Director of Music: email: David
Passmore phone: 416-924-7439 ext 30
See Staff page for current list of soloists, organ
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 orchestras 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
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 churchs 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. (Bachs
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 Streets 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