Music at St Barts
Music at St Barts is an integral aspect of both our liturgical life and our life as a community. At our Sunday 10:30 a.m. worship service, we sing together as well as enjoy the musical offerings of our choir. Through the year, we enjoy many fine concerts and special musical offerings, such as our New Year’s Eve gala, or our Advent Carol Service.
Our focus is always on communal music making. All are encouraged to participate by joining in the singing. We sing five hymns every Sunday, as well as a congregational setting of the mass. You are also encouraged to join our choir, where everyone is welcome, whether you are an experienced singer or a beginner.
The music we sing is rooted in our Anglican tradition. We use the hymnal Common Praise, although we sometimes supplement from older hymnbooks or other contemporary books. We have certain standard hymns, especially on specific feast days through the year. However, in a spirit of creativity and openness, we also look to new hymns. Some are simply new texts set to familiar tunes. Others are rooted in a more popular style, sung with piano rather than organ accompaniment.
Our choir sings an anthem every week. We enjoy works by composers of the past such as Thomas Tallis or Orlando Gibbons, as well as more recent composers such as Arvo Pärt, John Rutter, Grayston Ives, or Matthew Larkin. Once a month, the choir sings a psalm set to Anglican chant. On other weeks, our psalms are responsorial with a sung refrain.
As we sing, we are supported by two instruments, our 2013 Letourneau pipe organ, and a grand piano. Both are fine instruments and are used every week to support worship. At certain times of the year, we also bring in additional instrumentalists to support our music making. On Remembrance Sunday, we have a brass quintet from the Governor General’s Foot Guards. We enjoy strings, trumpets and other instruments throughout the year on special feast days or just for fun.
Music at St Barts has a long and rich history. A long succession of fine organists and choir directors have ensured that music remains a key part of our liturgical and communal experience. We invite you to join us, to sing with us, and to experience the joy that music can bring.