Chris on Facebook email Chris Chris on Reverbnation CD Baby
Chris MacLean
collage face
  HOME ABOUT GIGs DISCs Voice Movement work

Across the world community choirs are on the rise. The many benefits of group singing include social engagement and sense of belonging; release of tension and anxiety; increased sense of well-being, calmness and resolution; cardio vascular and respiratory health; alleviation of muscle tension and physical aches and pains; enhanced listening skills; an improvement in general alertness; and elevated endorphins. Chris is a member of the Ubuntu Choir Network and a graduate of the Community Choir Leadership Training, led by Siobhan Robinsong & Denis Donnelly in Victoria, BC, Canada.

I found your Song Kitchen to be a choir where the hearts rather than the voices did the singing.  However, under your gentle tutelage, our voices gained finesse, volume and passion and took on a collaborate voice of its own.  Your encouragement gave us confidence to reach both inward and outward and to develop our sound, to listen to you and to one another and to feel the power of music with its complex rhythms, unlimited melodies and meaningful lyrics. You are a talented musician and I much appreciated my entire experience with the Song Kitchen.  Thanks so much! Sally Swan, Wakefield QC

JANUARY 11 – 18, 2020
Puerto Morelos, MEXICO

A weeklong workshop for singers at a retreat villa in this beautiful seaside village on the Yucatan Peninsula.  Puerto Morelos is only 25km from the Cancun airport, making it an accessible destination for a winter retreat. There are direct flights from Ottawa and Montreal.
We will arrive Saturday and meet for a communal supper. Our singing work begins Sunday. We’ll sing each day for 6 days, ending with a communal supper on Friday night. We’ll sing and move in a lovely studio space, an a outdoor gazebo and on the beach. Each day there will be time to enjoy each other’s company; participate in various extra-curricular activities; or simply relax in the gorgeous natural environment.
We currently have openings for 7 more participants.

REGISTER: by deposit $500, full payment due by Nov 8, 2019
Early-bird rate until May 3: passed
May 4– September 6:  $1000
September 7 – November 8: $1100

Single occupancy (private room) add $750 to any of the above rates
Flights, ground transportation, extra-curricular activities food & drinks are NOT included.


WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2019 7:15 – 8:15pm
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2019 7:15 – 8:15pm

METTA Movement & Meditation Studio
5 Hamilton Ave, North (one block west and north of the Parkdale Market)
Ottawa, ON   (613) 695-3000

This is a monthly pop-up singing event. Come join us for an hour of joyous singing in unison, round and harmony. Songs are taught by ear. All adult and young-adult singers are welcome. No previous experience or training required!
Suggested donation: $15

Chris facilitates 3 sessions of Community Choir each week, two in Wakefield, QC and one in Ottawa.

THE SONG KITCHEN COMMUNITY CHOIR – weekly until May 21, 22, 27 (no choir on May 20)
Drop-in fee: $15

In WAKEFIELD, QC at the CENTRE WAKEFIELD LaPECHE, 38 Ch de la Vallée de Wakefield:
MONDAY EVENINGs 7:00 – 8:30 PM - in the Lounge
12:30 – 2:00PM - in the Studio

In OTTAWA, ON at ST. MARGARET MARY CHURCH, Sunnyside at Fairbairn Street:
WEDNESDAY afternoons 1:30 - 3PM

(2 blocks east of Bank in Ottawa South) Enter by the side door off the driveway facing Fairbairn

The Song Kitchen Choir is an a cappella, non-auditioned community choir for singers of all abilities. The songs are mostly taught by ear and come from many spiritual, cultural and musical (including folk/roots, pop, gospel and world music) traditions. We sing in unison, round (canon) and multi-part harmony. The songs range in difficulty from easy to moderately challenging Occassionally we are accompanied by djembe or guitar.

We share the joy of singing and harmonizing in the company of others, while building vocal skill and confidence as we go. The choir occasionally gives informal performances. Regardless, at no time is there an obligation to perform  – the focus of this choir is on the weekly singing, having fun and building community.

