Music for the Spirit, Food for the Soul

TICKETS NOW ON SALE! On April 22, 2021, Amabile will be hosting a virtual spring fundraiser! Titled: “Music for the Spirit, Food for the Soul” this event will serve up soul feeding music from all our choirs, and a soulful dinner from Growing Chefs! The concert will include special guest artists, past Amabile Singers and the amazing talents of all our choirs.

This concert will be held in place of our Annual Festival, and act as a fundraiser to support our organization. Two ticket options are available: for $100, your ticket will include the concert, three course dinner from Growing Chefs! and a heartwarming and enjoyable evening. A Concert View Only ticket is available for $30. Tickets are selling fast, click the button below to purchase your tickets now!

We thank all of our patrons for their continued support during this difficult year, and we look forward to joining together as a group, and one voice, as soon as possible. Please help us spread the word by sharing this link to your friends and networks.

An Amabile Family Christmas

For the first time in almost 35 years, the Amabile Choirs of London, Canada was not able to gather for its anticipated Holiday Concerts. Following the success and ingenuity of the virtual In Remembrance performance, our singers, staff and choristers came together to present a holiday concert to bring peace, joy, and comfort into homes across the country.

With viewers from around the globe again, our choirs presented a holiday concert to emphasize how music brings comfort to our lives in times of hardship and strife with a script written by our very own Prima: Amabile Women’s Choir member, Tamara Rees.

From ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ to ‘The Legend of the Christmas Rose”, this holiday performance brought back familiar favourites, featuring all our singers, from the youngest to the oldest.

This year’s holiday concert was indeed something special. We were incredibly delighted to feature the world premiere of a newly commissioned piece ‘Prayer for the Future’, written by local London composer Jeff Christmas, with lyrics by his mother, Connie. We would like extend our sincerest appreciation for this commission, to former Board Member, and friend of Amabile: Peter Clements, and dedicate this piece to Laura Clements Pin, Amabile’s 1st accompanist.

As always, it takes a village to create any in-house live Amabile concert, and it’s no different for a virtual one! We would like to extend our sincerest thanks, appreciation and gratitude to the following individuals:

  • Mark Payne and HOP Studios, for putting together this phenomenal performance;
  • Central Optometry, our 2020-2021 Season Sponsors;
  • Westmount Shopping Centre, for their generosity in allowing us to spend a cold Saturday in November with our drive-in recording session in their underground parking structure;
  • Tamara Rees, for writing a beautiful script;
  • Pat Morrison Multimedia, who generously loaned us the use of much media equipment for recording this program;
  • Jeff Christmas and Connie Christmas, for their time to compose ‘Prayer for the Future’.

Thank you to our funders, Ontario Arts Council, London Community Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, and the London Arts Council for their support.

To our staff, conductors and accompanists, thank you for your dedication and hard work as we navigate this unprecedented time.

To our volunteers, and parents, thank you for your support and your dedication to helping our choristers put together this holiday special. In times like these, we are incredibly thankful for all you do.

On behalf of the Amabile Choirs of London, Canada, thank you for supporting us in making our projects successful, and for joining us this holiday season. We would like to wish you a safe, and happy holiday season filled with peace, love, comfort and joy.

Scroll down for photos of our singers, and for how we did our drive in recording, click here.

In Remembrance: Service, Sacrifice and A Soldier Bear Named Winnie

This year marked the 15th anniversary for the Amabile Boys & Men’s Choirs to present In Remembrance, and for a while we thought that it wouldn’t be possible. But the boys and men said that this concert is one of the most meaningful for them and we just needed to find a way to make it happen. And soon, a new idea was born.

An idea to record a concert with a storyline and to present it digitally so that people, not just in London, but around the world could access it. Motivated and supported by countless individuals who wanted to ensure that we shouldn’t forget, we were pleased to bring you a new In Remembrance story from World War I.

This story, in a script written by Carol Beynon (Amabile Boys & Men’s Senior Artistic Director), with audio and video mastered by Mark Payne of HOP Studios, Service, Sacrifice and A Soldier Bear Named Winnie came to the big screen November 8 through 15th, for a run that was extended two days. The story recounts vignettes of Canada’s participation in World War I, through the eyes of a father and child, played by Jack Spence – a member of Amabile since he was 9 years old and his son Brent, a member of the Treble Concert Choir. We met Major Henry Colebourn (played by guest actor David Rogers), a veterinarian from Winnipeg, who was conscripted at the age of 27 to care for the army’s tens of thousands of horses shipped overseas to war; and the orphan bear cub whom he adopted and named Winnipeg Bear, or Winnie for short.

Viewers from across Canada, the United States and even Europe and Asia joined viewed this year’s performance. We couldn’t be more thankful and proud of all the Boys & Men who came together to create such a marvellous performance honouring our fallen service personnel.

There are many people we’d like to thank to helped make this performance as successful as it was:

To all of our special guests: Brian Barber, David Rogers, Alexis Gordon, Avery Payne, Father James Mockler, Gwyn Beynon and Encore: The Concert Band, and Maddison Bell; thank you for all the work you have done and put into this project. Your talents are extraordinary and we are so thankful you were able to work with us.

A special and most sincere thank you our sponsors, Central Optometry and St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica for their support.

To all of our Boys and Men’s choristers: your dedication and talent is incredible. We know that you miss singing face-to-face and your willingness to adapt to a virtual setting is just one of the many reasons why we’re thankful for you.

To our conductors and accompanists, thank you for your dedication and hard work as we navigate this unprecedented time.

Thank you to HOP Studios and Mark Payne for his tireless work in putting together this phenomenal performance of remembrance.

