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A LOT OF HARD WORK AND A TOUCH OF MAGIC



He’s a music director, pianist, author, teacher, composer, adventurer and the first ever My Pop Choir leader. Add enthusiasm, apparently endless energy and a quick sense of humour to this talented combination and you will be describing our original (in many ways!) choir director.


Doug Price is returning to My Pop Choir this fall and he couldn’t be happier.


“I love the energy and the atmosphere. I love that we are all there because the common ground is that we all love pop music,” Doug says.


When he joins Lawrence Park in September, he will bring both his passion for music and his vision of My Pop Choir. “It’s that shared interest and passion that brings us together in an environment where we’re not fooling around.  We’re working and we’re learning the song and I love that, but we’re doing it in a way that the priority is to have a good time.  We find enjoyment from the music, enjoyment from the togetherness and the unity of it.”


Anyone in a choir led by Doug Price will look forward to every weekly session. “It’s an environment about having as much fun as possible.  I love that there is no pressure and that we can laugh at both something funny that happens, but also at ourselves,” he says.


It was through a Sheridan College Music Theatre Performance connection (Doug is a 2008 grad of the program) that MPC founder Jackie Curtis met Doug and took him on as the first choir director in the fall of 2011. “I helped build MPC with Jackie. I didn’t realize at first how unique it was or the specific skill set that went into directing.  Not only do you need musical ability, but also people skills and leadership skills.  And there’s an element of making sure that people have a great experience with it.”


The My Pop Choir philosophy is very much based on being attuned to the needs of choir members. Doug lists the questions that directors have to ask themselves continually: Is something not working? Do we have to shift gears? How do you keep the energy? “There’s a bit of a science to it,” he explains.


In 2012, Doug went on to new adventures, quite breath-taking in their scope. He is an alumnus of the Shaw Theatre Festival’s music directing internship program and he has a Masters in Music Direction from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  Montreal was his next stop where he served as the inaugural Head of Music at the National Theatre School of Canada from 2014 to 2020.  


While there he created and taught a course in financial planning for artists.  A natural successor to this course was his first book, Seventeen To Millionaire (a personal finance book for 17-yr-old Canadians). It is a Reader Views Literary Award winner, a 2023 Canadian Book Club Awards finalist and an Amazon bestseller. Book website: www.seventeentomillionaire.com


To fill in his spare time (!) he also developed tunetorialz.com - an online catalogue of musical theatre lessons.   He is the co-writer of the musical Kitsault (about the world’s most well-preserved ghost town) and the author of Men Go West (the story of Charley Parkhurst). Both shows are in development and have had workshops in Toronto, Montreal and Charlottetown.  


This summer Doug will be a music director at The Charlottetown Festival in P.E.I., where he will also play piano in the pit orchestra for Anne of Green Gables and Jersey Boys.


Somehow in the midst of all this, the adventurous spirit in Doug took him on a cross-Canada trip, followed by a six-month journey around the world. In neither case did he plan ahead, deciding on his next stop as he went.


Whew!


In the fall of 2023, Doug decided to come back to Toronto and he contacted Alex Fiddes, owner/director of My Pop Choir, almost immediately, as he was interested in rejoining the choir. After substituting at a couple of our choirs when needed, an opening came up at Lawrence Park for Fall 2024. Doug is back!


“I love choirs in general and I’ve heard it said that singing in a choir is one of the healthiest things you can do,” he says. “We are hardwired to sing and to create together.”


And he has a clear focus on what’s important for an MPC choir: “Each session has to be really fun for the members.  They have to be able to pick up on the music and be entertained at the same time.”


To have the choir function smoothly as one group is the main goal for Doug. “I love that we all want to work when we’re there and we want it to sound good. We want to create something together.”


As for returning to my Pop Choir: “For me, it just feels very much like coming home.”


You can reach Doug through his Instagram link: @seventeentomillionaire


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