About Cool Choir
A Rock and Pop experience like no other
Cool Choir is a new concept in choirs that takes the traditional classical or community choir experience and injects modern well-known rock and pop songs into the singing experience. Although this choir concept is new to Calgary, it is extremely popular in the U.K with many choirs around the country.
We offer fun weekly rehearsals utilizing well-known hit songs with original vocal arrangements. Cool Choir is a fun and energetic evening out where you’ll meet like-minded individuals with a love for singing – no matter their experience. We sing everything from Queen, Michael Jackson, and Tom Jones to today’s pop artists – Ed Sheerhan, Coldplay, American Authors and much, much more! Unsure if Cool Choir is for you? Book yourself a FREE Taster Session and try it without any obligation.
My favourite time of day on a Monday is 7pm when we get to rock out and sing! Sets me straight for the rest of the week! Thanks so much for bringing us Cool Choir!
Jamie Serafi, Founder & Creative Director
Creative Director Jamie Serafi is a professional composer, arranger and musician who has worked in the music industry in the UK and Canada for over twenty years. In this time, he has written music for a vast array of film and TV productions and offered vocal coaching, rehearsal preparation and musical directorship in London’s West End.
Career Accomplishments Include:
● Creative Director and Founder of ‘Alive and Singing’ Rock & Pop Choir in the UK between 2011 and 2015
● Composer of 2016 Oscar-nominated short film ‘Ave Maria’
● Accompanying UK opera star Russell Watson in concert
● Musical Director in London’s West End
● Composing team for “1916 – The Musical”
● Resident lounge pianist, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines
● Jamie currently sits on the panel as a judge of the UK’s largest songwriting contest
Lee Ann Davis DeCoteau, Choir Director, Cool Choir Cochrane
Having sold her 20-year-old business in Canmore in 2019, Lee Ann and her family relocated to Cochrane in 2020! Involved with music since the age of four, Lee Ann’s journey through life thus far has always involved the musical Arts from dancing with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet to singing to playing trumpet and ukelele to Musical Director for Young Frankenstein in Canmore, the first live pit orchestra musical production for Pine Tree Players to directing Choirs. Lee Ann has been singing with the ladies acapella group In The Pink for over 20 years, has her own group Fig Fusion, sings with the Canmore Big Band and plays the trumpet and has been and still is directing the adult mixed community choir there since 2013 as well as her own Men of the Mountains Male Choir she started in 2014. Eager to embrace her new Cochrane Community musically, Cool Choir has made her dream and goal a reality!! Let’s get singing Cochrane!
Tina Hayden, Executive Assistant
Tina grew up on the outskirt’s of London, England and worked in publishing for many years as a promotions and marketing exec! She launched several well known magazines including OK! In the early 90’s. She had a complete career change in the late nineties when she moved to Belize to run a remote fishing and diving resort, 30 miles off the coast! Since then she has made several moves, including back to Belize before finally settling in Canada with her family.
Tina joined Cool Choir when it launched in January of 2016 and felt at home from the very beginning! As a shower and car singer, who shies away from the spotlight, Tina found her voice with Cool Choir. She has loved every minute rehearsing with her home choir of Lincoln Park, as well as joining forces with the other choirs in her ‘Cool Choir Community’ to perform at places like ‘The National Music Center’ and The Jube! She often says that the greatest gift Cool Choir gave her is not only the ability sing without fear for the first time ever but the amazing friendships she has made as a result of being a member.
In fact, Tina loves the choir and everything it stands for so much, that she joined the team in January 2018 as Executive Assistant to Creative Director, Jamie and now helps him in all aspects of the day to day running of the choir (except the creative side of course, she’s leaving that to the experts)!
Kaz Grzechowski, CPA, CGA
Chief Financial Officer
Kaz was born in Poland and moved to the UK when he was 22 years old. He gained his experience working in head office at one of the UK’s largest, independently-own coffee shop chains.
Kaz is also Jamie’s husband, having met one another in the UK in 2009 and ‘tied the knot’ in Canada in 2012! When Kaz is not crunching numbers behind the scenes of Cool Choir, he enjoys cooking, sipping cocktails and listening to Celine Dion!
Performance Stage Manager
After many years of singing with multiple choirs and musicals in Ireland, Veronica was looking for something fun and challenging when she came to Canada. She came across Cool Choir and has been with us from the start and just loves it. When she is not singing you can find her hiking and kayaking, playing soccer and doing yoga. She loves to travel and spending time with her Grandsons makes her heart happy.
‘Cool Crew’ (Calgary)
Donna Grant (EDGEMONT)
Having moved to Calgary in the early ‘80s, along with the large masses of migrating East Coasters at that time, Donna embraced life in the Wild West. A piece of her heart, however, always remained back with her family and friends on PEI. These days, should you be looking for her during the summer months, you’re most likely to find her contentedly sitting on the deck of her PEI beach house, with a cool beverage in hand! Donna is forever grateful to have found and joined Cool Choir in the Fall of 2017, whilst seeking an activity to help fill her new post-retirement life. To this day, her evenings spent singing, laughing, and just being with her much-loved Cool Choir family, are unquestionably a highlight of her week!
Jocelyn O’Toole (EDGEMONT)
Jocelyn has a wonderful husband of 33 years and a daughter who makes her proud every day. She loves to travel, garden, cook, and spend time at her cottage in the summer. She has lived in Calgary for over 27 years and her life became even more enriched when she joined Cool Choir in 2016. Some days she thinks she can sing OK and other days she knows that she “can’t” but her Cool Choir friends love her anyway because that’s just how beautiful the people are in this community that Jamie created!
