Welcome to the Canadian Orpheus Male Choir!
Founded in Hamilton in 1977, The Canadian Orpheus Male Choir (COMC) values choral singing and music as essential to the ongoing social and economic health of Ontario and we respect Canada’s diverse creative communities. Membership comprises men 19 years of age and older, from various backgrounds and with different levels of skill in music. We aim to bring a high quality of choral singing to our audiences and we encourage self-development through music among our members.
Vision: The Canadian Orpheus Male Choir is a respected amateur male voice choir that aspires to a masterful standard of choral music performance.
Mission: To give back to the community by providing a forum for men who wish to learn to sing or improve their singing ability, and who enjoy the camaraderie of working as a team towards the following shared goals:
- promoting artistic excellence in the greater Hamilton area,
- supporting the fundraising efforts of charitable organizations and service groups, and
- building community and reinforcing civic pride.
Our goals are achieved through choral singing practices, concerts, recordings, and social events.
We sing in four-part harmony (tenor 1, tenor 2, baritone, and bass) with piano accompaniment. Our repertoire is extensive and includes popular tunes, ballads, jazz numbers, spirituals, songs from musicals, opera choruses, hymns, traditional and folk songs.
Singing wonderfully right off the bat is not a prerequisite for us, for we are always improving. Practice makes perfect, they say, and we’re still practising… You might be surprised at how good your sound gets within a few months of singing regularly. As this article from The Atlantic explains, “People feel so discouraged by being told they’re poor singers that they rarely try to sing—and they never get better.” Please don’t let that happen to you. Belonging to the COMC might be just what you need…
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~ Berthold Auerbach
We enjoy singing together, and the pleasure our music brings to others is really rewarding. Besides, singing is good for your health! Research from across the globe has shown that singing offers benefits to the heart, lungs, brain, as well as a person’s sense of well-being, not to mention social life… The BBC News reported on a scientific study in 2011 which suggested “music releases a chemical in the brain that has a key role in setting good moods.”MORE
In ancient Greek mythology, Orpheus was the name of a troubador who could charm all living things with the beauty of his music and travelled the world playing his lyre.
Concert tours have brought the Choir to Western Canada, the Maritimes, the United States, Continental Europe, Britain, and Ireland. We are proud to have performed more than 460 concerts in venues such as Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa; St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, the Royal Festival Hall and Royal Albert Hall in London, England.
Over the past 35+ years, we are proud to have performed with many talented and well-known guest artists, including soprano Abigail Freeman, the Blazing Fiddles, bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, Scantily Plaid, tenor Aldo Filistad, soprano Donna Ellen, violinist Martin Beaver, tenor Glyn Evans, the Canadian Brass, and the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Known as “men who love to sing” the COMC is a registered Canadian charity that has helped raise some $800,000 for a number of service groups, churches, and other charitable organizations, including the Canadian Cancer Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and The Hamilton Spectator‘s Summer Camp Fund.
HOW WE STARTED
The COMC was founded as the ‘Hamilton Orpheus Male Choir’ by (William) Lynworth “Lyn” Harry, who was born in Wales and received his Bachelor of Music and associate degrees at the Royal College of Music in London, England. He was Music Director of Wales’s famous Morriston Orpheus Choir. After moving to Canada in 1975, Harry taught at the Royal Hamilton College of Music and established the Canadian Orpheus Male Choir, which, upon his retirement, awarded him the title of Conductor Emeritus. In 2001, Harry was invested as an Honorary Welsh Bard for his lifetime services to music. Lyn Harry passed away in 2006. He is remembered fondly by those who sang for him.