“O praise ye the Lord, all things that give sound; each jubilant chord re-echo around”. The words of this hymn perfectly express the joyful weekend ahead of us in the cathedral as we celebrate Montréal en lumière Friday evening and Nuit blanche on Saturday.
- Jonathan Stuchbery, a McGill music student who sings in our choir, will play the first concert with his classical guitar. One piece sounds particularly interesting – “Ophelia” from Hans Werner Henze’s First Sonata on Shakespearean Characters.
- He is followed by the Melody Ensemble of the Tekeyan Cultural Association presenting Armenian classical music. Three members of the Cathedral community, Sam, Joseph and Ben, are part of this group.
- The final concert will be presented by CORtet, a horn quartet playing pieces by composers from different periods. They have played in the Cathedral a number of times so some of you will be familiar with their fine music making.
We don’t need special events to hear glorious music in the cathedral.Our Sunday liturgy is enhanced by both choir and organ. Patrick recently made an interesting observation about the organ preludes and postludes. He wrote
“The Cathedral organists always endeavour to provide organ voluntaries which comment in some way on the thematic or musical content of the service. As such, they are viewed as part of the liturgy, and applause is not necessary as a sign of appreciation. Our Cathedral singers and instrumentalists are always interested in discussing our service music with members of the congregation.”
However, this SATURDAY our assistant organist Adrian and organ scholar Rob will be giving a concert at 6 pm to kick off Nuit blanche. We hope very much that there will be lots of applause on this occasion – and a large appreciative audience. They will be playing pieces by Bach, Mendelssohn and Widor.
- Their recital will follow the usual Oasis Musicale concert starting at 4:30. Titled “Messiaen by Candlelight” it will be performed by mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo and the pianist and organist Rashaan Allwood. These young musicians will offer us a recital of some of Messiaen’s best works for organ, piano and voice featuring the three most important themes of his output – Love and Death; Birdsong and nature; and the Catholic faith. Lovers of organ music should be in seventh heaven from 4:30 to 7 on Saturday evening!
- Jonathan Bailey and his group of 8 flautists, Les flûtistes de Montréal will perform at 9 pm. This is an unusual opportunity to hear the full range of flutes from piccolo to the seldom seen bass flute. Their programme includes Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto # 2, and the Agnus Dei from Fauré’s Requiem, both arranged for flute, as well as several light hearted pieces like Jonathan Cohen’s Flutes and Vegetables with movements called Pepper Presto, The Enchanted Eggplant, Sweet Potato Jig and the Dance of the Radishes.
- The organisers of Nuit blanche at the cathedral are delighted that our musicians from the Cathedral will be joined by Sympholies vocales, a well-known West Island choir which will give three concerts of popular gospel music during the evening, at 8 pm, 10 pm and midnight.
- The midnight concert will be followed by an hour of jazz performed by Soul Station Orchestra, a group of McGill music performance students.
The highlight of the evening for me will be the candlelit compline sung to Gregorian chant at 11 pm. Paul is hoping to hang a sheet on the scaffolding hiding the front arch on the right hand side of the nave on which he will project images reflecting on and illustrating the words of compline.
The Cathedral building will be lit by candles; there will be free hot chocolate and an exhibition of art works created by members of our congregation. If you are looking for a memorable evening out, you could start with the organ concerts, go out for supper – downtown will be hopping – then come back for the flute concert, Sympholies vocales and compline, not forgetting to look at the art display.
After the cathedral closes at 2 am a crew of youngsters led by verger Rodney will make sure that the building is clean for the Sunday services. The congregation will have a last chance to view the art exhibition before it comes down at midday.
Another big concern of the Cathedral community is the Syrian refugee crisis. Here is an update from Janet King on behalf of the refugee sponsorship committee: She writes
“We are all impatient: other churches seem to be getting “their” refugees, through different channels and connections. We received a profile in mid-February but felt that the resources we have would be better suited to another family. This past Tuesday we received a second profile and hope to be in conversation with a family representative very shortly. As soon as we know, there will be planned training sessions for all who have expressed interest, and for anyone who really wants to know how to help. In the experience of St. George’s, Chateauguay, there will be a lot of work to do, maybe fast, in terms of providing furnishings, clothes for children and adults, accompaniment to appointments and on adaptation to a new country’s way of life. But, even once we know who, we may not know when – depending on paperwork, security and medical checks, and transport arrangements. So, prayers are needed now, while we wait – in hope.”
Three dates for your diary:
ØThe Annual Vestry Meeting will be held on Sunday, March 6, 2016 in Fulford Hall after the10am Eucharist. The agenda is attached
ØThe Cathedral Reading Group meets at 7 pm on March 6 to discuss Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones. Speak to Jane or Diana.
Ø The LGBTI Group will be having another pot-luck supper talk, March 5, 6pm. Donald will be speaking on gay saints and other sinners for Lent! If interested, please talk to Jean-Jacques for further information.