About Cool Choir
A Rock and Pop experience like no other
Cool Choir brings a fresh twist to the traditional choir experience by infusing beloved rock and pop songs into the mix. While this concept is making waves in Calgary, it’s already a smash hit in the U.K., with choirs popping up all over the country.
Our weekly rehearsals are an absolute blast, featuring chart-topping hits with fantastic vocal arrangements. Cool Choir offers a lively and spirited evening where you’ll connect with fellow singing enthusiasts, regardless of your experience level. We groove to tunes spanning from Queen, Michael Jackson, and Tom Jones to today’s chart-toppers like Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, American Authors, and many more!
Not sure if Cool Choir is your jam? No problem! Book yourself a FREE Taster Session and give it a whirl without any strings attached. Come see why we’re the coolest choir in town! 🎤🎶
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
Meet our Creative Director, Jamie Serafi, a seasoned composer, arranger, and musician with a remarkable two-decade career spanning both the UK and Canada’s music industry. His extensive portfolio includes composing music for numerous film and TV projects, providing vocal coaching, rehearsal preparation, and serving as a musical director in London’s prestigious West End.
Here are some of Jamie’s career highlights:
- Creative Director and Founder: Alive and Singing choir in the UK from 2011 to 2015.
- Oscar-Nominated Composer: He composed the music for the 2016 Oscar-nominated short film ‘Ave Maria.’
- Concert Accompanist: Jamie has had the privilege of accompanying UK opera sensation Russell Watson in concert.
- West End Musical Director: He’s lent his expertise as a Musical Director in London’s iconic West End.
- Composer for “1916 – The Musical”: Jamie was part of the composing team for the production “1916 – The Musical.”
- Resident Pianist: He’s delighted audiences as the resident lounge pianist for Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.
- Songwriting Judge: Jamie currently sits on the panel as a judge for the UK’s largest songwriting contest.Get to know the musical genius behind the scenes! 🎶🎹🎷
Tina Hayden, Executive Assistant
Tina’s story is quite a journey! She grew up on the outskirts of lively London, England, and spent many years in the publishing world, rocking it as a promotions and marketing exec. Yep, she’s the brains behind launching some of those iconic magazines, like OK!, back in the early ’90s.
But then, in the late ’90s, Tina decided to take a wild turn. She packed her bags and ventured off to Belize, where she ran a remote fishing and diving resort a cool 30 miles off the coast. Talk about a career flip!
From there, Tina’s life became a bit of a whirlwind. She made a few moves, including a return to Belize, before finally planting her roots in Canada with her family.
Tina hopped on board the Cool Choir train when it kicked off in January 2016, and felt right at home from day one! She’s the type who loves to sing in the shower and belt out tunes in the car, but shies away from the spotlight. Cool Choir helped her find her voice in a big way.
She’s been soaking up every moment rehearsing with her local choir in Lincoln Park, and she’s even teamed up with other choirs in her Cool Choir Community to put on some fantastic shows at cool spots like The National Music Centre and The Jube.
Cool Choir didn’t just teach Tina how to sing fearlessly; it gifted her some incredible friendships along the way. She often says that “this choir isn’t just about singing; it’s about building lasting friendships”.
Tina loves Cool Choir so much that in January 2018, she became part of the team. She’s now the Executive Assistant to the Creative Director, Jamie, helping out with all the behind-the-scenes stuff (though she leaves the creative genius to the experts, of course). Cool, right? 🎶😄
Kaz Grzechowski, CPA, CGA
Chief Financial Officer
Kaz was born in Poland, but at the age of 22, he made a life-changing move to the UK. His career path led him to gain valuable experience working at the head office of one of the UK’s largest independently-owned coffee shop chains, Caffe Nero.
Now, if you think that’s interesting, here’s a bit of romance in the mix too. Kaz happens to be Jamie’s husband, and their love story started back in the UK in 2009. They decided to take the plunge and got hitched in Canada in 2012!
When Kaz isn’t busy crunching numbers behind the scenes at Cool Choir, he’s all about his other passions. He’s a wizard in the kitchen, loves concocting cocktails, and you might just find him chilling out while enjoying the soothing tunes of Celine Dion!
Performance Stage Manager
Veronica’s musical journey began in Ireland, where she spent many years singing with various choirs and taking part in musicals. When she made the exciting move to Canada, she was on the lookout for something that would bring both fun and challenge into her life. That’s when she stumbled upon Cool Choir, and she’s been with us right from the beginning, loving every moment of it.
Now, when Veronica isn’t belting out tunes, you’ll often find her out and about enjoying the great Canadian outdoors. She’s an avid hiker and kayaker, not to mention quite the soccer player and yoga enthusiast.
But there’s more to her than just her love for singing and outdoor adventures. Veronica has a passion for travel, and spending quality time with her grandsons brings sheer joy to her heart.
