Music at St John's


New Director of Music

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Patrick Murray to St. John's as our new Director of Music beginning November 1st, 2021.  Patrick is a graduate of the University of Illinois (DMA), Yale School of Music (MM), and University of Toronto Faculty of Music (BMus).  Patrick's academic research focuses on artistic practices of community collaboration in contemporary American choral music, and between 2018-2021 was supported by a SSHRC doctoral research fellowship.  Patrick, a native of Kitchener-Waterloo, has experience in the Lutheran, United, and Episcopalian churches.  He is widely respected choral conductor and Canadian composer whose works have won awards and recordings.  We are have experienced Patrick to be a person who brings gifts of thoughtfulness, humility, administration, and a deep commitment for creating an experience of choral excellence in the community. 

You can read the full announcement here.


Parish Choir Online

During COVID the members of the Parish Choir have learned, like all of us, to be creative in offering their gift of singing.  Here is a selection of some of what they have inspired us with during the pandemic:

CLICK HERE for "Lo My Shepherd's Hand Divine" (J. Hayden) - April 26, 2021.

CLICK HERE for "Christ Whose Glory Fills the Skies" (K. Bissell) - April 4, 2021.

CLICK HERE for "Hallelujah Chorus" (Handel) - April 4, 2021.


PARISH CHOIR "UNPLUGGED" - Summer Festival 2021

CLICK HERE for "Hallelujah" (L. Cohen) - July 7, 2021

Click HERE for "Stand in the Light" (R. Emerson) - July 14, 2021


Here's what to Enjoy

Regardless of your background, when you come through the doors of St John's it begins to sink in that the blend of good liturgy, inspiring preaching, and beautiful music offered in a the warm acoustic of a historical building is transcendent. 

Presently, our music program is under the direction of Jurgen Petrenko, and ably assisted by members of the Parish Choir.

Music for each Sunday is listed in our Order of Service by CLICKING HERE.


Volunteer Choir

Presently, under COVID guidelines the Volunteer Choir has been suspended, but typically on Sunday mornings the 9:00 a.m. Eucharist has been greatly enriched by the Volunteer Choir. The Volunteer Choir is under the direction of Jurgen Petrenko.  They rehearse on Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m.  Please contact Jurgen through the Parish Office for more information.


Parish Choir

St. John's Parish Choir is one of Canada's only fully professional church choirs.  The Parish Choir leads the congregation in Choral Eucharist or Choral Matins on Sunday's at 11:00am, and seasonal Evensongs and services of Lessons and Carols. Its repertoire is extensive with an emphasis on contemporary Canadian and European music. In 1989 the choir received the Healy Willan Award granted by the Canada Council. In the summer of 2000, the St. John's Church choir toured England, where they were in residence at St. Paul's Cathedral, at Coventry Cathedral, St. George's Chapel in Windsor and also at Leicester Cathedral. In the summer of 2005, the choir was invited back to sing the daily services for a week at St. Paul's Cathedral in London England, and at Canterbury Cathedral. They are a highly skilled and inspiring group to worship with.

To audition for the Parish Choir, please contact Patrick Murray. 

Recordings of the Church of St. John the Evangelist Parish Choir.


Psalms for the Soul, Michael Bloss, Organ
2000, Producers: Norbert Kraft & Bonnie Silver, Engineer: Norbert Kraft

Faire is the Heaven, Hymns and Anthems, Paul Halley, Organ
2002, Producers: Norbert Kraft & Bonnie Silver, Engineer: Norbert Kraft

Hear My Prayer, Hymns and Anthems, Matthew Larkin, Organ and Karina Gauvin, Soprano 2004, Producer and Engineer: Edward Marshall

Psalms for the Spirit, Matthew Larkin, Organ
2005, Producers: Norbert Kraft & Bonnie Silver, Engineer: Norbert Kraft


Christmas in Elora, Thomas Fitches, Organ Producer: Marilyn Dalzall, Engineer: David Burnham

A Festival of Carols, Michael Bloss, Organ, Brett Polegato, Baritone and Guy Few, Trumpet 1994, Producer: Marilyn Dalzall, Engineer: David Burnham

A Village Christmas, Jurgen Petrenko, Organ
2002, Producer: Noel Edison, Engineer: Ed Marshall

Christmas Presence, Jurgen Petrenko, Organ 2004, Producer and Engineer: Edward Marshall

Here's Your Figgy Pudding 2020, John Wiens, Conductor; Jurgen Petrenko, Organist; Quade Nielson, Engineer (a collection of Advent and Christmas music created by choristers following guide tracks in isolation at home during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown)


Hymns, Anthems and Psalms, Noel Edison, Organ 2000, Producer and Engineer: Edward Marshall

Advent Carol Service, Nine Lessons and Carols, Jurgen Petrenko, Organist 2004, Producer and Engineer: Edward Marshall
A live recording

Hymns from Elora, Noel Edison & Jurgen Petrenko, organ Producer and Engineer: Edward Marshall

Sing unto the Lord, Noel Edison & Jurgen Petrenko, organ
2014, Producer and Engineer: Edward Marshall
Hymns and anthems recorded as a fundraiser for the St. John’s Parish Centre.


Evensong at Saint Paul’s Cathedral with the Parish Choir of St. John’s, Elora, Matthew Larkin and Jurgen Petrenko, organ
2008, Engineer: David Houston
A live recording from the choir’s weeklong residency at St. Paul’s, 2005