The Queenston Ladies Choir was founded by Conductor Lisa Cosens Brillon in the fall of 2003 and she started the choir because she had several friends who had a common interest in singing who wanted to belong to a choir. Lisa was inspired by her mother’s choir, The Quarry Choristers, from Stonewall, Manitoba as well and this choir helped The Queenston Ladies Choir get their start by lending music to the choir in our beginning days. As of July 2021, the choir has been renamed to 'Queenston Women's Chorus'.
The choir rehearsed for many years at the Queenston Library in Queenston and currently rehearses at St. David’s Queenston United Church in St. David’s. The community choir is composed of women who love to sing and has grown to over 35 members since its inception. We sing all kinds of different repertoire in 4 parts - classical, folk songs, musical theatre, jazz, pop, contemporary art songs, and Christmas music.
The Queenston Ladies Choir has produced 3 CD’s – Christmas music and favourites (2) and ‘Remembering the War of 1812’.
Along with presenting two concerts annually, the choir has also performed at local events such as St. David’s Heritage Day, Opening of the Niagara on the Lake Community Centre, Willowbank, the opening of the Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines and for the Shaw Guild to name but a few.
Over the past 15 years, the choir has presented three dinner shows – ‘Give Our Regards to Broadway’, ‘Hooray for Hollywood!‘ and ‘Be Our Guest!’ These dinner shows have given the choir members the chance to get onto the stage and show off their many talents as ‘dancers and actors’ as well as singers while having fun doing it all!
The Queenston Ladies Choir have sung with local choirs in concert including the Brock University Women’s Chorus, Niagara Men’s Chorus, Chorus Niagara, Men II Boyz, WomEnchant, The Niagara Star Singers and McMaster University Women’s Chorus.
Lisa Cosens Brillon
Lisa began singing professionally at the age of 17 on the national television show, CBC Hymn Sing. Lisa studied at the Universities of Manitoba and Arizona where she earned her Bachelor and two Masters of Music degrees in Voice Performance and Music Education. She began her doctoral studies in voice performance/pedagogy and choral conducting at the University of Cincinnati. Lisa also studied in New York City with the Assistant Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and at the Mannes College of Music. For close to seven years Lisa sang with the Toronto production of The Phantom of the Operain the role of Madame Firmin. She has performed in concert, musicals and on the opera stage in North America, Europe and Israel and notably at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City in the lead role of Elena in I Vespri Siciliani with Opera Orchestra of New York. She has received various awards and scholarships at the regional Metropolitan Opera auditions, American Jenny Lind Competition, American Teachers of Singing competition and was a finalist in the prestigious Washington International competition. Ms. Brillon founded and directs the Queenston Ladies Choir, is the organist and choir director for St. David’s Queenston United Church, and for 18 years directed the summer Queenston Musical Theatre Camp and is the founder and former artistic director of the Niagara’s premiere show choir, The Niagara Star Singers. She has examined for the RCM across Canada and as well, she is the founder and festival director of the Niagara Festival of the Performing Arts, is the Great Lakes Region Governor for NATS (National Association Teachers of Singing) and is the President of the Ontario Music Festivals Association. Lisa has been the ‘host’ for the OMFA Provincial finals held in Niagara for one week in June 2019 and 2023 managing adjudicators, volunteers and over 2000 competitors. Lisa is sought out as a voice and musical theatre adjudicator and choral clinician and has adjudicated across North America. She resides in Queenston where she loves teaching voice in her home studio. Her students have graduated from universities in Canada and the USA in music programs in classical voice, musical theatre, opera, and music education. Many students perform in professional and community musical theatre shows, with symphony orchestras, in professional opera, have won the RCM Silver/Gold Medals, the Metropolitan Opera Competition and excel at festivals and competitions. Ms. Brillon is proud to educate musicians and singers of all ages in the art of singing.
Anthony began his music studies at four years old, culminating in his achieving a Royal Conservatory of Music level 10 Piano. He began honing his accompanying skills at a young age, which led him to becoming organist and pianist at St. Patrick’s Church in Niagara Falls. He plays at numerous other churches, festivals and special events in the region. Recently, he has been involved with Garden City Productions’ shows as their orchestra’s Keyboard 1. This fall he will be the Music Director for Yellow Door Theatre Project in Virgil for their two productions. He has been the Queenston Ladies Choir accompanist since 2004.