2019 Fall Season Now Available

ChoralFest 2019!

8 Concerts. 7 Days. 9 Choirs.

November 16th – 25th


A few words from our Artistic Director

Over two decades of presenting concerts at Music Niagara Festival I have seen first hand how audiences love and appreciate choral music.  The emotional impact of collective singing is powerful and tremendously moving.

This November we’re launching our first ChoralFest, presenting eight concerts with the participation of nine choirs over ten days.  Singing is one of the very first musical experiences we carry in our memory from childhood, and we are proud to present the Hamilton Children’s Choir and the Celaya Children’s Choir from Mexico.

Our program is also ethnically diverse featuring the Ukrainian Vesnivka Choir and The Toronto Lithuanian Chorus, Volunge, bringing hundreds of years of singing traditions to the Niagara region.  The lineup also includes the Victoria Scholars Men’s Choral Ensemble from Toronto, Niagara’s Avanti Chamber Singers, the renowned Elmer Iseler Singers, The Laura Secord Concert Choir and Handel’s Sing-Along Messiah with the Orchestra of St. Mark’s.

Let’s sing together and welcome the inaugural Niagara Choral Fest!  

Atis Bankas

Artistic Director


See The Full Announcement! 

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Music Niagara in the News: The Local

Check out the full newspaper here

Check out our incredible lineup here

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Music Niagara in the News

Check out Music Niagara’s latest story in The Lake Report, covered by local talent, Tim Taylor!

Read here: The Lake Report

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Season Announcement – Tickets on Sale!

21st Season


Tickets on Sale March 1

For program details visit musicniagara.org/events

Order tickets now through the Shaw Box Office: call 905-468-2172.

Music Niagara Festival is celebrating another exciting season in Summer 2019!  Festival founder and Artistic Director, Atis Bankas, has put together a roster of performances that is big and brilliant in quality and scope.  Audiences will be introduced to world-class artists who will wow Niagara for the very first time, and be reintroduced to artists back by popular demand to some of the most electrifying stars of previous seasons. From the impact of full ensemble programs to the intimacy of solo concerts, there will be music to suit every taste.

Syrene Saxophone Quartet

The 21st season kicks off on July 14th with the smooth harmonies, joyful performances and infectious energy of the Countermeasure, a next-level a capella group featuring some of Canada’s top young vocal talent. In a very different but also stunning ensemble concert, the twenty voices that make up the Elmer Iseler Singers will raise spirits on July 24th. More ensemble evenings will spread throughout the summer with the Niagara Proms Orchestra (July 22nd), the seductive and charismatic Syrene Saxophone Quartet (July 25), the always sold-out Toronto All-Star Big Band (August 5th), and more.

Janina Fialkowska

Music Niagara’s line-up of soloists is likewise impressive. On July 21st we have renowned concert pianist, Janina Fialkowska, who has enchanted audiences around the world with her refreshing natural approach and her unique piano sound. One of the youngest  Concertmasters of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Wan and Quebec Pianist,Charles Richard Hamelin winner the Krystian Zimerman prize at the 17th Frederic Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw, will be showcased on July 30th. Julie Nesrallah the sensational singer, actress and broadcaster, will captivate the audience with her engaging personality and her rich, expressive voice on August 3rd — and these are just a few of the artists from this star-studded 21st season.

And don’t forget!

Tickets on sale March 11th

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December Newsletter

Wishing you a Happy Holiday!

From all our Music Niagara team, we would like to thank you for a wonderful year! We appreciate your support in enabling the success of another amazing festival in our 20th year.

Save the Dates!

Big Night (Annual Fundraiser): June 15, 2019
Festival: July 14 – August 10, 2019

Here’s a sneak preview of our upcoming season!

We will have four series throughout our festival, promoting musicians from around the world in a variety of genres: The Paris Connection, Wine and Music, Easy Fridays, and All Beethoven. 

We have returning favourites, as well as some new talent coming to town! Here’s a taste of the class acts we have lined up:
Syrene Sax Quartet
My Sweet Patootie
The Elmer Iseler Singers
And our very own Atis Bankas in the Potsdam Trio!

We look forward to seeing you all in our 21st Season!

Holiday Hours

Our office will be closed for the holidays beginning December 22, 2018. We will resume regular office hours on January 2, 2019. 

Support our 21st Season

Your support ensures the success of our upcoming Season! To find out more about how you can make a difference by donating to our concerts and events, please visit us online.
Or just:

Donate Now

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Important Announcement

Dear Friends of Music Niagara,

Like a glorious sonata by Beethoven, Music Niagara never stands still. Our primary theme of providing great, diverse music to our audiences is always central to our activities, and we carefully develop it, weaving in new material and harmonies to make the textures ever richer.

