Over 70 singers and organists from 11 parishes, congregations and professional choral groups in the Niagara region met for dinner and to sing several new works chosen by Dr. Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Director of Choral Activies and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Brock University. Robert Anderson, RCCO Niagara Centre President, led the singing accompanied by Ryan Baxter, Organist. The congregation of St. Giles Presbyterian, St. Catharines, Ruth Schappert, Director of Music, served as host for the event.
Organizations represented included: The Avanti Singers, the Cathedral of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, St. Catharines, Erindale United, Mississauga, First Grantham United, St. Catharines, Holy Trinity Anglican, Welland, Queen Street Baptist, St. Catharines, Resurrection Lutheran, St. Catharines, St. Barnabas Anglican, and Stamford Lane United, Niagara Falls.
The evening began with fellowship and sharing of a wide range of salads, main entrees and desserts. Following the meal in Fellowship Hall those present adjourned to the Nave for singing using the church’s Casavant organ.
The featured music highlighted the accessibility and scope of compositions available through St. James Music Press. (SJP) SJP is used by over 11,000 churches in North America to access classic choral works that have been heard on national broadcasts, performed at cathedrals and churches throughout the world, and premiered at major music conferences throughout the country. A church’s singular annual subscription permits unlimited downloading and photocopying of scores.
The three choral works included one for SATB choir with violin, one for SAB choir, and one 2 part mixed choir work. All were scored for organ accompaniment. The compositions were:
“Arise, Shine for Your Light Has Come” – an SAB arrangement of Elvey’s classic work by Thoburn. Learn more about this talented composer and his opus list here.
“Father, We Praise You” – a new choral setting for 2 part choir by Roland Martin. Mr Martin is our border relative serving on the Music Faculty at the University of Buffalo and Director of St. Joseph’s University Church, Buffalo, NY. More information about Mr. Martin is here.
“How Can I keep from Singing” – arranged for SATB and violin by Abdenour. You may listen to a recording of this work as sung by St. Paul’s Episcopal Choir, Fairfield, CT. Mr. Addenour dedicated this composition to the rector at St. Paul’s.
Attendees were able to retain these scores for their personal use.
“Based on the positive feedback of those present we plan on offering more of these events in the future,” President Robert Anderson stated.
Persons interested in knowing about future events should register on the Niagara RCCO website to receive emails and updates.