Marion Singers to headline cabaret

The Marion Singers
The Marion Singers
 on September 1, 2022

Lineup includes returning, new acts

Viewers  of the Bishop’s Company Cabaret are in for a special treat. In addition to a stellar lineup of guest artists, the show will feature the Marion Singers, a group that has delighted audiences with its a cappella choral singing for the past three decades.

The cabaret will be held online on Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. Registration for the evening opens on the Bishop’s Company website,, on Sept. 6. The show raises funds to support clergy and their families in need and other causes identified by Bishop Andrew Asbil, the diocesan bishop.

This year’s lineup will be a mix of returning acts and new ones. Back by popular demand will be the Nathan Hiltz Quintet, musician Rachel Colman and pianist Valentin Bogolubov. New will be The Redeemers, a quartet from Church of the Redeemer, Bloor St. who perform doo-wop close harmony singing, St. John the Baptist, Norway’s choir, the youth band from St. Paul on the Hill, Pickering, and trumpet and trombone player Jan Morgan.

Although many people are familiar with the Marion Singers, this will be their first time on the show. “We’re so happy to be singing together again after the pandemic,” says Christopher Dawes, the group’s director. “It’s a great honour to be asked and we’re really looking forward to it.”

The Marion Singers was formed in the early 1990s when a small group of people came together to sing at the wedding of Marion Thompson, ODT, an Anglican with deep roots in the diocese’s musical community. Ms. Thompson is a recently retired member of the group and belongs to St. Mark, Port Hope.

Since that informal beginning, the group has gone on to sing for congregations and audiences throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Its mandate is to help raise funds for humanitarian, non-profit organizations through a cappella choral singing. Its repertoire includes Tudor era, renaissance, baroque, romantic, light opera, gospel and modern music. The group’s first CD, self-titled The Marion Singers, was released in 2000. It has released three more CDs since then.

“We’re a group of friends who are committed to the idea that choral music can be an offering of beauty that can be used to support the ministries of any church,” says Mr. Dawes, who has directed the ensemble for nearly 10 years. He succeeded Tony Browning, the group’s first director.

“A cappella has a beauty to it and it’s something people are keen to hear,” he adds. “We also make it fun. Over the years we’ve sung show tunes and arrangements, folk songs and other secular music as well as the classics of the Anglican literature.”

The group will sing three numbers in the cabaret: How can I keep from singing, Goodnight my angel, and Old MacDonald.

This will be the third year in a row for the cabaret, which has taken the place of the annual Bishop’s Company Dinner, an in-person fundraising event, during the pandemic. There have been 24 acts so far with more than 1,000 views on YouTube. All the performances, including the ones in this year’s show, are pre-recorded.

“Moving the fundraiser online has made the event more accessible and available to a wider audience,” says Melissa Doidge, the cabaret’s coordinator and the diocese’s Stewardship and Congregational Development assistant. “We’ve had people from as far as Texas tuning in.”

She adds, “Our sponsors have enabled us to share this evening for free, introducing us to new donors and truly making this an event for the entire diocese.” ADTF and Turner and Porter Funeral Directors are the evening’s patron sponsors.  

For more information, visit the Bishop’s Company Cabaret webpage at or its Facebook page,


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