As the 20th anniversary of Music Niagara nears its close with special Remembrance Day and Christmas concerts, we are already planning our 2019 summer season. Atis Bankas, Artistic Director, between his rigorous scheduled performances at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and his teaching a large violin studio at The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory in Toronto, is working hard to bring new and favorite artists back to Music Niagara next summer.

Atis is supported by wonderful staff and Board members and it is on that note, we have some important changes to share with you.

First, our Executive Director is on the move. Earlier in the year, Sarah Lynch kindly gave us substantial notice that she would leave her position on October 31, 2018 to pursue other interests. Sarah’s commitment over the last two years, and particularly throughout Music Niagara’s milestone, celebratory 20th anniversary season, was tremendously appreciated and we thank her sincerely. She contributed much during her tenure and has been instrumental in positioning us for continued success.

We are pleased to advise that Hannah Zachariah joined Music Niagara this month and is working alongside Sarah to ensure a smooth and harmonious turnover of the Executive Director responsibilities. New to the Niagara area since moving here from Alberta, Hannah brings strong organizational skills, the ability to evaluate success metrics and well-honed knowledge in social media and web development to Music Niagara. And as an added bonus, Hannah is a music enthusiast having just received her Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (ARCT) in Piano Performance – one of the highest academic awards of The Royal Conservatory.

Second, we have changes taking place at the Board level. Sally Basmajian is retiring as Chair of Marketing to pursue her love for writing. We will miss her enthusiasm and creative style but luckily we’re told to standby for upcoming articles in the public domain! We are very fortunate to have Nancy Smith joining the Board as Sally’s replacement. Nancy’s skills as a business leader, entrepreneur and media executive will be invaluable.

Randy LeGallais has joined the Board with the intent of replacing Bob Lavery who retires as Treasurer in April 2019. Randy, having been a tax partner at KPMG, brings extensive financial acumen to the Board and appreciable community board and volunteer experience.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, please join us in thanking Sarah and Sally and wishing them the best in their future endeavors. And in welcoming Hannah, Nancy and Randy to the Music Niagara team!

Margot Hickson,
Chair, Music Niagara Board of Directors

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October Newsletter

Celebrate the Festive Season with Music Niagara!

Don’t wait for Santa to check your wish list — tickets go on sale TODAY for two ho-ho-holiday concerts that you and your loved ones won’t want to miss. If history repeats itself, these events will sell out more quickly than a reindeer can fly, so be sure to buy yours now! After all, you’ve been very, very good this year and deserve to treat yourself to fine seasonal music that will lighten your mood and stir your soul.

Vocális Chamber Choir

Sunday December 9, 2018 3:00pm at St. Mark’s Church

Revel in the Beauty of the Human Voice!

Vocális Chamber Choir

There is nothing more ethereal than the sound of a finely honed a cappella choir soaring in exquisite harmony. When Vocális Chamber Choir members sing, under the direction of James Burritt, expect to be transported by their immaculate precision and artistry. The critically acclaimed Vocális ensemble hails from Buffalo, New York, where they present a series of subscription concerts each year, on top of their national and international commitments. They consider it their mission to inspire and move audiences, interpreting choral masterpieces that showcase the power and versatility of the human voice. And they redouble their efforts when it comes to Christmas music, performing repertoire ranging from Renaissance carols to modern-day seasonal tunes, with commitment straight from their hearts. Santa knows you’ve been on your best behaviour, and as a special treat, this concert will also feature the incredibly talented Emma Meinrenken. Not yet twenty years old, this Music Niagara Performance Academy alumni who is currently studying at the prestigious Curtis Institute in Philadelphia has just been awarded the use of the 1689 Baumgartner Stradivarius by the Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank. It’s a rare chance to get up close to an incomparable violin, played by one of Canada’s most technically proficient and musically sensitive young artists.

Purchase Vocális Tickets Now!

Toronto All-Star Big Band

Saturday December 15, 2018 7:00pm at St. Mark’s Church

Equal Parts Naughty and Nice!

Toronto All-Star Big-Band
Toronto All-Star Big-Band

They’ll swing. They’ll bop. They’ll have you swaying in your seat, if you manage to keep yourself from jumping to your feet and dancing. The Toronto All-Star Big Band is back! Without a doubt, it’s the most wonderful big band of the year—and of Canada!–and they plan to spice up our most festive month with musical pizzazz. Join us, and prepare to be dazzled by the youthful energy and top-notch expertise of these star-quality musicians. Expect a sold-out show; they’re Music Niagara favourites!

