By Jennifer Noxon, Leader of Almonte’s Rhythm & Song Community Choir

I received an email request from a school teacher the other day asking for the music to a Finnish reindeer calling song she had heard Almonte’s Rhythm & Song Community Choir singing at a flashmob performance at Almonte’s Christmas Market a couple of years ago. It was so satisfying to hear that singing was happening, in at least in her school.

Photo: Adrien Duey

From what I hear from parents, there is not a lot of singing going on in the schools these days. I consider this a national catastrophe of epic proportions! If kids aren’t born into a musical family or get exposed to group singing in their younger years – then what are the chances of them learning the pleasure that can come with using one’s voice as an instrument while singing with others. If kids, young and old, don’t have exposure to singing when in school, then what are the chances that they will ever consider singing with others as an adult?

I was lucky to have parents who had a great appreciation for music. My mom played piano and french horn as a teenager. My dad prefers to be an ‘active listener’ and has his favourite music close at hand. I started singing as a toddler, was lucky to be part of yearly musicals in elementary school, sang my heart out a summer camp, and eventually grew up and spent many years as a performing songwriter. Singing is what keeps me going through dark days, and helps me express light and beauty on the good days. It has become my way of helping people feel connected to each other at a time when their are so many divisive forces in the world.

As humans, our voice is connected to our confidence, our personal expression, and our personal identity. It is our own unique ‘instrument’ in this life. No one else has a voice exactly like our own.  It can be used to express a myriad of emotions, to fight for what we believe in, and to spontaneously join with other voices, in unison or harmony. If you are reading this and have sung with others, then I’m preaching to the converted. If you have never experienced singing with others, you might want to consider coming out and giving Rhythm & Song a try. Details are below…

Sing for fun, a sense of well-being, and to connect with others


Weekly sessions for singers of all abilities and stripes who want to sing in harmony with others. No auditions, no performances, no need to read sheet music. Rounds, short songs, and longer songs, from a variety of genres and cultures are taught through call and response (lyrics are provided when necessary). You will develop your listening skills, vocal confidence, breathing and posture, in a supportive, focused, and playful environment.

Monday Afternoons 1:00 – 2:30pm                   

Fee: $144

Sept. 10 – Dec. 17  (no session Thanksgiving Monday Oct. 8 or Oct. 21)

  • Mississippi Valley Textile Museum multipurpose room, 3 Rosamond St. Enter SIDE DOOR off of Coleman St.

Minimum of 20 singers needed.


Wed. Evenings 7:30 – 9:00pm                             

Fee: $144

Sept. 12 – Dec. 12  (no session Oct. 17)

  • Mississippi Valley Textile Museum multipurpose room, 3 Rosamond St. Enter SIDE DOOR off of Coleman St.

This session fills up quickly.

Please pre-register in name only, before Aug. 31. or call 613-256-8809

Fees to be paid in full the first session.

More info at