The SONG KITCHEN is not associated with any particular religion or spiritual path and singers of all levels are welcome. There is no audition required, and the ability to read music, although an asset, is not necessary.

Why is it called The Song Kitchen, you might ask? The name refers to gathering together in a warm and inviting atmosphere where we prepare, blend, simmer and spice the songs on the menu – each song a recipe that we follow, while spontaneously adding the occasional pinch of unique flavour. It is not a pick-up choir, or a jam session.

Full registration allows you to attend ANY or ALL of the Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday sessions

REGISTER: by email or 613 316-1396 Note: Registration is directly through Chris (not the Wakefield Community Centre)
Sliding scale and postdated payment is possible. This is a member driven choir, so if you can, please pay the full amount – aside from the weekly choir session, the fees cover hours of prep and travel for the choir director and rental of the hall.


Click here to listen to 'The Benefits of Circle Singing', Chris's interview on I Am Alive Wellness Show, CKCU, May 3 2018

Over the past few years, I have been exploring Circle Singing with my teacher Rhiannon and the master of Circle singing himself, Bobby McFerrin. It’s fun, positive, freeing, powerful, promotes communal listening & camaraderie. 
What is circle singing? Basically it’s an opportunity to participate in the spontaneous creation of song – each song unique to the moment, never to be repeated. The singers gather in a circle, grouped into parts (based on vocal range). The leader creates simple rhythmic or harmonic patterns and teaches each group their part as the song builds. The patterns (parts) can be morphed (changed). We sing in a mistake-free zone. We are encouraged to listen and let go.

Singers of all abilities are welcome, although to work well we require enough participants - minimum 5 strong singers or 20 less confident singers. This is why I ask that people let me know in advance if they are coming so that I know we'll have enough participants to make an effective circle. The more people who participate, the easier and more enjoyable it is for everyone. There is strength in numbers!Our circles usually run for 2 hours, including introduction, warm-up, circle sing, break and exit. The actual singing part lasts between 70 and 90 minutes.

Circle Singing is for people who want to really open up their voice, while exploring rhythm, harmony and dynamics. Most importantly, it’s about being part of a joyful, non-judging circle of singers, gathered in a safe, welcoming and sacred space. You don’t have to do anything wild, just use your ears, jump in and sing the part you’re taught, hold that part with the group you’re in, notice how it blends in with the other parts, and ENJOY! The effect is quite magical - transcending the boundaries age, ability, gender, language, culture and religious. affiliation.


Chris MacLean makes you feel completely at home in the choir, no matter what your musical background might be.  She is highly knowledgeable, creates a warm and inclusive atmosphere which promotes happy and meaningful singing. If you want a place to sing freely for the pure love of music, you’ve found a home with Chris MacLean. Regiena Heringa, , Wakefield

I've sung in a few choirs in my time and have a fair amount of formal music training and I love coming to Chris's choir along with my friend who has no music training whatsoever. The choice of songs gives my heart great joy and the way they are taught has us sounding fine amazingly quickly. There is melody, great harmony and lots of laughter. I always feel great singing in this choir. Peggy Campbell, Wakefield

There is something primal about singing with other people - it is easy to forget how much joy music can bring to our lives. The Song Kitchen Community Choir, driven by Chris MacLean, offers a safe, fun environment for veteran singers and beginners alike. Sweet, sweet harmonies, for one, for all. Come sing! Tina Therrien, Wakefield

Every time you look at these (picture a bouquet of beautiful flowers), know from the beauty you see and the joy you feel, how much pleasure you have brought into my life. Annick Landry, Wakefield

Thank you so much for bringing the Song Kitchen Choir to the Wakefield area.  I have enjoyed the singing so very much.  The rounds are a lot of fun, and I love the way the 4-part harmony pieces flow through my head and make me smile!! The South-African songs are amazing and so uplifting! I hope that this choir will grow and that we can spread our joy - ‘Together in Song’!
Thank you for the Music! Doreen Lemieux, Wakefield