Purchase Toronto All-Star Big Band Tickets Now

And to All a Good Night Make that two fabulous occasions: one gorgeous afternoon with Vocális, and one merry evening with the Toronto All-Star Big Band, and be sure to buy your tickets  TODAY!

Remembrance Day

Sunday November 11, 2018 11:45am at St. Mark’s Church

(following the Cenotaph wreath laying)

For the fifth year, Music Niagara will commemorate Remembrance Day with music and words that capture the moment.

The concert will feature:

  • Alex Dobson, baritone
  • Inga Williams, soprano
  • Victoria Kogan, piano
  • Atis Bankas, violin
  • Guy Bannerman, narrator

Music selections by French, British, German, Italian, Polish and Russian composers.

From our friends at St. Mark’s Church…

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Thanks for a great season

To You, Our Friends, a Standing Ovation!

Our record-breaking Summer 2018 Twentieth Anniversary Festival Season has ended, but the beautiful music still resonates in our memories.

Robert Schumann once said, “Nothing right can be accomplished in art without enthusiasm.” We agree wholeheartedly and would like to acknowledge that it was your enthusiasm that helped us set new benchmarks. Ticket sales in Summer 2018 reached an all-time high, increasing 15% from 2017, and over half of our ticket buyers were new this year! And for those of you who have been with us year after year, we’re so grateful that you not only joined us once again, but you attended more concerts. Many of you attended five or more events!

We owe all of this to you, our wonderful and loyal friends and supporters. Thank you very much. We’re on our feet, applauding you with gusto!

And… what’s next for Music Niagara?

We’re glad you asked!
First up, we’re putting down our violin bows and picking up our seven irons, at Music Niagara’s Second Annual Golf Tournament on September 5th. We need to hit our longest drives ever to reach our 2018 fundraising goal, and there’s still much work to be done, with your enthusiastic participation! Join us for an afternoon of fun at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club. It’s a forgiving best-ball format, and players of all levels of skill are welcome! And for everyone, golfers and non-golfers alike, there will be a delicious dinner to follow.

Sneak preview!

Music will be in the air this Fall as we present three outstanding concerts: Remembrance Day, November 11, Vocalis Chamber Choir, December 9, and a Toronto All-Star Big Band Christmas, December 15. Tickets go on sale soon!

Please save this date: Saturday June 15, 2019. That’s right: Music Niagara’s Big Night returns, more dazzling than ever before! Our avid committee members are brainstorming to create a festive night and your participation will help make it the best in our history.




And if you are looking for something to do next weekend….

SATURDAY, SEPT 8, 2018 | 12:00 – 4:00 pm

$15 – ADVANCE | $20 – AT GATE

Buy tickets here.

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National Youth Orchestra: Artistry and Exuberance

There is something transcendent in hearing a group of our nation’s best classical musicians, aged sixteen to twenty-eight, play their youthful hearts out on stage. They don’t second-guess themselves; they perform with pure passion, creating an atmosphere that sparkles and delights.

Music Niagara is thrilled to present The National Youth Orchestra, as they share their prodigious, combined talents with an appreciative audience at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (St. Catharines) on Thursday, July 26 (7:30pm). Their ambitious Migrations 2018 repertoire includes demanding and contrasting works such as Ein Heldenleben,-Richard Strauss’s eighth tone poem—as well as the enduringly popular Appalachian Spring (Suite for Orchestra) by Aaron Copland. Rest assured that, whatever Maestro Jonathan Darlington chooses to conduct, the concert hall will be filled with luscious harmonies and nuanced performances.

National Youth Orchestra of Canada
National Youth Orchestra of Canada


For over fifty years, young musicians from Canada have vied to become part of the National Youth Orchestra. Several hundred hopefuls audition each year for approximately ninety-five positions. Landing one of the coveted spots is considered a stepping stone to a professional career; in fact, about a third of all Canadian professional orchestral musicians are alumni of NYO Canada.

As one famous young musician—a certain Wolfgang A. Mozart–once said, “Music is my life and my life is music.” Like Mozart, every young artist needs an audience. On July 26, be a part of the excitement, and support these budding Canadian musical stars as their careers take flight.

Tickets for this concert, $35 +HST Call 1-855-515-0722

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Young Musicians of Niagara Competition

Congratulations to Terrence Wu and Axell Panganiban, winners of the Inaugural Young Musicians of Niagara Competition on June 29th at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Both winners have secured a place at the 2018 Music Niagara Performance Academy. Well done!

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