A little bit of history

The Yellow Door Choir (originally called the Yellow Door Tabernacle Choir) was founded in 1983 by a group of fifteen music lovers looking to pursue their musical interests in a more disciplined manner than that afforded by sporadic sing-alongs around kitchen tables. From its basement beginnings at the Yellow Door (Canada's longest-running coffee house) and under the inspired direction of Linda Morrison, the choir's membership quickly doubled and its concerts attracted an ever-expanding and dedicated audience.

In the early years, rehearsals were held in members' homes, a tradition still observed on occasion. By the late 1980s, the Unitarian Church of Montreal's Channing Hall had become the choir's unofficial home. After a 10-year interval following the destruction of the church by fire in 1987, the choir re-established the connection and found a permanent home and a partnership with the Church, which generously assists with both rehearsal and performance spaces in its current building. The choir has also performed at Café commun-commune, the Salvation Army's Citadel, Saidye Bronfman Centre, Maimonides Geriatric Centre (annually since 2003), Mackay Rehabilitation Centre, CBC radio, CTV, and senior citizens' and nursing homes.

Linda Morrison left the choir in 1997. During the next year and a half, three guest conductors — Paul Keenan, Ari Snyder, and Mary-Jane Puiu — contributed their considerable talents to the choir. Eleanor Stubley became musical director in 1998, and the choir continued to evolve while remaining dedicated to the performance of world music in many languages. Songs have been commissioned especially for the choir, and many of its international folk selections have been arranged by well-known composers in their countries of origin.

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