The first priority of the Choir at All Saints’ Church is the enhancement of the liturgy at both the 10:30 Service on Sundays and at special services throughout the year. The Choir sings a wide variety of music in differing styles, from plainchant to contemporary settings of the Eucharist.
Syd Birrell is the Director of Music and Organist at All Saints’.
For more information contact Director of Music Syd Birrell through the church office at 705-876-1501.
A Brief History of All Saints Church Choir
All Saints choir can trace its history back to 1892, when it was a mixed choir of men and women. It remained a mixed choir until the 1950’s when the Organist and Choir Mast r Norman Hurrle established a Men and Boys choir. There existed also, a Women’s choir. The all-male choir survived until 1978, when it could no longer sustain boy choristers. Women soon became in integral and welcomed addition to the choir. The Men and boys’ choir, in 1978, was one of only a dozen all male Anglican choirs left in Canada. From the 1980’s, the choir has gone on an annual weekend trip, including New York, Ottawa, Montreal, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Kingston, Port Dover, Guelph, and Gravenhurst just to name a few. In 1994, the choir travelled to Peterborough, England for a week of singing Evensong at Peterborough Cathedral. A CD was produced from that trip called “Peterborough at Peterborough”.
In 2008, a Choral Scholarship program began, which gave young people
pursuing their education, an opportunity to sing with our choir, and experience the rich variety of Sacred Anglican music, not to mention Anglican chanting, which is quite unique to Anglican Liturgy.
In 2000, the choir launched an evening of lighthearted musical entertainment known as the “Pub Chorale”, which has become a popular event each February. Several of our current choir members have been singing in All Saints choir for over 25 years. The combined years of service of our choir is estimated to be some 400 years. Two of our choir members, Eric Sloan, and Gary Bums can lay claim to 126 of these years; Eric having been in the choir 62 years and Gary having been in the choir 64 years.
The Choral Scholar programme, supported by the Heritage Trust, provides a very valuable outreach to the community by offering bursaries to young people in exchange for the contribution of their talents to the service of the church. These young people often stay with All Saints’ after their scholarship period.
Choral Scholarships are offered to high school, college and university students who, after passing an audition, are admitted to the Choir. The recipients are young people committed to singing and with a fair background in music. At the conclusion of the school year each scholar receives a scholarship in support of further studies. For more information contact the church office.