Calgary Boys' Choir

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The Calgary Boys' Choir is a choir for boys in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The choir was founded with 20 members in 1973 by Douglas Parnham, who wanted to "provide a vehicle for young boys to develop their vocal and musical talents and at the same provide the community with another dimension of education and entertainment."[1] Throughout its 40 years as a choir, the boys have performed in several different countries, for royalty and with internationally known performers such as Metropolitan Opera baritone Allan Monk, Gordon Gietz, lyric tenor Mark DuBois, the Canadian Brass, Natalie Cole, David Foster, Kenny Loggins, and José Carreras.[2] Past directors include Gerald Wirth, the current Artistic Director of the Vienna Boys' Choir, Tyrone Paterson, Canadian opera conductor (approximately 1985-1987), and Jean-Louis Barbier. Distinguished alumni include Gordon Gietz, actor and Heebee-jeebees member Jonathan Love, and New York-based actor and singer Alex Birnie.

The Boys Choir is now part of the Mount Royal University Conservatory program and is currently under the direction of Paul Grindlay.

Groupings of Singers[edit]

The Calgary Boys Choir's flagship choir is the Touring Choir, which has existed since the beginning for boys ages 10–14 (the usual age range of voice change). In its first year, the choir recorded only 14 boys, but grew to around 100 by 1991. Sometime after 1973, when the choir was created, a younger group called the Performing Choir was also created to develop talent and prepare boys for the Touring Choir. In 1988, the choir created a younger group called the Young Singers, which accepted boys as young as age six or seven. For a while, an Intermediate Choir was created as a bridge between the Young Singers and the Performing Choir but the two were eventually merged and this level continues to be known as the Intermediate Choir. At times throughout its history, the Calgary Boys Choir has included an Early Childhood Music (ECM) division for preschool aged boys and girls, an Alumni Choir for boys with changed voices, was briefly affiliated with the Calgary Girls Choir as well as a choral music school.


  • 1973: Choir founded by Douglas Parnham in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
  • 1976-77: Touring Choir tours Vancouver, British Columbia and vicinity; record recorded and released: Volume I.
  • 1977-78: Touring Choir tours England and Wales.
  • 1978-79: Members of choir featured in Tosca production of Southern Alberta Opera Association.
  • 1979-80: Touring Choir tours Hawaii, USA, where July 1 was proclaimed "Calgary Boys' Choir Day" by the mayor of Honolulu.[3]
  • 1980-1981: Calgary Boys' Choir declared Official Goodwill Ambassadors by the City of Calgary.
  • 1981-82: Touring Choir tours England, Scotland, and Wales, releases Christmas With the Calgary Boys Choir record.
  • 1982-83: Touring Choir tours Central Alberta, Douglas Parnham receives Alberta Government Achievement Award for exceptional achievement in the arts.
  • 1983-1984: Touring Choir tours Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and Maritime Provinces.
  • 1984-1985: Touring Choir tours Central Alberta.
  • 1985-1986: Touring Choir tours Montana, Idaho, Washington, and British Columbia with the Columbia Artists and Overture Concerts; performs with lyric tenor Mark DuBois.
  • 1986-1987: Touring Choir tours Montana and Saskatchewan, England and Wales.
  • 1988: Boys' Choir performs as part of the Opening Ceremonies for the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics.
  • 1991: Gerald Wirth appointed Artistic Director of Calgary Boys' Choir; Alumni Chorus created for boys with changed voices.
  • 1993: Calgary Boys' Choir celebrates its 20th Anniversary.
  • 1998: Jean-Louis Barbier (from France) is hired as the Artistic Director.
  • 2000: Arlie Langager is hired as Artistic Director of the Choir.
  • 2004: Boys' Choir hires Paul Grindlay as Artistic Director. Touring Choir travels to the Czech Republic and Vienna.
  • 2007: Touring Choir travels to France and Spain during the summer. Boys' Choir hires Svetlana Lysogor as Artistic Director.
  • 2009: Touring Choir under the Direction of Sventlana Lysogor, travels to New York City .
  • 2010: Boys' Choir rehires Paul Grindlay as Artistic Director; choir joins the family of Mount Royal University Conservatory choirs.
  • 2011: Touring Choir Travel to Arizona to appear in the 3rd intl. Boys and Mens Choral Festival.
  • 2013: Boys' Choir celebrated its 40th Anniversary
  • Summer 2013: Touring Choir Travels to England
  • 2023: Boys' Choir will celebrate its 50th Anniversary


  1. ^ Barnieh, Zina (1988). Calgary Boys' Choir 1988 Annual Report, 15th Anniversary Special Edition. Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 
  2. ^ Christmas With the Calgary Boys Choir (concert program). Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 1993. 
  3. ^ Barnieh, Zina (1988). Calgary Boys' Choir 1988 Annual Report, 15th Anniversary Special Edition. p. 3. 

External links[edit]

1988-1989: Touring Choir tours Finland, Sweden, Russia.