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THE SCOOP | Amadeus Choir: 50 Years Of Song & Honouring Lydia Adams As Conductor Emerita

By Anya Wassenberg on April 12, 2024

Conductor Lydia Adams (Photos: R by Mark Rash; L courtesy of Amadeus Choir)
Conductor Lydia Adams (Photos: R by Mark Rash; L courtesy of Amadeus Choir)

The Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto, during their 50th birthday celebrations, have announced the designation of Lydia Adams as Conductor Emerita. The role recognizes her seminal role in the choir’s history, having led it from 1984 until 2019.

During her tenure, the choir has gained an international reputation.

Mary Gray, Board Chair of the Amadeus Choir, commented in a statement, “We are thrilled to announce Lydia Adams as Conductor Emerita of the Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto. Lydia’s enduring impact has shaped our choir into what it is today, and we are honoured to pay tribute to her influential leadership during this momentous 50th-anniversary season.”

Lydia Adams, C.M.

Conductor, composer, arranger and pianist Lydia Adams is in her 25th season as Artistic Director of the Elmer Iseler Singers.

Born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Lydia studied music at Mount Allison University, and went on to the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio in London, England. She led the Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto as its conductor for 35 years.

She was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2023.

Current Artistic Director of the Amadeus Choir Kathleen Allan comments, “I am fortunate to inherit the incredible choir that Lydia built over her 35-year tenure. The cohesive lyrical sound, openness to innovative compositions, and a strong sense of community are the enduring pillars of this choir that Lydia established over three and a half decades.”

Lydia Adams & Amadeus: 35 Years Of Leadership

What is now the Amadeus Choir of Toronto began as a group of local choral singers based in Scarborough. Under Lydia Adams, it has developed into a mass choir, drawing its members from the Greater Toronto Area.

Adams was responsible for overseeing many significant landmarks during its history:

  • The production and release of seven full-length albums;
  • Three successful tours;
  • Multiple awards from the Association of Canadian Choral Communities (now Choral Canada);
  • She initiated a 25-year-long annual Seasonal Songwriting Competition.

The choir collaborated and performed with Andrea Bocelli and high profile guests such as Roberta Bondar.

“It was honestly a great honour of my life — and I am honoured to share the future with the Choir as Conductor Emerita,” Adams states.

As Kathleen Adams begins her maternity leave, Adams will be taking over as the choir prepares for their May 15 performance of Haydn’s Creation.

Congratulations to the Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto on their 50 years, and to Lydia Adams on the well deserved recognition.

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