Since 1996, the Cantabile organization has provided high-quality music education and performance experiences to singers of all ages
WHO WE ARE
Cantabile is a community-based performing arts and music education organization. Founded in 1996 as a community choral organization, Cantabile has grown to offer a wide variety of musical education and performance opportunities for singers of all ages. Cantabile is dedicated to maintaining the highest standard of musical excellence – our programs have been recognized internationally for innovation and artistry, and our performance often attract sell-out audiences.
Cantabile supports the larger artistic community through the commissioning of new works and creating multi-disciplinary collaborations with Canadian artists. The organization aims to reduce barriers to the performing arts by providing bursaries to members in need of financial assistance, rehearsing and performing in accessible spaces, and ensuring an inclusive environment for individuals of all cultural and personal identities.
Cantabile offers free concert tickets to people with development disabilities through Ongwanada, and to families in need of financial assistance through Sistema Kingston and the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston & Area.
WHAT WE’RE DOING NOW
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cantabile recently launched an exciting season of all virtual programs and events. Cantabile continues its mandate to provide high-quality music and vocal education through the launch of the Virtual Voices Program. Virtual Voices is Cantabile’s hallmark vocal education program, redesigned to integrate seamlessly into the online learning platform.
WHAT WE USUALLY DO
Cantabile was founded as a community-based choral organization in the spring of 1996 in Kingston, Ontario. Under founding Artistic Director Dr. Mark Sirett, the organization began with three choirs. Cantabile grew to consists of seven choirs, totalling over 250 choristers, for singers of all ages: Piccolo (treble, ages 6-7), Medio (treble, ages 8-9), Grande (trebles, ages 10-13), Luminoso (soprano/alto, ages 13-18), Vivace (tenor/bass, age 13-18), Coro Spirito (soprano/alto, adults) and Coro Profondo (tenor/bass, adult).
Cantabile provides comprehensive music education and performance experiences for singers and audiences. We do this through a high standard of performance, quality music programming, and an award-winning artistic team. The organization is recognized for its diverse range of musical programming, offering audiences an immersive choral experience through visually-enhanced themed concerts. Cantabile’s choral season of five concerts, which include invited guest artists of national and international acclaim, attracts sell-out audiences.
Cantabile has received international recognition for its high standard of performance and inventive programming, as exemplified by the ‘Jury Prize for Imaginative and Creative Programming’ at the Cork International Choral Festival (Ireland, 2002), Gold Award at the Young Prague Festival (Prague, 2004) and ‘Outstanding Choral Event’ from Choral Canada for ‘Brown Eagle, Black Raven’ (2012), a celebration of indigenous cultures. The choirs are frequently in demand for guest appearances within the Kingston region. In addition, the choirs annually host international guest conductors. Recent guests have included Bob Chilcott (UK), Andre Thomas (USA), Bernadette Sherlock (EI), Doreen Rao (CN/USA), Jonathan Willcocks (UK) and Stephen Leek (AUS).
Artistic Director & General Manager
Geoffrey is a conductor, voice educator, and award-winning performer. In demand across the country as a singer, Geoffrey has been engaged by Canada’s finest orchestras and opera companies, including the Canadian Opera Company, L’Opera de Montreal, Edmonton Opera, Vancouver Opera, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Victoria Symphony, and Buffalo Philharmonic.
Geoffrey’s debut album VAGABOND with pianist Stephen Ralls, was released in 2011. The disc includes Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, Butterworth’s Six Songs from ‘A Shropshire Lad’, and Britten’s Folksong Arrangements, as well as premiere recordings of two Canadian compositions by Jocelyn Morlock and Ivan Barbotin. Additional discography includes Brian Current’s AIRLINE ICARUS (Naxos), Vale of Tears and The Heart’s Refuge with the Theatre of Early Music (Analekta), and The Tree of Life and The Path to Paradise with the Trinity Choir (Sony).
Co-producer and music director for the indie opera company Bicycle Opera Project, Geoffrey continues his advocacy for contemporary Canadian music, spending his summers performing all-Canadian operas across Ontario, travelling exclusively by bicycle.
Dr. Mark Sirett
Founding Artistic Director
Conductor, composer, pianist and organist, Mark Sirett (b. 1952) is the Founding Artistic Director of the award-winning Cantabile Choirs of Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He holds both masters and doctoral degrees in choral conducting and pedagogy from the University of Iowa. Dr. Sirett has taught at the University of Alberta, Western University (London ON) and Queen’s University.
Dr. Sirett has won two international awards in conducting: the Jury Prize for Imaginative Programming and Artistry at the 2002 Cork International Choral Festival, and Outstanding Conductor at the 2004 Young Prague Festival. In 2009 he was the recipient of the President’s Leadership Award presented by Choirs Ontario for his contribution to the choral art in the province. His composition, “The Stars Point the Way” was honoured as Outstanding Choral Composition 2010 and again in 2018 for “Words, Stories, Truth” by Choral Canada. He has been awarded Distinguished Alumnus of Grant MacEwan University, Edmonton and The Mayor’s Award for the Arts, City of Kingston, 2019.
He is frequently in demand as a guest conductor and clinician. He has directed the APAC Festival Choir in South Korea, AMIS European High School Women’s Honors Choir, Luxembourg and twice, the Unisong in Ottawa on Canada Day. In addition he has conducted the Ontario Youth Choir, Alberta Honours Children’s Chorus, Manitoba Provincial Honours Children’s Choir, Saskatchewan Treble Choir Project, Waterloo District High School Festival, Meet the Composer Festival (Des Moines IA), the Peel School Board Honours Chamber Choir and the adult and children’s camps for the Nova Scotia Choral Federation. As a clinician, he has presented for Choral Canada, Choirs Ontario, Nova Scotia Music Educators, Nova Scotia Choral Federation, Manitoba Choral Association, Ontario Vocals Festival, the Royal Canadian College of Organists and the Royal School of Church Music.
As an adjudicator Dr. Sirett served on the Jury of the Cork International Choral Festival in 2009; he has frequently adjudicated choral festivals in Canada including Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg. He has been clinician adjudicator for SingOntario, SaskSings, ChorFest Alberta and ChorFest Manitoba.