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Our History
Woodstock Choralaires Concert, December, 2016

In January 1966, ten people gathered at the home of Dr. Norman E. Burt–Gerrans to form a choral group. Each participant was to bring a friend to the next rehearsal. Very quickly the Burt–Gerrans home became too small to accommodate the choir that became The Woodstock Choralaires.

In its first 50-years, the choir was led by only three directors: Dr. Norman E. Burt–Gerrans, Ron McNutt, and Doug Shippey. In September 2016, a fourth Director, Geoffrey Warder, has taken charge.

In 2016-17, the choir has more than 60 members, including the Director and Accompanist. The choir currently rehearses in the spacious facilities of St. David’s United Church, Woodstock.

Named “Woodstock’s Ambassadors of Song” by Woodstock City Council, the choir has sung for many audiences in many venues—from tiny rural churches to magnificent cathedrals—and in a wide range of musical genres. Touring has always been part of the Choralaire experience, and the choir has travelled overseas a total of nine times:

  • 1970 — England (Lake District) and Scotland
  • 1974 — England, Scotland, Holland
  • 1980 — England, Wales, Germany, Austria
  • 1986 — Expo ’86, Vancouver
  • 1990 — England (Shrewsbury Festival), Wales, Scotland
  • 1997 — England, Wales, Belgium, France
  • 2003 — Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria
  • 2007 — Holland, Denmark, Germany, Sweden
  • 2014 — Italy