Our choirs will have you ‘Singin’ in the Rain!’

singin in the rainCantabile delights in the spring with this sparkling salute to the stage and silver screen.  A highlight of the concert will be the original 30-minute version of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat directed by Brett Christopher of Theatre Kingston. Our Children’s Choir has been having a blast with Brett, learning about how to incorporate acting and story telling skills into their performing ‘tool kit’, and the result will  be a charming and delightful mini-production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s first musical.

jospeh rehearsals

Brett Christopher, Artistic Producer at Theatre Kingston, works with the children’s choir.

Also on the program will be the ever popular selections from Les Misérables and other catchy tunes from stage and screen.

Tickets are available here as well as at The Church Bookroom at the corner of Johnson and Wellington St in downtown Kingston.

Saturday April 9, 7:30 pm
Sydenham St United Church

Our choirs had a wonderful time with Bob Chilcott

rehearsal with BobOver its 20 seasons, Cantabile’s singers and audiences have benefitted from visiting conductors with varied backgrounds and areas of expertise – from Rollo Dilworth to Stephen Leek and Doreen Rao.
In the first week of March our teen and adult choirs had the extraordinary pleasure of working with the wonderful Bob Chilcott, as he lead them through their paces in readiness for Across the Pond on March 5. One of the world’s most acclaimed conductor and composers, Mr. Chilcott is best loved by Cantabile’s singers for his unending good will and skill as a choir director.
Over four days of intense rehearsals, Bob worked with all the choirs to wring every ounce of beauty and musicality to be found in the diverse and engaging program of music.
The work paid off and Saturday’s audience was treated to an evening of stunning choral music.

There will be more guest conductors in the future, but there is no doubt that the memories of Bob Chilcott’s visits to Kingston will hold a special place in the hearts of us all.



working hardan eager audience waiting for the music

20th Anniversary Choral Competition for Young Canadian Composers

Cantabile Choirs of Kingston 20th Anniversary Choral Competition for Young Canadian Composers

With funding provided by the Estate of J. Douglas McCullough

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Cantabile Choirs of Kingston, under the artistic direction of Dr. Mark Sirett, is pleased to announce ‘The Cantabile Choirs of Kingston 20th Anniversary Choral Competition for Young Canadian Composers.’ Three prizes of $1,000, $750, and $500 will be awarded.

The deadline for submissions is fast approaching – get your work to us by April 1 to be eligible!



Competition Terms and Conditions

  1. The composer must be Canadian and no older than 30 years of age as of April 1, 2016. The composer guarantees that his/her submission is an original composition that has not previously been performed.
  2. Entries must be written for SATB choir with piano accompaniment.
  3. The composition entered should be approximately 3:00-5:00 minutes in duration.
  4. Text must be a poem by a Canadian author in either French or English or both.
  5. Any entry that uses a text under copyright must provide a letter of permission from the copyright holder.
  6. If possible, for sake of legibility, submitted scores should be computer-generated.
  7. The entries must be received by email or postmarked no later than April 1, 2016.
  8. Entries should be sent electronically to: Hollie Stewart, Administrative Director, Cantabile Choirs of Kingston, info@cantabilechoirs.net, or mailed to: Cantabile Choirs of Kingston, P.O. Box 2273, Kingston ON K7L 5J9
  9. The winning compositions will be selected by a blind jury of choral professionals and will be announced at Cantabile’s final concert, Sat. May 28, 2016. The winners will be notified by May 15, 2016.
  10. The first-prize winner will be awarded $1000, second-prize $750, and third prize $500.

Funds for the competition have been generously provided by the Estate of J. Douglas McCullough.

Application Form composition competition


Across the Pond

across the pond Saturday March 5, 7:30 pm
Sydenham St United Church

The residency by Mr. Chilcott, a founding member of the most-celebrated and recorded choral ensemble in history, the King’s Singers, will culminate with ‘Across the Pond’, featuring the Cantabile teen and adult choirs, on Saturday March 5 at 7:30 pm, in Cantabile’s performing home at Sydenham Street United Church.  This will be Bob’s only appearance in Canada in 2016, so Cantabile is especially honoured to welcome him to Kingston for its 20th anniversary celebrations.




