Our members welcome Richard Cunningham as our new Music Director
Through his long career as a musician, Richard Cunningham has travelled throughout North America and Europe. Performing as a countertenor soloist, Richard has sung in Bulgaria, Germany (including both sides of that once divided country), Holland, Sweden, France, and Great Britain as well as coast to coast in the U.S.A and Canada. He has also travelled widely as a chorister, performing with the Elora Festival Singers, the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, La Chappelle de Quebec, Arcady, the Brott Festival Choir, the Taverner Consort, Winchester Cathedral Choir and St George’s Chapel Choir of Windsor Castle.
Richard earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the University of Toronto. He has studied choral conducting with Derek Holman, Edgar Hanson, William Wright, Douglas Bodle, and Jon Washburn and orchestral conducting with Bruce MacGregor and Victor Feldbrill. As a concert artist, Richard’s studies began at U of T with Lillian Weichel and Edgar Hanson. The grateful recipient of three scholarship grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Richard traveled to England to study with Timothy Penrose and James Bowman, two of the finest practitioners of the countertenor’s art. MORE
In the last 30 years, Richard has spent more of his time as a choral conductor, passing on the skills of singing individually and in a choir to musicians in Kitchener, Hamilton, Brantford and Toronto. As well as conducting the Grand River Chorus for the last fourteen years, Richard has taught courses in vocal methods and conducting at McMaster University. He is also one of the vocal teachers on staff at McMaster. The Grand River Chorus gives him the opportunity to perform the masterworks in the choral repertoire with a group of talented and dedicated singers who share his joy of tremendous music. Richard is very excited about working with the Canadian Orpheus Male Choir
When he is not directing a choir, singing or teaching, Richard may be found composing music (mostly vocal or choral with piano or orchestral accompaniment), playing with his grandchildren or driving between rehearsals and meetings.
Christine Chesebrough, the COMC’s Accompanist, began her musical studies at age two when she began lessons on the piano. Her interest in music soon became a passion and she started lessons on both the organ and violin. She completed the Royal Conservatory of Music exams on violin and piano and was also proficient on the organ, receiving a scholarship to Albert College preparatory school in Belleville. MORE
Christine attended the University of Western Ontario on scholarship, receiving an Artist Diploma, a Bachelor of Music Education and a Masters of Music Performance with violin as her main instrument. She completed the apprentice program with the National Academy Orchestra during which time she had the pleasure of being mentored by Boris Brott. She has also participated in Chamber Music studies through the University of North Carolina and has travelled to both Switzerland and Italy to study.
Christine is well established as a violinist, having played with the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, Windsor Symphony, Orchestra London, Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, Thunder Bay Symphony, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and she plays regularly with Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. She has been featured in chamber concerts at Stratford Festival and in the Royal Botanical Gardens chamber series. She has served as concertmaster for Drayton Theatre Productions, and she is the current Music Director/Organist at Brant Hills Presbyterian Church in Burlington.
Christine has had the privilege of playing with internationally renowned artists Anne Murray, Diana Krall, Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, Sarah McLaughlin, and David Foster, as well as with the Four Canadian Tenors in their PBS television special and on the Arkells CD Come to Light.