The Oakville Choir for Children & Youth is an inclusive and welcoming organization that offers music education and leadership training to young people from 4-24.
We provide a fun, safe and educational space for children and youth to receive exceptional music education and develop outstanding leadership skills that foster community, connection, and confidence – both in and outside of the classroom.
For 30 years, Oakville Choir for Children and Youth (formerly The Oakville Children’s Choir) has provided exceptional music education and leadership training to young people. As a forward-thinking organization, we believe that providing a fun, safe and educational space for youth to express themselves, encourages them to find their voice and use it as a force for good in this world. Currently, we offer a collaborative and comprehensive choral music education program to over 200 young people.
Building on our strong national and international reputation, we engage our singers through exploring a wide range of repertoire, diverse musical programming, and high standards of performance. As a dynamic and award-winning choral organization, we are most proud of the choral collaborations that we have created through partnerships with other arts and community organizations both locally and internationally through our touring program. We continue to focus on empowering all youth to use their voice to lead, connect, learn, and build confidence in their community and beyond.
We provide mentorship, leadership training, and opportunities that give children and youth a chance to demonstrate their leadership skills and build great communication skills. Our programs empower our choristers with exceptional music education and help express themselves and build confidence both in and outside of the classroom.
Dr. Charlene Pauls
Collaborative Pianist & Theory Instructor
Janet (Stachow) Correia
Board of Directors
Houri Houldsworth, Past Chair
Paul Treiber, Treasurer
Kathy Grant-Munoz, Board Member
Vivien Szatan, Board Member
Heather McLennan, Board Member
A native of Newfoundland and Labrador, Maria Conkey (she/her), is emerging as an inspiring and innovative conductor, clinician, and pedagogue in Canada’s choral scene. She is passionate about choral music as a means to create community and foster leadership in young people. In addition to her new role as Artistic Director of the Oakville Choir for Children & Youth, she is also currently the Junior Choir Conductor at St. Michael’s Choir School.
Maria is a graduate of Memorial University and the University of Alberta, where she studied choral conducting under the direction of Dr. Debra Cairns and Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff. She has worked with internationally acclaimed conductors such as Maria Guinand, Jon Washburn, and Fred Sjoberg. Past engagements include Artistic Director of Young Voices Toronto, the Conductor of the award-winning senior choirs at St. Bonaventure’s College (NL), and the Choral Director at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist (NL). She has also worked with Shallaway – Newfoundland Youth in Chorus and several children’s, youth, and adult choirs, including the Alberta Youth Choir and the University of Alberta Madrigal Singers. Maria is serving as President-Elect on the Board of Directors of Choirs Ontario.
Dr. Charlene Pauls has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a Soprano Soloist, Choral Conductor, Pedagogue and Voice Clinician across Canada and on international stages. She has appeared as soloist with conductors such as Robert Shaw and Helmuth Rilling, and has directed choirs on stages that include the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia, and Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. Her background as a professional singer has greatly informed her approach to choral directing, and has provided a strong foundation in building healthy choral sound. Dr. Pauls has been affiliated with the Oakville Choir for Children & Youth since 2005, and serves as the “Raise Her Voice – Chamber” conductor, and Associate Music Director. Highlights from recent years include collaborating with Dr. Sarah Morrison on producing the OCCY 2016 recording, “Shine On”, appearances at Podium 2018, and being part of the Canada Council project “…float…” in St. John’s Newfoundland in July 2018. In addition to her involvement with OC, Dr. Pauls is also Music Director at the Anglican Church of the Incarnation in Oakville, and Artistic Director of the Guelph Chamber Choir, a dynamic organization in neighbouring Guelph with an active concert season of oratorio and concert programs. Dr. Pauls has a home voice studio in Oakville, is in demand as an Adjudicator across the county, and frequently presents research at academic conferences across North America. In 2018, Charlene received the Ontario Arts Council “Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting,” a biennial award to acknowledge excellence in the field.
Walter Mahabir is a Toronto-born choral conductor, singer and music pedagogue who works with various choral ensembles in the Greater Toronto Area. He received his Master of Music degree in choral conducting at McGill University and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in classical voice from York University.
As a tenor, Walter has sung with the Ontario Male Chorus, the Ottawa Bach Choir, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, the Cantabile Chamber Singers, Voces Boréales, the Voca Chorus of Toronto, and the Canadian Men’s Chorus. He is also the former apprentice conductor and Sidgwick Scholar with the Orpheus Choir of Toronto, which led to the position of Assistant Conductor for the 2016 Ontario Youth Choir. Throughout his life, he has taken part in choral concerts and choral conducting workshops in Canada, the United States, Austria, France, Czech Republic, Italy, and Germany. After living in Berlin from 2020-2021, Walter returned to Toronto in January 2022 and worked as the Intern conductor for St. Michael’s Choir School – his alma mater, where he graduated in 2008.
