The Music Ministry of the Cathedral serves to lead and enhance the worship in song of the gathered community. The choral tradition of the Cathedral began in the early 1920s, under the guidance of the Rev. Charles E. Davis, as a men and boys choir. Through the years, the structure of the music ministry has evolved to meet the needs of our church.
The Cathedral has three choral groups: the Children’s Choir; the women’s ensemble, Khoros; and the full, mixed-voice Cathedral Choir. These choirs sing for the 10 am Choral Eucharist on a rotating schedule, with Khoros and Cathedral Choir joining to sing Choral Evensong on the fourth Sunday of the month October-April.
Our music is a blend of old and new. The choral music repertoire features many of the fine contributions to the rich Anglican music tradition built over centuries, from plainchant to the renaissance masters, but also draws on modern composers, such as Joel Raney, John Bell, and many others. Many of the hymns we sing are from Common Praise (1998), which is our pew hymnal; we supplement this text with material from other collections, including Hymns Ancient and Modern (2014).
The music of the Cathedral is supported by two excellent instruments. While our Abbott and Smith pipe organ sits silently in the Chancel awaiting restoration, a large and highly versatile Rodgers 3-manual digital organ serves in its place. As well, a new 7-foot Yamaha grand piano has been a blessing to both church and community alike.
Music is an important part of the life of the Cathedral, and this we do so that ‘the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea’ (Habakkuk 2:14).
New members are always welcome.
Anyone wishing to join the music ministry of St. Michael’s should contact the Director of Music, Andrew Fraser.
Rehearsals: Thursdays, September-June
HISTORY of the PIPE ORGAN
This pipe organ was purchased in 1934 from St. Andrew’s Wesley-Methodist Church in Vancouver. It was built by Abbott & Smith in Leeds, England and is estimated to be over 100 years old.
There are approximately 1,500 pipes. Those on the north wall of the sanctuary are functional and those on the east wall, facing the congregation, are decorative.
Inscribed below these latter pipes are the Latin words, “Nisi cor Te Laudet Nequaquam Opus” (“Without Heart Praise is Worthless).
- 1950 : By means of a bequest from William Francis and Eliza Jane Whiteway, a new console was installed by Casavant Freres at a cost of $5,820. It consisted of 3 manuals of 64 keys each. 19 stops and 32 foot pedals.
- 1965 : A complete renovation was done by S.E. Haddon of Vancouver at a cost of $4,405. He estimated the value of the organ to be $30,000 at that time.
- 1970, 1979, 1984, 2001 : further renovations
- 2015 : Through an anonymous donation, The Cathedral was given a new Rodgers digital console valued at $145,000. The Cathedral is now in the process of a campaign to overhaul the organ’s 1,500 pipes and bellows.
The hymn selection committee meets about four or five times per year to select the hymns for all Cathedral services. It is a small group comprised of the music director, the incumbent and a few others who have knowledge and experience working with music and liturgy.
In order to choose appropriate hymns for the services each member prepares for the meetings by reading all scriptures assigned for an eight to twelve week period, taking into account any feast days, special observances and the seasons of the church year.
ST. CECILIA GUILD
The purpose of St. Cecilia Guild is to promote a vibrant Music Ministry at the Cathedral by sponsoring performance events, and occasional fundraisers, to benefit groups such as the Choir, Youth Programs and other mission projects of the church.
In addition to holding events featuring the choirs of St. Michael and All Angels, the guild sponsors groups from outside of the Cathedral community to perform in its renowned acoustic setting. Some past events have included:
- The Common Cup Company
- Summer “Bring Your Lunch” concert series featuring local vocal and instrumental performances from Bach to Ella Fitzgerald.
- A mid-week Advent concert series
- The Kelowna Gospel Choir : spring and Christmas concerts
Contact: Andrew Fraser, Director of Music