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.
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.
Goodbye, Oakham House Choir. Welcome, Toronto Concert Choir.
On April 30 the Oakham House Choir ceased to exist.
During its 35 years at Ryerson University, the choir received generous financial support and rehearsal space from the Palin Foundation, which funded the student centre, Oakham House and several student societies, including the choir. However, most of the foundation’s revenues come from the activity or “ancillary” fees, which were formerly paid by every student. After provincial legislation made many of those fees optional, the foundation’s revenues were no longer able to fund the choir.
Through its two major annual concerts, the Oakham House Choir gave Ryerson students and other members of the Ryerson community–alumni, faculty and staff–as well as members of the larger community, the enriching experience of working together to learn and perform the masterpieces of the classical choral repertoire. This was the only campus group dedicated to bringing classical music to Ryerson students. At the same time the choir’s concerts made high-quality, moderately priced performances available to Toronto music lovers.
The Toronto Concert Choir
The Toronto Concert Choir was created in April to carry on the tradition of choral singing at Ryerson by building on the legacy of the Oakham House Choir. At present the new choir is not connected with Ryerson, but we hope to acquire a formal relationship with the university in the not too distant future.
Plans for the Near Future
We hope to preserve as many of the Oakham House Choir’s strengths and traditions as possible:
- Matthew Jaskiewicz will be the founding music director and conductor.
- Weekly choir practices will be held on the Ryerson campus.
- The choir’s first major concert will take place at Knox Presbyterian Church.
- The Toronto Sinfonietta will accompany the choir at major concerts.
- Alexander (Sasha) Kats will be the rehearsal accompanist.
- All current members of Oakham House Choir are welcome to join the new choir.
- Membership will be open both to Ryerson students, alumni, faculty and staff and to members of the larger Toronto community.
More information about future plans, openings for new members, membership fees, repertoire, and time and place of rehearsals will be available on this site in the coming weeks and months.
A Visit From Mayor John Tory
Oakham House welcomed Mayor John Tory to our 2018 Christmas Concert. The Mayor wrote a letter to commemorate the occasion.
Oakham House Choir in the News
Check out these articles in the Ryerson press about the choir:
Ryerson Today: Celebrating the Universal Language
The Eyeopener: Oakham House Choir performs at Carnegie Hall
For more info on the choir’s milestones click here.