Bytown Voices 2024 Winter-Spring Session

 Thank you for joining us!

Home: songs of land, belonging and connection. 

"Home sweet home" are words we utter after a long absence. But what is home? Is it a place, land, and people? Join us for a journey exploring home through songs that echo a mother's voice, connection to land, the hardship of separation, and the joys of connection.

Bytown Voices has been proud to feature music by creators from the Ottawa region: the premiere of "Home to Africville" by Lyndsay Bolden and "She is the Woman Who Sang Me the Birds" with music by Beverley McKiver and words by Ottawa poet Wendy Duschenes, who grew up in Westfield, New Brunswick. Lyndsay Bolden is African-American and calls Canada home. Beverley McKiver is a member of the Lac Seul First Nation (Anishinaabe).

Our instrumentalists for this concert were:  instrumentalists Keith Hartshorn-Walton on bass, Anthony Bacon on banjo and Erik Johnson-Scherger on violin.

From upper left clockwise:  Erik Johnson Scherger (photo: Curtis Perry Photography), Beverley McKiver (photo: Denis Remond), Lyndsay Bolden, Keith Hartshorn-Walton (photo: Alan Dean), Anthony Bacon, Wendy Duschenes (photo: Denis Redmond)

CONCERT LINE-UP  * = Canadian

All the Little Rivers  *     Nickel
Un canadien errant  *     Trad/Sirett
Dear Applachia               Powell
Emily Carr Suite  *           Tate
Home to Africville  *        Bolden
Mon pays  *                     Vigneault /Nickel

Nine Hundred Miles                          Trad / Silver
Paradise-Song of Georgian Bay *    Hunter/ Daley
The Piano  *                                         Macdonald             
A Place in the Choir                            Staines
She is the Woman Who Sang Me the Birds  *     


What is Bytown Voices? 

  • The Bytown Voices is a non-audition (i.e. no tests to prove your vocal competency) community choir 
  • Made up of more than 80 enthusiastic singers from across the national capital region (ON/QC). The choir is SATB: sopranos, altos, tenors and basses.
  • We also welcome children from ages 9 (grade 4) and up.
  • The only requisite to join is to have a love of music and singing.  
  • We perform two concerts per year, with additional outreach concerts at seniors' residents and long- term care facilities.
  • Masks are no longer required for practices or concerts but all choir members are encouraged to be fully vaccinated and to remain at home when sick with COVID, flu or cold. 

    What do we sing? 

    Bytown Voices sings a variety of repertoire from various centuries, styles, cultures, and degree of difficulty. As a non-audition and inclusive choir, our membership ranges from people singing in a choir for the first time to experienced musicians. Most importantly, new members become long-time members dedicated to the community.

Our artistic director, Joan Fearnley, is an engaging conductor committed to bringing out the best in each member. Her music choices are thoughtful and varied with something for everyone and she will send you home enriched, energized and humming a tune after rehearsal. Joan is supported by our excellent pianist (Carla Klassen), our music team associate (Devon Wastle-Thivierge), and our children's mentor (Mélanie Hartshorn-Walton), as well as a dedicated volunteer executive board and volunteers from the choir.

To see the full 24 year repertoire from 1999,  just CLICK HERE

For information about choir membership contact us at

 Bytown Voices is a multi-generational choir  

In 2022-23  the Bytown Voices Community Choir began the transition to a multi-generational choir model. Each year there are fewer opportunities for children to participate in choral singing in school or community. In the Fall and Spring Seasons six young singers joined the choir. It showed the model is viable and popular as long as the right supports are in place. We believe this will lead to a model which includes more children and a better balanced representation of choristers in all generation groupings: Silent Gen: 1925-1945; Boomers: 1946-1964; Gen X: 1965-1979; Millennials: 1980-1994; Gen Z: 1995-2012; Gen Alpha: 2013-2025.

2024 Spring Concert-Knox Presbyterian Church.  Photo: Graeme Conn

For the complete 24 concert  music list 1999 to 2023  Click here

free templates