An antidote to cyber-bullying: Creating a culture of kindness through the power of music

Tone Cluster—quite a queer choir and its Artistic Director Kurt Ala-Kantti present the Canadian premiere performance of Tyler’s Suite as part of its 25th Anniversary season. The concert takes place on Saturday, June 1 at 7:30 pm at the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre.

Tyler’s Suite is a moving and poignant nine-piece choral movement dedicated to the memory of 18-year old Tyler Clementi, a talented young musician who died by suicide after being bullied by his college roommate.

Created under the leadership of Composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin) and Dr. Timothy Seelig (Conductor/Artistic Director of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus), Tyler’s Suite explores the voices and experiences of Tyler and his family through the music of nine top American composers, including Ann Hampton Callaway and Stephen Schwartz. Tone Cluster is honoured to welcome Dr. Seelig as our guest conductor in Ottawa for Tyler Suite’s Canadian premiere.

This concert is presented in collaboration with the Tyler Clementi Foundation, whose mission is to end online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities. Tyler’s mother Jane Clementi will be Tone Cluster’s special guest at the performance here in Ottawa and also at two school assemblies at Nepean High School where Ms. Clementi and Dr. Seelig will speak on the theme of bullying.

Tone Cluster is thrilled to be performing Tyler’s Suite along with Nepean High School Choir, Harmonia Choir of Ottawa, and guest soloist Ottawa singer-songwriter Drake Jensen.

The concert is free of charge and is made possible through the generous support of The Embassy of the United States in Ottawa, IG Wealth Management, and Tone Cluster’s season sponsors, the City of Ottawa, and RBC’s Swirl and Twirl. Donations are always welcome either at the door on the night of the concert or online through

For more information visit and for more about the Tyler Clementi Foundation visit

For media enquiries:
Heather Daley
Publicity Coordinator
(867) 222-2108

Articles in the Press:

Tone Cluster sings out against bullying – Daily Xtra, March 26, 2015
Each year, Tone Cluster invites high school choirs to participate in the concert, and this year they will be joined by choirs from Glebe Collegiate Institute, Canterbury High School and École secondaire publique De La Salle. With special guest director Scott Leithead at the helm, the concert will include pieces by each of the choirs individually, as well as two or three by all the choirs combined.

Bells Corners resident finds strength in Tone Cluster – Ottawa Community News, March 26, 2015
Each year, Tone Cluster invites high school choirs to participate in the concert, and this year they will be joined by choirs from Glebe Collegiate Institute, Canterbury High School and École secondaire publique De La Salle. With special guest director Scott Leithead at the helm, the concert will include pieces by each of the choirs individually, as well as two or three by all the choirs combined.

Tone Cluster’s Queer Christmas – Daily Xtra, December 8, 2014
Tone Cluster’s upcoming Christmas concert, Quite a Queer Qhristmas, promises to be the queerest concert of their 2014/2015 season. The concert includes performances by Ottawa’s two other LGBT choirs: the Ottawa Gay Men’s Chorus and In Harmony, a women’s chorus. It continues a partnership formed between the three choirs when they gave the opening concert at the Unison Festival, a quadrennial Canadian choral festival for queer choirs, which took place in Ottawa this past summer.

Tone Cluster celebrates 20 years – Centretown News, February 7, 2014
Jeff Morrison, of  the Centretown Community Health Centre, says groups such as Tone Cluster provide a great opportunity for gay individuals to socialize with their peers. “Tone Cluster specifically provides them with a great opportunity to come together to increase the vibrancy of our community and, of course, they’re doing something they love and people really appreciate that. It’s a great organization.” Socialization and acceptance in a community is extremely important from a health perspective, says Morrison. He says these types of social groups help build a strong, healthy community.

“It’s a wonderful option to be able to sing in a group that’s largely made up of (LGBTQ) people that are out and proud, as well as a number of allies that are comfortable and happy to be in a group identified as a queer group” Cathy Collett

Ottawa queer choir turns 20 – Metro, Feb 6 2014
An Ottawa queer choir is feeling “fabulous” for its age. Tone Cluster is prepping for its 20th anniversary concert on Sunday. The choir started singing in 1994 as a gay group, but evolved to represent the LGBT community and its allies. Every Monday, Tone Cluster rehearses for performances that support Ottawa’s LGBT community, including events put on by Pink Triangle Services, Egale and organizations that raise awareness of HIV/AIDS issues.

