“O come, let us sing 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 & Associate Music Director, 9:00 am, Jenna Gallagher, supported by three other professional instrumentalists, and our 9am Choir, a “pick-up” group that rehearses immediately before the service. They support a programme of lively and contemplative contemporary worship songs, alongside 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. A lively and energetic group that loves to sing and have fun together, our goals are to sing well, enjoy ourselves, glorify God and learn to be better musicians week by week.
On Sundays at 11am, and at three services of Choral Evensong across the year, 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 included motets by Brahms and Mendelssohn, masterpieces from the Renaissance era such as Byrd’s Haec Dies and Lassus’ Vexilla Regis and 21st-century music, including James MacMillan’s Alpha & Omega 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Director of Music
Daniel has a degree in Music from 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 and an Examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Violinist & Associate Music Director, 9:00 am
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.
Assistant Conductor and Composer in Residence
Kai Leung is a fourth-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 bass section lead with the Toronto Youth Choir. Kai also sings in the University of Toronto MacMillan Singers, the Orpheus Choir of Toronto, and the Octava Vocal Ensemble. 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
Soprano Lindsay McIntyre is a third-year doctoral student at the University of Toronto in Historical Voice Performance. Lindsay is a core member of the Elora Singers, and can be frequently seen as a soloist and chorister with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Theatre of Early Music, and Aspirare Vocal Collective.
Maureen Ferguson is a singer, teacher and web editor. She is a graduate of Western University, the University of Michigan and was an Emerging Artist at Calgary Opera. Her credits include Meg in Verdi’s Falstaff, Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Concepción in Ravel’s L’Heure espagnole, among other titles. She has also performed as a soloist in many concert pieces, including Mozart’s Requiem and Vespers, Duruflé’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat and St Matthew Passion, and Handel’s Messiah.
Monica is enjoying her fifth year at St. Clement’s. 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.
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 Łódź 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 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.
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.
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 brings great joy in its performing, accompanying and teaching roles.