Popular men’s choir will perform at St. Paul’s United Church


The Canadian Orpheus Male Choir will perform Saturday at St. Paul's United Church in Orillia. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Canadian Orpheus Male Choir will perform Saturday at St. Paul's United Church in Orillia. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Canadian Orpheus Male Choir (COMC) will be in concert Saturday at St. Paul’s United Church in Orillia at 7:30 p.m.


Founded in 1977 in Hamilton, the COMC has become internationally known through recordings and international concert tours. The choir has performed more than 400 concerts in Canada, the United States, Britain, Ireland and continental Europe. It has sung at such prestigious venues as the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall, Westminster Abbey, the Royal Festival Hall, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Albert Hall in London, England. In 2015, the COMC will do its second concert tour of Ireland.

The repertoire of the COMC is extensive and varied, including spirituals, popular tunes, folk songs and songs and choruses from operettas and Broadway musicals. Saturday’s concert will reflect that with an engaging mix of pieces ranging from Rita MacNeil’s heartfelt and moving tribute to the “men of the deep” titled Working Man to Oscar Peterson’s inspiring Hymn to Freedom.

The COMC donates proceeds from all of its concerts to support service clubs and churches as well as charities such as the Canadian Cancer Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Child Find and shelters for abused women. To date, it has raised and donated more than $800,000.

Originally founded by renowned Welsh-Canadian choral conductor Lyn Harry, the COMC is currently directed by Simon Irving, founder of the Guelph Symphony Orchestra and recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the Royal Canadian College of Organists in 2004. The COMC’s accompanist is Christine Chesebrough, who holds an artist diploma and a bachelor of music education from the University of Western Ontario.

The COMC has performed with many internationally prominent guest soloists, including Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, the Canadian Brass, violinist Martin Beaver, Canadian tenor Glyn Evans and the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces.

The featured guest soloist at Saturday’s concert will be mezzo-soprano vocalist Anna Trubashnik. Born in Moscow, Russia, Trubashnik and her family immigrated to Israel, where she sang as a chorister with the Israel Philharmonic Choir under renowned conductor Zubin Mehta. After relocating to Belgium, Trubashnik graduated from the Brussels Conservatory of Music in voice, piano performance and choral conducting. She has performed throughout Europe, in Japan and, after immigrating to the United States, throughout North America. Trubashnik is the cantor of Temple Emanu-El in Toronto. She lives in the Horseshoe Valley area with her husband and youngest daughter. She is a co-conductor of Chamber Music Orillia Children’s Choir and served as the vocal and choral adjudicator at this year’s Orillia Kiwanis Music Festival. Trubashnik will be accompanied on St. Paul’s United Church’s recently acquired seven-foot Steinway grand piano by Blair Bailey, organist and choir director at St. Paul’s.

St. Paul’s is located at Peter and Coldwater streets. Tickets cost $20 per person and can be purchased at the door or by calling 705-326-7351, ext. 108. 

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