‘Cool Crew’ (Calgary)
Donna Grant (EDGEMONT)
Having relocated to Calgary in the early ’80s, alongside a wave of East Coasters migrating at that time, Donna wholeheartedly embraced the Western way of life. However, a part of her heart always remained tethered to her family and friends back on PEI. Nowadays, if you’re searching for her during the summer season, you’re most likely to discover her in serene contentment on the deck of her PEI beachfront residence, enjoying a refreshing beverage! Donna feels eternally thankful for stumbling upon Cool Choir in the autumn of 2017, as she was in search of an activity to enrich her new post-retirement phase. To this very day, her evenings spent singing, laughing, and simply being with her beloved Cool Choir community unquestionably stand out as the highlights of her week!
Jocelyn O’Toole (EDGEMONT)
Jocelyn’s been sharing her life with her amazing husband for a whopping 33 years now, and her daughter? Well, she’s the source of Jocelyn’s daily joy and pride. When she’s not reveling in family bliss, you’ll find Jocelyn globe-trotting, nurturing her garden, whipping up delectable dishes, and basking in the summer vibes at her cozy cottage. Calgary has been her home turf for over 27 years, but the real game-changer came in 2016 when she hopped on board with Cool Choir. Now, about her singing adventures, some days she’s like, “Yeah, I’ve got this,” and other days, she’s a bit more like, “Maybe not my best performance.” But here’s the magical part: her Cool Choir pals adore her regardless because that’s just the kind of wonderful community that Jamie brought to life! 🎶❤️
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 forever held a special place in Elena’s heart, from belting out her cherished tunes to catching her all-time favorite bands live in action. Then, in 2016, fate intervened when she stumbled upon the Cool Choir website. What a revelation! They were all set to rock out to Queen, groove to the Beatles, get their Abba on, and even channel their inner Guns and Roses! Ever since that fateful discovery, Elena’s been happily belting out those classics as a proud member of Cool Choir, rubbing shoulders with kindred spirits who share her deep love for music. Calgary has been her stomping ground for most of her life, and when she’s not hitting those high notes, you’ll find her exploring new destinations, catching the latest flicks, or cherishing quality time with her beloved family. 🎶🤘🎤
Jeri Wallis (MAHOGANY)
Singing has been Jeri’s jam for as long as she can recall. Whether it’s choir rehearsals, karaoke nights, or jumping into community musical theatre, she can’t get enough of it. What really strikes a chord with her is the sense of belonging and camaraderie that music brings into her life. In 2017, Jeri found her musical haven with Cool Choir, and it’s been a harmonious journey ever since. She’s got a rock-solid support system, too, with her loving husband, Rob, standing firmly by her side, cheering on her dreams. Of course, there’s a whole chorus of family and friends, plus her furry friend Gizmo, who add their love and encouragement to her musical endeavours. 🎶🎭🐾
Kellie Cooper (BRIDGELAND)
Meet Kellie, who hails all the way from London, UK – and trust us, you’ll instantly recognise it when you hear her charming accent! Kellie’s all about dancing, movie nights, and making cherished memories with her kiddos. She’s head over heels for Cool Choir, and it’s not just about the music. It’s the fantastic friendships she’s formed and the awesome songs she’s learned, some of which might not have crossed her playlist otherwise! Even though she’s a newcomer, having joined the Cool Choir fam in 2022, Kellie’s got a killer voice and has already taken center stage as a soloist in a few performances. Rock on, Kellie! 🎤🎶🤘😃
Sheila Bettin (BRIDGELAND)
Sheila has two children, a husband to whom she has been married for 35 years, and a grand puppy, all of whom she loves beyond measure. Her husband and she share a deep love for travel and a passion for exploring new places. She has been singing in church with groups and choirs since she was young, but the most fun she’s ever had singing has been with Cool Choir!
Sandy Swift (LINCOLN PARK)
Sandy is a proud mom and grandma to two adorable grandsons who light up her world. She’s a daily companion to her trusty dog during those lovely walks. By day, Sandy’s an Education Assistant dedicated to supporting students on their learning journeys. Sandy’s been singing her heart out with Cool Choir since its inception in 2016. She’ll be the first to tell you she’s mainly a “car” and “house” singer, but that hasn’t stopped her from diving headfirst into all the fantastic musical experiences Cool Choir offers. While Sandy relishes meeting the wonderful people who walk through Cool Choir’s doors each week, the real magic for her is harmonising with those incredible voices. She’s all about that sense of community and the enduring musical friendships that make Cool Choir so special! 🎶🎤🤗
Shirley Petovello (LINCOLN PARK)
Shirley made her way from Saskatchewan to Calgary more than three decades ago, and her life took a melodic turn in October 2016 when a friend introduced her to Cool Choir. The idea of a non-auditioned choir was just perfect for her. Since then, being a part of this choir has gifted her an incredible circle of new friends and a true sense of community. Shirley’s life has also been peppered with exciting travels, exploring amazing places near and far. But Thursday nights in Lincoln Park hold a special place in her heart. That’s when the excitement builds, wondering what kind of laughter and goosebump-inducing harmonies lie ahead. It’s a musical journey she wouldn’t trade for the world! 🎶🌍😄