Orillia Vocal Ensemble

Who We Are

The Orillia Vocal Ensemble is a community choir that raises money for local charities through its concerts. In the last four years, the Ensemble has raised more than $100,000. Some of those charities are the Orillia Community Foundation, Jubilee House, the Sharing Place food bank, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Hillcrest Lodge, Greenhaven Women's Shelter, and Information Orillia.

We also sing at a number of retirement homes at Christmas, and participate in concerts with other Orillia performing arts groups.

OVE in the News

$2650 raised for Loonie Lunch in Richer Than Wealth concert

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The OVE Richer Than Wealth concert on May 26, 2018 raised more than $2,500 for the Loonie Lunch program of the St. James Anglican Church in Orillia. The concert featured pieces by Billy Joel, Coco Love Alcorn, and Mark Sirett, among others. Guest performers were the Orillia Shout Sisters, and drumming accompaniment was provided by Mark Sturrup and his family.

Spring Sing Raises $4,000+ for Jubilee House

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The OVE Spring Sing concert on March 25, 2018 raised $4,400 for children's mental health programs at Jubilee House. Guest performers Paul Brooks on guitar and Mike Milner on bass accompanied the OVE on some pieces and also played some of their own selections.

Once again, we thank our sponsors and audience for their generosity, some of whom made very large donations. You are all very much appreciated.

Over $6,000 raised for The Sharing Place in Thor Motors Concert

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On December 9, 2017, the OVE helped to raise over $6,000 for The Sharing Place Food Bank at a concert of carols held in the showroom of Thor Motors in Orillia. About 40 members of the choir took part, and proceedings were enlivened by the participation of children playing ukuleles and a visit from Santa Claus.
Many thanks to Bob Brown of Thor Motors, our sponsors, the ukulele players and all those other people who turned up to support our efforts, and who gave generously.

OVE raises over $6,000 for Emergency Baby Needs Depot

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The OVE's Christmas Voices concert on December 3, 2017 (with guests A Little Wind Music and the Children's Choir of the Orillia Music Centre) raised over $6,000 for the Emergency Baby Needs Depot which is located at the Orillia Early Years Centre. This amount is sufficient to supply the needs of the depot for a whole year. Many thanks to our sponsors and patrons for their splendid generosity!

Canada/Ontario/Orillia 150 celebrated by the OVE

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The Orillia Vocal Ensemble, the “pay-it-forward” community choir, raised in excess of $6,000 in their two Canadian Choral Panorama concerts on June 3, 2017 in Gravenhurst, and June 4, 2017 in Orillia. The choir was joined by the Emperor String Quartet, the Orillia Music Centre's Children's Choir, Lance Anderson, Angie Nussey and Liz Anderson in these concerts. In addition, the Wahta Mohawk Drum Circle from Bala performed in Gravenhurst, and the Coldwater Ojibway Singers performed in Orillia.

Steve Orr nominated for Bill Swiminer Business Leader Award

Our major sponsor, Steve Orr of Dapper Depot, has been nominated for the Bill Swiminer Business Leader Award. Steve's generous support of the OVE covers our concerts costs, and as such, he is a very worthy contender. Read the Packet & Times article on our Media page.

Roy Menagh to receive OMA Community Service Award

Roy is the recipient for 2017 of the OMA Community Service Award, awarded annually by the Ontario Medical Association “to a non-physician who has made a significant contribution to the health and welfare of the people of a local community as defined by involvement in community health and public welfare”.

The presentation of the award, and more formal recognition of Roy, will occur at the end of November at the annual dinner of the Medical and Nursing Alumni of the hospital.

News of the award was announced at the end of the concert on February 26th.

"A Winter's Night With You" concert raises $7,500 for Hospice Orillia

The OVE's concert on February 26, 2017 raised $7,500 for Hospice Orillia. Angie Nussey, our guest artist, was accompanied by the choir in her three songs, and sang with the choir in it's performance of Gordon Lightfoot's "Song for a Winter's Night". At the end of the evening, Fred Larsen (standing in for OVE president Gareth Thomas) presented a cheque to Sandra Dunham and other directors of Hospice Orillia.
Once again, many thanks to all who attended the concert and made some very significant contributions.

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OVE helps to raise $6,400 for The Sharing Place at the Family Christmas Celebration at Thor Motors

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Many thanks to Bob Brown of Thor Motors, and the many people who turned up and donated money for The Sharing Place food bank on Saturday, December 17th, 2016. Over $6,000 was raised in the space of three hours, a record for the Thor Motors concert. The OVE performed many Christmas carols and songs, including The Hallelujah Chorus and White is in the Winter Night. A large donation was also received from Steve Orr of Dapper Depot, who continues to sponsor the OVE very generously.