Aside from his new appointment as Artistic Director of A Few Good Men, Walter is also the newly appointed Choral Conductor for Community Music Schools of Toronto, offering music programs to children in the Regent Park and Jane & Finch areas. In addition, Mahabir serves as the Assistant Conductor of the Resound Choir (Durham), and currently sings with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (Pro Core).
Kate Wright holds a Bachelor of Music Education in Voice from the University of Western Ontario, and a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University, where she specialized in Arts in the Community. She is an alumna of the Oakville Choir, with whom she sang for 9 seasons, and has since sung with numerous professional choral ensembles.
After completing her teaching degree, Kate taught K-8 elementary music, including vocal, ukulele, guitar, Orff, and bucket drumming. Currently, she conducts 2 training choirs in the Oakville Choir for Children & Youth, and sings professionally with the Grammy-nominated Elora Singers, as well as works at the Upper Grand District School Board. As a registered Music Together instructor and early childhood music specialist, she has taught music classes for children aged birth to 5 years throughout the GTA. Kate is delighted to be returning to the OC for her tenth season as artistic staff.
Daniel Webb maintains a busy and diverse professional schedule as a choral conductor, teacher and instrumentalist, serving St Clement’s, Eglinton as Director of Music and Upper Canada College as Organist and Choirmaster, as well as being an Examiner for Royal Conservatory of Music. He is passionate about music’s power to inspire and uplift, and he cares deeply that children have the opportunity and every encouragement to sing together.
Educated at Cambridge University, where he was Organ Scholar of Magdalene College and the John Stewart of Rannoch Scholar in Sacred Music, Daniel enjoyed a successful career in education, teaching in four of the United Kingdom’s leading schools, before relocating to Toronto in 2013 to begin a new life with his family. An accomplished choral singer, he was for five years a member of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir having previously held the role of Tenor Gentleman at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace.
Daniel is a keen runner and lives in Greektown with his wife Trilby, his children Clea and Tristan, and his cat Doris.
Christine Rabey (she/her) is a mezzo-soprano, and graduate of the University of Western Ontario with an Honours Bachelor of Music Education. Having completed her Masters of Teaching at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, she has begun her career as a music educator in the Peel District School Board, where she is currently teaching vocal music in the Regional Arts Program at Cawthra Park Secondary School. A lifelong lover and advocate for choral music, Christine was a section lead at Metropolitan United Church in London during her undergrad, and during her masters sung as a section lead for the Mississauga Summer Chorale, while also serving as the Conducting Intern with Young Voices Toronto. Currently, she is the alto section lead in the choir at Royal York Road United Church, and she conducts both the Senior Concert Choir and Junior Concert Choir at Cawthra Park, where she will also be starting work on the vocals in their upcoming production of Something Rotten in the fall. Christine is thrilled to be joining the team at the Oakville Choir for Children and Youth, and can’t wait to work with all of its’ young musicians.
Toronto-based pianist Cheryl Duvall has established herself as one of Canada’s foremost contemporary music interpreters. A dynamic soloist and in-demand collaborator, Duvall has immersed herself in a wide variety of compositional aesthetics and collaborative endeavours. Her lucid sense of contour, evocative sonic and emotional presence, and boundless versatility make her both a dynamic soloist and in-demand collaborator.
In 2012, she co-founded the “adventurous and smartly programmed” (Musicworks Magazine) chamber group Thin Edge New Music Collective, commissioning over 70 works, mounting multidisciplinary productions, touring worldwide, and collaborating with leading artists including Sarah Hennies, Linda Catlin Smith, and Ensemble Paramirabo. TENMC was awarded the 2020 Friends of Canadian Music Award by the CLC and CMC.
She has worked with the likes of choreographer Peggy Baker, film composer Darren Fung, and has been the collaborative pianist for the Oakville Children’s Choir for 15 seasons. She was appointed Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Mississauga in Feb 2022. Her debut solo recording, Harbour featuring the music of composer Anna Höstman, has been featured on the CBC radio, was chosen as the #1 Modern Composition Recording of 2020 by UK’s ‘The Wire’ Magazine and was nominated for a Juno for Classical Composition of the Year.
An accomplished solo and collaborative pianist, Yvonne Choi has had tremendous success working with both singers and instrumentalists in the Greater Toronto Area and Kitchener/Waterloo. Winner of the WLU Concerto Competition, the Ken Murray Concerto Competition, and the Penderecki String Quartet Prize, her aptitude for solo and collaborative performance is evident.
Yvonne has had the privilege of playing twice as the featured soloist with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, Wilfrid Laurier Symphony Orchestra, and Wilfrid Laurier Reading Orchestra. She has also had the honour of sharing the stage with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Chinese Orchestra, and Cambridge Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed in Masterclasses for world class musicians such as Barbara Hannigan, Lawerence Lesser, Michael McMahon, the Penderecki String Quartet, and the Chiara String Quartet to name a few.
