About the Choir

Over the years, the choir has benefited under the inspired direction of Irla Stewart, Mary Hearn, Kathleen King Martin and currently, Linda Street. The Choristers have had, as well, the good fortune to be accompanied by many fine musicians, including our recently retired accompanist, Deborah Bailey.

The MacKay Choristers began in 1983 with 16 members under the inspirational leadership of Janet Kalbfleisch. In 2008, it had a membership of about 60. The choir sings locally in two annual concerts, one in May, the other in December, along with the Goderich Harbouraires, the Goderich Laketown Band. As well, the Choristers have enjoyed singing in Bayfield, Clinton, St. Mary’s, Toronto, Welland and Zurich. In 1989 and again in 1990, the Choristers performed at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall in the Seniors Jubilee Concert series. Choristers have also participated in four-day workshop/holiday sessions in Muskoka in 1989, 1991 and 1993 and in Stratford in 1996.

In 1993 and again in 1998, Choristers were privileged to have composer-arranger Don Besig conduct two choral workshops in Goderich. Following his first visit, Don, assisted by Nancy Price, composed and dedicated a song for the Choristers – “Say It With A Song” – which has since become the Choristers’ signature piece. Both Nancy Price and the Robert Wood Choir from Welland attended the 1998 workshop.

In 2010, the Choristers hosted a choral workshop with Prof. Victoria Meredith of Western University, and another, more recently, with Prof. Rachel Rensink-Hoff.  Members from at least 12 other local choirs attended these workshops.