Announcement of new Associate Music Director
The Ottawa Choral Society is happy to welcome Mr. Andrew Hon as Associate Music Director for the 2021-22 season. Mr. Hon was recently chosen from among several highly-qualified applicants for the position. He will assist OCS Artistic Director Jean-Sébastien Vallée in preparing and presenting three choral masterworks during the 2021-22 season.
A native of Hong Kong, Andrew Hon has been active in both North America and his hometown over the past decade. Based in Montreal, Mr. Hon holds the position of Music Director of Hua Xia Philharmonic Arts Troupe. Previously, Mr. Hon served as the Choir Director at St. John’s United Church of Christ – Newport (USA) and the Head of Music at Fung Kai Innovative School (Hong Kong). He has been frequently invited as clinician for youth and children’s choirs in England and Hong Kong. As a professional chorister, Mr. Hon sang with the Yale Schola Cantorum and choirs of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul in Montreal, St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church (USA), and Marquand Chapel at the Yale Divinity School.
Mr. Hon’s recent conducting appearances can be found in Théâtre Maisonneuve, Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center, St James’s Church Piccadilly London, Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge, Harvard University, the University of Birmingham, the University of St Andrews, and Hong Kong Cultural Centre. He has prepared choruses for AikKhai Pung, William Weinert, Paul Phoenix, and Stephen Coker, and studied with world-renowned conductors including Helmuth Rilling, Rolf Beck, Masaaki Suzuki, David Hill, Markus Utz, Grete Pedersen, and Stefan Parkman.
Mr. Hon earned master’s degrees in choral conducting from the University of Cincinnati (MM) and the Yale School of Music (MMA), where he served as the conductor of the Yale Glee Club Chamber Singers and the Principal Assistant Conductor of the Yale Camerata. He previously earned a BA in music from the University of California, Berkeley and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from Hong Kong Baptist University. Currently, Mr. Hon is a doctoral candidate in choral conducting at McGill University, studying with Jean-Sébastien Vallée. At McGill, he directed the University Chorus from 2019 to 2021. Mr. Hon’s research, supported by an FRQSC doctoral fellowship, focuses on non-Christocentric Passion compositions in the twenty-first century and their social justice issues.
Announcement regarding Artistic Director, Jean-Sébastien Vallée
Our Artistic Director, Dr. Jean-Sébastien Vallée, has advised us that he has been appointed as the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s eighth Artistic Director and that he will be leaving his post with the Ottawa Choral Society at the end of our upcoming 2021-22 season. We are grateful for his creative artistry and commitment during his tenure and look forward to one more season with him at the helm.
During his five years as Artistic Director, “JS” has raised our artistic standards, recruited new singers, revitalized our association with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, led a concert tour of four Baltic countries and developed a successful OCS@Home series of on-line activities during the pandemic. We congratulate him on his new appointment, but while we wish JS well, we will miss his energy and his ability to get the best out of us.
Please read the following note from JS.
Dear Singers of the Ottawa Choral Society,
Since the first time I stepped on the podium with you 5 years ago, I felt at home. Your warmth, enthusiasm and strong sense of community made our collaboration fruitful, exciting, and, above all, we made great music! I’m obviously saddened to announce that the 2021-22 season will be my last with the Ottawa Choral Society, but I’m confident that our time together, either in-person or virtually, contributed to make OCS stronger and more able than ever to pursue its mission of inspiring our audiences through music. I’m also thankful to Assistant Music Director Deirdre Kellerman, Accompanist Scott Richardson and all of you making the magic happen behind the scenes for your support and dedication to the ensemble. This past season was difficult, but we came out of it stronger than before, I know we all look forward to making music together again and it’s coming. I can’t wait to hear your voices fill the concert hall next fall and I know the upcoming season will be exceptional for many reasons – I’m truly excited about it!
Ottawa Choral Society
We will be making an exciting announcement about our upcoming season soon. Stay tuned!