- Robert Cooper Choral Scholars 2017-18 Applications
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Formed in 1963 as the St. Catharines Symphony Chorus, Chorus Niagara has grown from a modest twenty-four members to its present complement of a hundred choristers. As the premier Niagara Region choir, Chorus Niagara draws its membership from throughout the Niagara peninsula and from as far away as Hamilton and Buffalo NY. In 1989, the NSA Board invited Robert Cooper to become conductor and, moving in a new direction, gave him complete artistic control in that capacity. Since then the Chorus has doubled its membership and established an unprecedented standard of excellence. In 1997 Chorus Niagara incorporated itself as a separate organization from the Niagara Symphony while still maintaining a satisfying professional relationship with its founder.
In addition to performing both a diverse blend of traditional and contemporary works, Chorus Niagara supports Canadian music, programming, premiering and commissioning works by Canada’s leading choral composers as well as composers of international renown. Our mandate to engage emerging Canadian soloists has helped launch the careers of wonderful young vocalists including Catherine Robbin, Brett Polegato, Alex Dobson and Measha Brueggergosman.
Chorus Niagara has been honoured to work with many guest conductors. During the 1998-99 season, Chorus Niagara took part in a CD recording project with John Rutter, and performed in 2004 the Canadian premiere of both Rutter’s Mass for the Children and Feel the Spirit under his baton. In 2001 Sir David Willcocks conducted Hymns for all Seasons as well as its biennial Messiah performance in 2002. In the summer of 2007, the Chorus was invited to sing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus at Art Park in New York. Over the past several years Chorus Niagara has enjoyed successful collaborations with the Orpheus Choir of Toronto, London Pro Musica, Mississauga Choral Union, Portsmouth Choral Society and Orillia Cellar Singers, performing many large scale works for choir and orchestra eg: Requiems of Berlioz and Verdi, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, and Jenkins’ The Armed Man, among others.
In May 2009 Chorus Niagara embarked on its first international tour, collaborating with the Chantry Singers in an exciting concert in Bath Abbey, England and with the Portsmouth Choral Union under the direction of Jonathan Willcocks. A second international tour was recently completed as well. The Chorus also performed and was well received by a crowd of thousands at the annual Grape and Wine Festival, and performed the Olympic Torch Song at the Olympic Torch Relay ceremony in Niagara Falls.
On Nov.13 2010 unsuspecting shoppers got a big surprise while enjoying their lunch. Over 100 chorus participants were in this awesome Christmas Flash Mob concert performing "Hallelujah". The flash mob video has received over 42.5 million views in one year.
Community outreach is a priority for Chorus Niagara. It annually invites high school vocalists to join the Side-by-Side High School Chorale to rehearse and perform in one of its season presentations. In 2007 a dream was realized with the launching of the Chorus Niagara Children’s Choir. Through these initiatives many local children and youth are participating in a valuable choral experience.
Chorus Niagara takes pride in being acknowledged for its musical excellence, challenging repertoire, innovative programming and commitment to community and educational outreach.