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Music has been an integral part of life and worship at St. Matthew’s since the creation of the parish in the late 1890s. The church’s reputation for choral music helps fulfill that part of our Vision statement that says we are committed to offering “joyous” worship. Music has the ability to bring us closer to God through a vision of glory not achievable by other means of communications.
St. Matthew’s has been home to a much acclaimed Men and Boys’ Choir since 1956 when then rector Archdeacon Eric Osborne brought Gerald Wheeler, a young British organist, from England to be music director. Under Mr. Wheeler and his successors, the choir has developed into one of the most important in Canada. It is also one of the few in Canada that carries on the centuries-old English Cathedral music tradition.
Top musical directors who followed Mr. Wheeler have included Brian Law (now at New Zealand’s ChristChurch Cathedral), Jonathan Rennert, Richard Dacey, Jeffrey Campbell, Andrew Teague (who created a separate women and girls’ choir in 1990), Matthew Larkin (now at Ottawa’s Christ Church Cathedral), Christopher Argent (who died of cancer when barely 40 years old), and Stephen Candow, who is now working in St. John’s Newfoundland. The choirs have also been fortunate that interim music directors such as Desmond Hassell, Kevin Reeves, Bruce Nicol, and Barb Hallam-Price guided them so skillfully for several years.
In January, 2011, Kirkland Adsett joined St. Matthew's as its new Music Director. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Master's degree in Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey. Liturgical improvisation, composition, choral conducting and the teaching of children are among Mr. Adsett's keenest interests. His vision of church music in the 21st century includes strengthening its most cherished traditions while also embracing newer modes of musical expression. To read more about Mr. Adsett, click here.
Interested in singing with the choirs of St. Matthew's? Contact Kirkland Adsett, Director of Music, at 613-234-5482.