St. Matthew’s Choir is an auditioned, volunteer voice ensemble of boys, girls, men and women under the direction of St. Matthew's Director of Music and Organist, Kirkland Adsett.
The choir’s liturgical repertoire includes plainsong and Anglican chant psalmody, mass and evening canticle settings as well as a rich collection of anthems and motets ranging from Renaissance polyphony to modern day compositions.
Boys and girls aged 8 years and up rehearse twice weekly on Tuesdays from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. and Thursdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Men and women rehearse on Thursdays from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. The choir also rehearses for one hour prior to the church services at which they sing.
The choir year
From September to June, St. Matthew's Choir sings at the weekly 10:00 a.m. Sunday Eucharist service as well as at Evensongs at 4:00 p.m. on the first and third Sundays of each month. The choir also participates in a number of additional special services such as those during Advent and Holy Week.
Traditionally the choir presents two concerts each year, one in the autumn and another in the spring. Major choral works presented in recent past years have included Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem and two different settings of the Gloria by Poulenc and Rutter.
Royal School of Church Music
St. Matthew’s music ministry is affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music, an international organization that promotes excellence in musical education as well as high standards of choral singing in service of the Church.
Are you interested in joining the choir?
During the second last week of August, St. Matthew’s offers a Choir Camp for boys and girls - a week full of music and fun.
Mornings are devoted to musical instruction and singing led by the Director of Music and Organist, Kirkland Adsett.
Afternoon fun includes recreational activities such as orienteering, arts and crafts, museum visits and a giant scavenger hunt.
The St. Matthew’s organ is one of Ottawa’s largest instruments. Some of the pipework dates back to the original Casavant-Freres organ of 1909. It was moved to the new church building and enlarged by Casavant in 1931. In 1957, Norman and Beard of London was engaged to expand the organ by adding a new console, a horizontal “solo” trumpet and a “positive” division.
By 2000, however, the once magnificent organ had fallen into disrepair. It was decided that a full refurbishment was necessary. A successful capital campaign raised $550,000, mostly from generous parishioners. ($50,000 was set aside for community service.) The restoration was undertaken by Les Orgues Baumgarten of Quebec and completed in 2005.
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