On March 20th, the Grand Philharmonic Choir board of directors made the difficult but inevitable decision to cancel the remainder of our season.

The public health emergency we are all facing, with authorities urging that gatherings over 50 people be cancelled, has made it impossible to continue.

We are deeply disappointed, and we know audience members are, too.

If you have a ticket, you may choose to have your money refunded, or you can turn that amount into a donation and receive a tax receipt. (The choir is a registered charity).

Please be in touch with the Centre In The Square box office at 519-578-1570 to make arrangements. (it is open Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm, but only online or by phone)

Alternatively, you can email our executive director with your preference. Reach Luisa D’Amato at executive@grandphilchoir.com

Thank you for your understanding.

Justin Lapierre of Cambridge, a 22-year-old music student at Wilfrid Laurier University,  is the winner of the Grand Philharmonic Choir’s third annual composition competition.

The competition, for Canadian composers 30 and under, attracts entries from across the country. It is designed to support creation of new Canadian music by emerging composers.

Each year, the specified work is for a different choir within the Grand Philharmonic organization: adult large choir, adult chamber choir, youth choir and children’s choir.

Lapierre’s work, “Good Night,” was written for children’s choir and will receive its world premiere on Friday May 8th in Kitchener at a concert featuring the adult, youth and children’s choirs of the Grand Philharmonic organization.

“I enjoy the mood of this song,” said Grand Philharmonic Children’s Choir conductor, Andrea deBoer-Jones, who was also one of the jurors. “It is so lovely right from the first phrase — the syncopated harmonies with the almost jazzy soprano lilt at the chorus. Our kids liked it from the first read, and it suits them so well.”<

Despite his young age, Lapierre’s compositions have already attracted attention through other competitions and calls for scores. His choral works have been performed in London, England; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Montreal.

Locally, his work has been performed by the DaCapo Chamber Choir and Laurier Concert Choir.

Lapierre said he had never written for children’s choir before. When he checked what kind of music they sing, he saw that much of it was playful in nature, and he thought that a more serious tone might be appreciated. He chose text by Joanna Baillie, a Scottish poet and playwright of the late 18th and early 19th century.

Lapierre is looking forward to the Kitchener premiere. “It’s an invaluable experience to hear your own work,” he said.

The contest is judged blind, with the identity of the composers removed from the scores. Jurors were: deBoer-Jones; the Grand Philharmonic Choir artistic director, Mark Vuorinen;  and Canadian composer Kathleen Allan.

As winner, Lapierre receives a prize of $1,500 and an invitation to rehearsals and performances of his work.

It will be performed May 8 and 9 at performances entitled “Choirs in Concert,” 7:30 pm at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 49 Queen St. N., Kitchener.

The Grand Philharmonic Choir gratefully acknowledges the support of the Wallenstein Feed Charitable Foundation for this project.

Congratulations to all who won prizes at our 2019 raffle! The final draw took place on December 9th at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate school, and the following people won:

1st prize – $1000 cash: James Smith
2nd prize – $1000 cash: Megan Martin
3rd prize – Langdon Hall indulgence worth $800: Tammy Smith
4th prize – Toronto Trip worth $600: Lisa McEwen
5th prize – $300 cash: Jenn Delhorbe
6th prize – $200 cash: Fanny Villarte
7th prize – $150 gift certificate for Cambridge Mill restaurant: Allyson Marcovic
8th prize – $75 gift certificate for Raymond’s Flowers: Suesan McKeen

Congratulations also to the winners of our six Early Bird draws!

Basket of Jams from All Jam Packed, October 15th: Tereza Korbel
Two tickets to Registry Theatre, October 22nd: Ann Hetram
$50 gift certificate for Vincenzo’s, October 28th: Sherri Gursky
Two tickets to any Elora Singers concert, November 5th: John Achim
Basket from Legacy Greens, November 18th: Brett Bigger
Two tickets to any Grand Philharmonic Choir concert, December 2nd: Deb Sheach

Many thanks to all who supported the Grand Philharmonic Choir by buying tickets!

We Are Connected is our late fall concert featuring the voices of  our Youth and Children’s choirs. We will be singing music that celebrates our inter-connectedness.  Join us at Knox Presbyterian Church on Saturday Nov. 23, 2019 at 7 p.m. Tickets at $15; students are FREE! Available at the door or online at https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=gpc

Join us this Saturday evening Nov. 9 at 7:30 for a selection of contemplative works as we welcome winter.

Imagine a child’s excitement for a sleigh ride in Sarah Quartel’s A Winter Day.

Experience the soaring lines of Ola Gjeilo’s The Rose.

Be transfixed by Caleb Burhans’ Super Flumina Babylonis, a captivating setting of Psalm 137.

Tickets available at TICKETING

Location–St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, 23 Water Street N., Kitchener

The Grand Philharmonic Choir has replaced all tickets and stubs in its fall raffle with new, bright yellow substitute tickets and stubs.

