About Strata

Strata Vocal Ensemble began with a group of friends from various choirs who loved to sing, laugh and perform a wide variety of music. We were an ad hoc group who would gather in the backyard in the summer over a beer or two to sight read..… our idea of fun! At the end of the summer, we would put together a program for family and friends. We were a self-directed and consensus-driven ensemble who just lived to sing.

Out of this group, Strata evolved as a performance choir doing 2 or 3 concerts per year. After taking a full season to bond and build repertoire, we gave our first concert in June, 2005. There were only 9 of us at that inaugural concert. Small but mighty! Our audience responded enthusiastically to our eclectic programming, as well as our sound in the beautiful acoustic of MacNeill Baptist Church. Thus encouraged, we even entered the CBC Canadian Choral Competition in 2006 and placed as national semi-finalists, though we had to bulk up to a dozen singers in order to qualify to compete. Our juried performance aired on CBC Radio 2’s program, Choral Concert. We had caught the bug!!

In Strata, we strive to keep a communal approach both to programming and to musical interpretation. Choristers are welcome to put forward suggestions to enhance the music. We also have a committee of volunteers that meets in the summer to plan concerts. We truly believe that working together will produce a better product.

In 2010 Strata invited Dr. Gordon Adnams to be our conductor. Gord had a wealth of experience and also had the necessary collegial style of leadership that worked for us. We grew under his tutelage, but in June of 2017, Gord decided to hang up his baton in order to spend more time with his grandchildren.

As of September 2017, we are very excited to welcome Laurel Forshaw as our conductor. With her leadership, we are still consensus-driven, delighting in eclectic programming and striving to highlight Canadian composers in particular. We look forward to experiencing Laurel’s musical sensitivities, knowledge and vision as we grow under her new direction in a long and fruitful collaboration.

What is Love?

Saturday May 4, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Knox Presbyterian Church, 89 Dunn St, Oakville
Sunday May 5, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.
MacNeill Baptist Church, 1145 King St W, Hamilton

These words, taken from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, are the focus of the second concert in our 2018-2019 season. And what a wealth of songs we had to choose from!

We invite you to come and let us fill your hearts and minds with songs of love. What better way to spend a few hours in “the lovely month of May”.

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Songs of Farewell

Saturday November 24, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Knox Presbyterian Church, 89 Dunn St., Oakville
Sunday November 25, 2018 at 3 p.m.
MacNeill Baptist Church, 1145 King St. West, Hamilton

To honour the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, Strata has prepared a collection of choral gems aptly entitled Songs of Farewell. Central to this concert is Requiem by Canadian composer Eleanor Daley, which features both traditional and contemporary lyrics. This poignant and uplifting work was awarded the 1994 National Choral Award for Outstanding Choral Composition of the year by the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors, and it is not to be missed.

We invite you to join us for Songs of Farewell, a concert of hauntingly beautiful music that we hope will leave your soul refreshed and renewed.

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The Big Sing

Embrace the holiday spirit with a seasonal sing-along. Bring your jingle bells and Santa hats and indulge in hot cider and treats!!
We encourage you to purchase tickets in advance because seating is limited.
For tickets, email fieldcote@hamilton.ca
Link to the event: click here

Enjoy a sample of an earlier magical evening in 2016:

The Big Sing – Christmas 2016.
Video Credit: Eric Papky, Hive Studios

a unique musical experience