National Chorus of Toronto

The National Chorus of Toronto. A 200-voice choir assembled to sing 18 Apr 1903 on 'National Night' in Toronto, one of the events of the Cycle of Musical Festivals of British music conducted that year in Canada by the president of the RAM, Sir Alexander Mackenzie.

Prepared by Albert Ham, the choir was so successful on its first appearance that it continued to perform annually until its dissolution on Ham's retirement in 1928. Each concert featured a famous guest (among them Vera Barstow, Maggie Teyte, Efrem Zimbalist, Giovanni Martinelli, and Pablo Casals) who shared the program and often performed with the choir. When required, a boys' choir from St James' Cathedral assisted.

During the early years the chorus was accompanied by the New York SO, the Chicago SO, and other such orchestras. It was the first (1910) choral group to perform with the Welsman TSO. However, the choir was known mainly for its repertoire of short unaccompanied British pieces.