Orillia Vocal Ensemble

Art by Laura Carter - "Adrift in Time", 2017

..from the OVE Canada 150 Celebrations Project in 2017 

About Us

Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide a joyful and educational choral opportunity for anyone who wants to sing, and to benefit our community by donating the proceeds from all of our concerts to local non-profit organizations.

Artistic Director - Blair Bailey, B.Mus

Blair Bailey

Blair Bailey graduated with a bachelor of music degree (B.Mus) from the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto in the spring of 1984. By August that same year, he accepted a post as music director at St. Paul’s United Church in Orillia and Blair has been back home in Orillia ever since.

He was Artistic Director for the Orillia Kiwanis Music Festival for 25 years until 2019 and was instrumental in revamping and revitalizing the Festival.ORAH Awards 2021

Blair has been music director and pianist for many Mariposa Arts Theatre shows, including The King and I and Fiddler on the Roof.

He has been the accompanist for The Cellar Singers since 1985; he has been the go-to fill-in conductor for the Orillia Vocal Ensemble whenever the former director was absent; and he has a thriving private music studio teaching voice, piano, organ, harmony, and music theory.

He has been the organist and choir director of St. Paul’s United Church since 1984, outlasting many ministers and changes in the church structure, including its recent evolution into a performing arts space.

St. Paul’s has had a long history of producing musicals on its own; Bailey has been front and centre in these: “When I first started, we had thriving children’s and youth choirs, and those groups would put on a musical each year. I remember doing the school production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. These were great shows.   

Last year, Bailey was music director for Joseph again at St. Paul’s, a production which raised a whopping $36,000 for the church.

Collaborative Pianist - Katie Pergau

Katie Pergau

Katie Pergau is very well-known in Simcoe County as an accompanist, conductor, and musician. She has accompanied and worked with students from the studios of Margot Hamilton, Edwina Douglas, Renée Cingolani as well as others in Ontario. Over the years, Katie has enjoyed performing and travelling with the Peterborough County Children’s ChoirPeterborough Singers, Tapestry Chamber Choir and was member and director of the Bravado! Show Choir for 8 years.

Katie is currently the Organist and Choir Director at Burton Ave United Church, Accompanist for the King Edward Choir, and was previously the Executive Director of the Barrie Music Festival Association.

Katie is looking forward to this new opportunity to work with Blair Bailey and the Orillia Vocal Ensemble and to making some beautiful music together!!




The Orillia Vocal Ensemble (OVE) was created originally by our founding Musical Director, Roy Menagh, to be a choir to accompany the Orillia Wind Ensemble (OWE) at their Christmas concert in 2010. Following that concert there were approximately 40 singers who wanted to continue singing, so the choir continued under the umbrella of the OWE. After the first year the OVE began to establish itself as a separate entity and developed its mission of fundraising for local non-profit organizations through performances and appearances. The choir developed quickly as a community choir open to anyone with the desire to sing, acquired charitable status and grew to a solid membership of more than 70 singers.

Roy Menagh retired in the spring of 2020 just as the pandemic began. Blair Bailey accepted the role as Artistic Director at that time but Covid-19 prevented the choir from gathering for two years. During this same period, Mary-Jo Rosenquist moved away from Orillia and had to resign her post as accompanist. Luckily, Katie Pergau accepted the role of accompanist pending the delays caused by the pandemic.

The OVE board continued to meet during the pandemic and decided to re-start the choir in March of 2022.

Business Manager

Carol Benedetti 




Board of Directors
for the 2022-2023 season 

Fred Larsen             Fred Larsen, President OVEPresident





Clive Algie                Vice-President, Properties Committee  Chair              Clive Algie





Sheila Knelsen         Treasurer     Sheila Knelsen




Brian Adams            Officer     




Jill Fraas                     Officer

Melody Chamberlain  Officer

Don Van Wyck            Officer, Webmaster

Kathleen Andrews      Officer, Scholarship Committee

Anne South                 Librarian

Irene Green                 Librarian

Section Leaders: