Who We Are

The Amabile choral music education programs are known locally and internationally for their exquisite tone color and artistry.  Comprised of eight choirs; four for girls and women and four for boys and men, Amabile’s music education programs begin laying the foundation for children at age eight through to adulthood. Our singers come with engaged and inquisitive minds and we work to transform that natural intelligence and talent into inspiring works of art for our audiences.

The continuum and depth that Amabile offers is unparalleled by any other choral organization in Canada. Amabile has achieved acclaim on national and world stages for its excellence in choral performance.

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Amabile for Girls & Women

There are four levels of auditioned choirs for girls and women within Amabile.

The Amabile Da Capo Choir (Da Capo) welcomes girls aged 8 to 11, with a focus on providing a choral venue for young choristers and to serve as a training choir for the Junior Amabile Singers. Da Capo meets weekly for instruction in vocal production, sight singing, ear training, basic rudiments and choral performance discipline.

The Junior Amabile Singers (JAS) was founded in 1989 to give young women between the ages of 9 – 14 an opportunity to develop an understanding of choral music, self-discipline and artistic expression. Under the direction of Jacquelyn Norman and Wendy Landon, the Junior Amabile Singers perform regularly in the London area and Southwestern Ontario in addition to seeking national and international performance opportunities. The most recent tour took the JAS to England and France where they performed massed choir concerts in Canterbury Cathedral and Southwark Cathedral, London under the direction of David Flood and Henry Leck, as well as a solo performance at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. Previous concert tours have taken the JAS to California in 2012 (The Golden Gate International Children’s and Youth Choir Festival – 2 gold awards, first Folk, 2nd Historical), Hawaii in 2009 (Pacific Rim Children’s Choir Festival), St. John’s, Newfoundland in 2007 (Festival 500), France, Belgium, Germany in 2004 (3rd Choir Olympics, Bremen, Germany – Gold, 5th place), British Columbia in 2002 (10th Choral Kathaumixw, Powell River), to Austria and the Czech Republic in 2000 (1st Choir Olympics, Linz, Austria – Gold, 5th place), to England, Scotland and Wales in 1997 (Llangollen International Eisteddfodd, Wales) and in 1995, to the Des Moines International Children’s Choral Festival (Iowa). The choir has been named national finalist in two CBC Biennial Competitions for Amateur Choirs, placing second in 2000. In 1998, the choir released its first CD entitled Canadian Portraits and their second CD, She Shall Have Music, in 2005.

The Amabile Youth Singers (AYS) welcomes experienced female choristers ages 12 to 18. Founded in 1985 by John Barron and Brenda Zadorsky, the choir has won 11 national competitions, including the 2000 CBC National Competition for the Amateur Choirs Youth Category and the Best Performance of a Canadian Work. They also won the Youth Category award for Let the Peoples Sing which is the European International Choral Festival. In 2005, the AYS were awarded the London Music Award for the best Classical Ensemble and in 2007, 2011 and 2014 were the recipients of the Jack Richardson Music Award. While on tours the AYS have won 5 international competitions. Most recently, they received 2 gold medals and were nominated as the Best Overall Choir in the International Choral Competition in Preveza, Greece, 2013.

Prima: Amabile Women’s Choir (Prima) was founded in 2007 to further enhance the Amabile experience for women, allowing them to perform challenging repertoire at the highest level and to move audiences with their artistry. Prima excels at performing the latest compositions of Canadian composers such as Christmas, Daley, Emery, Enns, Hatfield, Raminsh, Sirett and Smallman.

The Amabile Youth Singers & Prima joined together as the Amabile Young Women’s Ensemble to record Ripple Effect to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Amabile’s founding.
In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Amabile Youth Singers hosted a reunion concert on May 31/15 featuring 71 present and 76 past choristers. AYWE premiered a new composition honouring this occasion written by Matthew Emery, an Amabile alumni and Amabile composer -in-residence 2014-2015. Summer 2016 saw the Amabile Young Women’s Ensemble tour Prague, Vienna, Salzburg and Budapest where they sang in such beautiful venues as St Nicholas Church in Prague, Dome in Linz, Austria and St Stephan’s Cathedral in Vienna.

