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Upcoming OVE concert celebrates work of founding director

May 25 concert to honour Roy Menagh, who led ensemble for more than 10 years
2020-11-25 ORAH awards Roy Menagh
Roy Menagh

On Wednesday, May 25 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Centre in Orillia, the Orillia Vocal Ensemble (OVE) will perform a long-awaited concert after a two-year break.

The concert will celebrate the work of founding musical director Roy Menagh, now retired, under whose direction — over a 10-year span — the choir raised over $150,000 for local charities.

The concert, titled Here’s to Song, Here’s to Freedom, Here’s to Home, will be under the direction of current OVE musical director Blair Bailey. Bailey is a highly respected choir master, organist and accompanist who picked up the baton that Menagh laid down upon his retirement in the spring of 2020.

Menagh, who joined the choir for a rehearsal this past week, expressed how emotional the experience is to be in front of the choir making music again. Menagh will conduct three pieces in the concert. The Ground is particularly moving, given the circumstances in Ukraine.

“It’s about finding peace and home at the end of a long journey,” says Menagh.

Mary-Jo Rosenquist, who also retired from the OVE at the same time as Menagh, will accompany on these selections.

Like many performing groups, the return to live performance this spring is extremely exciting.

Admission to the concert will be free, though during the program, attendees, as has been the group’s past practice, will be asked to give a goodwill donation, this time to benefit the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal. Cash or cheques payable to the Canadian Red Cross will be gratefully accepted.

Special guest artists will round out the program, which will feature a variety of OVE favourites and passionate, timely pieces such as Prayer of the Children, Hymn to Freedom, the Ukrainian national anthem, and A Ukrainian Prayer.

“This concert promises to be a very moving and inspiring event for such an important cause and a welcome return to song for our members, our audience and our community,” says Bailey.

Doors open at 7 p.m.

For more information contact or visit the OVE website: