Music is a pathway to devotion. For some it is a quiet walk in the woods, for others it is a paved superhighway. Walking is good for one’s health. How good it is for us to walk regularly on this pathway to devotion each week at St. Martin’s!
The 10 am liturgy is sung each week. It includes 5 hymns, a sung Psalm with response and an Anthem by the choir. The parts of the liturgy which are sung by all the people are the Gloria, Sursum Corda, Sanctus, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei. We alternately use musical settings by Robert Fleming and John Merbecke.
St. Martin’s choir is a choir of ladies and gentlemen who love to sing–and it shows in the joyous and thoughtful music that they produce. Rehearsals are every Thursday afternoon at 4 pm in the Fellowship Hall.
There are special events during the year which feature more music than usual. The Advent Lessons and Carols on the first Sunday evening in Advent is a highlight of quiet reflection and joyous music as the Coming of Christ is foretold. The Lessons and Carols culminate with the story of the Nativity. In Holy Week just before Easter (on Good Friday), the choir leads another service of lessons and music which features sung Reproaches.
Christmas and Easter are the big festivals. The music is always a highlight and regularly features brass trios, quartets and other instruments.
If you would like to sing with us at St. Martin’s, we guarantee that you will be welcome. And you will enjoy it. That’s a promise!
If you are interesting in joining our choir, please contact our Organist and Choir Director, Dave Dawson.
Meet St. Martin’s Organ Scholars
Tucked into the south transept of St Martin’s chancel is a massive Rodgers Trillium 927 Organ. Built by the American firm, Rodgers instruments based in Hillsboro, Oregon, the Trillium 927 was installed in 2000 at a cost of $83,000 attained through a fulsome and successful fund raising drive. The Trillium 927 spec sheet can set a lay person’s head spinning; so, suffice to say: the Trillium’s 3 manual and pedal board console conforms to internationally sanctioned design standards set by the American Guild of Organists.
More important to know and appreciate is that St Martin’s is blessed with the talented hands and hearts needed to bring this marvellous instrument to life. Throughout the fall and winter of 2017-18 St Martin’s Choir Director and Organist, David Dawson, will be joined by two gifted organ scholars, Alexander Reiker and Samuel Lee, playing on alternate Sundays. While not at the organ David will devote his time to further honing and toning the choir’s considerable vocal talent.
Alexander reports that he sang with Dave Dawson in the 1990’s as a chorister at Christ Church Cathedral and began playing organ when he went to university studying with Francis Macdonnell in Ottawa and Robert Bell in Kingston. A native Ottawan, Alexander studied at the University of Waterloo and Queen’s University returning to Ottawa in 2009 and is currently on staff with Statistics Canada as a methodologist working on agricultural surveys. When asked about his musical career aspirations Alexander says he is happy being a substitute organist since being a new dad means he can’t commit to playing every week. That said, he put in a pretty busy summer playing the organ every week he was in town usually at Eglise Unie St Marc on Elgin at Lewis or St Columba in Manor Park. Alexander and his musically talented wife Kate are the proud parents of 10 month old son Joshua seen many a Sunday in the arms of Kate enjoying the sight of his Dad in the choir.
Summer 2017 was the second summer that Samuel was seated at St Martin’s organ console. Samuel reports that he started learning piano at the age of five. In 2014, he was accredited with a Diploma as an Associate of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Piano Performance, and is currently in his final year of studies at the University of Ottawa towards a Bachelor Degree in Piano Performance with David Jalbert. As a scholarship winner with the Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO) in 2011, he started learning organ with Karen Holmes. He has competed in the yearly Kiwanis competitions since then. In 2014, he received the Colleague Diploma (CRCCO) from the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and was accorded the Associate Diploma (ARCCO) by the RCCO in 2016, along with winning scholarships for the highest marks in the playing and the written part of the examination for that year. Looking ahead, Samuel plans to attend McGill for a Masters in Organ Studies. Samuel’s ultimate areer aspirations include serving as a church organist and organ recitalist while maintaining his piano playing talents so that he can be an organ and piano performer.