Amabile for Boys & Men

The Amabile Boys & Men’s Choirs, founded in 1990, draw singers from across southwestern Ontario and provide musical experiences of the highest level for male singers in the region. The focus is on character development and mentorship through singing and artistic excellence. Trebles whose voices change have immediate access to the tenor-bass youth choir and opportunities to continue their vocal and musical education. This season we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with a number of special celebration concerts.

The focus of the Amabile Treble Training Choir (TTC) under the direction of Kathy McNaughton is on learning to work and play together as the boys gain experience singing and performing, while learning proper vocal technique, posture, breathing, tone production, how to read music, and basic music theory. They also study recorders as part of the program. The TTC performs as part of our regular concert series and this season, will once again be the featured performers at the benefit banquet to develop fresh water resources for children in Ethiopia (for Hope for Rural Children and Orphans).

Experienced male singers with unchanged voices, ranging from 10 to 15 years old, are invited to become members of the Amabile Treble Concert Choir (TCC). Mentored by the Amabile Young Men’s Ensemble, and conducted by alumni, Jeff Beynon and Don Sills, the program consists of rehearsals and performances of the traditional boychoir repertoire and Grade 1 Theory & Rudiments. As well as singing on world stages, they have been guest performers with the Toronto International Film Festival, Orchestra London, the Windsor Symphony, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. The choir has performed for such notable persons as Bishop Desmond Tutu and the Prime Minister of Canada, and has toured extensively over the years to Europe, Caribbean, and across Canada.

The Amabile Young Men’s Ensemble (AYME) is made up of young men with changing voices up to the age of 19 under the direction of Carol, Jeff, Don and Mark. The AYME focuses on healthy vocal development during the changing voice period, and the young men are given an introduction to challenging male voice repertoire. The choir performs with, and is mentored by, Primus on a regular basis. Performing locally, nationally and internationally, they have been featured several times on CBC, Radio L’espace, French public television, and Czech Public Radio and were winners of the National Choral Canada Competition for Youth Choirs – Equal Voice Male in 2004, 2008, and 2015. Senior members of the AYME also sing with the senior members of AYS in the newly formed SATB Chamber Choir. This season, the choir is honoured to be invited as the featured performers for the 100th Anniversary memorial of Vimy Ridge.

Primus: Amabile Men’s Choir (Primus), conducted by Carol Beynon and Mark Payne, is known for its deeply sonorous and rich sound that rewards listeners with a strong identity without sacrificing the sound of one uniform voice. Formed in the fall of 2000, Primus involves students and professionals in all walks of life who enjoy the pursuit of the choral art and the camaraderie that develops so naturally in male ensembles. The members act as active mentors to the high school choristers and boys in the treble choirs of the Amabile organization. The men also provide leadership development workshops on a regular basis for music educators, university music education classes, and students in schools, promoting the healthy benefits of being a male singer. In its short history, the choir has achieved an international reputation that places it in a leading position in the world of male choral singing. Primus was thrilled to be invited to perform for choral conductors at two of the world’s largest conferences, the Sixth World Choral Symposium in Minneapolis (2002) and the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Los Angeles (2005). The men have also been honoured to act as choir-in-residence for the 1st World Festival of Singing for Men and Boys in Prague during 2004 and were again invited to co-host the event in the 2008 season. This role provided Primus with the opportunity to showcase a strong Canadian presence on the world stage. Most recently, the choir won the 2013 National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs, Equal Voice Male Category. Locally, Primus has performed with the renowned Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Autorickshaw, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra London, and has been invited to perform at national meetings of Choral Canada (2002, 2006, 2014). The choir was also featured in the CBC Radio 1 documentary Where Have All the Tenors Gone? This season, Primus has been invited to present the headliner concert for the American Choral Directors Association, Michigan convention.

Animato

The Amabile Choirs of London, Canada are excited to continue their music readiness program. It is geared towards the early years and early primary years child. The philosophy for our program, Animato, (an Italian term meaning animated and lively) is built upon the belief that play-based learning is a vehicle for exploring, learning, developing new skills and connecting with others.

