The Old Chestnuts Song Circle

The Old Chestnuts Song Circle is a group of people that meet informally in Kitchener (Ontario, Canada) each month to sing together. If you think you might find this interesting please read on!

The Song Circle was started in the fall of 1995 by local attendees of The Woods Music and Dance Camp, as a way to continue the spirit of singing and community that is such a part of that adult summer music event. We meet to enjoy singing those great songs that many of us already know, and to learn new songs from each other.

Members of the Song Circle range in age from 7 years to senior citizens, and in distance from as far as Toronto, Durham and Goderich. There is no requirement for musical experience: some of our members are professional musicians with recordings available, while others have never before sung outside of their own showers! Neither is it necessary to play an instrument; a variety of instruments are present each month, but some people bring only their voices or ears.

Our one requirement is that each song have a sing-along part. The intention of the Circle is to enjoy group singing, not to provide a place for people to perform. To that end we encourage people to teach songs to the group by bringing copies of words or music to pass around. Many wonderful songs have been discovered this way! Most of our songs fall into the 'folk' category, with both traditional and contemporary folk songs being popular.

The format of the Circle is simple. Each person gets 2 or 3 turns to lead a song, request a song that someone else knows, or pass. There is never any pressure to lead, but we ask that if you plan to lead a song please take some time to prepare ahead. If you like to just sing along, passing every time is fine - but eventually you will probably develop the urge to teach or lead a song yourself!

We meet on the fourth Saturday of most months from September to May. However, special events (like a concert or a workshop) sometimes cause us to skip a month. It's best to check first by contacting us as described below, or by reading our monthly newsletter. The newsletter is available here on the Web, by email or regular mail, but for the latter we ask for assistance with postage. If you're interested please get in touch!

For more information call Jack Cole at 519-578-6298 or email to

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