Celebrating 25 years of vocal excellence
To commemorate the choir’s 25th anniversary in 1989 the choir founded the John and Mary Sidgwick Scholarship Programme. Each year young emerging solo vocalists, often from performance programmes at the University of Toronto, The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory or York University join the choir as Sidgwick Scholars. They act as section leaders, receive a financial stipend and tutelage from the choir’s Artistic Director, and have the opportunity to perform as soloists in the season’s concerts.
The Orpheus Choir is extremely proud of the superb young singers who have participated in the programme over the years. Many of the Sidgwick Scholar Alumni have gone on to exciting careers in the music industry and the Orpheus Choir hopes it has played a small part in their success. Past Scholars include: James Westman, baritone, (Maclean’s 1998 summer issue hailed as one of 100 Young Canadians to Watch; Patricia O.Callaghan, soprano, (renowned cabaret artist); Michael Colvin, tenor (heard often in major opera houses worldwide) and Victor Micallef, tenor, (Canadian Tenors), Karen Wierzba, soprano, (recipient of an international competition to sing under the baton of Seiji Ozawa), Vasil Garvanliev, baritone (rising operatic star)and Wallis Giunta, mezzo-soprano (member of Canadian Opera Company Ensemble)…and so many more who have gone on to significant solo careers.
The Orpheus Choir of Toronto is proud to have played a role in launching these singers’ careers and looks forward to future successes from recent alumni. The Orpheus Choir is committed to maintaining the John and Mary Sidgwick Scholarship Programme as an integral and vital aspect of its mandate and the fulfillment of its mission “to celebrate life through the preservation, the discovery and the performance of fine choral music”.