Music At Trinity College Chapel
Monday Music in the Chapel
Once a month, usually on the third the Monday, the chapel presents a Sacred Music in a Sacred Space series, curated by Peter Drobac, which features vocal chamber ensembles in a variety of sacred music from Eastern and Western liturgical traditions.
The intent of this series is to present music usually sung in a liturgical or devotional context, not as part of a service, and not as a concert, but for quiet meditation, or simply to absorb and enjoy. There is no admission charge, no applause, and listeners are encouraged to come and go as they wish.
The Monday noon time-slot is also available for performances by student musicians (and other musical friends of the chapel) – either soloists or chamber ensembles. If you are interested in being part of the chapel’s Monday music series, please contact the chaplain.
Trinity College Chapel Choir
Choral Evensongs are held each Wednesday at 5:15 during the academic year. Choir rehearsals are held weekly.
For more information, please contact the director of music.
Music Program at Trinity College
On August 1, 2006 renowned organist John Tuttle became Organist and Director of Music at Trinity College. He has been University of Toronto Organist since 1979 and is an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Music, where he has taught most of Trinity's organ scholars over the past 25 years. He is also organist at St. Thomas's Anglican Church and has conducted the Hart House Chorus and also the Exultate Chamber Singers. He has held countless workshops and master classes in conducting, choral music and organ, and his concerts across North America, as well as his recordings, have received high acclaim. His teaching duties include instructing Divinity students in using music in worship and coaching them in sung liturgy.
The Director of Music is assisted by student volunteers who are also choir members, and by the Bevan Organ Scholar.
The Bevan Organ Scholarship is tenable for up to three years by a music student registered at the University of Toronto; preference is given to undergraduate students of organ who have a familiarity with the classical Anglican musical tradition. He or she is expected to participate in College life and to live in residence, with the scholarship contributing to the cost of room and board. Duties, as defined by the Director of Music in consultation with the Chaplain, include playing at the chapel services; accompanying the Chapel Choir in rehearsals, services and concerts; and working closely with Divinity students in musical matters.
In 1997, this endowment ($100,000 capital) was established by Mrs. Josephine Bevan of Wiarton, Ontario, as a memorial to her late husband, Major Guy T. M. Bevan RE (1880-1974), some time Vice President (Engineering) of the Toronto firm Massey-Harris. Son of the Ven. and Mrs. H.H. Bevan of London UK, Major Bevan acquired a love of choral and organ music from the famous composer John Ireland, organist of his father's church.
Choral and Special Services During Term
The Choir sings Choral Evensong on Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m. during the academic term, and on other special occasions. The Advent Lessons and Carols service usually takes place at 4:00 p.m. on Advent Sunday, and the full, classical choral observance of the Triduum (Maundy Thursday eucharist, Good Friday veneration of the cross, and Great Vigil of Easter) is offered in most years, except when Easter falls outside the academic year.
On the model of the Oxbridge colleges, a commitment to membership in the Trinity College Chapel Choir and passing an audition can provide access to professional voice lessons. The Choral Scholarship Endowment Campaign was established by the Friends of the Chapel in 1987, "to provide choral experience to members of the Choir, who are mainly undergraduate students in Arts and Science." The goal is to fund 16 "named" choral scholarships.
There are currently endowments for eight "named" scholarships. The Sir David Willcocks Choral Scholarship honours our honorary patron. It is held by the choir president. The Rev'd Oliver Newton Memorial scholarship fund, established in 1988, supports three choral scholars. One is given to train a female voice, one a male voice, and one is open category depending on choir needs that year. The John Sidgwick Memorial and the Robert Hunter Bell Choral Scholarships are for soprano or alto voice, the Eric Rollinson Memorial is open category, and the Rev'd Warren Eling Memorial for a tenor or bass voice. A completed endowment fund is deemed to be $15,000, which by current investment policies at Trinity College produces $750 for voice lessons with an instructor appointed by the Director of Music. Such intructors are appointed and paid directly by Trinity College.
In addition to these endowed funds, contributions of several thousand dollars are also received annually from Friends of the Chapel for "open category" choral scholarship disbursement within the same academic year.
The Great Organ in the Trinity College Chapel was installed in 1954 by the firm of Casavant Frères of Sainte-Hyacinthe, Québec, after a consultation which included the eminent musicians Dr. Healey Willan and Sir Ernest MacMillan. As experts will recognize, this was before the Organ Reform Movement swept across North America.
As well as providing for the increasingly wide range of music needed in today's various liturgies, the Great Organ is regularly used by a number of professionals and organ students on the University of Toronto campus for rehearsals and recitals. The Friends of the Chapel are committed to at raising funds needed for the refurbishment of the organ. A goal of $250,000 has been set as part of the Trinity College Strength to Strength Campaign to provide funds for the needed restoration.
It is anticipated that the instrument - a substantial old friend - will become "full voiced" as a result of this work, that is, it will become the flexible and colourful instrument it can easily be, with balanced manual and pedal divisions. The Great Organ's "voice" is currently contained, not to say limited. It is expected to acquire the warm, transparent sound of the great 19th-century English organs which so inspired composers such as Felix Mendelssohn.