The Capital City Chorus, founded in 1957, is a premier men’s performing chorus, with over 80 active members, based in Ottawa, Canada.
The mission of the Capital City Chorus is to encourage and disseminate the joys and benefits of a cappella singing in close four-part harmony; and, through its singing, to raise funds for community endeavours, particularly in aid of speech therapy and youth outreach.
The Chorus and its quartets form the Ottawa Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, the world’s largest all-male singing organization. Founded in Kansas City in 1938 to preserve the unique singing style of four-part barbershop harmony, the Society has over 30,000 members throughout Canada and the United States, with other affiliates worldwide.
The Chorus is a five-time winner of the Society’s Ontario District Chorus championship, and has represented Ontario in its annual international competition. Quartets from the Chapter have won both District Championships and Seniors Championships, and have frequently represented the District at international competitions.
The Chorus strives for excellence in performance. Chorus Director, Denis Laflamme, is an extraordinarily talented singer and musician, an energetic teacher and a Singing judge candidate for the BHS. Under his leadership since 2001, supported by two Assistant Directors, Rod McKenzie and Aileen Carney, the Chorus has made great strides forward in singing technique and presentation skills.
The Chorus repertoire includes songs from all eras, from vaudeville, through the World Wars and Doo wop, right up to The Lion King and Toy Story.
The Chorus membership includes men from all eras, from teenagers to “geezers.” Really!
On June 2nd, 2007 the Chorus celebrated its 50th anniversary by performing in concert at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre. On May 7, the Chorus hosted a barbershop quartet competition for local high schools, awarding cash prizes and also a trophy to the winning quartet. We were amazed by the enthusiastic response from local schools, and so delighted by the quality of their performances, that we have invited all of these young singers to join us on stage in our 50th anniversary show at the National Arts Centre.
Every year, on St. Valentine’s Day, Chorus quartets deliver close to two hundred singing valentines to delighted spouses and loved ones in greater Ottawa and Gatineau. If your spouse or partner has never had the thrill of being serenaded by four gentlemen in formal attire, then please give us a call next February. We guarantee that it will be an unforgettable and heartwarming experience.
As well as entertaining at concerts and conventions, the Chorus contributes to the community by performing at hospitals, nursing homes, high-schools, churches and various civic events.
The Ottawa Chapter has contributed over $230,000 over the past two decades, to Harmonize for Speech (H4S), a registered charity which raises funds to combat speech disorders, such as stuttering and aphasia. H4S is an integrated service project of the 36 Chapters of the Ontario District of the Barbershop Harmony Society, which have collectively raised well over four million dollars for these causes.
In recent years, H4S has provided funding to local institutions such as the Stuttering Treatment Clinic of the Ottawa Rehabilitation Centre and the Aphasia Centre of Ottawa, and has provided bursaries and textbooks to students in Speech Pathology and Audiology graduate programs at the University of Ottawa.
The men of the Capital City Chorus also freely donate time and money for renovations to Camp Smitty, a facility of the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa which serves the needs of underprivileged youths. The value of renovations performed at Camp Smitty over the past five years has been assessed at $100,000.
Membership in the Society and the Ottawa Chapter is open to “all men of good character” who like to sing, and who enjoy the harmony of good music and good fellowship.