About the choir

The Nepean Choir dates back to 1975, when it was formed under the auspices of Nepean Parks and Recreation for “adults who like to sing.” Its first concert took place May 9, 1979, with guests the Nepean Concert Band.

In the 40+ years since that time, Nepean Choir has remained a haven for adults who like to sing, performing two concerts a year, as well as at retirement homes, community programs, the Byward Market and many other venues. Its repertoire has included classics of the choral canon, as well as folk songs, Broadway show tunes and Gilbert and Sullivan. 

Today, the Choir is a vibrant ensemble of 50-60 adults who love to sing. Its warm and welcoming atmosphere makes it a true home of those who want to grapple with serious music of all centuries, including our own, while making friends and establishing life-long relationships.


Lee Carter

Lee Carter


Nepean Choir is led by Music Director Lee Carter.

Lee Carter is an educator, musician and respected choral director whose passion for music and teaching others to love music can be found in all facets of his career. Music director of Castenchel Choir since 2014, Lee is also the artistic director for the European Union’s Christmas Concert held annually at Notre-Dame Basilica in Ottawa.

While a regular clinician and guest conductor in the community, Lee is a full-time teacher at Nepean High School, conducting the choirs and teaching instrumental music. In 2012, Lee was awarded the “Arts Recognition Award for Secondary Music” by the Ottawa Carleton District School Board Advisory Committee on the Arts for his creative directorship of the choral program. Mr. Carter’s passion for collaborative music making sees him frequently working with great musicians locally, nationally and internationally.

Lee holds Bachelor’s Degrees of Music and Education from the University of Ottawa where he studied tuba with Nick Atkinson and voice with Sandra Graham.

Previous directors

Denise Hawkins (1997-2018)

Bernice Oak (1978-97)

Kazimier Samujlo (1976-78)

Jackie Mandrell (1975)


Sara-Lynn Hutchison

Sara-Lynn Hutchison


Lee is ably assisted by accompanist Sara-Lynn Hutchison. 

Originally from Toronto, Sara Lynn is also the accompanist of the Kanata Choral Society and the West Ottawa Children’s Choir. Sara-Lynn’s previous experience includes accompanying the Laurentian University Choir, accompanying the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Chorus in Harrisonburg, Virginia and working as a staff pianist at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.  For over ten years, Sara-Lynn also served as the full-time piano accompanist at St. Mary Choir School, London, Ontario.

Previous accompanists

Risa Tonito (2018-19)

Sara-Lynn Hutchison (2010-18)

Sarah Westbrook (2008-2010)

David Loyer (2002-08)

Saundra Vandenberg (1996-2001)

Joanne Holden (1995)

Cynthia Watson (1989-95)

Marian Gilmore(1979-89)

Maeve Marshall (1975-79)

Community involvement

The Nepean Choir presents each year at the local Kiwanis music festival the Bernice Oak Award of $200.00 to the first-place choral group. The award honours the memory of our former director, Bernice Oak, who led the choir for nearly twenty years, from 1979 until her passing in 1997.