This was required after some of the original tickets and stubs were stolen in mid-September. A report was made to police.

The correct tickets are yellow. with the word NEW on the stub.
The correct raffle licence number is 761897.

Please do not purchase any other raffle tickets with Grand Philharmonic Choir’s name on them. The previous raffle was cancelled after its integrity was compromised.

On the advice of the City of Kitchener, we recalled all the outstanding tickets and stubs, cancelled the old raffle, re-applied for a new license and are now running a new raffle with the yellow tickets. The prizes are the same and so are the draw dates, with the main prize draw being Monday, December 9th.

If you have any questions, please be in touch with Luisa D’Amato, executive director, at executive@grandphilchoir.com


The Grand Philharmonic Choir welcomes entries for its 3rd annual composition contest for Canadian composers aged 30 and under.

“Through this contest, we hope to add to the great depth of Canadian choral repertoire by showcasing the work of young, dynamic composers,” said the choir’s artistic director, Mark Vuorinen.

The contest carries a prize of $1,500 each year, plus travel funds to attend the world premiere of the work.

This year the composition will be for a work of four to six minutes duration written especially for children’s choir.

The Grand Philharmonic Children’s Choir will give the winning work its first performances on May 8 and 9 during concerts at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Kitchener.

The entries are evaluated by a jury of Vuorinen and other musicians, without identifying information.

Previous winners have been Nicholas Kelly of British Columbia and Rémi St-Jacques of Quebec.

Click here for details of the contest.

**UPDATE** The position has been filled

The Grand Philharmonic Choir is seeking a COLLABORATIVE PIANIST(S) to join the artistic team of the Children’s and Youth Choirs.

Duties include playing rehearsals with the GPC Children’s Choirs on Tuesday evenings, 5:30-8:30pm and/or the GPC Youth Choir on Monday evenings from 7-9pm and occasionally at other mutually agreed upon times. Responsibilities also include playing in concert performances with the Children and/or Youth Choirs, leading sectional rehearsals from time to time and helping teach the music education curriculum.  Applications to accompany one or both of the choirs, depending on the applicants availability will be considered.  Previous work with children or youth is an asset.

An application letter and CV outlining experience as solo and collaborative pianist, including training and previous work with children/youth, if any, should be submitted by e-mail to info@grandphilchoir.com.

Additional questions can also be addressed to Artistic Director Mark Vuorinen at markvuorinen@grandphilchoir.com.

Deadline for submission of applications is May 1, 2019.

Many thanks to all who participated in the choir’s annual fund-raising raffle (licence # 761726) in Fall 2018.
The grand prize draw was made on December 10, 2018, at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, 110 Doon Rd. Kitchener.
Here is the list of winners:
1st prize ($2,000)
Anessa Selcage, Kitchener. Ticket # 503
2nd prize ($1,000 gift certificate to Langdon Hall)
Tom Daley, Kitchener. Ticket # 856
3rd prize ($500)
Judy Swartz, Kitchener
Ticket # 2072
4th prize (Sheraton hotel/Blue Jays gift certificates)
Lynda Smith, Waterloo
Ticket # 2196
5th prize (gift certificate to Public Restaurant)
Lynda Smith, Waterloo
Ticket # 2192
Early bird prizes:
1. Anessa Selcage, Kitchener
Ticket #501
2. Fan Gong, Kitchener
Ticket #240
3. Connie Beacham, Woodstock
Ticket # 163
4, Maureen Jordan, Kitchener
Ticket #741

(Veuillez faire défiler pour la version française ci-dessous)

A brand-new composition, written especially for the Grand Philharmonic Chamber Singers, will receive its world première Saturday, March 23rd in Kitchener.

Sonnet 18 by Rémi St-Jacques of Blainville, Quebec, is the winner of the second annual composition contest hosted by the Grand Philharmonic Choir. The work, which takes one of Shakespeare’s best-known sonnets for its text, was chosen for its “beautiful long phrases” and “sophisticated harmonic language,” according to the jury that selected it as the winner.

St-Jacques said the sonnet, which begins: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” speaks as a “praise to someone’s beauty that one might admire, or love, comparing it to summer. But unlike summer, whose beauty does not last, with all its weather whims and seasonal cycles, the beauty praised to the admired or beloved one is everlasting, retaining all of summer’s most beautiful moments and aspects.”

“It’s this passion that I want to convey in my music, making it as some kind of choral poem.”

Having French as his native language, St-Jacques was struck by the particular rhythm of this form of English poetry, known as iambic pentameter.

“Where there is rhythm, there is music,” he said.

“Having this pattern written down, a big chunk of music was already written for me. I simply needed to add the feeling to it, bringing it to life in my own way.”

St-Jacques will be present for the premiere, which will be performed as part of a concert that brings together two different styles of choral music; beautiful English Renaissance pieces, such as William Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices, will be contrasted with devotional contemporary works such as Emily Walker’s exquisitely crafted, serene I Asked of God.

