Grand River Chorus Artistic Director Excited for 25th Season

Portrait of Ron Cheung wearing a tuxedo

One of Ron Cheung’s first memories of his time as a new Canadian is attending the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s Messiah. He was instantly hooked on choral music.  “I attended the concert and that was it.”


Artistic Director’s Background

 Cheung was accepted into the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir, and there began his impressive musical career.  He went on to study music at university and got his Masters Degree in choral conducting.  He has both sung with and conducted several renown choirs, including one he founded.

“Thirty years ago, there were very few Chinese conductors conducting a western choir.  It’s not common.” he recalls.  “When I began my career in music, I spoke with Dr. Elmer Isle of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and he told me, “If no one will give you the time of day, do what i do:  start your own choir.”

Since then Cheung has carved out his own path in the performing arts, focused on creating vibrant, immersive choral experiences for audiences.  He auditioned to conduct Grand River Chorus in the height of Covid restrictions.

“To rehearse a choir with masks on isn’t easy,” he says. “Especially since I had never worked with them before.”

Nonetheless, he was hired for the position and conducted the choir’s 2022-2023 season.  As GRC embarks on its 25th anniversary season this fall, Cheung is excited to stretch the choir’s range and repertoire. 

This concert season will include:

  • Songs of Remembrance featuring Faure Requiem on November 5
  • A Ceremony of Carols featuring Britten’s Ceremony of Carols and singalongs on December 10
  • Madrigals Mayhem featuring selections from the 1500s to contemporary pop and folk on March 18
  • 25th Anniversary Gals concert featuring chorister favourites from past performances on May 26


“These won’t be concerts where you can just sit back and let it wash over you,” says Cheung.  “I want the audience to be engaged.  It is an experience in sound, in colour, in many different types of music.  I want people to feel that electricity, that energy when we sing.”