The Season Begins At The St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage With Poetry – Cornwall Free News, Sept 14, 2013
“The 2013-2014 season for the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage started with something a little bit different, Poetry. The widely acclaimed spoken word performer, Shane Koyczan, was the headliner for this first session with the choir Tone Cluster opening the show for him.

“Tone Cluster was billed as a mixed choir of gay and straight performers who have devoted time and concerts to anti-bullying. If you put the social activism aside, they are one damn fine choir. I wish they would have performed a few more numbers.” Reg Coffey

Anti-bullying concert – CBC’s In Town and Out, May 25, 2013
Tone Cluster and high-school choirs in Ottawa are putting on an anti-bullying concert…

Tone Cluster to perform in Denver – Orleans Star, April 27, 2012
“Tone Cluster, a vibrant musical ensemble that contributes both musically to the Ottawa arts scene and socially as part of Ottawa’s GLBT community, will be showcasing at the GALA Choruses International Festival in Denver, Colorado this summer.
At this concert will be the world premiere of two pieces commissioned by Tone Cluster from Saskatchewan composer David L. McIntyre, Yes and Green. Also performed will be works arranged by Canadian gay composer Willi Zwozdesky, along with We Rise Again with words and music by Leon Dubinsky and arrangement by another eminent Canadian gay composer, Stephen Smith.

“While the choir will be performing along with other GLBT choirs at this event, it has the distinction of being one of a few group participants to perform in a special concert called Songs of the Soul on the opening day of the Festival.” Ciara McGrath

Tone Cluster choir brings music water awareness to latest show – Ottawa Community News, Mar 1, 2012.
A new water-themed concert by Ottawa’s gay-friendly choir promises to warm up the body and mind.

“Musically speaking, it is a great choir because we do so much more than just picking songs to sing, but is it also a great place to be because it is extremely welcoming and safe place to be. Here we have our music and we have our identity.” Gianluca Ragazzini

A diverse chorus of many voices – Metro  News, March 1, 2012
Rythm of Water 2It wouldn’t be fair to say that Ottawa’s only LGBT (and allies) choir wants to come out, because they already are ‘ but Tone Cluster definitely wants to raise its profile. “They’re a great choir. They’ve been in Ottawa almost 19 years, and it’s about time the other choirs in town hear them and know they exist,” said the group’s musical director Kurt Ala-Kantti, touting Tone Cluster’s upcoming Rhythm of the Water concert. Ala-Kantti, who also directs a number of other Ottawa choirs, calls Tone Cluster “one of the hidden gems of the local music scene.”

Tone Cluster reverberates – DailyXtra, Feb 15, 2012
Get out your umbrellas and rubber boots and prepare to get wet. Ottawa’s queer choral group Tone Cluster is back with a splash.  And speaking to Tone Cluster’s president, Rob Bowman, about the group’s upcoming show, it’s truly as if a dam has burst.  Bowman is very excited about the list of songs the choir will be performing at its next concert, the aptly named Rhythm of the Water. It will be the group’s first show of 2012 and its second with new musical director Kurt Ala-Kantti…Spring also being the season of change, it’s a fitting time to usher in new faces. After a debut at Tone Cluster’s holiday concert, the choir’s new musical director now embarks on a foray into largely uncharted waters. 

“He [Kurt] brings some really wonderful qualities to the choir, and he’s taking us in some really interesting new directions musically,”  “Every conductor brings their own personal style to the choir. With him it’s very much about the dynamics. He’s kind of shaping it all the way through.”  Rob Bowman

Tone Cluster’s Red – DailyXtra, Nov 12, 2012
Queer choir Tone Cluster, which has been adding a touch of harmony to Ottawa’s performing arts scene since 1994, will stage a concert called Red on Saturday, Nov 17.

“It [The AIDS epidemic] fits in with our theme and the experiences of many of our choir members… So many people are touched by both topics [AIDS and Remembrance], they are intertwined… Concert-goers will experience a beautiful evening of music…It is very moving and upbeat. There are hopeful pieces to carry home with you afterwards.” Kurt Ala-Kantti, music director