FORT WILLIAM MALE CHOIR
Copyright © 2017 Fort William Male Choir P.O. Box 10523, Thunder Bay ON P7B 6T9
A long time ago, eight men joined together to form an octet with the purpose of bringing male choral voices to their community. This was the humble beginning of the Fort William Male Choir. Their first Director was Fred Parish, followed by several others until 1946 when Norman Klevin took over. He was a perfectionist and brought much improvement to the choir. Many accomplishments followed including nine LP recordings since 1955, membership in the Associated Male Choruses of America, attendance at many Big Sing events in the US and hosting this event here in 1954. They competed at the prestigious International Eistoddfod in Llangollen, Wales in 1963 and won both the Ontario and all Canada competitions to become Canada’s Centenary Choir on 1967. This was followed by three World Tours to European countries in 1967, Scandinavia in 1970 and the Mediterranean in 1973. While in Italy, the choir was honoured to perform for Pope Paul VI and a crowd of 15,000 at the pope’s summer residence.
In 1977 Kendall House took over as Director, bringing a modern influence. Achievements include a second trip to compete in Wales in 1984, performances at the Vancouver EXPO 1986, a second trip to Llangollen in 1994 and concerts at the World Choral Festival in Laval in 2012.
The choir has 2 main performances yearly. In early December, their Prelude to Christmas concerts at the TB Community Auditorium rings in the season, and in the spring, the entertaining Spaghetti Sing-a-Long Supper. The choir also goes on the road, bringing music to communities in the northern Ontario region. Every December, they sing in local Seniors Homes, they have delivered Oh Canada and the Star Spangled banner at Blue Jay games in Minneapolis and sporting events in Thunder Bay. They also support local organizations including the Prostate Cancer Canada Network of Thunder Bay and Thunder Bay Regional Volunteer Association.
Their library holds over one thousand pieces of music they have memorized over the years, and includes classical music, Broadway tunes and many contemporary songs.
Currently, these “men of music” are no doubt busy practising their four part harmonies for this year’s Schedule of performances, please visit the events page for a schedule of upcoming events.
A complete History of the Choir is available here.
History of the Choir