ONE OF CANADA’S MOST PREEMINENT SYMPHONIC CHORUSES!
Since its inaugural concert in 1941, the Ottawa Choral Society has evolved into one of Canada’s most ambitious and accomplished large choruses. With more than one hundred and twenty auditioned voices, the Society presents a rich tapestry of sacred and secular masterpieces. We focus on choral excellence, and challenging, innovative programming. You will experience the thrill of preparing and performing choral masterworks with our outstanding artistic team led by McGill University choral pedagogue and OCS music director Jean-Sébastien Vallée, world-class concert artists, distinguished National Arts Centre Orchestra conductors, and Ottawa’s leading instrumentalists.
In addition to its self-produced subscription series, the Choir regularly appears as the guest of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and has partnered with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, and with the Ottawa International Chamber Music Society in concerts that have featured legendary tenor Ben Heppner and the renowned King’s Singers. The Society is proud of its emerging artists initiatives that provide a platform for Ottawa’s children's and youth choirs and, through its New Discoveries Auditions, introduces aspiring professional concert artists to our audiences.
Creating Community through Music
The Choral Society draws its members from across the National Capital Region, the Outaouais and the Ottawa Valley. We are a member driven, member governed, and member supported non-profit organization, open to choristers from the Ottawa region and beyond. We welcome adults of all ages, faiths, and racial and gender identification. We strive to ensure that the needs of singers with disabilities are accommodated to the greatest extent possible. The Choral Society is also committed to ensuring that economic circumstances are not a factor in becoming a member of the choir.
The Ottawa Choral Society’s mission is to bring the joy of great choral masterworks and contemporary repertoire to a diverse community of talented singers and broad audiences.
ENGAGEMENTS with world-class conductors
The choir is honoured to have been invited to perform under the baton of many distinguished conductors, among them Alexander Shelley, Pinchas Zukerman, Helmuth Rilling, Mario Bernardi, Franz-Paul Decker, Franco Mannino, Trevor Pinnock, Jiri Belohlavek, Charles Dutoit, Nicholas McGegan, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Since 2001, the OCS has had the privilege of working with Duain Wolfe, the distinguished chorus master of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in the preparation of performances with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
PRESENTING CANADA's GREAT CONCERT ARTISTS
The Society is proud to have shared its stage with such legendary artists as Maureen Forrester, Lois Marshall, Jon Vickers, Catherine Robbin, Ben Heppner, Richard Margison, Gary Relyea, and Joseph Rouleau. We are also proud to have introduced our audiences to the thrilling artistry of such artists as Nathalie Paulin, Donna Brown, Monica Whicher, Measha Brueggergosman, Shannon Mercer, Krisztina Szabo, Julie Nesrallah, Wallis Giunta, Daniel Taylor, Isaiah Bell, Gerald Finley, Russell Braun, and Philippe Sly.
The Ottawa Choral Society’s New Discoveries Auditions are held in alternating years to provide emerging vocal artists with a professional platform, broad audience exposure, and career development opportunities. The Choral Society is proud to have encouraged many of Canada’s most accomplished concert artists to find success with audiences across the country through this initiative. Many of our past laureates are now appearing on opera and concert stages across North America and Europe.
NOTE: The New Discoveries Auditions are on hiatus this year due to the COVID-19 situation. We look forward to bringing them back in the future.