Our Story

Over its 49 year history, the Hamilton Children’s Choir has seen nearly 2000 children and youth participate in the choir, performing and traveling around the world.

Mr. Donald Kendrick, the organist of Christ’s Church Cathedral, established Hamilton Children’s Choir in 1975 and served as Artistic Director from 1975 until 1978. From 1978 – 1985 the choir continued under John Laing, and artistic programming expanded to include collaborations with Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and Boris Brott that were broadcast on CHCH television.

David Davis continued as Artistic Director from 1985 to 2002 during which time choristers had the opportunity to sing with the HPO, Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Bach Elgar Choir, Canadian Male Orpheus Choir, and with Celine Dion at the 1999 Juno Awards. The choir appeared on national television, produced several recordings and went on tour to British Columbia, France, New York City, Pennsylvania and the East Coast several times.
A pivotal moment for HCC was in 2003 when Zimfira Poloz became Artistic Director. Her passion and skill transformed the artistic and educational approach of the choir. Under Zimfira’s direction, the choir ventured on more than 10 international tours and participated in 5 international competitions where they earned the Grand Prize Award.

In 2022, Zimfira’s leadership came to a close, and Melanie Tellez, who had served as Assistant Artistic Director since 2015, was appointed Artistic Director. HCC is proud to be one of the most sought-after choirs invited to perform locally, nationally and internationally. It is rare for a community-based children’s choral program to achieve such a reputation without the traditional audition-only model. HCC has evolved into 6 progressive choral ensembles and has adopted a more inclusive approach which increased enrollment from 80 to 200 singers. Driven by a team of passionate artistic leaders, Hamilton Children’s Choir is dedicated to exploring fresh approaches to choral music that reduce barriers, strengthen the choral artform and demonstrate that artists come in all shapes, sizes and ages.

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  • Ashley Carpenter, Alumna
    I feel so honoured to be a chorister with the HCC. It has opened up my learning capabilities and allowed me to express myself artistically in an amazing environment.
    Ashley Carpenter, Alumna
  • Sarah Davis, Alumna
    I credit being part of the choir assisting me in my career path, giving me confidence in front of groups of people and giving me the ability to be successful and grow quickly in my roles.
    Sarah Davis, Alumna
  • Alyssa LeClair, Alumna
    What the HCC does best is give people who are feeling like they don’t belong a place to express themselves, and as a young artist… that’s truly invaluable.
    Alyssa LeClair, Alumna
  • Nathan Fledderus, Chorister
    Through the HCC, I’ve made so many strong friendships and advanced musically to a level I never thought I could. The HCC is a safe learning environment in which choristers and director learn more than just music, which is brought together by a common goal.
    Nathan Fledderus, Chorister
  • Ardra Shephard, Alumna
    The ways in which my years as part of the HCC have affected my life and who I am today are too manifold to count. HCC was the most influential experience of my teenage years and I am incredibly grateful for it.
    Ardra Shephard, Alumna
  • Erica Charles, Alumna
    There’s a perfect balance of discipline, work ethic, fun, and creativity that’s encouraged within this group. You learn how to pull together as a team: both musically and intellectually. You succeed alongside one another. You encourage each other’s highs and are there for one another for the lows. You literally learn how to breathe together: what could be more magical than that?
    Erica Charles, Alumna
  • Sophia Brohman, Chorister
    When I joined the HCC, suddenly there was a whole room of people who felt the exact same way I did when I was singing.
    Sophia Brohman, Chorister