Our program is designed to introduce children ages 5 – 7 to essential musical skills, build a solid foundation and give them their first exposure to choral music in a non-performance setting. Taught by specialists in the early childhood music methodologies such as Orff, Kodaly and Dalcroze, the classes will not only develop musical skills, but also allow the child self-expression, creativity and confidence. Through play-based activities the children will use movement, singing and instruments to explore basic musical concepts such as tempo, rhythm, dynamics, notation and form. Each class is designed to be playful and enjoyable to children, while providing a carefully planned curriculum that includes developmentally appropriate activities.

Find more information on Animato here

Touring

Amabile Touring the World

Over the years, the Amabile Choirs have entertained audiences in many countries around the world including the United States, Great Britain, Sweden, the Caribbean, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, our choirs have presented renowned international talent to the London community by hosting various musical ensembles from around the world.

Amabile Youth Singers:

2016 – Vienna/Salzburg
2013 – Greece
2010 – Estonia
2007 – Sweden/Finland
2004 – Paris/Brugge/Bremen
2002 – Atlantic Canada
1999 – Greece
1996 – England/Wales
1995 – Washington, D.C.
1992 – Australia/New Zealand
1990 – British Columbia
1989 – Hungary/Germany/Austria
1987 – Europe

Junior Amabile Singers:

2015 – England/France
2012 – California, United States
2009 – Hawaii, United States
2007 – St. John’s, Newfoundland
2004 – Germany
2002 – British Colombia
2000 – Austria
1997 – Wales
1995 – United States

Amabile Boys & Men’s Choirs:

2016 – United States
2014 – Czech Republic/Italy
2014 – Halifax, Nova Scotia
2012 – Czech Republic/Poland
2012 – St. John’s, Newfoundland
2008 – Czech Republic/ Austria/Germany
2006 – Vancouver & Victoria, British Columbia
2005 – Los Angeles, California
2004 – Czech Republic
2003 – United States
2002 – United States
2001 – St. John’s, Newfoundland
2001 – Winnipeg, Manitoba
2000 – United States
1998 – United States
1997 – Ottawa, Ontario
1997 – Anguilla/St. Maarten/St. Kitts
1995 – Austria/Germany/Holland
1993 – England/Wales

Artistic Staff

Please hover over the images below to learn more about each of our artistic staff.

  • Brenda Zadorsky

    Brenda Zadorsky

    Co-founder & Conductor
    
Amabile Youth Singers & Prima: Amabile Women’s Choir

    Brenda Zadorsky, (B. MUS. Hons., B.Ed, A.Mus., W.C.A.M.) is co-founder and Artistic Director of Amabile Youth Singers and Prima:Amabile Women’s Choir. She is a highly sought after voice teacher, clinician, adjudicator and consultant. Along with John Barron, Brenda co-founded the Amabile Youth Singers in 1985. She continues to win numerous honours both nationally and internationally for her artistic leadership. Most recently Brenda was inducted into the Western University, Don Wright Faculty of Music Wall of Fame. This accompanies her induction into the London Music Hall of Fame. Her extensive career as a music consultant and teacher with the Thames Valley District Board of Education and the London and District Catholic School Board spanned some 35 years. Prior to retirement, Brenda taught music education methodology for the University of Western Ontario at the Don Wright Faculty of Music where she was awarded several certificates for outstanding teaching. She received the Don Wright Scholarship in Vocal Music and in 2002 Brenda was presented with the Canadian Learning Tree Award. She is presently principal of the Zadorsky School of Music and was co-founder and principal of the Victoria Academy of Music for sixteen years. Over the years Brenda’s students have consistently won major scholarships at festivals as well as entrance scholarships to universities. Many have continued with performing careers in Canada and abroad.

  • Dr Carol Beynon

    Dr Carol Beynon

    Co-conductor
    Amabile Boys & Men’s Choirs

    Dr Carol Beynon is the founding co-artistic director of the Amabile Boys & Men’s Choirs of London, Canada, and is Associate Professor in Music Education at the University of Western Ontario. With the Amabile Boys & Men’s Choirs, she has conducted invited and reviewed performances and recordings for the ICFM World Choral Symposium VI, the American Choral Directors’ Association in Los Angeles, the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors, and the International Society for Music Education with broadcasts on CBC, BBC, Minnesota Public Radio, Bravo TV and Czech National TV. The Men’s Choirs are most recent winners of national choral competitions, sponsored by Choral Canada. Carol’s research focuses on intergenerational learning through singing, the impact of singing on people with Alzheimer’s Disease, and gender issues in music education; she is the first author of the book Learning to Teach published by Pearson Canada (2001) and co-editor of Critical Perspectives in Canadian Music Education (2012).She has received several awards for outstanding teaching from the University Student Council and in 2007 was named the Woman of Excellence in Arts, Culture and Heritage in London, Ontario and community. In 2010, Carol was inducted into the “Wall of Fame” at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario.

