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Welcome to the Oakham House Choir

The Oakham House Choir warmly welcomes Ryerson students, alumni, current and retired faculty members, university staff as well as community members with a passion for singing!

 

2016/17 Season

We are busy working on plans for the 2016/17 season. Here are some of our key dates:

  • Concert - Saturday December 3, 2016, at 7:30 pm. The choir, joined by soloists and the Toronto Sinfonietta, will perform Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mendelssohn’s From Heaven on High and selections from Handel’s Messiah. We have invited a special guest - an English handbell choir. As always, the audience will join us in a carol sing-a-long. It promises to be another memorable concert - check back in the fall for more information about the concert and for concert tickets..
  • Concert - Saturday April 27, 2017, at 7:30 pm. Our concert will celebrate Canada’s 150 birthday with English, French and Canadian music from the 1860’s to the present. We hope to invite some traditional fiddlers to join us in celebration. Mark the date in your calendar - it will be a concert you won’t want to miss!

We will share more details over the coming months. Check back in late October for ticket information.

 

Interested In Singing With Us?

Our 70+ member choir includes students, alumni, Ryerson faculty and staff, and community members. We rehearse on Mondays at Oakham House (Gould and Church streets) from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Our First rehearsal is Monday September 12 at 6:30 pm.

Ryerson students and alumni, and current and retired faculty and staff are always welcome in the choir. While we are close to capacity, we may have space for new, experienced choristers from the community in September 2016 (i.e. non-Ryerson members).

Are you interested? Read the About Us and Membership sections of the website and look through our history of past concerts. Do you want to learn more? Please contact us at choir@ryerson.ca (preferred) or by calling Matthew Jaskiewicz, our Choir Director, at 416-763-8746.

 

30th Anniversary Season

The Oakham House Choir, a proud member of the Ryerson community, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015/16 with a number of activities. In April the choir held a celebration reception and invited past and current choir members. About 100 choristers attended, including Marie Dowler, one of the founders of the choir.

The April concert was special as well. We moved to a larger venue, Bloor Street United Church, and performed Carmina Burana (Part 1) as well as favourites from the past 30 years. The choir was joined by the Toronto Sinfonietta and featured performances by Mira Solovianenko, soprano and Andrew Tees, baritone.

We produced a 30th anniversary booklet with photo history of the development and accomplishments of the choir over the years. Please let us know if you would like to buy a copy - they are for sale and can be ordered by contacting us at choir@ryerson.ca.

 

Oakham House Choir Members Perform at Carnegie Hall

On, January 18, 2016, twenty choristers from the Oakham House Choir joined fifteen other choirs from around the world to perform Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man; Mass for Peace at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The other choirs included groups from England, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Bolivia and the United States.

The composer, Karl Jenkins, was in attendance. This highly popular work was commissioned to celebrate the millennium in London, England. Mr. Jenkins composes his works strictly as a means to bring the people of the world together in music.

We are honoured to have been invited and represented Ryerson University and Canada on this world famous stage with enthusiasm and pride.

 

Oakham House Choir in the News

Check out these articles in the Ryerson press about the choir:

Ryersonian: Oakham House Choir Celebrates its 30th Anniversary at Ryerson

The Eyeopener: Oakham House Choir performs at Carnegie Hall

RyersonianOakham choir finds its voice by Rachel Phan

 
 

Oakham House Choir Members Perform at Luminato

A focal point of this year's Festival, Apocalypsis was created in the late 1970s by R. Murray Schafer. This epic work in two parts - John's Vision and Credo - and involved over 1,000 people. It has been performed in its entirety only once before. Apocalypsis maps out two possible directions that our existence might ultimately take - towards destruction or towards rebirth.

Nineteen members of the Oakham House Choir participated in Part One, John's Vision, which explores the cataclysmic events of the bible's final book and includes a cast of 5 different choruses (men, women, children, spoken word, and mixed), 6 instrumental ensembles, organ, electronics, 8 soloists and 25 dancers. Part Two, Credo, is a serene and ecstatic meditation on the majesty of God and the universe.

Here is a photo of some of the OHC choir members with R. Murray Schafer.

You are probably wondering what was it like... In the words of some the participating choir members:

"Confusing, exhausting, exhilarating, disturbing, absorbing, fascinating, excellent, artistic, creative, intense, focused, brilliant, exceptional, frustrating, demanding, provoking, pensive, dark, foreboding, prophetic and more..."

"I have been part of many productions and NOTHING can compare to this in scale and magnitude. I feel extremely privileged!"

"It's been a thrill and a privilege to be part of this epic production... one fantastic, unforgettable experience!"

It was quite an honour to be invited and a huge opportunity to be part of something so remarkable. We leave you with a sense of what it has been like. This short video is from a mid-June rehearsal.

 

Exchange Visit with the Karlsruhe University Choir

What a blast! We had the pleasure of hosting 51 visitors from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Concert University Choir, Germany for four days in late September.

See photos...

The students and faculty from Karlsruhe entertained the Ryerson community with a lunch time concert near Lake Davo and performed in a joint concert with the Oakham House Choir on Saturday September 27. We made great music together - the German choir was very strong and the OHC was well prepared. (We had been meeting twice a week in September to prepare for the concert so early in our school year.) We were thrilled to have the German Consul General attend the concert.

The Karlsruhe visitors had a great time in Toronto. They had a tour of Ryerson and lunch at Oakham House, visited the Islands, the ROM, AGO, Koerner Hall, St. Lawrence Market and various restaurants and coffee shops! They ended their visit with a post-concert reception, hosted by the Office of the President. The reception was full of lively discussion and laughter.

The Oakham House choir would like to thank everyone who made the visit possible. We could not have hosted the visit without support from PFACS; the Office of the President; the Office of the Vice Provost, Students; Oakham House; the Ryerson Bookstore; and Undergraduate Admissions (the tour). And last, but definitely not least, a very special thanks to the dedicated OHC volunteers who worked tirelessly to plan the visit!