St. Andrew’s Choir
img_0835The St. Andrew’s choir leads music at 10:30 am Sunday worship. The choir meets for rehearsal on Wednesday evenings from 7:00-9:00 pm and on Sunday morning at 9:45 am from September to May. Special activities of the choir include a service of Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve, the ecumenical mass choir on Good Friday and a Spring concert combined with the choir of First Baptist Church, Oxford Street. We welcome new members to our singing community, including university students, at any time of the year. People who wish to make a short-term, time-specific commitment to the choir are also welcome and are invited to speak with our director, Kevin Parks.

St. Andrew’s Supports Dal Music Students

We continue our partnership with the Dal Music Department, welcoming students from the voice faculty as guest performers in worship. Students will present their 3rd and 4th year recitals in our sanctuary in each year during the April examination period. St. Andrew’s is pleased to support the development of young musicians by providing performance experience in a worship setting, and a well-appointed recital venue for their graded recitals. The students will come to coffee time after church and members of the congregation can meet and get to know these up and coming musicians. A schedule of recitals will be posted here in February. Please plan to support the students and attend as many of these fine performances as you can. For more information about the Dalhousie Department of Music, please visit their webpage:

www.music.dal.ca

Organ Restoration

During the summer 2011 St. Andrew’s undertook a major restoration of the pipe organ. The work included a thorough cleaning, examination of every intricate part and repair of any damage found, and installation of a new choir division along with pedal reeds and quints. The organ was originally built in 1956 by Casavant Freres. The specifications called for a three manual console which was installed, but the choir division pipework was left for a later installation. English organ builder Hill Norman and Beard added a small choir organ in 1969. This addition was criticized as being too baroque in its tonal characteristics to integrate with the main Casavant organ. In the mid-80’s efforts began to seek an amelioration to this problem, mainly focused on replacing the entire instrument. Ambitious fundraising, mostly to the credit of the St. Cecilia Series during Barbara Butler’s tenure as organist left St. Andrew’s with a substantial organ fund, but not quite sufficient to cover the cost of a total replacement. In 2005 Casavant tonal director Jacquelin Rochette visited the instrument at the invitation of organ aficionado and St. Andrew’s member Hugh Creighton. He was very impressed with the quality construction and ‘first-rate’ pipework, and planted the idea that this artisanship should not be replaced, but augmented with a choir division that integrates properly with the existing organ. In early 2010 St. Andrew’s acquired the organ from Central United Church in Moncton, NB as a source for new choir division pipework. We also obtained, for installation at St. Andrew’s 16′, 8′ and 4′ pedal reeds and quints for the pedal division which had been included in the original St. Andrew’s organ specifications but never installed. St. Andrew’s contracted with Jean-Francois Maillot’s company, Peninsula Organs from Miscou, NB to complete the restoration and expansion of St. Andrew’s organ. The work commenced after Easter and continued through the summer. The results were dramatic, thanks in no small part to the voicing expertise of M. Mailhot. St. Andrew’s can proudly say that the organ is one of the finest instruments of its size in the Maritimes.

Kevin Parks, Minister of Music, St. Andrew’s

kevinparks-31aug2016018-100x120Kevin Parks has been a church music leader in the Maritimes, Ontario and British Columbia. The United Church has been his spiritual home for over 20 years, but has experience working in Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian and Salvation Army congregations. Kevin has been a collaborating musician for various Conference and Presbytery events, and has been a resource to colleagues, church committees and clergy around the Maritimes, helping in developing church music ministry, and finding and supporting church musicians. He is a former Convenor of the United Church Association of Musicians (Music United) in Maritime Conference. His diverse musical interests include jazz, spirituals, folk and global genres as well as the traditional church choral repertoire. Kevin is also the University Musician at Atlantic School of Theology. Contact Kevin at joyfulnoise@eastlink.ca

Him Singers

The Him Singers is a group of men from St. Andrew’s church, and their friends, who get together on the first Tuesday of the month for fellowship and singing. We sing the old-time gospel standards. The group meets at 7:00 pm in the Mary Holmes Room.

The choir performs at Sunday services and at Senior Citizen’s homes, and for the last 3 years has sponsored a bean and ham supper, where the entertainment is provided by the Him Singers, instrumental groups and even a Barbershop Quartet. The proceeds from these endeavours are used for helping the Church music program.

Come and join us. For further information call Don Couse at 456-9540 or send an e-mail to Donald.Couse@DignityMemorial.com