Founded in 1984 by Music Director David Cameron as an ensemble of sixteen singers, Melos expanded in 2000 to become The Melos Choral Ensemble, a mixed-voice community choir of 40-50 members. The Choir is administered by the Kingston Melos Society, a non-profit organization with registered charitable status, and membership is by audition.
Melos performs four concerts per year, which take place at city churches or at one of the two Kingston cathedrals. Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings, from September to May, at MacCallum Hall, Chalmers United Church.
Melos’s repertoire ranges widely over the choral music of six centuries (masses, madrigals, motets, anthems, part songs, and contemporary compositions). Performances include music sung a cappella, and music accompanied by piano, organ and various instrumental ensembles. Qualified singers sometimes have opportunities to perform solo parts.
In the annual Good Friday Concert of Chalmers Church, Melos combines with the Choir of Chalmers to perform a major choral work with guest soloists and orchestra. The roster of featured compositions includes Bach’s B Minor Mass and the Requiems of Mozart, Brahms and Fauré. For many years, Melos regularly revisited Handel’s Messiah in the December holiday season, and at this time of year it has presented more unusual repertoire by composers such as Lully and Charpentier. Under the auspices of Music West, Melos presented a staged production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and in 2006 we return to operatic repertoire with Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors.