Sing a new song unto the Lord

Music is central to our worship of God at St Clements, and our 9am and 11am Sunday services are enriched with a huge variety of choral and congregational singing and instrumental playing. Three choirs offer praise through song, and the Director of Music is supported by five professional singers as well as by regular and occasional instrumentalists. The stylistic range our musicians explore is enormous and, while music at 11am celebrates the glorious tradition of a thousand years of Anglican choral and organ works, our 9am choirs offer music in a more contemporary idiom to create a more informal atmosphere through the best modern hymns and worship songs accompanied by piano and Celtic violin.

At 9am, music is led by our wonderful violinist, Jenna Gallagher, supported by three other professional instrumentalists, and our 9am Choir, a “pick-up” group that rehearses immediately before the service, usually at 8:30am. They support a programme of lively and contemplative contemporary worship songs :15alongside music from the Taizé, Iona and other traditions.

Our Youth Choir rehearses on Thursdays from 5:15pm to 6pm and participates in worship around once a month. It is a rambunctious and energetic group that loves to sing and have fun together. Youth Choir Leader Kaili Kinnon explains: “Our goals are to sing well, enjoy ourselves, glorify God and learn to be better musicians week by week.”

At 11am, a dedicated team of volunteers, assisted by six professionals, explores motets, masses and canticles from across the rich tradition of Anglican choral music, as well as leading hymns and psalms. Recent repertoire has includedmotets by Brahms and Mendelssohn, masterpieces from the Renaissance era such as Byrd’s Haec Dies and Lassus’ Vexilla Regis and specially commissioned works such as Meghan Quinlan’s setting of The Lord’s Prayer for chorus, violin and djembe. The choir rehearses from 7:30-9:30pm on Thursdays and from 10:15 on Sunday mornings. Our rehearsals are fast-paced and exacting but also a lot of fun, with plenty of laughs along the way. There are no auditions: all you need is a love of sacred choral music, the ability to sing in tune and blend with others and watch the conductor(!), and the capacity to attend rehearsals regularly. If you would like to join us, or find out more, please contact Daniel and dwebb@stclements-church.org.

Listen to the Magnificat in D major by George Dyson, sung by the combined forces of St Clement’s Church Choir and St James’ Cathedral Volunteer Choir at Evensong, October 2017.

The Team

Daniel Webb

Director of Music

Daniel read Music at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he was Organ Scholar and the John Stewart of Rannoch Scholar in Sacred Music. He is also Organist and Choirmaster at Upper Canada College, a Royal Conservatory Examiner and a Member of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir.

 

 

Jenna Gallagher

Violinist

​Jenna Gallagher picked up the violin at a very young age (though she learned piano first). She quickly developed a wide repertoire of music styles, specializing in Celtic fiddling. She has played with worship bands across Ontario. Jenna holds a BMus from Wilfrid Laurier University, where she studied with the Penderecki String Quartet. When not playing at St Clement’s, she teaches violin, writes folk music, and plays gypsy jazz.

 

 

Kai Leung

Assistant Conductor and Composer in Residence

Kai Leung is a second year student at the University of Toronto studying voice and composition. He is the conductor of Mississauga Summer Chorale’s concert choir “Frisson”, and the apprentice conductor of the Resonance Youth Choir. Kai also sings in the University of Toronto MacMillan Singers, the Orpheus Choir of Toronto, and the contemporary music ensemble Toronto Voice Lab. At St Clement’s, he sings bass or tenor with the 11am choir, but his role is also to develop his choral conducting and composition skills through regularly directing our choristers and writing music for them.

 

The Section Leads

Ashley Boychuk

SOPRANO

Ashley Boychuk is originally from the Manitoba Prairies. She received a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Minnesota and brings a variety of solo and choral experience to St Clement’s.

Eliza-Jane Cassey

MEZZO SOPRANO

Eliza-Jane Cassey is a singer and musicologist from Kettleby, Ontario, where she grew up on a horse farm. She has a degree in Music History and Religion from McGill, an Artist Diploma in Voice from UofT, and is in the final semester of her MA, researching convent music in early modern Italy.

Monica Bettson

ALTO

Monica is enjoying her 5th year at St. Clements. She is an alumna of the Bach Children’s Chorus and Bach Chamber Youth Choir. A graduate of the Dance Performance program at Ryerson University, Monica also holds a BEd from the University of Toronto. She currently works as a chef at The Stop Community Food Centre.

 

Rob Kinar

TENOR

Tenor Robert Kinar studied in Montreal and at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he completed a Master’s degree in Performance Practice. Since moving to Toronto, Robert has appeared with various groups in the region, including the Guelph Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Masque Theatre, Tallis Choir, and Elora Festival Singers. He originated the lead role for the premiere of Andrew Ager’s experimental opera Führerbunker, and has collaborated with Jewish Music Week to present The Life and Music of Salamone Rossi and Songs from the Lodz Ghetto. Robert is a member of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, and in his spare time he maintains a small vocal studio, works in TV and film, and is brushing up on his keyboard/continuo playing.

 

Jamie Fraser

BASS

Jamie studied piano with Vladimir Levtov at Mount Alison University.  He has been involved in church music for most of his life, been a member of many of Toronto’s more notable choirs including The Amadeus Choir, Toronto Mendelsohn Choir and the Orpheus Choir and was previously employed at St Cuthbert’s Anglican for the past several years.  During the day, Jamie herds cats as a manager and architect for a technical consulting company headquartered in Washington DC.

 

The Organs

St Clements possesses a magnificent three-manual organ, built by Casavant Frères in 1928. Improvements and refurbishments have taken place at various times over the past fifty years, most notably the installation in 1988 of a new Trompette-en-chamade in the back gallery, a gift from Don and Lillian Wright. The organ now has 46 stops and 3,155 pipes.

There is also a small chamber organ in the gallery.

For a history and technical specifications of the organs, a leaflet written by the Organist Emeritus, Tom Fitches is available to download at St Clements Organs.

 

Piano

In August 2016, we took delivery of a magnificent new Yamaha C7XPE grand piano. This wonderful instrument was dedicated at our Patronal Festival in November 2016 and is bringing great joy in its performing, accompanying and teaching roles.