Heliconian Choir and Orchestra
Heliconian Hall  

The Heliconian Choir and Heliconian Orchestra are new chamber ensembles of the Toronto Heliconian Club, a meeting place for professional women in the arts and letters, located at Heliconian Hall in the Yorkville area of downtown Toronto. The Heliconian Club is one of the oldest associations of its kind in Canada. Founded in 1909 to give women in the arts and letters an opportunity to meet socially and intellectually, the club holds to its original purpose while responding to the changes of contemporary life. Its name derives from Mount Helicon, the mythical abode of the Muses. Built in 1875, beautifully restored Heliconian Hall is both a Toronto and a National Historic Site. The hall has a Steinway grand piano and a vaulted ceiling which provides excellent concert-hall acoustics.

Choir rehearsals and orchestra rehearsals take place every second Wednesday from 12-2 pm, in alternating weeks, at Heliconian Hall. Qualified club members participate free of charge. Non-members may also participate for a small fee of $40 per season. As funds allow, honoraria are paid to all participants, and a portion is paid to the club. The choir began as an SSA chamber choir of 9 singers, plus conductor and soloists, with the intention to later expand to an SATB choir. The orchestra began as a small chamber orchestra of 11 people plus conductor (string quintet, wind quintet and piano), with the intention to later expand to a larger chamber orchestra with 3/3/2/2/1 strings.

The Heliconian Choir and Orchestra were co-founded and led in their inaugural season by Artistic Director Michelle Kyle and conductor Sarah John. In their second season, the ensembles were led by Jacqueline Leung, Co-Artistic Director and General Manager; Alison Hodsman, Co-Artistic Director and Choir Manager; Katie Arnup, Co-Artistic Director and Orchestra Manager; and conductor Cheryll Chung.

The current HCO website is here.

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