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

Rehearsals for the regular 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.

  • No musical experience is required.
  • Our Winter session for the Saturday choir begins on Saturday, January 11th 2020, from 9:45 AM – 12:15 PM. Rehearsals then continue weekly through to May 24th, 2020.
  • Our first three rehearsals on Saturday, January 11th , 18th, and 25th are open for everyone to try out the choir experience.
  • On Saturday, January 25th at 12:00 midnight, we will close registration for this Winter session.
Hamilton Spectator
Sue Crowe Connolly

Hamilton Sings! proves choirs are good for the body as well as the soul

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 (http://hamiltonsings.ca/) which is now rehearsing Saturday mornings for its winter concert — Light in the Night — on Dec. 7 at the Sherman Boys & Girls Club (formerly HARRRP), 705 Main Street East.

now on the site

For Choir Members

  • Carry On
    • Soprano, alto, tenor & bass
    • Concert recording: May 2015
  • Call My Name
    • YouTube video
  • Viva la Musica
    • Concert recording: May 2015
Keep track of your choir!

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

Pointer Time

Howdy Folks! A big warm welcome to new and returning members of Hamilton Sings, one of the Hammer’s best cultural offerings. We’re a community, gathered in song, with a tune in our hearts and goodwill in our souls. Every Saturday morning at 9:45 am we come together to learn folk songs from around the world with the benefit of healthy vocal coaching from our musical directors. Do not lose sight however of our your premier focus: fun, fun, fun! We’ll be sending active membership this missive throughout the term in order to keep you up to date on what’s up. This Saturday January 18th is our second and last Open Rehearsal before we close the term to new membership. So if you’ve got friends still sitting on the fence, it’s time to boot them off it and drag them in with you this Saturday. More the merrier! Be aware that the January 25th rehearsal with include material that you will have already been exposed to on January 11th and this Saturday the 18th – so your efforts so far will not be for naught. Just a few pointers on how things work around here: We finance our activities with a pay-what-you-can approach. You can throw some bucks in our contribution hat, make a active commitment to one of our several operational committees and/or put in some time helping out at our fundraisers. Anything you can do is greatly appreciated. A rough back-of-the-envelope estimate of supporting each chorister is $150. Please give what you can. We’re appreciative guests of the Sherman Boys and Girls Club and contribute to their financial health as well. You can help reduce their custodial costs by making sure your shoes are dry and any beverages you tote are in non-spill containers. This big old church can be drafty – dress in layers to prevent your teeth from chattering. Please be on time for rehearsals. Plan to arrive at 9:45 am to allow for settling into your seat and catching up with your fellows. We get underway at 10:00 am sharp. Sign in each and every time. Our attendance sheets provide proof of participation to government bodies that we may approach for additional funding someday. This additional funding could allow for additional activities such as workshops etc. Heads up! Wednesday January 22nd at 7:30pm. We’ve been invited to do a presentation for 100 Women Who Care Hamilton-Wentworth at the Leander Boat House. We’ll sing a song or two, and this will be a fundraising opportunity. We’ll have a brief rehearsal Tuesday January 21st at 7:00pm (location to be announced this Saturday). Sign up sheet will be at the front desk. Got any constructive ideas or comments? Don’t hesitate to contact us at hamiltonsings@gmail.com. We can’t guarantee how timely the response will be but your observations are deeply appreciated and help make us grow. Look forward to seeing you all this Saturday. Cheers, Brenda Atkinson Co-chorister

Big Thank You & One More Gig at Steelhawks

Hi folks, A very big thank you to all who came to St. Elizabeth’s Villa last night, and for Tanya, Greg and Michelle

Order! Order!

Hi Gang Here’s the music order we’re going to run this Saturday, so get your black music folder in order pluezze! You must attend this Saturday

A Few Essential Details

Sorry I’m a little late with the update this week. I’ve been binge-watching CNN’s impeachment hearings coverage and I’m struck by how

Who? Me?

Hello everybody. Last week’s rehearsal found us, by necessity, gathering in song in the basement level of the Sherman Boys and Girls Club. The acoustics were radically different,

Cut to the Chase

Fellow Singers, Rather than distract with my puny metaphors and ceaseless prattle, I’ve decided to cut to the chase with a calendar summary of what the next few weeks have in store for us: