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Symphonic Choir

​The Symphonic Choir has a long and illustrious history as a representative of choral music in the Guelph community.


An auditioned ensemble consisting of students, staff, community members, and faculty from all disciplines, the choir has been supported by the College of Arts since 1969, when it emerged from a previous choral tradition in the Ontario Agricultural College that began just after World War Two.


Our repertoire focuses mostly on the choral-orchestral masterworks, but also includes some world music, Spirituals and songs from folk traditions, as well as ground-breaking compositions such as École Polytechnique by Hildegard Westerkamp and 10,000 Rivers of Oil, by Leonard Enns, commissioned by the choir in 2010.


Recent choral-symphonic performances have featured: Mozart’s Requiem and Vespers, Handel’s Messiah, and Hospital Foundling Anthem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Fauré’s Requiem, Haydn’s Creation and Lord Nelson Mass, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle , Honneger’s King David, and Bach’s Wachet auf and Magnificat.


Past conductors include Dr. Gerald Neufeld, Dr. Kathryn Laurin, Dr. Nicholas Goldschmidt, Dr. Robert Hall, and the late Ralph Kidd with the assistance of his wife, Edith. The choir particularly enjoys collaborating with other ensembles. Our joint performance of the Brahms Requiem in 1998 and 2011, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in 2007 and 2013 with the Guelph Chamber Choir, our numerous performances with the Guelph Symphony Orchestra, and our performance of Haydn’s Creation under the baton of Henry Janzen have been highlights.

A large group photo of choir members. They are all dressed casually, standing in rows, and smiling.
A large group photo of choir members. They are standing in rows and dressed in all black formal outfits in front of a stained glass window.

Meet the Accompanist, Betty Maher 

Symphonic Choir at rehearsal.


Betty Maher is a pianist living and working in Guelph, Ontario. She is much in demand for her skills as an accompanist and has been the resident accompanist for the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph for well over a decade. She has collaborated with many vocal and instrumental students over the last 20 years through her work with the University of Guelph, the Kiwanis Festival (locally and provincially), Guelph's own Edward Johnson Competition, the Elora Young Artist Competition and various masterclasses in the area. Betty considers it a privilege to work with students as they mature musically as the journey of studying music is constantly evolving.


Betty also maintains a successful teaching studio and is a member of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association. In 2011 Betty joined the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario as a tenor drummer with the Grand Celtic Pipe Band out of Fergus, Ontario - a totally new and adventurous musical experience!

Symphonic Choir at a performance.


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