Marjorie Smith (EDGEMONT)
Marjorie has been a member of Cool Choir since its inception in 2016. She claims it gives her the opportunity to experience “therapy, work decompression, social networking, joy and laughter, with a side of mental exercise” at least twice a week. Since chatting appears to be one of her greatest attributes, “If you can speak, you can sing” was a mantra she felt she gravitated towards immediately.
Elena Huurman (MAHOGANY)
Music has always been an important part of Elena’s life, whether it was singing her favourite songs or going to see her favourite bands perform. In 2016, it just so happened that Cool Choir had just started, and she saw the website. She was excited to learn that at this choir, she would sing Queen, the Beatles, Abba and even Guns and Roses! Since then, she has enjoyed being a member and meeting others who have a common love for music. Elena has lived in Calgary most of her life. Her other interests include travel, movies, and spending time with her family.
Jeri Wallis (MAHOGANY)
For as long as she can remember, Jeri has loved to sing. Choir, Karaoke and Community Musical Theatre are ways that she fills this passion. She loves the feeling of family and community it instils.
She joined Cool Choir in 2017 and hasn’t looked back. Her loving husband, Rob is very supportive of her hopes and dreams and she couldn’t do this without him, her family and friends and her fur baby, Gizmo.
Wendy Tegart (MAHOGANY)
Wendy joined Cool Choir in February 2022 due to being an empty nester and needing to get out of the house one evening a week. Normally she only sings in the shower or during a “Karaoke Night” after drinking lots of wine. She is still married to her first husband of 25 years and has one child (that she knows of) who is off to University in BC. She works full-time in a stressful job in AHS IT and enjoys blowing off some steam at Cool Choir with people who love to sing and have fun. Currently, Wendy does not have any hobbies except letting her OCD fly in organizing her house, life and family & friends. If you invite her to your house for a party, she will organize the shoes at the door, drink all your wine, and clean up the dishes before she leaves.
Alicia Harrison (BRIDGELAND)
Alicia joined Cool Choir in February 2022. She signed up for a taster session and was hooked after 5 minutes. From Jamie’s positive, infectious energy to the welcomeness she felt from so many of the existing members, she knew immediately this was a community she needed to be a part of. For Alicia, Cool Choir is quite simply the best, most joyful therapy EVER. She is honoured to be a part of the Bridgeland Crew! Outside of Cool Choir, Alicia loves spending time with her husband Tim and 11-year-old daughter Sloane. Alicia also started her own business in 2018, named after her daughter, MsSloane&Co – which offers hand-crafted, eco-friendly beeswax products!
Check out her Instagram shop @mssloaneandco. Happy Singing Rockstars!
Jessica Klassen (BRIDGELAND)
Jessica emerged from the Pandemic with a longing for community and connection. A well-timed article from the “Calgary Citizen” newsletter prompted her to sign up for the taster session in Bridgeland the next day! Although not AT ALL musically trained, Jessica has endless passion and curiosity about many styles of music. She has been known to “glitch out” and become (unnaturally) obsessed with certain bands, diving deep into their catalogues and memorising ridiculous trivia about the band members. She has a particular bent toward bands with a familial connection; Bee Gees, AC/DC, Greta van Fleet, First Aid Kit, Heart, Billie Eilish + FINNEAS, etc. Jessica is delighted to have discovered Cool Choir as she gets to sing her heart out and spend time with the friendly, goofy and inclusive director and choir members. She looks forward to the laughs and adventures sure to come.
Kellie Cooper (BRIDGELAND)
Kellie is originally from London, UK, not that you wouldn’t know by her accent! She loves dancing and movies and doing fun things with her kids. Kellie absolutely loves Cool Choir because she has made so many new friends and loves learning songs that she would not necessarily listen to! Although Kellie only joined Cool Choir in 2022, she has an awesome voice and has already featured as a soloist in some of our performances – rock on Kellie! 🙂
Sandy Swift (LINCOLN PARK)
Sandy is a mother and a grandmother of two grandsons that she adores and enjoys daily walks with her dog! Her work is in education, as an Education Assistant, supporting students with their learning. Sandy has been singing with Cool Choir since 2016 when it first started and loves singing although by her own admission, is generally a “car” and “house” singer! It has been fun stepping out into the many fun musical performance experiences of Cool Choir through the years. Whilst she really enjoys meeting and connecting with all the people that come through the doors each week at Cool Choir, the best part for her is singing in harmony with all the amazing voices! Sandy loves that this community is so strong and full of musical friendships!
Shirley Petovello (LINCOLN PARK)
Shirley moved from Saskatchewan to Calgary over 30 years ago. A friend introduced her to Cool Choir in October 2016. The idea of a non-auditioned choir was right up her alley. Being a part of the choir has brought her an amazing new group of friends and a sense of community. Travelling has been a big part of her life too, getting to see lots of amazing locals. Shirley is always excited for Thursday nights in Lincoln Park, wondering what laughs and goosebump-inducing harmonies lay ahead!
‘Cool Crew’ (Cochrane)
Jeanie moved to Cochrane a few years ago from Saskatchewan with her husband. She is slowly appreciating retired life and the freedom it provides! She joined Cool Choir to meet new people with similar interests and it has not disappointed. Cool Choir has helped Jeanie reconnect with singing in a choir and the joy music can bring to everyone!
Sharon Chynoweth (Rehearsal Pianist)
Sharon retired to Cochrane from Yellowknife NWT in 2020 and was delighted to discover Cool Choir Cochrane in January 2022. She found a way to share her musical gifts as a pianist and has been given the gift of many new friends. The energy, laughter and varied music is great!
Wendy is an avid gardener and canner who enjoys spending time with her family. Her love of music and singing led her to Cool Choir and she loves that Cool Choir brings people together with the same love of music and song!