Because variety IS the spice of life…our music often defies description. We do a little bit of everything, working toward a blend that suits the diversified interests of people attending worship and the skills of our music contributors.
Yes, we use the organ…quite a bit, actually. So, if you like hymns with stirring organ final verse harmonizations, and postludes that raise the rafters (or contemplative improvised reflections) you’ll hear that in worship–about half the time. You’ll also hear congregation song accompanied by multi-instrument ensembles with guitar, bass, hand percussion and sometimes a flute or violin.
Yes, the choir sings in worship most weeks. So, if you like a cappella singing of the finest music in the classic choral repertoire, you’ll hear that in worship–about half the time. The choir also sings spirituals and arrangements of music from popular and world culture.
We think that church speaks to culture and culture speaks to the church. That’s why you’re very likely to hear music by Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez, Mahalia Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Mary Chapin Carpenter, David Bowie, Adele, and..and..and…presented by some very talented vocalists and instrumentalists in our community.
And…sometimes, we just make it up! Ya gotta sing when the spirit says sing, and if the spirit says “improvise!” who are we to argue?
Take a scroll down this page to learn more about some groups and people involved in music at St. Andrew’s. If our eclectic approach appeals to you, and you have something you’d like to contribute, contact Kevin Parks…
Kevin Parks, Minister of Music
Kevin Parks came to St. Andrew’s in July 2002. He has previously served churches in Vancouver, BC and rural Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. He is the University Musician at the ecumenical Atlantic School of Theology. He has been music leader at United Church Maritime Conference annual meetings in 2017, 2016 and 2005, collaborating with his partner Dana Pardy. While his training was mainly from a classical perspective (Organ and Choral Studies) his diverse musical performance interests include jazz, spirituals, folk and global genres, musical theatre. Kevin has pursued theological studies, and deeply values the pastoral work of music ministry. Contact Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Andrew’s Choir
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, ecumenical choir on Good Friday. New members of all voice types and ability are welcome anytime. 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.
Fountain School of Performing Arts Students in Worship
In partnership with the Music Department at Dalhousie University’s Fountain School of Performing Arts we welcoming 3rd and 4th year as guest performers in worship. These students present their 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. For more information about the Dalhousie Department of Music, please visit their webpage:
The Him Singers meet on the first Tuesday of the month for fellowship and singing the old-time gospel standards. The group meets at 7:00 pm in the Mary Holmes Room.
Come and join us! For further information call Don Couse at 902-456-9540 or send an e-mail to Donald.Couse@DignityMemorial.com
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, repairs as necessary. At this time the organ was completed as originally planned with the installation of a Casavant choir division, pedal reeds and quints. The organ was originally installed in 1956 by Casavant Fréres, as a replacement for an early 20th Casavant instrument which now resides in an art gallery in Bridgetown, NS, formerly the United Church in that community. The specifications called for three manuals, but the choir division pipework was left for a later installation. English organ builder Hill, Norman and Beard added a small choir division in 1969. This pipework was criticized for its tonal incongruence with the rest of the Casavant organ. In the mid-1980’s an ambitious fundraising project was initiated with the goal to replace the organ. Organist Barbara Butler’s legacy through the St. Cecilia Concert Series program provided 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. M. Rochette was 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 purchased the organ from Central United Church in Moncton, NB. That instrument became the source for a replacement choir division chests and pipework. Also, in the original St. Andrew’s installation, the 16′, 8′ and 4′ pedal reeds and quints for the pedal division had been provided for in the specifications, but were not installed. The Moncton Central United organ provided this completion of the St. Andrew’s pedal division. Jean-Francois Maillot, of Peninsula Organs in Miscou, NB to completed the restoration and expansion of St. Andrew’s organ, withwork commencing after Easter and continued through the summer of 2011. The results are dramatic, thanksin 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.