  • Jacquelyn Norman

    Jacquelyn Norman

    Co-conductor
    Amabile Da Capo Choir & Junior Amabile Singers

    Jacquelyn Norman (B. Mus., Hons. Ed., B. Ed., OCT) is in her 24th year as an artistic leader with Amabile. Jackie is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Music and Faculty of Education. She received her Kodály Certification from the university. In 1991, she joined the Junior Amabile Singers as a vocal coach and assumed the position of conductor the following year; she is the founding conductor of the Amabile Da Capo Choir. Jackie has maintained a private studio for young singers, several of whom have now gone on to pursue music degrees at university. Ms. Norman teaches with the Thames Valley District School Board as an Elementary Teacher and Junior-Intermediate Music Specialist. Her choirs have received numerous awards including first place in the Ontario Provincial Music Festival and the Florine Després Plaque and Scholarship for the top under 12 choir in the National Music Festival.

  • Wendy Landon

    Wendy Landon

    Co-conductor
    Amabile Da Capo Choir & Junior Amabile Singers

    Wendy Landon (B. Mus., Hons. Ed., B. Ed., OCT) is in her 15th year as an artistic director with Amabile. Wendy Landon is a graduate of the Western University Faculty of Music and Faculty of Education. Wendy currently teaches vocal and keyboard music at Lester B. Pearson School for the Arts in London where she is a junior music specialist. Wendy has been a music document writer for the Thames Valley District School Board and is a frequent workshop presenter at music education workshops. For several years, Mrs. Landon was also a part-time instructor at the Western University Faculty of Education. In 2011 and 2012, Wendy received an Award of Excellence from the University Student Council and her name was added to the Teaching Honour Roll.

  • Jeff Beynon

    Jeff Beynon

    Co-conductor
    Amabile Treble Concert Choir

    Jeff Beynon is a founding member of the Amabile Boys & Men’s Choirs and serves as co-conductor of the Treble Concert Choir and Young Men’s Ensemble. He holds an undergraduate and master’s degree from the University of Western Ontario. Jeff is Vice Principal at Strathroy District Collegiate Institute in Thames Valley School District and prior to this position, taught at Medway High School, where he continued the traditions of choral excellence established there by notable musicians, Alex Clark and Ken Fleet.

  • Don Sills

    Don Sills

    Co-conductor
    Amabile Treble Concert Choir

    Don Sills is a graduate of the Don Wright Faculty of Music and the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario. Don taught Elementary school music for five years and has currently been teaching for the past 7 years as teacher and conductor within the award-winning vocal and choral music program at Catholic Central High School in London, Ontario. Don has been a proud member of the Amabile family for 19 years.

  • Mark Payne

    Mark Payne

    Conductor
    Amabile Young Men’s Ensemble & Primus: Amabile Men’s Choir

    Mark Payne is delighted to be part of the Amabile family! He is the resident Music Director for the Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia, where he prepares and directs all the musical productions at the playhouse. Mark is also the music director for the Anglican Church of the Ascension in London. He has starred in and/or led dozens of productions with D2 Entertainment and the Victoria Playhouse over the past 9 years. Mark has performed virtually every conceivable role with orchestras and opera companies across Canada – conductor, pianist, singer, repetiteur, and chorus master.

  • Kathy McNaughton

    Kathy McNaughton

    Co-conductor
    Amabile Treble Training Choir

    Kathy McNaughton is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Music and Education. She started her teaching career in the Peel Board of Education before returning to London. Kathy is the Music Department Head at Medway High School in Arva. She teaches vocal, instrumental and developmental music education and is continuing the traditions of choral excellence established at the school over the last 60 years. She is the conductor of the Intergenerational Choir of London. Kathy also teaches Senior Vocal Pedagogy and Curriculum Development at Western University, Faculty of Education.

