North Island Choral Society

September 2021: The executive team of NICS decided to wait until January 2022 for the choir to meet in person. Safety of choir members is the first priority, and the 4th wave of Covid seems to be upon us.

15 June 2021
The North Island Choral Society is now planning for Fall with the hope that Stage 4 of the BC Restart Program will allow us to gather and rehearse in preparation for the Dec 3 and Dec 4 concerts at St George’s United.  Our artistic director, Paul Colthorpe, is planning a program of carols by English composers and the first half of the Messiah.  All favorites of the choir.   I will bring news in Sept/Oct as he fine-tunes the program.

Because of the incredible generosity of choir and community members in 2020, NICS did not have a loss on its books going into 2021.  There has been no income to date in 2021 and it will be a challenge to achieve a positive balance at the end this year.  But we are not alone in this and must move forward.  On this website you will find 2 items:  1) A Donations link which includes a portal to Canada Helps which is a quick and easy way to donate with an immediate tax receipt.  2) A message to past NICS singers who can now support our work by joining our Society for $10.00 a year.   

Mary Gray, President

December 2020 Update

The North Island Choral Society provided to its members 7 rehearsals on Zoom this Fall.  Our artistic director led us through Messiah choruses and provided us with background on their composition. This has kept us in touch with our classical repertoire and with each other.  We are blessed with a very supportive membership.    Many individuals donated this year which has helped us go into 2021 with a small surplus. As you can appreciate we have had no other income after mid March.   On this website you will find 2 new items:  A portal to Canada Helps which is a quick and easy way to donate and a message to past NICS singers who can now support our work by joining our Society for $10.00 a year.  We are taking a break now and the Executive team will meet late in January to plan 2021.   We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.   
Mary Gray, President, NICS


North Island Choral Society is a mixed voice community choir which sings classical and traditional music. We are located in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island BC.  Joining the choir does not require an audition, just a love of music and a desire to sing. Reading music while desirable is not necessary. The choir presents two concerts a year, one in December when it performs major works which have included Bach’s Magnificat, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Mozart’s Requiem. There is also a Spring Concert usually in April.

Fall 2019 concert  featured Poulenc’s Gloria for Soprano, choir and orchestra; Schubert’s Magnificat in C major for choir, soloists and orchestra and Palestrina’s O Magnum Mysterium sung a capella.

Spring , 2019 the choir  performed music by the “Three ‘Bs”, Beethoven, Brahms and Bach;  and the choir had a wonderful audience for both concerts.

The choir meets every Tuesday evening 7:15 – 9:00 pm.  Membership fees are $70 per session, $30 for students, Winter and Spring sessions.

Paul Colthorpe – Artistic Director

Paul arrived in the Comox Valley in 1991 with his Bachelor of Music degree and a Master of Education (U. Vic.),  He has taught secondary school band and choir and elementary classroom music.  He is also Director of Music Ministries at Comox United Church.  His mantra of “music by and for the community” has served him well.  He has been the Artistic Director of the North Island Choral Society for more than 20 years and is proud of the choir’s many accomplishments and continued growth.

Elvera Penner – Accompanist

Elvera, an accomplished musician, has been working with soloists, choirs and instrumentalists since leaving high school.  She has earned her Associate of the Royal Toronto Conservatory (ARTC) and teaches piano as well as accompanying church community and school choirs.  Elvera has been with the North island Choral Society since 1992.

North Island Choral Society Alto section rehearsing
Concentrating hard!