Enriching lives through choral excellence and community engagement...
Four choir members at the University of Western Ontario located in London, Ontario.

KSS turns 25!

2017-2018 marks our 25th Anniversary Season and we’re celebrating with three fantastic concerts and two very special events! 

choir photo
Photo by Saharsh Cherian

With Silver as our Anniversary theme, our three subscription concerts are: 

Saturday, November 18, 2017, 8 pm
Silver Jubilation
- For perhaps only the second time in London, Ola Gjeilo’s lush and exquisite Sunrise Mass with string orchestra. This spiritual work is neither expressly sacred nor secular. Its four movements take us on a metaphysical journey from the heavens to earth, from the echo of “The Spheres” (Kyrie) to “Identity and The Ground” (Sanctus) with its earthly themes. 

Also on the program, Handel’s jubilant and triumphant Dettingen Te Deum, performed in English with full orchestra and superb soloists, Gabrielle Heidinger Baerg, Christopher Fischer and Giles Tomkins, setting the tone for our celebration. The Dettingen Te Deum is a brilliant example of how Handel could capture the tone of festive occasions as had never been done before. Not a "Te Deum" in the strict sense, it contains several movements of a celebratory military nature. Written to mark England's victory over the French at the Battle of Dettingen, it is Handel's last and most successful setting of this text of praise and thanksgiving. Striking are several borrowings from Messiah which Handel had just completed. 

Gabrielle Heidinger BaergGabrielle Heidinger Baerg began her studies with Irena Welhasch Baerg and has been an active soloist in concerts in Southwestern Ontario ever since. She completed her Masters in Music Performance and Literature at the University of Western Ontario where she studied with Anita Krause-Wiebe and Theodore Baerg. Mrs. Baerg was a strong member of UWOpera and performed as La zia Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Mrs. Olsen in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, and as Donna Elvira in the 2010 production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Mrs. Baerg has attended Opera NUOVA as the third lady in Magic Flute, the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, the Summer Opera Workshop in St. Andrew’s by the Sea, New Brunswick, and Opera on the Avalon in St. John’s Newfoundland as La zia Principessa in Suor Angelica and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Most recently she performed Hänsel in Metro Youth Opera’s production of Hänsel und Gretel. Mrs. Baerg teaches voice, piano, and theory in London.

Chris FischerTenor Christopher Fischer has earned a reputation as an intelligent, flexible and sensitive performer on the concert stage, in repertoire ranging from Allegri to Zelenka. He holds degrees (BMus and MMus) from Wilfrid Laurier University and Arizona State University, plus the Diploma of Associate (ARCCO) from the Royal Canadian College of Organists. Chris is featured as a solo artist on recordings with the Guelph Chamber Choir, Arcady, and Masterworks of Oakville, and he has toured as an organist, soloist and chorister in England, Wales, Austria and the Czech Republic. A member of the acclaimed Elora Singers, Chris is a Guelph-based church musician, accompanist and private music teacher, and since 2016 has led the Circle of Song Choir for residents and caregivers at the Wellington Terrace Long-Term Care Home in Fergus.

Giles TomkinsCanadian/British bass-baritone Giles Tomkins is widely praised for his vocal virtuosity and lyricism in an impressive range of repertoire. His rich, resonant voice brings “authority and power” to the concert and operatic stage.
Mr. Tomkins’ operatic roles include Don Basilio (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Pistola (Falstaff), Superintendent Budd (Albert Herring), Leporello/Commendatore (Don Giovanni), and Sergeant of Police (Pirates of Penzance). He has been engaged by Vancouver Opera, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Pacific Opera Victoria, Edmonton Opera and Tapestry New Opera.
Noted for his convincing portrayal of the philosopher Colline in La Bohème, Giles has performed the role with Scottish Opera, as well as with Saskatoon Opera, Manitoba Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria.
This season, Mr. Tomkins debuts in the role of Timur in Turandot with Edmonton Opera and is Sciarrone in the Canadian Opera Company’s Tosca.
Recent oratorio performances include Elijah with Vancouver Bach Choir, Messiah with Elmer Iseler Singers, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Symphony New Brunswick, Dvorak’s Requiem with Chorus Niagara, St. John Passion with Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Symphony Nova Scotia. Concert performances in 2016/17 include Messiah with Regina Symphony and Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra.
On the contemporary music scene, Mr. Tomkins starred as Gandalf in Dean Burry’s The Hobbit with Canadian Childrens’ Opera Company and joined the cast of The Bells of Baddeck, Lorna MacDonald and Dean Burry’s music drama based on the life of Alexander Graham Bell.

Saturday, March 24, 2018, 8 pm 
Hot Hits of the Silver Screen
- KSS and friends to bring you a concert of great and glorious Music from the Movies - including "Gabriel’s Oboe" (The Mission), "O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana (Excalibur), “Lacrymosa" from Mozart's Requiem (Amadeus), Down to the River to Pray (Brother Where Art Thou?), plus music from Star Wars, Mamma Mia!, Ben-Hur, 9 to 5, Platoon, Frozen, and much more. Dramatic, mesmerizing, funky and beautiful—a rich and varied evening!

Saturday, June 2, 2018, 8 pm
KSS Silver Celebration!
- Plan to party as we celebrate 25 years of performing great concerts for you, our audiences! John Rutter's festive Gloria and Paul Halley's monumental "Wondrous Love" featuring brass and timpani, frame the evening. We'll also bring you favourites from our first 25 years, some KSS trivia, and a few surprises. As well, we'll offer a peek into the future with stunning music by Lauridsen, songs from Les Mis, and much more—all in sparkling KSS style! With a party atmosphere and a reception following, we'll have it all! We just need you to be our guests!

We also have a Special Earth Day Benefit Concert

Saturday, April 21, 2018, 8 pm
Missa Gaia/Earth Mass
- The wolves, whales and loons are back! This is the piece that started it all. From its beginnings as a choir created to sing this one amazing work, KSS has grown to be a force for live choral performance in London that we know today. A sweeping celebration of Creation and Creator, Missa Gaia weaves a myriad of sound textures and colours that overlay the rhythms of Afro-Brazilian, Zulu and Native-American music through to gospel and Gregorian chant, transporting audiences to a higher place. Last heard in London in 2011, this special performance of Missa Gaia is a benefit concert to support Wesley-Knox United Church, our wonderful venue for 25 years. With Denise Pelley, Paul Grambo, the Wesley-Knox choirs, Steve Holowitz and the Missa Gaia Jazz Ensemble.

Don't miss this Special Anniversary Season! Tickets available here!

Karen Schuessler
Karen Schuessler

Sing Joy