Gather Round Singers

Gather Round Singers learning ASL lyrics with Tamyka Bullen, May 2020

The Gather Round Singers is currently on a summer break.
Starting on September 30, 2021, we will resume regular rehearsals on Thursdays from 6-8pm – via Zoom and/or live in downtown Toronto (at The Ground Floor, 132 Fort York Blvd). All are welcome to join us! If technology or transportation are barriers, we can offer support.
For info e-mail

The Gather Round Singers is a Toronto-based radically inclusive community choir that creates and performs new musical works with arts and community partners. The choir is made up of singers of mixed ages, abilities and backgrounds, and upholds core values of access by avoiding auditions; learning music by ear; providing transportation, healthy food, language interpretation and translation (including ASL), personal care workers, and on-site childcare; using step-free venues, and welcoming new members at any point in the process (sometimes up to and including the day of a performance!).

Despite the sad fact that choral singing couldn’t happen during the pandemic, our choir carried on through virtual and remote means. We hope to be able to return to live sessions as soon as possible in Fall/Winter 2021, respecting all safety protocols and retaining some of the inclusive online practices we have learned over the past year.

Conductor & Director: Shifra Cooper
Choir Manager: Ahmed Hegazy
Resident Composer: Arie Verheul van de Ven
Resident Choreographer: Anmikiique Couchie (thanks to the Metcalf Foundation Performing Arts Internship Program)
Accompanist (for live sessions): Daev Clysdale
Vocal Coaches/Anchor Singers: Natalie Fasheh, Sam Rowlandson-O’Hara, Risa DeRege, Lisette Cogdell
Wellness Coordinators: Catherine Moeller, Rakefet Arieli
Outreach & Tech Support: Tijana Spasich, Erika Verhagen
2020- 2021 Composers: Hussein Janmohamed, Arie Verheul van de Ven, Martin van de Ven, Christina Volpini, Cheldon Paterson
2020-21- Choreographers: Michelle Silagy, Kevin Ormsby
Artists & ASL Poet: Tamyka Bullen

Guest Artists during virtual sessions:
Composers: Hussein Janmohamed, Martin van de Ven, Christina Volpini, Cheldon Paterson
Choreographers: Michelle Silagy, Kevin Ormsby, Sasha Mattock
Artist & ASL Poet: Tamyka Bullen
ASL Interpreter: Latasha Lennox

The Gather Round Singers have performed many newly-commissioned works, in partnership with Continuum Contemporary Music, Soundstreams and other partners, with composers including Juliet Palmer, Jason Doell, Alex Eddington, Britta Johnson, Emilie LeBel, Cathy Nosaty, Alejandra Nunez, Binaeshee-Quae Couchie-Nabigon, Daev Clysdale, Rosary Spence, Lieke van de Voort, Monica Pierce, Christina Volpini, Martin and Arie van de ven, Melody and Beverley McKiver, and Hussein Janmohamed.

Shifra Cooper is the founding conductor and director of The Gather Round Singers. She has ten years experience working as a community-engaged artist and choir conductor. She has worked on community arts projects in Toronto and across Canada, including with MABELLEarts, Jumblies, Vancouver Moving Theatre, Spence Neighbourhood Association, Making Room Community Arts, and The United Jewish People’s Order. Shifra has received a nomination for the Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting (2016), a Metcalf Performing Arts Internship (2017), completed a Masters of Teaching at OISE (University of Toronto) in 2020, and now works as a supply teacher for the Toronto District School Board.