The composition contest was launched in 2017 for Canadian composers aged 30 and under. In addition to the opportunity to attend the world première, the chosen composer wins a prize of $1,500. Works are stripped of identifying information; the jury doesn’t know who wrote each piece until after the decision is made.

“Through this contest, we hope to add to the great depth of Canadian choir repertoire by showcasing the work of young, dynamic composers,” said the choir’s artistic director, Mark Vuorinen. “It’s very exciting to see the energy and creativity in these composers from all across Canada. The quality of the pieces was quite high.”

Vuorinen served as a juror along with two colleagues: Dr. Elaine Choi, an educator who is also director of music at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church in Toronto; and Dr. Karen Sunabacka, a composer and music professor at Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo

St-Jacques is currently a graduate student of choral conducting at Université de Sherbrooke, where he studies with Robert Ingari. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Université de Montréal in music composition. His compositions have won several prizes in Quebec and in 2016, he was a finalist in the International Antonín Dvořák Composition Competition, which was held in Prague.

The composition contest is generously sponsored by Ernie and Nancy Regehr, Dr. Moira Glerum, and the Wallenstein Feed Charitable Foundation.

To learn more about the concert on March 23, click here.

Rémi St-Jacques est le gagnant de la compétition de composition de la Grand Philharmonic Choir.

Une nouvelle composition, écrite pour le choeur de chambre de la Grand Philharmonic Choir, fera sa première mondiale le samedi 23 mars, à Kitchener, en Ontario.

Sonnet 18, de Rémi St-Jacques de Blainville, Québec, est l’oeuvre gagnante de la deuxième competition annuelle offerte par la Grand Philharmonic Choir. La pièce, qui prend pour son texte un des sonnets les plus connus de Shakespeare, fut choisie pour ses «belles, longues phrases», et son «langage harmonique sophistiqué, » selon le jury.

St-Jacques dit que le sonnet, qui commence par «Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? » (Dois-je te comparer à un jour d’été), «m’évoque à propos de la beauté de quelqu’un qu’une tierce personne pourrait admirer ou aimer, la comparant à l’été. Mais contrairement à l’été, dont la beauté ne dure pas, avec tout ses caprices météorologiques et les cycles saisonniers, la beauté louangée envers l’admiré ou le bien-aimé est éternel, retenant tout les plus beaux moments et les plus beaux aspects de l’été.»

«C’est cette passion que je veux transmettre dans ma musique, en faisant un genre de poème choristique.»

Ayant le français comme langue maternelle, St-Jacques fut frappé par le rhytme particulier de cette forme de poésie anglaise, le «pentamètre iambique».

«Et où il y a du rythme, il y a de la musique,» dit-il.

«Avec ce modèle déjà écrit, une grosse partie de la musique était déjà écrite pour moi. J’ai simplement eu besoin d’y ajouter l’émotion et de l’amener à la vie à ma manière. »

St-Jacques sera présent pour la première, qui fera partie d’une représentation qui unira deux genres différents de musique de chorale; de belles œuvres de musique de renaissance anglaise, telles que Mass for Four Voices de William Byrd, en contraste avec des œuvres contemporaines, telles que la pièce sereine et exquise d’Emily Walker, I Asked of God.

 La compétition de composition a été lancée en 2017 pour les compositeurs canadiens de moins de 30 ans. En plus de l’opportunité d’être présent pour la première mondiale, le gagnant reçoit un prix de $1 500.  Toute marque d’identité est omise des œuvres soumises; le jury ne sait pas qui est le compositeur/la compositrice avant d’avoir choisi l’œuvre gagnante.

«Par l’entremise de cette compétition, nous espérons ajouter à l’ampleur du répertoire choral canadien en mettant en valeur les œuvres de compositeurs jeunes et dynamiques,» dit Mark Vuorinen, directeur artistique de la Grand Philharmonic Choir. «Il est très excitant de voir l’énergie et la créativité de ces compositeurs, de partout au Canada. Les œuvres soumises étaient de très grande qualité.»

Vuorinen fut un membre du jury, accompagné par deux collègues: Dr. Elaine Choi, une éducatrice qui est aussi la directrice de musique de l’église Trinity Eaton Memorial à Toronto; et Dr. Karen Sunbacka, compositrice et professeure de musique à Conrad Grebel University College, à l’Université de Waterloo.

St-Jacques en cours de faire sa maîtrise en direction chorale à l’Université Sherbrooke, sous la direction de Robert Ingari. Il a un bacchalauréat en musique de l’Université de Montréal. Ses compositions lui ont mérité plusieurs prix au Québec, et, en 2016, il fut un finaliste dans la Compétition de composition d’Antonin Dvorak, à Prague.

Le concours de composition est généreusement parrainé par Nancy et Ernie Regehr, Dr. Moira Glerum, et Wallenstein Feed Charitable Foundation.

Pour de plus amples informations au sujet du concert le 23 mars, veuillez cliquer ici.

© 2016 Grand Philharmonic Choir