Sharing Joy Through Song!

Achill — Your Community Choir since 1983

Please join us in our Celebration of 40 rejoicing in our 40-year history of the Achill Choral Society!

Concert Tickets:
Tickets are available at the door for our December 2, 2023 concert at Knox Presbyterian Church, 160 King Street South, Alliston, 3:00 – 4:30 P.M.

In the quiet township of Adjala, Ontario, a fledgling community choir set its roots in the hamlet of Achill. There, local residents Martin and Luitgard Mayer gathered friends to rehearse for a holiday performance and share the joy of musicmaking. The Mayers’ goal was to bring quality choral music to their community — a standard that the Achill Choral Society upholds to this day thanks to the loyal support of neighbours, music lovers, singers and choir alumni. Luitgard Mayer is often seen in the audience, listening and smiling with pride.

Accomplishments of the choir over the past forty years include separate tours to The Netherlands, England and Ireland in collaboration with The Georgetown Choral Society, The Etten Mannenkoor (NL) , and The Hereford Police Choir (UK). Major Canadian performances were given at Roy Thompson Hall and The George Weston Recital Hall. But truly, Achill’s intimate community concerts remain their favourites.

From its humble beginning, the fifteen-member Achill choir of 1983 continues to learn and grow under the leadership of Artistic Director, Shawn Grenke. Shawn brings his broad training and experience working with some of Canada’s premier choirs, energizing his Achill singers to explore new works as well as those of the great choral composers.

The Achill Choral Society presents annual spring and winter concerts to the communities of New Tecumseth, Bolton, Caledon and Orangeville. An inclusive choir, Achill welcomes all singers to join in September each year. Every voice matters as the choir moves into the next decade, building on Achill’s longstanding choral legacy.

A bonus for former Achill singers:  On behalf of the Achill Choral Society and our celebratory 40th season, Shawn Grenke invites former Achill singers to lend your voice to our Alumni Choir which will perform at one (or both) of Achill’s Winter Concerts— Saturday, November 25th in Orangeville, and Saturday, December 2nd in Alliston. Registration for Alumni is now closed … sorry! The Alumni Choir will come forward from the audience to join the full choir in the two final numbers of the concert — A Birthday of A King (sung at Achill’s first Concert 40 years ago), and the well-loved  Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah by Handel. 


As the Headwaters Region’s premier community choir, we currently have 65 singers. There’s always room for more! Our Winter and Spring concerts feature songs diverse in style, culture and message.

Location: Upstairs at Westminster United Church, 247 Broadway, Orangeville, ON, L9W 2Z5

Date: Wednesdays @ 7 P.M.

All new singers are invited to participate in the first three rehearsals at no charge. After a free 3-week trial with us, new members will participate in a short vocal placement exercise with our Director, Shawn Grenke, to determine how best to blend your voice with the choir’s beautiful sound. If you then wish to join Achill, a year’s membership fee of $300 will be payable. We look forward to welcoming you in September!

Please contact if you wish to attend and to receive a Pre-registration Form so that you can pick up your set of vocal scores at the first rehearsal. These are on loan, to be returned to Achill’s librarian.

Also you can connect with us on

Shawn Grenke, Artistic Director

Shawn Grenke, Artistic Director

Conductor, pianist and organist Shawn Grenke is Director of Music at Eglinton St. George’s United Church in Toronto, Collaborative Pianist with the Elmer Iseler Singers of Toronto, and Artistic Director and Conductor of the Achill Choral Society. We are so happy to have Shawn leading us!

Shawn has appeared in concerts in Poland and South Korea, at the Let the
Future Sing Choral Festival in Sweden and the Xinghai Choral Competition in
China, as well as the Le Mondial Choral Loto-Québec World Choral Competition in
Laval, Québec, Roy Thomson Hall (Toronto), Winspear Centre, (Edmonton), CBC Radio, and other festivals, concert series and recitals throughout Canada, the United States and Europe.

Shawn has finished his second year of doctoral studies in Choral Conducting at the University of Alberta with Dr. Timothy Shantz. He was very honoured to be awarded the Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship Award, the Opera Edmonton Assistantship Award and the Centennial Bursary Fund Award. While in Alberta, Shawn was also the Artist in Residence at St. George’s Anglican Church and held a teaching assistant position with the University of Alberta’s Opera Program under the direction of Shannon Hiebert.

We deeply thank Jenny Crober for all her energy and professional musical talent for leading us last year!

Achill Celebrates 40

This special 40th Anniversary concert honours Achill’s legacy with favourite holiday pieces from our earlier performances, along with contemporary selections by composers John Rutter, John Williams, Elaine Hagenberg, Howard Blake and others, that reflect the joys and beauty of the holidays. Enhancing this celebration will be a professional string quintet, a visiting Alumni Choir and a keepsake Anniversary programme.