Welcome to

Hamilton Sings! Community Choir

We are a non-audition, mixed-voice choir for adults and older youth. Our members may be new to singing or to choirs, or they may bring lots of musical experience. Everyone wants a fun and friendly place to make music together.

There is no audition! Choir membership includes healthy, functional voice coaching, and musical skills development.

Saturday Choir

Saturday Choir

Normally, our rehearsals for the Saturday choir are on Saturday mornings from 9:45 AM – 12:15 PM, with two sessions each year. Rehearsals take place at Sherman Boys and Girls Club (formerly St. Peter’s HARRRP), 705 Main St. E., Hamilton, Ontario. Our music leaders are Sue Crowe Connolly and Hanna Bech Mathieson.

All of the following are subject to change, as regulations and health guidelines change:

  • No musical experience is required.
  • Our Autumn session for the Saturday choir is planned to begin on a Saturday in September, from 9:45 AM – 12:15 PM, and will continue weekly through to the first week of December, 2020.
  • Our first rehearsal in September, 2020 will be open for everyone to try out the choir experience.
    • We will then close registration for this Fall session.
Our home, the Sherman Boys and Girls Club, is closed for the forseeable future. That means we cannot rehearse again until this virus ends.
Sue and Hanna are conducting online Zoom sessions on Saturdays now. Check your e-mail for connection information.
New sound and lyric files for these sessions will be on the Members’ page.
Let’s sing!
On Saturday morning, Hanna led 30+ choir members in a Zoom session with warmups, a sing-along, and some new music.
A little something for the spirit!
now on the site

For Choir Members

sound files, lyrics, sheet music, even some video

Choral Connections

  • Carry On
  • Fire in My Heart
  • For the Future
  • Hallelujah
  • Hanna Bech Lyrics
  • Starlight Tours
  • Sumer Is Icumen In
  • The Mary Ellen Carter
  • The Vine and the Fig Tree
  • The Water is Wide
  • We Are Whole and We Are Holy
Keep track of your choir!
Donate to the choir!
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Choirs are good for the body as well as the soul.

 Sue Crowe Connolly

Choristers not only fulfill their need to find joy in music; they also have ample opportunity to better appreciate the diverse talents and interests of other members of the broader Hamilton community.

NOVEMBER 12, 2019

Every Saturday morning through the autumn, winter and early spring, a diverse crew of about 70 Hamiltonians gathers in a drafty repurposed church hall on Main Street downtown. They chat quietly until the gentle singing of a leader invites them all to add their voices.

Our members come from every part of the city, run the age gamut from young adults to pensioners and comprise a charming and intriguing variety of backgrounds. Yet out of that diversity comes something very special, because we are drawn together by one compelling desire: to sing.

And sing we do, an eclectic mix of traditional, folk and community music, augmented by original songs written by members or local musicians. We endeavour to feature music that reflects the cultural variety of Hamilton and honours the heritage of our choristers, sung in languages ranging from French to Dutch to Mandarin to Swahili. >>

Through these weekly practices — two formal concerts a year and random other appearances around the city — our members scratch a deep, almost primordial, itch to make music together.

The poet was right when he said music hath charms to soothe a savage breast. Studies show that singing, particularly in concert with others, has extraordinary therapeutic effects for individuals.

Daniel Levitin, psychology professor at McGill University and author of This is Your Brain on Music, says group singing has been an essential element of community building for tens of thousands of years. “Still today,” he says, “you can go to hunter-gatherer societies, pre-industrial tribes, and everybody sings, everybody dances. “It’s a shame, he says, when people say they can’t sing or dance. “That goes against our evolutionary history.”

More than that, his work has revealed that choral singing isn’t just good for the soul — it’s good for the body. By analyzing the changes in people’s brain activity when they sing together, he’s found a biological link between communal singing and stronger feelings of belonging and measurable mood elevation. >>

Caroline Bithell of the University of Manchester agrees, citing a popular saying of African origin: If you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing.

“This has been adopted by many community choir leaders whose work is fuelled by the conviction that singing is our birthright — a natural activity that should be accessible to everyone — and a powerful tool for building and celebrating community.”

That is exactly what we have discovered at Hamilton Sings!

Because we do not require an audition to join, we attract people with a wide range of musical knowledge and experience. So every week there is the challenge of learning and the satisfaction of acquiring new skills.

Plus, our veteran choristers take great pride in helping newcomers — and each other — gain musical skill and confidence. And, as any teacher knows, there is great reward in helping others grow. >>

“We meet so many wonderful folks and talented singers and artists along the way,” says member Lynn Watkins. “The choir has helped me through some hard times and it has changed my life. I was and still am a shy person, but they have helped me get out of my bubble. I’ve become more open to my surroundings and am a better person than the girl I was yesterday.”

Six years ago, we started this experiment in community building with a couple of dozen people. Thanks to their dedication, and the dynamic leadership of Hanna Bech Mathieson (my partner in this venture), and a dedicated board of choir members, Hamilton Sings! Community Choir has become a place where our choristers not only fulfil their need to find joy in music; they also have ample opportunity to better appreciate the diverse talents and interests of other members of the broader Hamilton community.

Sound interesting? Feel free to find out more about us as we continue to build bridges in the community between people who otherwise would probably never have met.

Recipient of the City of Hamilton’s 2019 Arts Education and Community Arts Award, Sue Crowe Connolly works with people to claim their own voice, and trains vocal teachers and choral leaders. She founded and co-leads Hamilton Sings! Community Choir rehearses Saturday mornings at the Sherman Boys & Girls Club (formerly HARRRP), 705 Main Street East.

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The Musical Home of our Saturday Choir
Sherman Boys and Girls Club
(formerly St. Peter’s HARRRP)
705 Main St E, Hamilton

Hamilton Sings! spring concert, “Songs of Canada at 150 Plus” took place at Christ’s Church Cathedral, James St N. in Hamilton. This selection, Dave Gould’s “Starlight Tours”, was performed by Dave, accompanied by the choir and Stephen Fuller on violin.

Brenda’s Updates

Duty Calls: The AGM

Duty calls, fellow choristers. Indeed, this Saturday May 30th at 10am you can exercise your rights, satisfy your obligations, and have a hand in your choir’s future. I’m talking about our first ever virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM),

The ‘Long’ Weekend

Howdy all Saturday mornings used to be set aside for watching cartoons but luckily you’ve all got something else to do . . . Step right up to your computer screens tomorrow at 10am to enjoy our second last Choral Connection

Choral Connection

Hi Folks I’m going to be spare you much in the way of words from me today and direct you to follow the link below to an estimable Globe and Mail article from Canadian wordsmith Saleema Nawaz.

Social Isolation Sessions

Hey Kids! Time to register for the Social Isolation Sessions continuing every Saturday morning at 10am until May 23rd, handily hosted via Zoom virtual meeting technology.

Blueberries Are Coming!

Hi there: Hope you’re all as keen as I am to join together for a virtual rehearsal tomorrow at 10am. Though not as good as the real thing – it’s a great consolation to see and hear everyone. Just a few edited words from Hanna to clarify the nature of the experience:

The Big 4-0

Hamilton Sings! Community Choir Hi Gang Pinch me, I must be dreaming. I can get by car to Toronto in under 40 minutes, line up to buy groceries at Costco for 40 minutes, and fill my gas tank for under $40.