(submitted photo)

St. Thomas hosts Choir of Men and Boys from Ottawa

On Sunday Mar. 19 at 4:30 PM, “Music at St. Thomas’” will host the Choir of Men and Boys of Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa, directed by Matthew Larkin.

Sacred works from the great repertoire of the late 19th and 20th century will be performed. The programme will feature works by Stanford, Poulenc, Messiaen and Whitacre. This event follows last month's chamber choir concert, offering more sacred music, with a different sound, one that is emblematic of the English choral tradition.


For Francine and Matthieu Latreille, directors of music at St. Thomas' Anglican Church, those monthly afternoons of serious music are not only an important cultural offer, but a vital part of St. Thomas' Anglican Church's role in the community. "We want to challenge assumptions and stereotypes. We think that there will always be a place for classical music. It is not always entertaining, but it is rich, deep, and it touches the soul in a special way. We wish to offer such experiences. It is more than entertainment. What we offer is often considered to be hard-core classical music, but there is something special about high quality and passionate live performances of timeless music." says Francine.

Formed in 1891, the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys is one of the few remaining choirs of men and boys in North America. Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa is home to the only all-male ensemble resident in a Canadian Anglican cathedral. The choir has served the national capital community for 125 years, and over the course of that time, has upheld the cathedral tradition of music through liturgical and concert performance locally, nationally, and internationally. The boy choristers themselves hail from throughout the Ottawa area, and are supported by a group of professional singing men who study or work in the city.

The choir has travelled several times to the great cities of the eastern United States, singing to acclaim in Boston, New York, and Washington, and has sung in residence at Edinburgh, Ely, St. Paul’s, and Salisbury Cathedrals in Britain, and at Chartres Cathedral and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The choir will return to the UK this coming July, and be in residence at Gloucester Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

A native of Oxford, Matthew Larkin (FRCCO, D.S. Litt) received his early musical training as a boy chorister in Kingston, and later attended the University of Toronto (as Organ Scholar of Trinity College) and the Royal College of Music. Well-known as a choral conductor, recitalist, accompanist, composer and recording artist, he has served the Anglican Church of Canada in a professional capacity for over three decades, and for the past fourteen years, as Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral.

Since 2014, Music at St. Thomas' is fulfilling its artistic mission: sharing with Belleville's community the beauty of great classical music, and the artistry of exceptional and renowned musicians.

The rector of the church, the Rev. Brad Beale, adds: "Beauty is different from taste. There is something about some art works that is unmistakably beautiful. Many people who come to the music series are not familiar with classical music in the first place and would not voluntarily listen to such music on the radio. They have no particular taste for Bach or Beethoven, but attend those concerts and come back.

As a matter of fact, Choral Evensong is a growing trend in the Church of England. A lot of people who go to these Evensong services claim to have no religion. Maybe the fact that they are touched by such beauty is enough. There is something about the experience that touches them. They don't need to have language, words, to describe it. Somehow, they are touched just by the beauty of the experience. I think that this is what Matthieu and Francine are trying to do with the music series."

For more information, please contact:Francine & Matthieu Latreille  613.962.3636

Read More: Entertainment, Music, Community, Quinte



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