Community service has been a corner stone of the choir’s mandate since its inception in 1994. We share quality, diverse programmes with those unable to attend regular public concerts. Our audiences, whether patients at the Renal Christmas Party at Sunnybrook Hospital, children at Sick Kids’ Hospital, early Alzeimer residents in special facilities, seniors in long-term care residences, or mental health clients at Etobicoke General Hospital respond to music with joy and laughter. It is a privilege to listen to the reminiscences of veterans at Sunnybrook Hospital, to experience the joy of audience members dancing as we sing at Castleview-Wychwood Towers, to have our audience members at the Westbury Chronic Care Facility singing along with us.
Sometimes, our audiences surprise us.
When we performed Soundscapes of Toronto in the community, some choristers were concerned that the African singing and drumming would not engage audience members living in seniors’ residences. Instead, our performances solicited comments like: “I haven’t heard music like that since I lived in Ghana. It brings it all back like it was yesterday….” One gentleman at St. Anne’s Seniors’ Residence told us of his memory of singing, “In the bleak midwinter” as a soloist back in Britain. He told us he would give anything to hear it again, and tears came to his eyes as we sang the same arrangement he had sung in his youth. More than once, an otherwise non-verbal patient has sung along with us, remembering all the verses of a complex song. The first time we experienced this, a nurse told us that no one on staff thought the gentleman was able to use his voice, although he had been in the hospital for 6 months.
Our community concerts take place in:
If you would like the choir to visit a community venue, please contact us.