Music at A&P
Sacred music in the heart of our city
If you are passionate about choral and instrumental sacred music, the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul is your home. Under the leadership of Conductor Jean-Sébastien Vallée and Director of Music and Organist Jonathan Oldengarm, every Sunday morning from 10:45 a.m. is an important musical moment. The Choir of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul is one of Canada’s most advanced choral ensembles and sings nearly every Sunday and at many other concerts and special services throughout the year. The Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul is a multicultural Presbyterian congregation in Montreal, at Bishop and Sherbrooke Streets. All are welcome! Our services are also streamed live on YouTube.
The Choir of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul is one of Canada’s most advanced choral ensembles. Known for its expressivity and stylistic versatility, the 45-voice choir conducted by Jean-Sébastien Vallée includes professional and advanced choristers from the greater Montreal area. In addition to providing music for the church’s regular worship services, it also presents concerts and choral services throughout the year, including the annual CBC Christmas Sing-In, a benefit concert for Maison du Parc in collaboration with the Montreal Symphony Players’ Association, and the presentation of a major choral work on Good Friday. The Choir of St. Andrew and St. Paul can be heard on several recordings, including LUX (ATMA, 2017) and Requiem (ATMA, 2018)
Photo by Tam Lan Truong
Auditions for the Choir of the Church of St. Andrew & St. Paul are held in May for the professional choristers and in August for the volunteer singers. For more information regarding the requirements and specific dates, please email the choir manager.
The organ of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul was built in 1931 by the renowned Casavant Frères of Ste. Hyacinthe, as that firm’s opus #1457. It is one of the largest instruments on the island of Montreal, containing nearly 7,000 pipes. About 70% of the pipes are located in the chancel; the other pipes speak from the rear gallery. Only the Trompette en chamade (installed in 1992) is visible, mounted prominently below the Black Watch window.
The instrument was cleaned and overhauled by Casavant in 1976-77, and several stops and a new console were added by Caron, Gagnon, Baumgarten in 1992. The tonal work of these rebuilds lent the instrument a neo-baroque flavour, but was unfortunately of uneven technical and musical quality. The console was rebuilt by Casavant in 2001. A gradual tonal renovation of the organ has been ongoing since 2010, whose goal is to replace the 1970s and 1990s-era neo-classical stops with pipework of the early 20th century, of superior material and tonal quality. Like all of the Casavant instruments built between ca. 1890 and 1960, op. 1457 was conceived in the late-Romantic Anglo-American style, and remains a monumental essay in the genre.
The tonal design of the instrument was conceived for the playing of orchestral transcriptions and orchestrally-inspired solo repertoire and accompaniments; the Wagnerian orchestra, with its kaleidoscopic yet seamless colour changes, was the aesthetic ideal for many organists of the period.