The Northumberland Orchestra and Choir is a not-for-profit organization that is the county’s first and foremost purveyor of beautiful orchestral and choral music.


Our History

The Northumberland Orchestra was founded under the guiding vision of Dr. Phillip Schaus in 1978 when enthusiastic local musicians united to form a symphony orchestra. A year later the local choral society joined with the orchestra as the newly constituted Northumberland Philharmonic Choir. Throughout its history, the Northumberland Orchestra and choir has included and encouraged young local musicians, many of whom are now pursuing professional musical careers.

Maestro John Kraus

Music Director John Kraus returns to the Northumberland Orchestra & Choir with an exciting program for the 2016-17 season.  Now in his fourth year with the NOC, John is very proud of this unique, hard-working community based ensemble and looks forward to leading four thrilling musical performances. 

Comfortable in many different musical circles, John has been a part of music education in Southern Ontario, a performer, music director and board member of several community ensembles, for over 25 years. John is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, where he studied clarinet with Robert Riesling, Bob Sheffield and clarinet and conducting with Jerome Summers.  As an educator, John taught music for more than 25 years and has been an active member of the Ontario Music Educators Association, where he has led workshops and clinics at their annual conference.  

John continues to work as a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators Association.  John has been a coach working with the La Juenesse Youth Orchestra for the past six years. During the summer, John is a faculty member at the CAMMAC/Lakefield Music Camp where he leads classes in clarinet and saxophone technique, chamber music, percussion ensembles and he conducts the camp orchestra.


Maestro John Kraus

Choral Director Mitchell Cox

Mitchell Cox has worked as professional pianist around the globe; with a swing band in japan as a university lecturer and performer in the U.K., and across Canada as a church musician, accompanist, teacher and examiner for the Royal Conservatory of music since 2004. After landing a position in the Regina Symphony Regina Symphony Orchestra early in his career, Mitchell moved to England to further develop his skills in sight reading and vocal coaching. As well as accompanying for all levels of singers and choirs, Mitchell has worked as an opera repetiteur, with dance companies, in theatre productions, various styles of bands and orchestras.

His choral work has followed a natural progression into directing, and he has also filled that capacity at a number of churches through his career in Alberta and Northumberland County. He is also in his 6th season as Director of the talented amateur choir “Vocalese”, based out of Brighton.

Mitchell is in his second season as Music Director for Michael Gelman’s Process Theatre, which challenges his skills of composing and improvising music that supports the story unfolding onstage. Mitchell is also part of the jazz trio “Take 3” which plays regularly in the area, and has produced and recorded 2 solo CDs. After a year as the NOC’s Choir Accompanist, Mitchell is honoured to continue as the NOC’s Choral Director.