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Music

The top 5 open choir groups to join in Toronto

Posted by Naomi Grosman / August 7, 2014

Choir TorontoThe top open choir groups to join in Toronto know you might not be ready for center stage, but you do owe the world your golden voice. You were made to create harmonies that can melt the heart, so maybe it's time to join a choir and find your inner songbird. Don't worry - you don't have to don robes, learn hymns, or belong to a congregation to sing choral-style in the city - though if that's what you're looking for never fear, Toronto has many choirs to choose from. We're a little partial to pop songs, bar meets, and flash mobs, ourselves.

To take singing in the shower to the next level, check out Toronto's top 5 choirs to join.

Choir! Choir! Choir!
Toronto's new favourite past time: all you need to do is show up, pay a small fee, and sing, no past experience required. Choir! covers music that spans different decades and genres (Leonard Cohen, Daft Punk, Tegan and Sara) and have performed in all types of venues around Toronto. There is no formal intake process, if you are interested just join one of their scheduled meetings and sing along.

They meet on Tuesday nights at No One Writes to the Colonel (College and Bathurst) and Wednesday nights at the Monarch Tavern (College and Grace). Read our profile here, then contact them through their website and check out their diverse songbook. Show up before 7:30 to make sure you get a spot close to the stage.

Newchoir
If you want something a bit more rock and roll check out Newchoir. Music director Scott Pietrangelo describes it as a "true community choir" where all are welcome. Their past performances include live performances with rock bands and even flashmobs. This is power rock's choral equivalent. They rehearse weekly on Monday evenings (7:30-9:30) at St. Simon the Apostle Church on Bloor Street East. Make sure you sign up here, before showing up.

Forte - The Toronto Men's Chorus
Performing songs ranging from pop to Broadway musicals, listening to this all men's choir is certain to put a smile on your face. While all men are welcome, many members are part of Toronto's diverse gay community. They do have a formal intake process, however, they emphasize that it is not intended to intimidate people from joining. Regular rehearsals take place at St. Andrew's United Church in Toronto. Take a look at their intake information here and to learn more, and be sure to check out their beautiful harmonies on the music samples page.

Common Thread Community Chorus
This choir has a mission: to make the world a better place, all while making beautiful music, of course. Their goal is to help community organizations raise funds and raise awareness. Folksy and friendly, you can join this choir without auditioning. It is easy as one, two three to get involved. Just fill in their membership form and they will get in touch about the next steps. Their meeting place is at Cecil Street Community Centre close to College and Spadina. Rehearsals usually start in September after Labour Day. For more information take a look at their website.

Univox
Young, fresh and fun. Univox is a meeting place for young adults (from late teens through their thirties) for the love singing. If you are simply a choir enthusiast or if you are a seasoned choir participant, Univox welcomes you. The choir meets on Tuesdays from 5:45 - 8pm at Dovercourt Baptist Church (shoot them an email for detailed information on how to join at membership@univoxchoir.org). See them perform Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" below.

BONUS

Check out our profile on Toronto's 130+ member LGBT community choir Singing Out, whom we interviewed earlier this summer.

Writing by Naomi Grosman. Photo of Choir! Choir! Choir! by Chandler Levack

Discussion

12 Comments

Madeleine / August 7, 2014 at 09:51 am
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What a terrific post!
USS / August 7, 2014 at 11:31 am
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NICE! We did an awesome rendition of YinYang with Choir! Choir! Choir!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc3TBEApCf0
Josh / August 8, 2014 at 06:18 am
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There is also the HARBOURFRONT CHORUS, which meets at the Harbourfront Community Centre on Tuesday nights. The repertoire is varied and eclectic, aiming to reflect Toronto's diversity. There is no audition, and everyone is welcome. For more information, please contact Dwight Griffin at dgriffin680@yahoo.ca .
ginnee / August 8, 2014 at 10:54 am
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Clicking through to the New Choir's site says it is not taking on new female singers, has strict membership rules and a hefty fee. I would not rank it #2.
Jackie / August 8, 2014 at 01:44 pm
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You might want to check into My Pop Choir with 3 locations in Toronto - Riverdale, Etobicoke and Lawrence Park, plus 7 others in the GTA. There are no membership rules; no auditions, no solos, no musical experience or training. Singing in 2-4 part harmony for the love of singing and as a form of relaxation therapy. Maybe it should replace New Choir at the very least!
Erin / August 8, 2014 at 10:46 pm
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Agree with the previous comments about New Choir. Not only do members have to pay hefty fees to join, but "Members are also responsible for getting the audience out to our shows and that may involve buying some tickets (some prefer to make a comparable tax deductible donation to the organization which is ok too)." ... so members also have to pay to perform too? No thanks! It sounds like a big expensive vanity project!
B. Ross Ashley / August 9, 2014 at 06:11 pm
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As a Common Threader, and a vice-president of CT's board, I have to tell you that we are not just one choir but two ... Common Thread Kids, our chilodren's chorus, rehearses separately, at the West Neighbourhood House, 248 Ossington Ave. Kids' fees are $2 - $6 a week, sliding subsidised scale. (Our adult fees are quite high, on the other hand; full fee is $400 for a year, although subsidies are available.)

We are not a vanity project, or just a fun time singing group, but a committed social-justice chorus, dedicated to putting a song on everyone's lips and helping partner groups raise money.We have played benefits for the refugee committee at Holy Trinity church, for the War Resisters' Support Campaign, for the disaster aid team of GlobalMedic, etc.
Brittany / October 20, 2014 at 03:22 pm
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A chapter of the Joyfull Noise Women's Choir is beginning tomorrow evening, Tuesday October 21, 2014 at 6:30pm at the Yellow Griffin Pub. Anyone can join! No auditions, and no experience necessary.
Shorbeau / October 22, 2014 at 12:49 am
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Another non-auditioned adult community choir, the Toronto Song Lovers, practises Wednesdays from 7 pm to 8:45, at the West Neighbourhood House, 248 Ossington Ave. Fees are $2 - $6 a week, sliding subsidised scale (as per the Common Thread Kids'Chorus). Contact conductor Sherry Squires, Coordinator of the Music School of West Neighbourhood House, at sherrysq@westnh.org. Or call 416-532-4828.
We sing eclectic songs in 3 or 4 part harmony, from gospel and folk, to world music, pop tunes, musicals, etc. No experience necessary and you don't have to be able to read music.
Paye / October 22, 2014 at 02:58 pm
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So what would be the difference between a chorus and a choir?
Chris / October 22, 2014 at 05:32 pm
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Typical again BlogTO didn't go east the DVP there are great choirs in the east end beginning with the Toronto Choral Society which has been around since 1845.
John / December 19, 2014 at 11:52 pm
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I'm a member of My Pop Choir and I absolutely love it there. The atmosphere, the people, the choir master make me feel so welcome. Check out their site http://www.mypopchoir.com.

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