Vocal Apprentice Program

Vap_Pic-2Do you like to sing?
Are you a member of your school or community choir?
Would you like to take your singing to another level?

The Orpheus Choir of Toronto
to apply for our
Vocal Apprentice Program




WHAT is the Apprentice Programme?

The Orpheus Choir’s new Vocal Apprentice Program was created for enthusiastic high-school-aged singers. No private vocal training is required – just an enthusiastic desire to continue singing through high school and beyond.

WHY is there an Apprentice Programme?

The Orpheus Choir wants to work with keen young singers, provide an exciting learning and singing environment and offer superb performing concert experiences.

HOW do I apply?

Applicants are asked to fill in and submit the application form. All applicants will be given the opportunity to attend a brief audition before a panel of prominent voice teachers and Orpheus Choir’s Artistic Director, Robert Cooper. Each candidate will receive written feedback regarding their audition. Eight successful singers will be chosen (two in each section: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass).

WHEN are Auditions?

Auditions will be held on an ongoing basis at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church and applicants will be notified of a date an time upon application.

WHAT happens next?

Apprentices are required to attend regular Orpheus rehearsals on Tuesday evenings throughout the months of March and April, and will perform in our season finale concert Sound Mind on May 9th, 2020.

Apprentices will also be mentored by the Orpheus Choir’s Sidgwick Scholars (professional-bound university students), Artistic Director, Robert Cooper, and have the opportunity to perform for and receive feedback from a panel of University voice coaches.

WHAT is the application deadline?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The Orpheus Choir

Now in its 54th season, the Orpheus Choir of Toronto is one of the most dynamic and preeminent choral groups in the country. The choir has made its mark in the Canadian choral community by championing new and rarely performed choral works, commissioning new pieces, and celebrating the ‘Expect Something Different’ experience.  Under the direction of Robert Cooper, the choir has introduced Toronto audiences to many fascinating and accessible works from the current generation of leading composers. Through its Sidgwick Scholar Program, the choir has played a part in launching the careers of some of the current generation of fine young singers.

Robert Cooper, Artistic Director

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 2.09.10 AMOne of Canada’s foremost choral musicians, Robert Cooper is also Artistic Director of Chorus Niagara, the Opera in Concert Chorus and the newly created Ontario Male Chorus. He taught for several years as a member of the Choral Department, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and has had the honour of conducting the National Youth Choir of Canada, the Ontario Youth Choir (1979, 2007, 2016) and a Celebration of Canadian Choral Music at Carnegie Hall. As a superb choral trainer and conductor, Mr. Cooper has provided strong artistic mentoring to singing youth in the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir as well as the Orpheus Choir Sidgwick Scholars and Vocal Apprentice Programs, influencing over 2000 young adult singers.

In addition to his work with choirs, Mr. Cooper has been involved with the presentation of more than 150 operas and has conducted symphony orchestras in Halifax, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Orchestra London, opera companies in Victoria, Ottawa and Winnipeg as well as Toronto Operetta Theatre and Opera in Concert. Mr. Cooper has also guest conducted several Canadian choirs, as well as guest engagements at Festival 500, Kathaumixw, Festival of the Sound, Unisong Choral Festival, Stratford, Guelph and Algoma Festivals, and Thirteen Strings. Acknowledged as an innovative programmer, Mr. Cooper has commissioned and premiered many new works by both Canadian and international composers.

Over his career Mr Cooper has prepared choruses for many international conductors including Helmuth Rilling, Sir David Willcocks, John Rutter, Sir Andrew Davis, Charles Dutoit, and the late Robert Shaw and Elmer Iseler.

Mr Cooper has served on the Jury of the international choral competition Let The Peoples Sing, as well as adjudicating the 2010 World Choral Games in Shaoxing China, the Cincinnati 2012 World Choral Games and the 2016 iteration in Sochi, Russia.

After 31 successful years bringing fine vocal and choral music to all of Canada as Executive Producer of Opera and Choral Music for CBC Radio Two, Mr Cooper now pursues a full-time conducting schedule. He has served as President of both the Choirs Ontario and the Association of Canadian Choral Communities, was on the Board of Chorus America, the Advisory Board of the International Federation of Choral Music and is Canada’s representative on the World Choir Council. Recipient of the St. Catharines’ Trillium Arts Award, Robert Cooper has also received an Honorary Doctorate from Brock University, the Order of Canada as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his significant contribution to the Canadian choral community.





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