Since its beginning over 40 years ago, the Hamilton Children’s Choir has provided choral training and music education to countless children and youth in the Hamilton area. In 1975, the Choir was founded after a discussion between Donald Kendrick, the organist at Christ’s Church Cathedral and Joe Fricker, the Dean of the Cathedral. Soon, a summer camp and weekly meetings for a small group of singers found its home at Christ’s Church Cathedral. Mr. Kendrick served as the Artistic Director until 1978 and while doing so, led the choir through two recordings and numerous concerts. After Mr. Kendrick’s departure, John Laing served as Artistic Director from 1978 to 1985. During this time, the Choir first established relationships with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and Boris Brott to put on the Opera entitled “The Little Sweep” by Benjamin Britten, which would be the first of many collaborations with these esteemed organizations. In 1985, John Laing passed on the torch to David Davis, who served as Artistic Director of the Choir from 1985 to 2002. During this time, the choristers furthered their reputation with performances with the Bach Elgar Choir, the Canadian Male Orpheus Choir, and with Celine Dion at the 1999 Juno Awards. The choir appeared on national television, produced several recordings and performed at the International Choral Kathaumixuu in Powell River, B.C. The choir travelled to France, New York City, Pennsylvania and to the East Coast several times for a total of eight out of province trips.
In 2001, Leslie Kent, a former chorister joined the Hamilton Children’s Choir staff to begin a training choir for younger choristers, the first of many expansions for HCC. In 2003, the choir appointed Zimfira Poloz as Artistic Director.
Since 2003, Zimfira further expanded the program which now boasts over 200 singers over six choirs. Among these choirs is a newly formed Lads & Gents group, which includes boys with both changed and unchanged voices pursue their love of choral singing.
Over the last 15 years, the HCC has been gaining international acclaim and has remained an active part of the thriving local arts community. For more on our international touring, please see the list below. Locally, the HCC has enjoyed performing with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Bach Elgar Choir, the Toronto Northern Lights, TorQ, Chorus Niagara, the High Park Choirs and the Canadian Male Orpheus Male Choir. The HCC has also performed at the Choirs & Organ Concert at Roy Thomson Hall, with Celine Dion at the Juno Awards at Hamilton Place, enjoyed special performances at the Haida Celebration, Ontario Sings, and at Hamilton TiCats games. HCC also performed with Metric, a popular Indie Rock Band, on CBC’s The HOUR 2009 Holiday Special with George Stroumboulopoulos.
The Hamilton Children’s Choir has gathered children and youth together in song, enriching their lives and the lives of those touched by their magnificent music-making.
Across Canada, throughout Europe, and even in China, the HCC has participated in numerous choral events & competitions:
- America Cantat 8 Festival, Nassau, Bahamas (August 2016)
- Polyfollia, 6th World Showcase and Marketplace for Choral Singing, Saint-Lô, France (2014)
- 10th World Symposium on Choral Music, International Federation for Choral Music, Seoul, South Korea (2014)
- 1st Xinghai International Choir Championships, Guangzhou, China (2012): Grand Prize, Children’s Choir Category
- ACCC Biannual Convention, Ottawa, Ontario (2012)
- Festival 500, St. John’s, Newfoundland (2011)
- Kaleid Choral Festival, Woodstock, Ontario (2010)
- “Let the People Sing” Euroradio Choral Competition – staged by the European Broadcasting Union in Oslo, Norway, with participation via satellite from Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto (2009): 1st Place, Children’s Category
- Loto-Quebec World Choral Singing Competition in Montreal, Quebec (2009): Grand Prize Winner
- “Let the Future Sing” 70th Choral Festival, Stockholm, Sweden (2009)
- CBC National Radio Gala Competition, Montreal, Quebec (2008): Cantabile Grand Prize Award
- CBC National Radio Choral Competition for Amateur Choirs (2008): Children’s Category Winner & Best Canadian Performance by Youth
- Songbridge Choral Festival, Szczecin, Poland (2008)
- Tolosa Choral Competition, Tolosa, Spain (2006): “Audience Choice” Award and 2nd Prize
- Festival 500, St. John’s, Newfoundland (2005)
- 10th International Choral Kathaumixw Festival, British Columbia (2002)
- 25th Anniversary Tour of Atlantic Canada (2000)
- New York City Tour, (1999)
- Maritime Tour, New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia (1996)
- Peace and Harmony Tour, France (1994)
- Unity Tour, Nova Scotia (1992)
- Quebec and Maritime Tour (1988)