Meet the Choir

Newcombe Singers come from all walks of life – everyone is welcome in our choir, without audition. To help you feel at home with us, we’ve created this page so you can get to know a few of our choir members. 

See anyone you know, or might like to sing with? We are all looking forward to singing with you!


Sheila & Cathy are co-leaders of our soprano section, where they sing heartfelt melodies and carry us up to the heavens with their beautiful, shimmering sound.

Sheila joined the Newcombe Singers in 2013. She studied voice with Sara Weicker Partridge at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Her family says she sings all the time! Since becoming soprano leader she has opened her home for sectional practices where tea, delicious baking and lively conversation can also be found. She says, “Newcombe Singers choir is wonderful and a great community of people who love to sing!”

Cathy played the recorder at school then had a long musical gap before joining Peter Dent’s choir on Galiano Island. She joined the Newcombe Singers eight years ago and hopes enthusiasm makes up for her lack of formal training. She has certainly learnt a lot, not least to stand within earshot of Sheila whenever possible!

Mike is a native Victorian, raised in the Royal Oak area before moving away to work and study in Calgary and Toronto. Mike has been back in Victoria for many years now and enjoys singing Tenor in the Newcombe Singers and a few other choirs.

Mike works for the BC Government as a senior database architect but is looking forward to retirement soon! When not singing or working, Mike enjoys travelling, photography, and playing in the outdoors.

Mike’s time with Newcombe Singers dates back to 2013, when the choir travelled to New York City to sing the Duruflé Requiem at the Lincoln Centre.

Mike enjoys the friendly, welcoming community that the Newcombe Singers is, improving his vocal skills with the weekly practices, and the community sing-outs, workshops, and concerts that happen throughout the year.

John Sease, Bass

It began with a tap on my shoulder in the Spring of 2010. I was minding my own business in the back of the hall while son William was rehearsing with the ensemble for Guys and Dolls. Tap, tap – “We are short of singers. Come on up here.” Being involved in such an adventure had never occurred to me. But I soon realized, “I can do this!” Singing is a lot of fun! Shortly thereafter I joined the Rutland (Vermont) Area Chorus for a concert of Italian Baroque choral music. I’ve been singing since.

Before moving to Victoria in 2015, I sent email inquiries to several area choirs that sounded like good fits for me. Newcombe Singers responded immediately with a very friendly and encouraging reply, “Come to St. Mary’s on Tuesday, you will love singing with us.” And I have loved singing with Newcombe since the week I arrived in Victoria. 

The music has been fabulous, with Music Directors Peter Dent, then Erica Phare-Bergh, and now Kathryn Whitney. We are challenged to keep improving our skills while making beautiful music together. 

More than this, though, Newcombe is people, a community of singers who create a comfortable, friendly, and welcoming atmosphere to sing and enjoy our time together.

Norma Jee (Alto section leader, Music Librarian, Board member and occasional wardrobe mistress}

Having read what other folks wrote, I’ll admit to the fact that I’ve been involved in an awful lot of choirs and musical productions, but I have no formal music training, except what I’ve picked up along the trail.

I come from a family of singers though: my grandparents sang professionally, my mother sang in choirs until she was 84, my daughter sings in Maddalen’s Descant, and my granddaughter sings in a Toronto choir. I’ve sung in school choirs, in UWO University choir, in 4 church choirs, in many Gilbert & Sullivan productions and now also in Newcombe Singers.

On the side I worked for a living, having been a teacher and then teacher/librarian for 40 years, retiring from a wonderful career spanning every grade. I owe my music love to my school teachers and my Mum.

This choir is where I’ve learned the most about actually singing though – under Kathryn’s excellent teaching.  I hope to be singing and learning for a long time yet. 

Singing in a choir really is a team sport. My biggest wish is that everyone feels welcome, stimulated and valued on this special Newcombe Team.