BChilcott-Bobob Chilcott, one of the world’s most dynamic conductors and composers, is an honorary patron of the Cantabile Choirs; this is his third collaboration with Cantabile, which has become one of his favorite Canadian choral organizations to visit.  He is in great demand for choral festivals, international juries, commissions and guest appearances with the world’s leading ensembles, and is currently principal guest conductor of the BBC Singers in London.

When asked about his upcoming residency in Kingston, Mr Chilcott says: ‘I am thrilled to be returning to Kingston to work with Mark Sirett and the Cantabile ChoirsEvery time I visit, I hear the remarkable progress that each of the choirs exhibit, from the youngest choristers through to the adult singers, and the huge enthusiasm and passion that they have for singing is clear.  I know that we will have an extremely enjoyable week and a wonderful performance together.’

Particularly exciting for the choristers will be the opportunity to workshop many compositions by Mr. Chilcott himself.  One of the chief composers and editors of the highly prestigious Oxford University Press Music, his extensive catalogue of compositions demonstrate a vast range of styles: from expressive sacred repertoire that is fresh and contemporary in both melody and harmony, to his playful and sometimes humorous jazz and pop arrangements.  The choristers and audience members love Bob’s music for its inventiveness and the natural lyricism – it is a joy to sing and to listen to!

The programme will also include great works by Eric Whitacre, Stanford, Mendelssohn, Maurice Durufle, and Canadians Stephen Chatman and Sarah Quartel. It is sure to be another extraordinary evening of the very best in the art of choral music.

Adult and teen choirs perform
Click here to buy tickets. 

Let It Snow! Sharing the joys of the holidays!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

winter snowThe Cantabile Choirs present their magical candlelit holiday concerts entitled Winter’s Snow, Friday Dec. 18 at 7:30 and Saturday Dec. 19 at 2:00 and 7:30 at Sydenham Street Church. 

Buy Tickets Here

Cantabile’s December concerts are one of the musical highlights of the holiday season in Kingston – grand carol arrangements with thundering organ, soaring descants, joyful choruses, gentle lullabies and sentimental Christmas songs, set amongst the charm of candlelight, performed by 250 choristers and guest instrumentalists. There is a unique emotional quality to these concerts which goes beyond the wonderful music, fed by the excitement of friends and family returning home for the holidays, reaching its pinnacle when former choristers are invited to the stage to join the choirs in ‘Hark, the Herald Angels Sing’.

This year, to celebrate the 20th anniversary, Cantabile throws its doors wide open with unreserved seating, and the doors open one hour before each performance. The matinee concert is especially designed for young families and includes lighter music that will fill their hearts with the spirit of the season. The Junior Choir have been polishing their famous rendition of ‘Rudoph!’- after 20 years, this song is such an audience favourite it wouldn’t be Christmas without it!

IMGP5369Some highlights of the concert will include the raucous winter song, Apple Tree Wassail performed with gusto by the Young Men and the poignant Les Anges Chantent by Canadian Janet Kidd beautifully sung by the Young Women.   The joyous Gloria by contemporary Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo sung by the Women’s Chorus will contrast with the hauntingly beautiful Ave Maria by Biebl and O Magnum Mysterium by Lauridsen sung by the combined Men’s and Women’s Choruses.  Stephen Smith’s lilting If You Would Hear the Angels Sing will be sung by the Men’s Chorus.   The voices of the children ring loud and clear in the sparkling Burgundian Carol, Patapan, about the fife and drums of the children running to the manger.  The glorious concert finale will be See Amid the Winter’s Snow, one of many thrilling choral arrangements by the late Sir David Willcocks.  Following the final performance on December 19, former members of the award-winning Youth Singers are invited to a reception at the Delta Hotel in downtown Kingston to continue the holiday festivities.

The Cantabile Choirs have a busy month of December.  In addition to their own concerts, the choirs will be carolling in downtown Kingston, at a Queen’s University Carol Concert, with the Tenors at the K-Rock Centre, with the Gryphon Trio at the Isabel, and at the annual carol presentation at Heathfield Providence Motherhouse.  Be sure to look for us!

Winter’s Snow
Friday December 18, 7:30 pm Saturday December 19, 2:00 pm / 7:30 pm
Tickets: $27 / $25 / $15 available at cantabilechoirs.ca, through the Cantabile office upstairs at Sydenham St Church, 613 549 0099 and at The Church Bookroom, at the corner of Johnson and Wellington Sts.

Many thanks to long time concert sponsor

Concert Sponsor: Swyrich Corporation