  • Hayoon Kim

    Hayoon Kim

    Accompanist
    Amabile Youth Singers & Prima: Amabile Women’s Choir

    Hayoon Kim holds her Bachelor of Music and Artist Diploma in piano performance from Western’s Don Wright Faculty of Music, and she just earned her teaching certificate from Althouse College last year. Hayoon shares her love for music by accompanying at music festivals, examinations, and churches, and by teaching private students. She started accompanying at a young age and has been involved in many musicals, choirs, auditions, and solo performances since then. Hayoon currently works in an educational organization and hopes to teach in an elementary school in the future. Hayoon is thrilled to be a member of the Amabile family!

  • Denise Jung

    Denise Jung

    Accompanist
    Amabile Young Men’s Ensemble & Primus: Amabile Men’s Choir

    Denise Jung from London, Ontario completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Western Ontario. She also has a Diploma in Chamber Music from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Masters Degree in Collaborative Piano from UWO. In addition to working at D&S Pianos, Denise maintains a busy teaching and accompanying schedule. She is the choir director at Fairmont United Church and is thrilled to accompany AYME and Primus Choirs this year.

  • Janelle Scharringa

    Janelle Scharringa

    Accompanist
    Amabile Da Capo

    Janelle Scharringa, pianist, is currently completing her Masters Degree in Collaborative Piano at Western University and received a Bachelor Degree in Piano Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University. Janelle’s talents as a soloist, have been frequently acknowledged, and her collaborative experiences include vocal, instrumental, chamber, orchestral, choir, and dance collaborations. Janelle has performed in many venues in North America and China, including the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, as pianist of the Talbot Duo. She has worked for both Wilfrid Laurier University and Western University as an accompanist and coach, and is on faculty at the Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute.

  • Rosemary Bannerman

    Rosemary Bannerman

    Accompanist
    Amabile Treble Concert Choir

    Rosemary Bannerman holds a Music Performance degree in pipe organ from the Western University and currently teaches vocal and instrumental music at the elementary school level for the Thames Valley District School Board. Rosemary has received the Thames Valley Award of Distinction for her work as music director for numerous bands, choirs and ensembles at Wilfrid Jury Public School. Her choirs, bands and ensembles regularly compete successfully at music festivals. In 2008, the Wilfrid Jury Waterfalls Vocal Ensemble was honoured with a Gold Award at the National Musicfest in Ottawa. Her past accompanying experiences include The Woodstock Fanshawe Concert Singers and past conducting experiences include the Kettle Creek Kids Choir in St. Thomas, Ontario and KidSing in Strathroy, Ontario.

  • Wendy Pauls

    Wendy Pauls

    Accompanist
    Amabile Da Capo Choir

    Wendy Pauls is delighted to be the accompanist for the Junior Amabile Singers. In addition to piano, her training includes an ARCT in flute, undergraduate vocal study, and certification in Kodály and Orff. Wendy works part-time as a music specialist at Princess Anne French Immersion Public School and accompanies various school choirs in her hometown of Dorchester. Past musical involvements include directing the Inter-Mennonite Children’s choir in Kitchener-Waterloo and singing in chamber groups under Gerald Fagan and John Laing.

  • Tristin Hill

    Tristin Hill

    Accompanist
    Amabile Treble Training Choir

    Tristin is a Senior Staff Accountant at Ernst & Young LLP, where he works in the Audit and Assurance Services division. He previously attended the University of Western Ontario where he graduated with an Honours specialization in Accounting. As a member of the Amabile Choirs for 11 years and accompanist of the training choir for the past 6, Tristin recognizes the importance of a chorister’s first few years within the organization, and is grateful for the opportunity to work with Amabile’s youngest and most energetic musicians.

Board of Directors

Sue Hale, President

Tristin Hill, Treasurer

Mary Margaret Farrow, Secretary

Mike Inman

Peter Clements

Christian D’Andrea

Corinne Santa

Jennifer Swan

Amanda Palmer

Donna Kotsopoulos

Artistic Directors

Carol Beynon,  AB&MC

Wendy Landon,  JAS

Jacquelyn Norman,  JAS

Brenda Zadorsky,  AYWE

 

 

Contact us at:

(519) 641-6795
info@amabile.com