The Elmer Iseler Singers (EIS), conducted by artistic director Lydia Adams, C.M., enters its 45th Anniversary Season in 2023/24.  This 20-voice fully-professional choral ensemble, founded by the late Dr. Elmer Iseler in 1979, has built an enviable reputation throughout Canada, the United States and internationally through concerts, and recordings — performing repertoire that spans 500 years, with a focus on Canadian composers.

EIS normally present a five-concert series in Toronto each season, and are featured at concerts, workshops, and festivals throughout Canada.  Touring is also a major component of EIS activities with national tours, east and west, bi-annually, annual provincial tours and runouts.  These events often engage community singers through workshops and in concert performances.

Annually, EIS sponsors choral workshops through their GET MUSIC! Educational Outreach Initiative for secondary school conductors and choirs, concluding with a joint public performance.  They also work with university students, to mentor young conductors, who also join us in the joint public performance.

The Elmer Iseler Singers have recorded 15 CDs featuring Canadian music. EIS with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra were 2019 Grammy nominated and 2019 JUNO awarded for the brilliant Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Chandos CD recording, with Peter Oundjian, conducting. EIS are 2014 National Choral Award recipients and JUNO nominees for “Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance” for Dark Star Requiem with Tapestry Opera and Gryphon Trio in 2017 and for David Braid’s Corona Divinae Misericordiae with Patricia O’Callaghan in 2019.

Recognition and awards

As part of the IFCM’s 40th anniversary, EIS were invited to be part of their Ambassador Program to acknowledge our selection by the IFCM Artistic Committee to the World Symposium on Choral Music, Vienna, Austria in 1987.

Vaughan Williams: Orchestral Works

2019 participating artists on the Juno Award winning and Grammy Nominated album Vaughan Williams: Orchestral Works in the category of “Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble” by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra conducted by Peter Oundjian featuring Louis Lortie, Sarah Jeffrey, Teng Li, and the Elmer Iseler Singers. (2018 Chandos) 

David Braid: Corona Divinae Misericordiae

2019 Juno Nominee in the “Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral” category for the album David Braid: Corona Divinae Misericordiae featuring Patricia O’Callaghan, and the Elmer Iseler Singers. 

Staniland: Dark Star Requiem

2017 Juno Nominee in the “Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance” category for the album Dark Star Requiem by Canadian Composer Andrew Staniland. (2016 Centrediscs) 

2014 Outstanding Innovation Award, presented by Choral Canada for Music of the Spheres. On the eve of Earth Day 2012, the Ontario Science Centre in collaboration with the Amadeus Choir and the Elmer Iseler Singers presented Music of the Spheres: A Fusion of Music, Art and Science. Celebrating Roberta Bondar’s 20th anniversary of flight in space, her photographic explorations were interwoven with the sounds of the Amadeus Choir and the Elmer Iseler Singers for a performance of two world premieres: Light in the Darkness—The Earth Sings by Lydia Adams (text by Roberta Bondar) and Geometry of Light by Jason Jestadt (text by Carole H. Leckner).  

2012 Choral Canada’s Outstanding Choral EventThe Sealed Angel by Rodion Shchedrin. Presented by Soundstreams Canada and featuring Toronto’s Elmer Iseler Singers and the Amadeus Choir

Peter-Anthony Togni: Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae

2011 participating artists on the Juno Nominated album Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae in the category of “Classical Composition of the Year” by Peter- Anthony Togni featuring Jeff Reilly and the Elmer Iseler Singers. 

Elmer Iseler Choral Visionary, biography by Walter Pitman

2010 Choral Canada’s Outstanding Choral Publication Elmer Iseler Choral Visionary by Walter Pitman; published by Dundurn Press.

1998 Choral Canada’s Outstanding Choral Recording A Boy Was Born, Toronto Children’s Chorus; Jean Ashworth Bartle, Founder/Music Director; Ruth Watson Henderson, Accompanist; The Elmer Iseler Singers and MacMillan Singers, Elmer Iseler, conductor; Lois Marshall, narrator; Members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, TCC-015.

1990 Choral Canada’s Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Elmer Iseler (Toronto, ON), conductor.

1989 Canadian Music Council’s Grand Prix du Disque for Welcome Yule!

1984 Canadian Music Council’s Grand Prix du Disque for Serenade in Harmony