbán, Vytautis Miškinis, René Eespere and Urmas Sisask.
With a rich history spanning 50 years, the Orpheus Choir of Toronto has since earned the distinction of being one of Toronto’s preeminent choral groups. Founded in 1964 by organist John Sidgwick, who also served as its first artistic director, the Orpheus Choir was created to provide an alternative to the traditional choral fare of the times and introduce Toronto audiences to a rich new world of choral music.
If you have a passion for singing and choral music, the Orpheus Choir offers the unique opportunity to audition for a top-tier musical ensemble. Those selected will be part of a tight-knit group of people with similar interests who grow together as musicians and as friends. Best of all is the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with every performance.
Additional Info for Choristers
Auditioning for Orpheus
Persons of any age who possess a high level of musicianship, strong sight-reading skills, vocal technique and flexibility, and a desire to be challenged in an ensemble environment are invited to audition.
It is expected that Orpheus members will invest time in their musicianship and vocal ability through individual practice and training, and that material will be prepared prior to and between rehearsals as necessary. The choir rehearses regularly throughout the choral season, from beginning of September to late May, with rehearsals primarily on Tuesday evenings from 7:00pm-10:00pm at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, 1585 Yonge St. (just north of St. Clair subway station). Complete commitment to the rehearsal and performance schedule is imperative.
Placements for qualified singers will include a prepared piece, range assessment test, sight-reading and a brief interview.
To celebrate the transformational power of choral music as an agent of social change and passionate medium of artistic expression.
To engage and enthrall audiences through the performance of rarely heard and newly created choral music, celebrating the ‘expect something different’ experience.
That music is a community enterprise and that it is our role to share our gift of music in our community through partnership and collaboration.
That it is our responsibility to sustain a financially accountable organization to produce and perform at a consistently high level.
That respect for all is vital to attract the best, develop the best and retain the best.
That choral music is a transformative art that can alter the life experience.
That the choral medium is one of integrity that values its art, its audience, its singers and its organization.
That singing fosters an environment of fun, of joy and of worth.
That singing is an art of excellence and distinction requiring discipline of the person, the preparation and the performance.