Music Director: Chellan Hoffman
Chellan has performed with many soloists, choirs and ensembles in the province, and was accompanist for the Calgary Philharmonic Chorus and the Calgary Bach Festival Chorus.
Chellan is an assistant with the organ tuning firm, Pipework, a national vice president for the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and serves on the executive for the Calgary Centre of the RCCO.
Knox United Music Program
Knox United, a century old church in the heart of downtown Calgary, has a celebrated history of involvement in the fine arts. Its congregation has been a leader in incorporating the arts into their religious services, providing a venue and cultural hub for a wide variety of local and international organizations, and has been a valuable resource centre for the Calgary community at large.
The Knox Music Program supports three diverse choirs
- The Senior Choir, consisting of approximately 20 singers, presents music materials ranging from the renaissance period to contemporary gospel
- EquiKnox, a smaller ensemble of 4-6 singers supported by a talented band of piano, guitars, mandolin, bass, and drums, specializes in contemporary music
- Soulstice is an ensemble of 8-10 singers who enjoy more technically difficult choral materials
- The church has a 3 octave set of handbells and is currently working to re-establish them as a vital component of the music program.
The Choirs provide a broad spectrum of music in Sunday worship services. The singers and several talented soloists enjoy this wide ranging musical perspective. Throughout the years, they have prepared contemporary worship experiences such as the Taize or “Healing Touch” service, written and staged a diverse variety of musical theatre shows, created an annual Halloween variety show and silent movie night, and involve themselves in community outreach.
Christmas Eve services offer a wide range of musical styles, from traditional choral and organ music with the majestic sounds of the Foothills Brass Quintet, to contemporary perspectives on carols by the EquiKnox band.
The choirs enjoy collaborating with other amateur and professional musicians from the community including various chamber ensembles, church choirs and instrumentalists.
A prominent feature in the Knox sanctuary is one of the largest pipe organs in Canada.
The organ was originally built and installed by Casavant Frères in 1912 as opus 529, rebuilt and expanded in 1956 and again in 2002. It is a large versatile four manual instrument with 95 stops and over 5000 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.
The work in 2002 included the addition of a digital capture system with 256 levels of memory, a sequencer and a computer diskette drive for the storage of piston information. In cooperation with the local organ society chapters, Knox has had a history of supporting many international organ virtuosos who have presented major programs on the instrument.
Full organ specs may be found here on this pdf.
The church and sanctuary, as a premier concert venue, hosts numerous groups and programs:
- Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Bach at Knox”
- Festival Chorus and Cantaré Children’s Choir
- Local high school music programs
- Educational and theological speakers
- The Knox United Church Carol Festival was established by former music director Frank McKitrick in 1978. The event features a wide variety of choirs from around the city who perform over a period of three evenings. Originally sponsored by The Rotary Club of Calgary, the event has been broadcast over CBC Radio. The Knox congregation continues to support the Festival by providing the facility, and it has also become a venue for the collection of food and/or monetary donations to the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank.
Building on its past achievements, Knox is looking forward to expanding its relationships with other arts organizations in the city and continuing to support the Calgary community in the presentation of quality Fine Arts programs.
If you would enjoy participating in our musical culture please contact the Knox United Church office. (403) 269-8382.