Music at Holy Trinity Cathedral

choir

Music is very important to the worship life of this congregation. There is a long tradition of strong choral music at HTC. Accompaniments are well-served by the use of a pipe organ and grand piano.

Our choir remains the centre-piece of the music, and their faithful service, week after week throughout the year continues to be an inspiration to everyone.

The choir is present at all 10:00 am services during the year, including throughout the summer. There are also occasional special events. A joint Concert with the Royal Westminster Regimental Band is always a highlight of the Christmas season. From time to time the choir presents special concerts where a wide spectrum of popular and classical music is performed. For these concerts the choir is often supplemented by other singers from the wider community. They are always great fun.

Our Musical Director is George Ryan. He was born and educated in New Zealand, and is a retired teacher as well as a professional musician. He is also a composer of much theatre and church music and his original compositions can be heard frequently at HTC.

The Anglican Church of Canada’s hymn book, Common Praise – the “Blue Book”, is our basic source of Congregational hymns. It is supplemented by Songs for a Gospel People – the “Green Book” and contemporary hymns particularly from “Renew” for which the words are printed, with permission, in the bulletin. We try to have a mixture of singable new and traditional hymns at every service.

The choir contributes three songs at the time of the Communion. These begin with two pieces to accompany the Communion itself and is followed, at the end of the Communion, by an anthem. These pieces come from wider sources. Recently we have been using songs from two New Zealand hymn books. The freshness of their words and the singability of the music have been enjoyed by both the choir and by the congregation.

As an Anglican church we sing much of the service. These songs are now familiar to the congregation who are encouraged to join in. Currently we use the following service music:

  • Gloria: (except Advent and Lent) – by Stephen Murray
  • Kyrie: (Advent and Lent) – from the hymn books
  • Psalm: Settings by Gordon Johnston
  • Sanctus: by David Millard or Stephen Murray
  • Lord’s Prayer: Caribbean tune or by George Ryan (Baden setting)
  • Agnus Dei: by George Ryan (St Laurence Mass)

The main purpose of music in the church is to heighten and reinforce the Liturgy of the services. If it happens to be an enjoyable experience for the congregation as well, that is a bonus. We strive to achieve both these objectives. We always welcome new contributors to our church music.