St. John's Parish Choir is one of Canada's only fully professional church choirs. Currently under the direction of Director of Music Patrick Murray, 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, emphasizing both traditional and contemporary musical expression within the Anglican choral tradition with a particular focus on new music by Canadian and international composers. Commitments during a regular (non-pandemic) season include Thursday evening rehearsals and Sunday morning services, with occasional additional engagements (community events, concerts).
The Parish Choir is currently open for auditions. For more information, please see here.
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.
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:
PARISH CHOIR "UNPLUGGED" - Summer Festival 2021
Click HERE for "Stand in the Light" (R. Emerson) - July 14, 2021
Dr. Patrick Murray began at St. John's as our new Director of Music on 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.
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