To commemorate the choir’s 25th anniversary in 1989, the Orpheus Choir of Toronto founded the John and Mary Sidgwick Scholarship Program.
Each year, young emerging solo vocalists, often from performance programs at the University of Toronto, The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory, or York University, join the choir as Sidgwick Scholars.
They act as section leaders, receive a financial stipend and tutelage from the choir’s Artistic Director, and have the opportunity to perform as soloists in the season’s concerts.
The Orpheus Choir is extremely proud of the superb young singers who have participated in the program over the years. Many of the Sidgwick Scholar Alumni have gone on to exciting careers in the music industry and we hope the training they received with us has played a small part in their success.
Past Scholars include:
- Wallis Giunta, mezzo-soprano (Young Singer of the Year at the 2018 International Opera Awards)
- Victor Micallef, tenor (The Tenors)
- Joey Niceforo, tenor (‘New Classic’ solo artist)
- James Westman, baritone (hailed by Maclean’s magazine as one of 100 Young Canadians to Watch in 1998)
- Patricia O’Callaghan, soprano (renowned cabaret artist on Universal label)
- Michael Colvin, tenor (heard often in major opera houses worldwide)
- Leslie-Ann Bradley, soprano (winner of numerous international competitions and the Prix du chant Pierre Bernac award at the Académie International de musique Maurice Ravel in France)
- Karen Wierzba, soprano (recipient of an international competition to sing under the baton of Seiji Ozawa)
- Johane Ansell, soprano (in-demand opera and oratorio soloist)
- Vasil Garvanliev, baritone (rising operatic star)
- Elisabeth Hetherington (rising early music star)
- Maeve Palmer (second-prize winner of the 2017 Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition)
- …and so many more who have gone on to significant solo careers.