Choral/Organ Scholarship Program

Choral Scholarships and Organ Scholarships are offered each year by the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in order to provide students opportunities to:

1. enrich their choral experience;

2. assume a leadership role in their section of the Cathedral Choir;

3. provide financial resources to support their studies.

Choral Scholars gain experience singing the Anglican Choral Repertoire (e.g., Byrd, Gibbons, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Stanford, Howells, Rutter) at worship services. Candidates must be full time students (not necessarily voice or music students) with good sight-reading skills and suitable choral experience.

The Cathedral of St John the Baptist has a strong SATB choral tradition, a beautiful Gothic-style church building with fine acoustics, a four manual Casavant pipe organ and an impressive choral library. Singers experience a wide range of music regarding style and period.  Sight reading skills are generally greatly enhanced by the richness and volume of music prepared and presented by the Cathedral Choir. (See also the Music page).

Scholars may also avail of additional musical opportunities such as solo vocal or instrumental contributions to regular liturgy.  The Cathedral is also equipped for audio recording and may be available for scholars’ use in this capacity with prior approval.  Scholars may also apply to use the Cathedral for recitals as appropriate to the setting.

Interested scholars may have opportunities to rehearse and conduct the Cathedral Choir with choral selections under the supervision of the Musical Director.

Organ Scholars are expected to be regular members of the Cathedral Choir and subject to the expectations outlined above for Choral Scholars.  In addition, Organ Scholars may arrange for private organ lessons with the Cathedral Organist and practising privileges on the cathedral’s Casavant organ when the building is not otherwise in use.  The amount of the scholarship will be applied to the charges incurred for organ instruction.  Organ scholars will have opportunity to play voluntaries and accompaniments during services as well as to apply to use the cathedral organ for recording or recitals.

Scholarship Categories and Responsibilities

There are two categories of scholarships.  High School Students (Levels 1 to 3) are eligible for a Junior Scholarship in the amount of $1000 per annum.  Post-Secondary students are eligible for a scholarship of $2000 per annum.  Scholarships are paid in three installments; at Christmas, Easter, and the Patronal Festival in the amounts of:

Junior $400/$400/$200                                    Senior $800/$800/$400

Choral and Organ Scholars commit to attend choir rehearsals each Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:30 pm, and sing at the 11 am service every Sunday, and at 4 pm on the second Sunday of each month. Prior to each service there is a mandatory 30 minute warmup.

The Cathedral Choir sings between Labour Day and the Patronal Festival (the Sunday closest to June 24) with a week off after each of Christmas and Easter Day. There are occasional additional services such as Maundy Thursday, Christmas Eve, ordinations, etc. at which the choir also sings.

Scholars should understand that they are being paid for their attendance and leadership in rehearsals and liturgy.This commitment should supersede other voluntary events.  Absences from any of the outlined commitments are permissible only with prior approval of the Musical Director. More than three absences per term (two rehearsals and one service) may result in disqualification from, or a reduction in, the scholarship. In cases of illness and other emergency situations, the Musical Director is to be notified of the circumstances at the earliest possible time.

Please Note: Choral and Organ Scholarships do not carry teaching privileges.

The Cathedral is at 16 Church Hill. It is in the block bounded by Gower Street, Church Hill, Duckworth Street and Cathedral Street. The office and choir entrance is off the parking lot.

For further information, applicants should contact the Musical Director, Sharon Whalen, at sharonewhalen@hotmail.com