[photo coming soon] Glenn Potter, Music Director (Interim)
Our committee is responsible to take care of the instruments in the building, oversee the music programs of the church, and supervise the music budget with the music director.
We presently own a Baldwin Concert Grand in the sanctuary, and 4 other pianos, two electronic keyboards, an Alan Digital Organ, and a 3-octave set of Handbells, as well as our piece de resistance, the Casavant Frères Pipe Organ.
Our music programs centre around the organ most of the time, and include performances by our Senior Choir, Aura Choir, Bieble Choral group, Equinox Band, and Campanilla/ Handbells, as well as some soloists, instrumental selections, and guest instrumentalists and choirs from time to time.
Our budget, sometimes augmented by special donations, stretches to include instrument maintenance, purchase of music and supplies, and payment for professional musicians’ services.
The committee presently consists of the Music Director (non-voting) a Chair, and four other members. We could use another couple of members if anyone is interested in this work.
Recently we have had many wonderful performances by our Senior Choir every Sunday, and on Palm Sunday we included the Aura, Handbells, and tympani, and on Easter Sunday we included professional Brass, Aura, and tympani, and all got to join in singing the Hallelujah Chorus. There will be a different kind of special music coming up for our Taize Service next Sunday.
While our music is wonderful and very moving, we have asked the congregation to please refrain from clapping for musical performances, as it does interrupt the flow of the worship experience for many people, and the musicians consider themselves to be contributing to the worship experience, not performing for a secular audience looking for applause.
We are also now coordinating our activities with the Music Visioning Committee, on which three of us sit, looking toward the appointment of a new Music Director by next September that will take Knox Music to new heights.
At our recent meeting we learned that our former organist/choir director, Frank McKitrick has donated his personal professional library, sheet music, and all his compositions to Knox. We have written a thank you letter to him, and will stamp all his library books with recognition of his donation. We are very grateful for this gracious gesture.
The “world famous” Knox United Church Choir was established over 100 years ago, when Calgary was in its infancy as a community. Throughout the century, this choir has won numerous awards and trophies in festivals and other choral competitions.
In addition to leading the music for the congregation each Sunday, the Knox Choir presents cantatas, concerts and even stage shows during the calendar year. Most recently the choir mounted a stage production entitled Rehearsal at Eight written, staged, produced, and performed by the choir and its director. Knox is fortunate to have numerous members of the choir who not only lend vocal assistance to the performances, but instrumental as well.
The Knox organ was originally built and installed in Knox by Casavant Freres in 1912 as opus 529. It was rebuilt and expanded in 1956, becoming opus 2336. Another major restoration and expansion of the instrument was completed in 2002. It is a very large and versatile four manual instrument comprised of 92 voices and 5018 pipes. In addition to the great, swell (enclosed), choir (enclosed), resonance and pedal divisions, it has an antiphonal (echo) division located in the rear gallery. Part of the work in 2002 included the addition of a digital capture system. The organ has 256 levels of memory, a sequencer (over 1000 sequences possible) and a computer diskette drive allowing storage of piston information on 3½” diskette.
The Knox Music library, which is cataloged and organized on a computer database, contains over 600 anthems, cantatas and oratorios with compositions ranging from the baroque to the present! The library also contains a digital keyboard with MIDI interface to the computer. It enables our music director to input compositions and print off a professional quality musical score.
The sanctuary piano is a nine-foot Baldwin concert grand. A number of other pianos are located in various locations throughout Knox. The choir owns a three-octave set of hand bells.