As a major advocate of the creation of new and unique Canadian music, Greg has secured a place in the next generation of Canadian conductors. He has emerged as a dynamic conductor, vocal coach and music educator with an extensive traditional and contemporary classical repertoire. He has worked with concert choirs, church choirs, live theatre, and vocal students across Ontario and beyond. Greg is a sought-after guest conductor for many ensembles and is often called upon to lead master classes and workshops.
Greg is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Canadian Men’s Chorus, which champions the creation of new Canadian choral music. Founded in 2010, the Chorus has had the privilege of premiering over 40 new Canadian choral works. They have performed at the Stratford Summer Music Festival, CentreSpace for the Arts in London, Ontario, and the Muskoka Concert Association, and have premiered new works with the Stratford Symphony Orchestra. With the Canadian Men’s Chorus, Greg has been recorded as part of Aaron Jensen's album titled From Sea to Sea.
As Assistant Conductor of the Orpheus Choir of Toronto from 2008 to 2015, Greg was an influential contributor to the success of every concert series. With Orpheus, he made his Roy Thomson Hall (Toronto) debut in 2011.
In November 2015, Greg was a guest conductor for the Area All-State NYSSMA Conference, directing the top 100 high-school voices in Western New York. In the summer of 2016, Greg was privileged to conduct the Canadian Ambassador Choir during their Australia tour as part of the United Nations Choral Festival “Rhythms of One World”.
Greg has been heavily influenced by renowned German conductor, Helmuth Rilling, having worked with him and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as part of the Toronto International Bach Festivals.
Greg is a graduate of the Crane School of Music and the University of Toronto, where he received his Masters in Conducting. He is a two-time recipient of the Elmer Iseler Fellowship in Conducting. Greg has been honoured to work and study with such conductors and educators as Robert Cooper, Dr. Doreen Rao, Noel Edison, Agnes Grossman and Dr. Raffi Armenian.
Along with his duties as accompanist to the Canadian Men's Chorus, Gary Forbes is the Director of Music at St. Cuthbert's Anglican Church (Leaside), and serves as accompanist to the instrumental programs at Brock University (St. Catharines). Gary also runs a private piano studio based in Oakville, and is an active freelance collaborative pianist throughout Southern Ontario and the GTA.
Previously engaged as Accompanist to the Mississauga Children's Choir, Director of Music at Grantham United Church, and Director of Music for a variety of independent theatre companies throughout the Niagara Region, Gary has also worked closely with various choirs including the Niagara Men's Chorus, Chorus Niagara (Adult & Children’s Choruses), Brock University Choruses, and Camerata Chorialis.