“In recent years, under the leadership of Ian Juby, the choir has become distinguished for its presentation of the repertoire with nuance and colour, with precision and with loving care for the languages and poetry it sings.”
After 70 years of continuous operations, the Kingston Choral Society occupies a special place in the Kingston music scene. Artistic Director Ian Juby has led the choir for over 20 years, and has recently moved the scope of the repertoire beyond the choral masterworks and extended classics which have been the group’s mainstay. Recent programs showcased works by living composers from Canada and around the world, including Ola Gjeilo, Eric Whitacre, Daniel Elder, and the world premiere of a commissioned work by Juno Nominated jazz pianist Marianne Trudel for saxophone, piano and choir. KCS continues to embrace the splendour and grandeur of the great classics, and recent performances of Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem have played to capacity audiences. In April 2022, KCS performed Johannes Brahms’ unrivalled Requiem, using his own English, 4-hands piano /edition, and accompanied by Clare Marion and Emily McPherson.
A proud member of the Kingston Symphony Association, the KCS is lucky to perform with the spectacular musicians associated with that organization. This December, the choir will once again join forces with the KSO for three performances of the much-loved Candlelight Christmas at The Isabel Bader Centre – get your tickets early! KCS also seeks out regional artists with which to collaborate, and routinely provides performing opportunities for developing artists from across the province.
In 2023/24, KCS celebrates 70 years by returning to its roots, performing masterworks by the world’s great composers, as well as newer works inspired by those classics. The season opens with Dan Forrest’s majestic Requiem for the Living on Sunday Nov 26 – “a work of great import…one of the most moving works I have heard in a very long while…” Jeffrey Williams for New York Concert Review. On December 9, KCS will give Messiah enthusiasts an opportunity to sing out their hearts with a Sing Along Messiah. The season closes with Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria in D Major & Joseph Rheinburger’s Stabat Mater.
KCS rehearses Tuesday evenings from 7:30 to 9:30 at The Spire, 82 Sydenham St in downtown Kingston.
The Kingston Choral society rehearses and performs on land situated on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron and Wendat. We acknowledge their enduring presence on this land, as well as the presence of Metis, Inuit, and other First Nations from across Turtle Island. We honour their cultures and celebrate their commitment to this land.
Artistic Director Ian Juby’s encyclopedic knowledge of repertoire, skillful and respectful leadership are a huge factor in the success of the KCS. He has been with the organization for 20 years, first as Chorus Master, and now as the Artistic Director. Ian began his career as an award winning vocalist, studying Western University in London, Ontario. While at Western Ian was a member of the Faculty of Music Singers and the newly formed Opera Workshop. He studied choral conducting with Lanse MacDowell, Deral Johnston, Gerry Summers, Wayne Strongman and Wayne Riddell, and with Joseph Flummerfelt at the renowned Westminster Choir College in New Jersey.
Ian retired from a 30-year teaching career having groomed award-winning choirs, bands and musical-theatre students in high schools across Eastern Ontario. He was music director for the annual Kinsmen musicals at the Grand Theatre, and is the founding Artistic Director of the Kingston Capital Men’s Chorus. Over four summers, Ian travelled to Europe as director of the North Lakeshore Chorus, Canada, and he maintains an active voice studio in Kingston.
Clare Marion has played an essentail role with the choir from the moment she joined the team. She graduated from Keele University, England, with a first class dual honours degree in Music & Biochemistry. As a soloist, Clare performed with the Keele Philharmonic Orchestra and Bath Philarmonia. As a collaborator, she worked with the Bath International Music Festival, Bath University, The Chandos Singers, Chippenham Cantata and Bristol Opera Company.
Since moving to Kingston in 2003, Clare has collaborated with Bottle Tree Productions, EVE, Hart House Orchestra, Melos, Queen’s Chorale Ensemble, She Sings, the Thousand Islands Playhouse, Two Women Opera Company and the Westben Arts Festival. She has attended the collaborative pianist programs at the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy in London, ON, and Tapestry New Opera 101 in Toronto, and has been pleased to collaborate with numerous vocal and instrumental soloists across Canada.
Clare is also a collaborative pianist for the Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University, Kingston Chamber Choir, Cantabile Choirs of Kingston and Queen’s Community Music.
Emily McPherson is a teacher, conductor and performer from Napanee, ON. She holds a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Piano Performance from the University of Ottawa, where she studied under Andrew Tunis and Frederic Lacroix, and had the opportunity to perform for renowned artists such as Andre Lapalante, Anton Kuerti and Amy Lin. While in Ottawa Emily’s love of choirs flourished as she accompanied the Ottawa Regional Youth Choir and the St. Joseph’s Parish Choir, and was also featured as a soprano soloist with the Capital Chamber Choir, with whom she was a founding chorister. During her Masters, Emily made a special study of Art Song, focusing on the collaborative relationship between pianist and singer under the direction of Donna Brown. She was also the recipient of the University of Ottawa Choral Direction Scholarship, having studied with Lawrence Ewashko.
Emily has been the accompanist and conductor of the Antigonish Choral Ensemble (N.S.) as well as the assistant conductor for the Nova Scotia Children’s Choir Camps. Upon returning to Kingston in 2015, Emily founded the Kingston Youth Choir, who since have received numerous invitations to perform with other local choirs, professional chamber music and opera ensembles at the Isabel Bader Centre and youth orchestras in the Ontario and Quebec regions. She has been a collaborative pianist with Queen’s University and maintains a busy piano teaching studio. In 2018, Emily became the Assistant Conductor with the “She Sings!” Women’s Choir and is thrilled to be taking on the role of Assistant Conductor with the Kingston Choral Society. Emily also enjoys making music with her husband and two young children.