Not knowing what to expect from a song kitchen choir, I was pleasantly surprised to meet Chris, who is down-to-earth and welcoming of everyone, regardless of musical ability. Her attitude inspired success and her broad range of music kept us fully engaged throughout each session. It was always surprising how quickly she was able to get us all singing in different harmonies with so little practice. Each evening was fun and uplifting. I'm looking forward to the next one! Jisèle Charlton, Wakefield

I have always loved choral music from listening to Choral Concert on CBC Sunday mornings to loving groups like the Good Lovlies and Great Big Sea.  Joining the Song Kitchen Choir this year has been a wonderful opportunity for me to finally raise my own voice in song with a group of other people who like to sing. It has been a delight to realize that I too can sing in harmony. Your choice of songs have been varied, a bit challenging and always fun. I am very much looking forward to being in the choir next year and I encourage anyone who loves music to give it a try. Leslie Mills, Wakefield

I wasn't expecting the choir to sound as good as it did since most (if not all) of the singers are untrained -- particularly the harmonies, which I thought sounded so beautiful! Andrea Rowe, Wakefield

I joined the Song Kitchen Choir not knowing what to expect. I'm not a strong singer but can keep on tune...sort of. What I found was a group of people who were just like me! We had a lot of fun learning to sing together.  What I liked about Chris MacLean was her ability to teach us songs and make it easy and fun. We always learned new short songs and could do it in rounds. I looked forward to Monday night singing with the group. Barb McMillan, Wakefield

Chris Maclean’s “Song Kitchen Choir” has been everything I hoped to get out of being in a community choir. It provides an excellent balance of warm-up exercises, short and interesting vocal pieces, and longer songs that our group could really dig into. I especially appreciate that songs from other cultures and in other languages were included. These excursions help us step outside ourselves and try on different voices. This is very important, because people all over the world understand that it’s their birthright to sing, but this is not necessarily encouraged in all cultures, especially in settings where the emphasis is placed on achievement rather than engagement. Personally, I felt that I finally had “permission” to sing, to make mistakes and laugh, and to lean on others in the group without fear of generating resentment. That kind of group atmosphere only happens with a wise and compassionate choir leader, which Chris herself most certainly is! Peter MacGibbon, Wakefield

I am one of those people, who only 10 months ago would have firmly declined singing out loud, let alone singing in a choir ... but under Chris MacLean's graceful, empowering, conscientious guidance and teaching, I have experienced the rich joy of joining others in song.  I encourage folks to join Wakefield's Kitchen choir next fall.  It is so much fun!!! Ilse turnsen, Wakefield

Rise Up choir has freed me to sing more often and out loud at home. The group and the songs lift my spirits and I am energized at the end of each session. I am so happy I was introduced to it by a friend. Elaine O’Reilly, Ottawa

Thank you for your inspiring leadership of the group.  At the end of every Thursday session, I leave with a soaring spirit. Brian Jeanes, Ottawa

Chris is a wonderful voice teacher! I'm an experienced singer and performer, and have sung in many different groups and settings, but I have never worked with a choir leader who helped me to improve my voice as much as Chris has done. Her attention to proper breathing, posture, and tone, and her use of innovative vocal exercises and techniques is far and away the best voice training I've ever had in a choral group setting. Pat Lucey, Ottawa

Before joining Chris's community choir, I had never experienced the beauty of singing in a group and hearing other voices blend with my own. It often left me with goosebumps. It is an amazing feel good experience that leaves you wanting more. Dany Belanger, Ottawa



The Song Kitchen Community Choir

The Rise Up Singing Community Choir

Chris is a graduate of the Community Choir Leadership Training given by Shivon Robinsong and Denis Donnelly (leaders of the reknowned Gettin' Higher Choir in Victoria) and a member of the Ubuntu Choir Network.