Arts

Faith deepening activities

We welcome opportunities to meet and discuss, question and learn, to understand more about ourselves and our faith, to make our faith an integral part of our everyday lives. Below is an example of the kind of recent artistic programmes.

Words of Joy was led in June 2014 by County artist and parishioner, Mary Brett. Over the course of an afternoon, working with Mary, participants created a piece of art around a word which held particular significance for them spiritually. The session was well attended and the works of art produced were amazing in their colour and diversity. Kudos to Mary and those who participated.

With Eyes of the Heart – Series Two, a series of conversations with creative artists, took place over four evenings in November 2014. Creative artists from many disciplines – painting, theatre, glass, music, poetry, photography, and dance – spoke about, and demonstrated the ways their creative lives intersect with and express their sense of the spiritual. 

Windows in Waiting

  • This programme was held in October, 2012, for interested members of the congregation. Led by Andrew Innes, a painter and member of the congregation, and Karen Dukes, a poet and retired Anglican priest, participants explored the meaning of Advent through a process of guided meditation and collage making.
  • Each participant created one or two collages and then shared their meaning with the group at large. The collages were then incorporated into a large work of art which was placed on display in the church during Advent.

With Eyes of the Heart

  • This programme, which was open to the public, was a much more ambitious undertaking. Its goal was to have participants come away with a fresh awareness of the presence of the Divine in human creative endeavour and an understanding of the value of creative work as prayer.
  • On three evenings in March, 2013, County artists Bill Reddick (ceramicist), Andrew Innes (artist), Claudia McCabe (painter), Janine Kinch (painter), Roz Bound (writer), and Michael Goodwin (musician), talked about their creative processes and the spirituality that underpins their work, inviting the audience to ask questions and share their own experiences.
  • Held in the church to take advantage of the church’s state-of-the-art projection equipment, over 50 people attended each evening.

Music

Music is a part of the fabric of our lives at St. Mary Magdalene. Whether it be during our services, during choir rehearsals or during one of the many, many concerts that are held here every year, it’s seems that music and the church are forever intertwined.

It’s a major focal point of our 10:30 worship service where it enhances the contemplative and joyful portions of the service.  We have an accomplished choir of 18 to 20 voices under the leadership of Michael Goodwin, our Music Director and organist. Our 1914 Casavant pipe organ provides the musical accompaniment we so enjoy.

At the weekly Eucharist service we sing the liturgy, sing the Psalm, a cappella, in traditional four-part Anglican chant, and sing anthems both traditional and contemporary. Periodically we sing a Choral Matins service and occasionally an Evensong service.

The sanctuary is blessed with exceptional acoustics and, as a result, the church is a preferred venue for numerous musical activities and performances throughout the year. The installation of stage lighting, a sound system and computer projection screens in recent years has greatly enhanced the space for performance purposes.

In our centennial year, we purchased a Yamaha C7 Grand Piano, greatly increasing the musical possibilities in the church. Through our community, numerous musical events and concerts, the piano was quickly paid for.

There is a wide variety of musical fundraising events held in the church, including organ music and piano music, baroque, Celtic, contemporary, gospel, medieval and more.

Recent musical events in 2014

  • January 11 – Handel’s Messiah, which was held over from December because of the ice storm.
  • March 24 – Organ recital by Bill Maddox. This was the first of three recitals marking the 100th anniversary of the installation of the organ.
  • April 12 – Mozart Requiem sung by the Ecumenical Choir and soloists.
  • April 29 – Organ recital by Michael Goodwin, the second of the three.
  • May 28 – Organ recital by Duncan McDonald, third of the three.
  • July 22 – Choral Evensong service in celebration of St. Mary Magdalene Day.
  • Music at Port Milford – July 26, 27, Aug 2, 9, 10.
  • Jazz Service with Brian Barlow – Aug. 17
  • PEC Music Festival – Sept. 19 to 28
  • Community Hymn-sing, organised by Jim Macgregor – Oct. 5
  • Command Performance presents The Peacemakers by Karl Jenkins. – Dec. 7. This is a big choral work which will
  • included members of our choir and the Ecumenical choir.

Events from Past Years

  • Over the past five years, under the leadership of our Music Director, the Ecumenical Choir, which includes 35 to 40 people from our church choir together with other singers from the community, has performed major choral works including The Messiah, Gloria, The Crucifixion, Magnificat and Requiem (both by Rutter), and Choral Anthems through the Ages.
  • For the last eight years, jazz musicians have provided the music for our Jazz Mass on the last Sunday of the Prince Edward Jazz Festival. Each year, this service attracts over 300 people of all denominations and walks of life.
  • The FourPlay! Baroque Ensemble quartet rehearses and performs in our church for fund raising events. They perform works of Vivaldi, Telemann and Handel using baroque performance techniques.
  • Since its inception in 2004, the Prince Edward County Music Festival has held most of its major concerts in the church. This festival takes place over two weekends in mid-September and attracts musicians of international renown. In 2012, as part of the Festival, Mozart’s opera “Cosi Fan Tutte” was staged in the church. The closing reception is held in our parish hall.
  • Music at Port Milford is a chamber music festival and summer school held every July since 1987. Bringing 12- to 18-year-olds with a passion for chamber music together with internationally renowned faculty, it holds its major student and faculty concerts in the church.
  • “Shout Sister” is a chapter of a large group of women who sing for the love of singing. Over 70 ladies meet weekly in the church hall and perform here as well as other venues for local charities.
  • The community choir, Command Performance, also give some of their concerts in the church.