'Orillia Performs' concert raises $2,300 for Lighthouse Shelter

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The OVE took part in the Orillia Performs concert on November 2, 2016, together with the Orillia Concert Band, the Cellar Singers, the Orillia Jazz Brass, the Orillia Silver Brass Ensemble, the Jubilee Chorale, and the Mariposa Arts Theatre. Jonathon Moellman performed a piece on the violin, accompanied by his father, Jeffrey Moellman on the piano.

The OVE, as the final act, sang Dirait-on, Love Sonnet #18, and Gather at the River.

Finally, all the musicians and singers joined together in an encore, with a rousing rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

OVE members help Syrian children

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OVE members volunteered as singers in a retreat for the Nai Syrian Children's Choir that was held on the weekend of September 10 and 11, 2016. More photos of this event can be found on our Photo Gallery page.

Final Spring Concert nets over $2,000 for Information Orillia.

The OVE's final concert of the season on May 28th, 2016 featured music by Brahms, Lauridsen, Billy Joel and more. Guest performers Richard Fallows and Michael Martyn contributed to the entertaining program. Emerging artist Jocelyn Losole-Stringer performed The Boy Next Door and received the annual OVE Roger Andrews Memorial Scholarship Award.

Over $2,000 was raised from donations over the evening, and a cheque for that amount was presented to Information Orillia at the end of a very warm evening.

Roy Menagh presented with Order of Orillia

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Together with Jim Campbell and Ken Forbes, OVE music director Roy Menagh is a new recipient of the Order of Orillia.
"It's very surprising in a sense, but it is just a huge honour," said Menagh, whose musical talents, organizational abilities and unbridled enthusiasm have been an inspiration for many, according to Gross.

"To be in the company of others who have received the Order of Orillia is really quite an honour."

Menagh created the Orillia Vocal Ensemble and also serves as musical director of the Orillia Wind Ensemble and Mariposa Arts Theatre musical productions. As well, he has been the artistic director of many fundraising concerts, including last fall's Orillia Performs event that raised thousands of dollars for local Syrian refugee efforts.

Menagh said the honour pays tribute to the many people he has worked with over the years.

"I think this kind of a thing, in my position, is a shared honour because everything I've done has been in collaboration with hundreds of people," he said. "I've benefited from the skills and generous support of a lot of other people. It's a symbiotic relationship."

For the full Packet and Times article, see our Media/Press Cuttings page.

Roy was presented with the certificate of the Order at a council meeting on April 25th, 2016.

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OVE raises $5,550 for Green Haven

The OVE and the Griddle Pickers raised $5,550 for the Green Haven Shelter for Women in their Safe Haven concert on Sunday, February 28, 2016 at the Orillia Opera House, which thrilled the director of the Haven, Liz Westcott. An eclectic mix of music was performed, including three spirituals, a cowboy song and Gordon Lightfoot's Song for a Winter's Night.

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Yet another successful Coral Gold workshop held on April 28, 2018




About 75 choristers from eleven choirs or choral groups participated in a sensational day of learning at Lakehead University!

As with previous workshops, three clinicians led participants in different aspects of choral singing.

Dr. Mark Sirett, noted Canadian composer and conductor, explained his compositional process to promote greater meaning and understanding in performers!

Melissa Lalonde led singers in exploring traditional Zulu vocal music and discovering some of the ways in which African song is unified.

Dr. Robin Williams presented an intense session on the basics of singing according to the Italian School, commonly referred to as bel canto.

Feedback from the choristers present was very positive, and an enjoyable day was had by all.

Another successful choral workshop held on April 23, 2016

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The Orillia Vocal Ensemble presented the successful Choral GOLD workshop for choristers from local and regional choirs on April 23, 2016. It was hosted by Lakehead University at the Orillia campus.

Three clinicians presented sessions on different aspects of choral performance. They were Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevan, Jenny Crober and Dr. Lee Willingham.

Dean held a session on indigenous song, Lee presented his approach to singing with a free, connected voice, and Jenny contrasted two styles of folk music.

Feedback from participants has been very positive.

See our Photo Gallery for pictures from the event.

Successful Choral Workshop Held April 25, 2015

The OVE held a successful choral workshop at Lakehead University on April 25, 2015 that was attended by choristers from eleven choirs. Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans and Dr. Leonard Enns ran two concurrent workshops each in the morning, followed by separate workshops for Sopranos/Altos and Tenors/Basses in the afternoon. Finally, all choristers came together for a joint rehearsal followed by renditions of 'A Mighty Fortress is Our God' and 'Away From The Roll Of The Sea' on the staircase in the commons area.
Many thanks to all the wonderful people who worked hard to make the workshop a success!

See our Media page for another video, and our Photo Gallery for pictures of the event.