Music at Bloor Street

Director of Music: email: David Passmore phone: 416-924-7439 ext 30

See Staff page for current list of soloists, organ scholar.

Music at Bloor Street has a long and honourable history. A number of former soloists, usually starting out as performance students from the nearby University of Toronto Faculty of Music or the Royal Conservatory of Music, have gone onto full-fledged professional careers including the late renowned soprano Lois Marshall. Our current Director of Music is a published composer, and the Senior Choir has performed a number of his works, one of which they performed in January 2001 with the Toronto Symphony as part of the orchestra’s benefit concert at Bloor Street for Out of the Cold. See info on purchasing the Choir CD here.

But the core of the music programme is the volunteers who come out every week to sing for joy and to contribute to the life of the church.

There are two choirs at Bloor Street, all welcoming singers of any persuasion!

The Senior Choir, for ages 15 and up, leads the music in worship on Sundays, except in July and August when the music is led by a soloist or instrumentalist. The choir has a wide repertoire of musical styles, from Renaissance motets to contemporary classical "and beyond." In keeping with the church’s commitment to inclusivity and world outreach, the choir (and congregation) have sung in many different languages (French, Latin, Korean, Xosa, Zulu, Spanish, German etc.) A concert occurs every couple of years or so, with orchestra and soloists. (Bach’s St. John Passion was performed in April, 2001). The choir made a recording of music written for and by Bloor Streeters as a fund-raiser for the Organ Restoration Fund. See Choir CD below.

Choir Practice: Thursdays at 7:30 pm, and Sundays at 9:30am before the 10:30 am service.

The Bloor Street Gospel Chorus, led by Paul Wisniewski, performs gospel music and spirituals, and sings from time to time at Bloor Street services as well as for other congregations and community establishments. They also present several concerts per year. The choir is hosted by the church but welcomes all members of the community. A reasonably strong voice with an ability to hold a part are required, while some ability to read music is helpful.

Choir Practice: Mondays from 7:30 pm- 9:00 pm.

For further information: (416) 924-7439 (Church Office)

The Silvester Kirby Organ Scholarship

In memory of two of Bloor Street’s musical finest, Fred Silvester (Director of Music 1938-66) and Mary Kelly Kirby, music teacher for the Royal Conservatory and founder of the renowned Kelly Kirby Kindergarten, a scholarship was set up to be awarded to a promising organ student. The scholar has the opportunity to play the organ in services as well as practice on the 4-manual Casavant organ. Organ students are invited to apply, and the scholarship may be renewed for several years. Contact David Passmore for more information.

CHOIR CD: Hot item for gift giving!

The Bloor Street Choir CD "We Are Not Alone: Music for Choir and Organ from Bloor Street United Church" is available for $20 (plus postage and handling) from the church. Not only will it make a great present, but you will be helping to augment the Organ Restoration Fund. The programme consists of Canadian composer Ruth Watson Henderson's The Bloor Street Mass, commissioned for Bloor Street's 100th Anniversary, three anthems by Frederick Sylvester, Organist at Bloor Street (1938-1966), Seasons of the Spirit, music by David Passmore and words by David Allan, former minister at Bloor Street, and the United Church Creed, "We are not alone", also composed by David Passmore. For Further info or to order the CD, contact David Passmore.

See also Organ Restoration Committe, and Music Committee

newssocial justice

08 Jan 2008
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