On behalf of the Amabile Boys & Men’s Artistic team: Carol, Mark, John, Jeff, Don, Lydia, Rosemary, Tristin, Denise, our volunteers, staff and all our choristers – thank you for supporting us in making this project so successful, and for joining us in remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We will remember them.

Scroll down for photos and more from this year’s In Remembrance Performance.

The Amabile Boys & Men’s Choirs is honoured to have the following special guests joining us in this performance:

Alexis Gordon – Nurse Minnie

Alexis is an alumna of the Amabile Choirs and Medway High School, and an actor living in Stratford and London, Ontario, Canada. Currently, she plays the starring role in Emma Donoghue’s Room (suspended during COVID-19 but nonimated for the Carol Bolt Award) and has performed with The Stratford Festival (Coriolanus, Guys & Dolls, A Little Night Music, Carousel) and The Shaw Festival (Brigadoon). She released her first CD, Summertime, in 2018.

David Rogers – Major Dr. Harry Colebourn

David is the Co-Artistic Director at the Victoria Playhouse Petrolia. A director, writer and designer, David has performed leading roles across North America including The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, Tommy, Joseph …., The Music Man, Evita and Into the Woods and has performed his one man show Broadway Heroes to critical acclaim in venues across Canada. David was a featured vocalist in the Canadian premieres of Kander and Ebb’s The World Goes ‘Round and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, as well as a guest soloist with several renowned symphony orchestras.

Brian Barber – Canadian Railroad Trilogy

Brian is a Toronto-based freelance musician with over 20 years of experience performing in multiple genres of music as a singer, guitarist, pianist, and has extensive experience as a music director and theatre performer. He holds a Master’s degree in classical piano. He has been involved with several music productions at the Victoria Playhouse Petrolia and Drayton Entertainment as well as an entertainer in the cruise ship industry to Australia

Jesse Grandmont

Jesse is an exceptional artist who began playing violin at the age of 3. From classic to rock and everything in between, he is a most versatile musician on violin, vocals and acting. He is a regular cast member at the Victoria Playhouse Petrolia and has received accolades for his production and performance of Fiddler on the Loose.

Father James Mockler

Father Mockler has spent most of his career in London, Ontario where he currently serves as rector of St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica and is chaplain to the London District Catholic School Board, the London Police Service, the RCMP, and Ontario Police College.

Encore the Concert Band

Conducted by Gwyn Beynon, Encore the Concert Band was established in 1994. It’s 70 musicians represent all walks of life drawn from the London community at large. The programs contain, as often as possible, music composed by Canadian composers including composers and arrangers from the London area.

Trailer for In Remembrance

CTV News London’s coverage of an Amabile Drive-In Rehearsal/Recording Session, click here.

Our 35th Anniversary Season Comes to An End

We’ve had quite a season, starting with the Amabile Young Women’s Ensemble’s annual cabaret with emcee CTV’s Nick Paparella, to our annual performance at the Remembrance Day Mass at St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica, to performing the National Anthem at the London Knights Game in November 2019; participating in the world premiere of Scott Good’s ‘The Sleepers’ alongside London Symphonia; to our three amazing holiday concerts – each of them bringing back memories of prior years and the music that has always been a part of an Amabile chorister’s heart.

This year’s Midwinter Gala was nothing short of spectacular and blew us all away! Hosted at the WindEEE Dome at Western University, the Amabile Men of Primus once again gave us a night to remember with a magnificently curated menu of delicious food, and an eclectic set of songs all based around the weather.

But perhaps the highlight of this milestone season was the Amabile Festival featuring Canadian composer and Junior Amabile Singer alumna Sarah Quartel. We were so incredibly pleased and excited to welcome Sarah home as we celebrated this special anniversary. Sarah’s music took us on the journey’s she’s been on, and captivated us with elegance and eloquence of every piece, filling our hearts and souls with each choir.

Unfortunately, this year’s season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic that spread throughout the world and left us asking, ‘How can we keep singing?’ The perseverance of all those at Amabile kept the singing going. Using technology and the human need to come together, beautiful things were created during this unprecedented time. Primus: Amabile Men’s Choir collaborated with Toronto composer Hussein Janmohamed, in the world premiere of ‘Grateful Heart’, released in time to honour and celebrate Eid in May. All our choristers from the youngest to the oldest, came together virtually in the months of May and June to release the virtual recording of Ruth Moody’s ‘One Voice’ (arr. Wailin Jennys), showing the message that we, as Canadians, are the sound and spirit of one voice, helping each other make it through.

Over the last eight months, we have made wonderful memories and created lasting impacts with our choristers and our community. And while this season as brought forth challenges that we, and countless others, never expected, we are ever grateful for the experience they have given us.

We would like to extend our most sincere thanks to all our supporters who came to all our events this year. We would also like to extend our sincerest thanks and appreciation to our donors and sponsors this year; and to our funders: Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, London Arts Council, Ontario Arts Foundation, City of London, and the London Community Foundation for their support.

In these times, we are encouraged and uplifted by the amazingly talented and dedicated people with whom we make art and thereby heal our spirits.
On behalf of all the singers, volunteers, staff and artistic directors of the Amabile Choirs of London, Canada, we wish you all a safe and healthy summer.

Click here to see this year’s Concert Program.
For photos and videos from this year’s season, click here.

2019-2020 Season Updates

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Amabile Choirs has had to postpone and reschedule the following upcoming spring events.

Amabile Young Women’s Ensemble’s 35th Anniversary Reunion Concert has been rescheduled to October 24-25, 2020. Former Alumni who have registered for this event, please e-mail trees@amabile.come for more information. ~ AYWE Executives.

We thank you for your understanding as we navigate this unprecedented time.