Yvonne is passionate in community outreach as she is a firm advocate for inclusivity and unity. Using music as a communicative tool, Yvonne works with all ages to build accessibility around music. Yvonne is currently the Director of Music for Glen Abbey United Church in Oakville. She was the Co-Music Director, Keyboardist and Vocal Coach for York University’s production of 9 to 5 the Musical. She was also the Music Director, Keyboardist and Conductor for Spirit Express’ Leap of Faith at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church. Yvonne is the collaborative pianist with various choral ensembles in the GTA, such as A Few Good Men (Oakville Children’s Choir), Resonance (Mississauga Festival Choir), and Windago. She also maintains an active teaching studio, with students achieving awards of distinction, and she is a sought-after private studio accompanist for all instruments.
Building on her Bachelor of Music from Wilfrid Laurier University under the guidance of Leslie De’Ath, Yvonne completed her Masters in Collaborative Piano Performance under Lydia Wong from the University of Toronto. Throughout her continuing musical career, she has received coachings by renowned pedagogues such as Marietta Orlov, Steven Philcox, Jamie Parker, and Joseph Johnson. Yvonne has been the recipient of multiple scholarships, notably the Richard Kehn Scholarship in recognition of being an outstanding student in the area of music performance, Ken Murray Scholarship, Lydia Wong Scholarship and the Penderecki String Quartet Prize.
As a youth, Lianne Tan sang in the Georgian Bay Youth Chorus and the Hamilton Children’s Choir, and she continues to greatly value children’s and youth choir organizations. As an adult chorister, Lianne has sung with such esteemed choral directors as Brenda Uchimaru, John Tuttle, Ian Sadler, Stephanie Martin, Lee Willingham, and John Laing, in choirs including the University of Toronto Trinity College Choir and the Cathedral Singers of Ontario. During the global pandemic of 2020/2021, Lianne enjoyed singing with the UK’s Stay At Home Choir, under conductor-composers Karl Jenkins, Gareth Malone, and Christopher Tin.
Lianne holds the ARCT diploma in piano performance, and the CRCCO diploma in organ. She is active as a church musician in the Hamilton and Halton regions. She also enjoys playing the cello in the Dundas Valley Orchestra. Since 1997, Lianne has served as Music Director and Organist at West Plains United Church in Burlington, where she leads the 16-voice choir and curates the Live!@West Plains concert series. Lianne also serves as cantor on the Taizé music team at St. Aidan’s Anglican Church, Oakville. In 2012, Lianne was awarded the Order of Niagara from the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Niagara, for her services to church music.
From 1998-2018, Lianne was chapel organist and science teacher at Appleby College in Oakville, where she collaborated with Dr. Sarah Morrison to provide the chapel choir programme. Lianne also holds degrees in biomedical engineering (M.Eng., McMaster), education (B.Ed., Toronto), and lay ministry (DipLM, Wycliffe).
Lianne finds great joy in accompanying, leading, and supporting singing, and is thrilled to be part of the OCCY team!
Janet (Stachow) Correia is delighted to return to the OC artistic team as she was a Collaborative Pianist and a conductor with the OC for many years. She is currently a private piano, voice and theory instructor in Oakville and is the Music Director at her church.
Janet is a graduate of the University of Toronto with both a Bachelor of Music (Music Education minoring in choral conducting and composition) and a Bachelor of Education. She holds a Licentiate Diploma in Piano Performance from Trinity College in England, earned both Performance and Teachers’ A.R.C.T. diplomas as well as the Artist-Teacher Diploma from the Glenn Gould Professional School at the RCM in Piano Performance and Pedagogy. Janet taught music in the Peel District School Board for several years and just finished a 2-year term as president of the Hamilton/Halton ORMTA branch.
Janet is active as a teacher, composer, arranger, singer and accompanist, and in her spare time loves to do pottery, painting and gardening.
Anjanette Bailey (she/her) has a Bachelor of Music degree (Education & Piano Performance) from McMaster University. She comes to us with 10 years of experience as an administrator in the non-profit sector with eight of those years in the choral arts as Choir Manager with the Hamilton Children’s Choir.
Throughout her career, Anjanette has had experience in Choral Music as an administrator, accompanist, chorister and conductor and brings that knowledge to the role of General Manager at Oakville Choir. She also teaches piano part time out of her studio in Hamilton, Ontario. She is passionate about music and music education for children and youth and looks forward to learning and growing along with the staff, choristers and families of the Oakville Choir community.
“I joined the Oakville Choir (OC), simply because I was a boy who enjoyed singing. The values and lessons that I have learned and the bonds that I have developed, have been transformative. My experience in the OC has allowed me to explore a wide variety of music spanning from all over the world, increasing my musical repertoire. The administrators, and conductors at the OC have created a safe and inclusive environment for all choristers to grow, not just as musicians but as future leaders. I feel that my time at the OC has helped me develop my voice, and given me many opportunities to use it.”
– Razeen, age 16, OC chorister