Who Are The County Town Singers?
In 1967, during Canada's Centennial Celebration, a dozen Whitby citizens, led by Joe and Joyce Wainwright, responded to the Federal Government's invitation to honour Canada's 100th Birthday by forming the "County Town Singers". They were named for the Town of Whitby which was the "county" seat in times past.
The choir's dedication to community service was established early in our history. Over the past 37 years, our commitment to be of service to the community has resulted in either directly raising or helping to raise over $300,000. Singing is great fun, but we also greatly value our contribution to the cultural fabric of Durham Region and our lifelong commitment to community service.
From small performances for seniors' groups, service clubs and church fundraisers to the Miami Convention Centre and the Skydome in Toronto, to concert halls across Canada and Europe, the choir has excelled. During our 1974 tour of Europe, we were dubbed
“Canada's Singing Ambassadors”
Since that time, we have toured Western and Eastern Canada, England and Ireland and most recently, in Spring 2003, Eastern Europe.
As the years pass, we continue to strive for choral and musical excellence, while entertaining our audiences with a wide variety of music and a varied repertoire. We truly enjoy what we do and continue to
“Sing for the Love of it”
Musical Director - Barbara Ouellette
Barbara has been Muscial Director of CTS for more than 10 years. Barb studied at McGill and Acadia Universities and holds a degree in Music Education, specializing in voice. She has performed with Opera Hamilton, the Toronto Operetta and the Canadian Summer Opera Lab. She is a local church organist and teaches voice, piano and theory on a private basis.
Through her musical work for Durham and Nova Scotia schools, a children’s mental health centre, Conservatory, Home for the Aged and New Brunswick Psychiatric Hospital, she has gained an appreciation both for the educational and therapeutic values of music.
Barbara has performed with or conducted more than twenty ensembles. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Oshawa-Durham Symphony Orchestra, pianist/director for Claidhmor and directed musical theatre for the Scugog Choral Society. Barb was awarded the provincial Thea Award for the Best Musical Director, for her fine efforts.
Assistant Director - Liz Araujo
Liz began her musical endeavours when she was 13 years and her parents volunteered her to accompany a choir at Christmas Eve mass. Two months later the church bought an organ and her services were volunteered for Sunday mornings. Over the years Liz has worked with various church choirs as organist and director.
Her directing debut was with a high school stage band when the music teacher wasn't available for a weekend performance. Liz jokes she likely got the opportunity more because she was willing to direct than for her talent for it.
In 1993 Liz joined CTS so she could sing without having to plan, teach and lead the music program. She managed to keep a low profile for a few years before she took on the duties of Treasurer and then in 2007, President. Liz officially assumed the role of Assistant Director in January 2009.
Accompanist - Natalia Kolacz
Natalia was born in Lviv, Ukraine. At age of 4 she was identified by the Ukrainian State academic system as a young musical prodigy.
Natalia graduated from the Lviv State Conservatory with a bachelors degree in music, majoring in piano. In 1983 she created an all-female band that played various popular tunes many of which were Natalia's own compositions and arrangements.
Arriving in Canada in 1990, she played various venues including community events, concerts, festivals and night club venues with the Brian Rose Little Big Band playing jazz. Natalia was also a featured jazz pianist for the Big Band Orpheus. Natalia joined County Town Singers in January 1995, and continues to enrich our music with her immense talent.
Today Natalia continues to amass success and respect from her peers. Natalia's talents & musical creativity are continuously growing and very much on the move. Natalia's much anticipated CD album "On The Move" for the very first time showcases a collection of her finest musical accomplishments to date.
For more info visit Natalia's website www.nataliamusic.ca
Assistant Accompanist – Janet MacDonald
Assistant Accompanist Janet MacDonald joined the County Town Singers in 2004 and has already made herself indispensable as a rehearsal and performance pianist. She has long enjoyed playing a wide range of piano music - from classical and jazz to Broadway and pop - for her own enjoyment and at family parties. Her Association with CTS, however, marks the first time she has lent her Grade 9 keyboard skills to a group. Janet has also sung with church choirs and enjoys playing the guitar and flute (though not, as she might add with characteristic modesty, at the same time).