Ascension is blessed with a fine choir of over 15 adult volunteer singers. The Ascension Choir practices each Thursday evening during the program year (September through early June) from 7:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and sings at the 9:00 a.m. service. If you want to join. donâ€™t not worry if Thursday nights are a problem â€“ you can come earlier on Sundays to rehearse.
New or old members of Ascension who are considering joining the choir are welcome at any time, and the summer drop-in choirs would be a particularly good way to start. No auditions are required, just the love of singing. The ability to sight-read music is helpful.
Most importantly, the congregation is the choir at every service; we are always called to praise God by lifting our voices in song.
We’re also growing an instrumental musical ensemble with two professional musicians (on grand piano and electric bass), djembe drums, 6 and 12 string guitars, two flutes, oboe and cello. The ensemble rehearses Monday evenings from 6:00-7:00 p.m. and accompanies the 11:15 service. If you are an amateur musician who wants to get back into making music, you are welcome!
Jerrold Tidwell has been the Minister of Music at Ascension since January 2016. Carleton MacDonald is the choir manager.
The Great Organ at Ascension
In 1999, Ascension was afforded the wonderful opportunity to purchase a pipe organ as the result of a large gift by long-time Ascension choir member, Graham Hartwell. The gift was in response to Grahamâ€™s love for Ascension, and his commitment to the churchâ€™s music program, and the liturgy of the Episcopal Church. After many months of deliberation and research, the organ committee awarded a bid to Casavant Freres of St. Hyacinth, Quebec. Casavantâ€™s tonal and physical design enhanced and supported the diverse musical program of the church and supported the Eucharist as the central focus of our worship.
In January of 2001, the brand new Casavant Pipe Organ was shipped and installed. This organ is made up of 23 ranks, and is played from a 2 manual console. The console is situated on a moveable platform that may be moved to the center of the chancel area for recitals and concerts. Casavant Opus 3801, has a diverse musical timbre, yet with a decidedly French speaking tone. It has rich diapasons, melodious flute stops, and rich and exciting reeds. It is a versatile instrument that allows the choir to be conducted from the console, supports the congregational singing, and performs well as a solo instrument.
The organâ€™s location is at the left of the main axis of the sanctuary, and shares a small portion of the front wall. This instrument was designed to speak well into the nave, and was voiced to provide a rich and full organ sound throughout the sanctuary. Many organists comment that the organ speaks much larger than a traditional 23 rank instrument. Whether this instrument is supporting congregational hymn singing, accompanying the choirs, or being utilized as a solo instrument, the sound is energizing and exciting at times, yet soft, warm and consoling when needed. This diverse instrument will be a wonderful addition to the musical culture of this congregation for many, many years.
To hear the â€śCasavant Opus 3801â€ł and other musical selections performed by Ascension Organist and Choirmaster Paul Kelley on the Great Organ, click here.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MmiIk7TB8o