Musica Viva spring concert – ‘Lovers and Friends’

By Walter Hendelman


A Little Background

Musica Viva Singers (MVS) is a community choir which enjoys singing in four-part harmony.  The choir was founded in 1997 under the direction of Brian Cameron in the basement of Glebe-St. James United Church but has since migrated to Centretown United Church on Bank Street just north of the Queensway, where it continues to attract Glebe residents to its ranks.

In 2013, Musica Viva welcomed its current musical director, Scott Richardson. Richardson’s lifetime passion for Canadian, Celtic and American folk and popular styles has been contagious. With his background in literature, he constantly challenges choristers to become more aesthetically aware of the intimate relationship between lyrics and musical setting. His thematic programs combine music from diverse eras, genres and cultures, allowing the choir to showcase its versatility.

Richardson is joined weekly by our very accomplished and versatile piano accompanist, Tom Sear, whom you may hear playing the odd solo at our concerts.

MVS is a non-audition choir, which means that you decide whether you are able to participate in a four-part choir. There is usually a brief “hello” session with the music director to make sure that you are singing in the right section for your voice. Reading music is not mandatory, but you should be able to match and remember pitches. Regular rehearsals are held on Monday evenings, and practice files are usually available online for each of the sections, which facilitates working on the pieces at home. The choir is rebuilding its membership following the COVID-19 loss of many long-time members and has been very successful at attracting new singers, giving us added energy. We continue to welcome new singers in all sections of the choir. The choir will resume its rehearsals in early September.


Our Spring Concert

For our spring concert, “Lovers and Friends,” Musica Viva Singers celebrates love in all of its forms and phases. It may be our spring concert, but the choir is singing all the seasons of love: new love, true love, and yes, also the blues of love. Plus, the love of that friend who you know will stand by you in times of fear and turmoil. The program includes music by pop music giants such as Carole King, George Gershwin, Gordon Lightfoot and the Beatles. It also features compositions by leading choral composers Bob Chilcott, Matthew Emery, Donald Patriquin and Dan Forrest.

We’d love to have you join us on Monday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Centretown United Church, 507 Bank Street (accessible via ramp).

Tickets: $25 General Admission, $15 Low-Income, $70 Family Pass (up to 2 adults and 4 kids). All three ticket types are available from choir members. General admission tickets can be purchased online on Eventbrite or through the MVS website at

Please note that an online auction “Talents, Gifts & Treasures” will be available via the website about three weeks prior to the concert.

See you at the concert!


Walter Hendelman has been a bass singer in Musica Viva Singers for several years. He is an active member of the Glebe community, participated on the GCA Parks Committee to help create the new Fire Station Park at O’Connor and Fifth and attempted to stop the Ottawa Hospital build on the Experimental Farm.

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