I love the choir and relish the opportunity to make my way downtown every Monday for rehearsals. It has fostered a sense of family and community. We sing, share laughs during the good times and have a profound appreciation for each other. Even though you may not be on a first name basis with everyone, a warm smile hello is nonetheless both reassuring and comforting.
For me, the choir is a great outlet to temporarily step away from the stress of academic work. Singing and expressing emotion through song is also a great method of self care; which is a very important practice for all Ryerson students.
The choir is a very diverse and accepting group and it gives a chance for individuals, whether student, staff or community members, to feel valued and part of a unique group.
Since graduating in spring of 2012,have continued to sing with Oakham House Choir as an alumni member.Every year, as the choir improves and evolves, we participate in events I wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity for. I continue to be friends with the students I met from Karlsruhe University Choir [Germany] when they visited us in 2014 and I participated in the Carnegie Hall concert this past January in New York. I can truly say it was a once in a lifetime experience.
Last Monday night during rehearsals was the most excited I’ve felt in a long time! I do admit I was a bit nervous at first, but once everyone started singing I immediately felt comfortable and I was smiling from ear to ear. Everyone was lovely as well, the people are very friendly and are very concerned with making sure everyone gets comfortable. The music was beautiful, and everyone’s harmony was so on point it was mesmerizing It was great, I can’t wait till tomorrow night.
Welcome to the Oakham House Choir
For information on our upcoming concert click here!
Interested In Singing With Us?
Our season begins immediately after Labour Day.
We practise on Mondays from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Oakham House (Gould Street at Church). However, registration and our first rehearsal will be on Tuesday, September 5, 2017. Registration will begin at 6 o’clock and the choir practice at 7:00.
Our 70+ member choir includes students, alumni, Ryerson faculty and staff, and community members. 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 2017 (i.e. non-Ryerson members).
Do you want to learn more? Please contact us at email@example.com(preferred) or by calling Matthew Jaskiewicz, our Choir Director, at 416-763-8746. See our attached Registration Form.
For the Fall 2017 concert, our repertoire will include Joseph Rheinberger’s “The Star of Bethlehem”, a moving, lyrical and romantic choral masterwork. The concert will take place at Calvin Presbyterian Church, 26 Delisle Avenue on Saturday, December 2, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.
In the Spring of 2018, we will observe the centenary of the First World War with a very special concert. The featured works are two well-loved masterpieces: Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem and Karl Jenkins’ A Mass for Peace. For this occasion we will be joined by two other choirs. The concert takes place at Metropolitan United Church on Saturday, April 28, 2018.
Canada 150 Celebrations
Oakham House Choir celebrated the 150th anniversary of Confederation with a gala concert, “Canada 150, With Glowing Hearts”, held on April 29, 2017..
In recognition of Indigenous peoples in Canada , the concert began with a haunting Kepmite`tmnej (Mi`kmaq Honour Song.) The highlight of the first half was a choral piece commissioned for the Oakham House Choir to honour Canada 150. The work, The Future of a Nation (In posterum gentem) composed by Norbert Palej was a beautiful modern composition. The Ontario Arts Council awarded Professor Palej with a grant to recognize his accomplishment. The first half of the concert also featured excerpts from Haydn’s Creation.
For the second half, the choir featured the music that was written and performed at the time of Canada’s formation in 1867 through to the present day. This included, The Maple Leaf Forever, Un Canadien Errant as well as contemporary works including Deep Peace and excerpts from Canadian composer Ruth Henderson’s Magnificat.
30th Anniversary Season
The April 2016 concert was a special occasion. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oakham House Choir Members Perform at Carnegie Hall
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:
The Eyeopener: Oakham House Choir performs at Carnegie Hall
Ryersonian: Oakham 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.
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.
Exchange Visit with the Karlsruhe University Choir
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!