Skip to content

Algoma Festival Choir teams up with youth for 50th anniversary

‘Singing doesn’t have to stop when you leave high school’: Korah and Tarentorus choirs will help celebrate the half-century milestone during spring concert on May 3

One of the city’s longest running choirs is celebrating a huge milestone next month, and they’re teaming up with a pair of local schools to recognize the occasion.

Members of the Algoma Festival Choir will join choirs from Korah Collegiate and Tarentorus Public School when they kick off their 50th season inside the Machine Shop with a spring concert entitled “Sing! Sing! Sing!” on May 3.

Nearly 100 singers across the trio of choral groups will combine for several songs, including “We Rise Again” and ABBA’s “Thank You For The Music.”

Involved with the group since 1987, Algoma Festival Choir president Karen Kettles said their impressive half-century feat can only be summed up it one way: “With song.”

“We asked ourselves how we foster the love of singing,” she told SooToday. “We look to the youth and tell them that singing doesn’t have to stop when you leave high school. There are community choirs you can join, and here we are. It’s about moving it forward.”

The choir was born from the Algoma Fall Festival and became established in 1974. The group performed with the festival for two years before becoming completely independent.

According to an article from The Sault Daily Star on Oct. 1, 1974, the choir was formed by Dr. Nicholas Goldschmidt, an artistic director from the Vancouver International Festival.

He conducted three choral workshops in the previous spring before 65 singers from local schools, churches, and choral groups comprised the very first edition of the choir.

Singers in the Algoma Festival Choir's inaugural year are pictured in this photo from Oct. 1, 1974 edition of The Sault Daily Star

Since then, Algoma Festival Choir members have proudly been sharing their voices both inside and well outside the community. In the past, the group has travelled to England, Chicago, and Quebec City for memorable performances.

Throughout their ups and downs, Kettles has been impressed with how the choir has navigated the arts and culture scene, particularly in recent years when the pandemic shut down live music.

“In a time where a lot of service organizations are falling apart, this group has, if anything, gotten stronger,” she said. “This concert is all about singing. Every single song is dealing with the love of singing and why we sing.”

The elementary, high school, and festival choirs have been rehearsing at Zion Evangelical Lutheran, an east-end church that just celebrated their 100th anniversary last October.

The Algoma Festival Choir’s spring concert will take place at the Machine Shop on May 3 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at the door and online.

Full details of the upcoming performance are below:


The Algoma Festival Choir celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a special Spring Concert: SING! SING! SING!

The Algoma Festival Choir is proud to announce its 50th anniversary celebration with a spring concert titled Sing! Sing! Sing! on Friday May 3, 2024, at the Machine Shop at 7:30 p.m.

Under the direction of Stephen Mallinger, the concert will showcase the talents of the Algoma Festival Choir and special guests: the Korahsters from Korah Collegiate & Vocational School, under the direction of Denine Williams, and students from Tarentorus Public School Choir directed by Christine Aceti Horst.

With the joy of singing being its central theme, the songs will range from “Singing In The Rain” to “My Spirit Sang All Day” to “Something To Sing About.” Concert goers can look forward to an inspiring rendition of “We Rise Again” performed by the combined three choirs.

“All of our repertoire features the joy of singing and how music makes us feel. We are looking forward to sharing the stage with younger singers who also love to sing,” said Choir President Karen Kettles. “This concert is a wonderful opportunity to foster the love and appreciation of choral music.”

Tickets for SING! SING! SING! are available from choir members, online at and at the door.

Adults $25 - Students $10 - Children 12 and under free

Don’t miss out on this extraordinary night of celebration and song! Reception with light refreshments to follow.

About us: The Algoma Festival Choir is an adult mixed voice community-based choir under the direction of Stephen Mallinger for thirty years.

Established in 1974 during the Algoma Fall Festival, the Choir has become a cornerstone of the local arts community, dedicated to fostering a love and appreciation of choral music. The Algoma Festival Choir performs two major concerts each year in May and December, as well as community concerts for seniors and nursing home residents, delighting audiences with a diverse repertoire of styles and special guest performers.

The Algoma Festival Choir has twice travelled to England to perform at Winchester Cathedral in 2002 and at Lincoln Cathedral in 2005. More recently, The Choir has enjoyed performing in Quebec City, Elliot Lake, Petoskey, Sault Ste. Marie Michigan and Chicago.

Fun fact: The Algoma Festival Choir logo is designed to represent the three treble notes: A, F and C.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Helen Pereira

Algoma Festival Choir


[email protected]

What's next?

If you would like to apply to become a Verified reader Verified Commenter, please fill out this form.


Alex Flood

About the Author: Alex Flood

Alex is a recent graduate from the College of Sports Media where he discovered his passion for reporting and broadcasting
Read more