Gather Round Singers

During COVID-19 times, our all-abilities community choir has been carrying on through virtual and remote means. In May we were a central part of MABELLEarts Virtual Iftar Nights (link:

Starting on June 18th, the Gather Round Singers will be meeting online every Thursday from 6 to 8pm, to develop new projects and explore ways to make exciting music and art on-line, until the time comes that we can meet and sing again in person.

All are welcome to join us! If technology is a barrier, we can help. Please e-mail to find out how to do so. The Gather Round Singers is a Toronto-based radically inclusive community choir, founded and directed by Shifra Cooper, that creates and performs new musical works in collaboration with arts and community partners. The choir is made up of singers of mixed ages, abilities and cultural/economic backgrounds. We maintain core values of inclusion and accessibilty by eschewing auditions; learning music by ear; providing transportation, healthy food, ASL and other interpretation and translation, personal care workers, and on-site childcare; using step-free venues, and welcoming new singers at any point in the process (up to and including the day of a performance!). The Gather Round Singers have performed many newly-commissioned works, including by 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, Martin and Arie van de ven, Melody and Beverley McKiver, and Hussein Janmohamed.

Shifra Cooper is the founding conductor 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), and a Metcalf Performing Arts Internship (2017). She is currently pursuing a Masters of Teaching at OISE (University of Toronto). 


Daev (pronounced Dave) Clysdale is a musician from Ottawa, now living in Toronto. Daev plays a variety of instruments and musical styles, specializing in the performance of Irish traditional music on his main four instruments: wooden flute, tin whistle, piano and accordion. He has been playing, performing and composing music for over twenty years. Daev attended the music program at Carleton University, where he studied both classical and traditional Irish music. In 2015, Daev composed an original suite for orchestra and tin whistle, and performed it with the North Bay Symphony Orchestra. Daev is a member of the band Rant Maggie Rant and a regular piano accompanist for the Gather Round Singers.