Ministering to the community through Music
The Music Ministry is a pastoral ministry that supports people’s journey to, relationship with and experience of the Divine. It does so by enhancing the liturgy of the Eucharist and the Word at Mass, and by enhancing other services through the gifts of song and instrumental music. We minister to those who gather, promoting their active participation in the liturgy as a whole.
The Music Ministry is committed to using the active integration of music into the ongoing spiritual life of the parish community to enhance the liturgical experience by encouraging and leading the gathered assembly in song. The hymns and other music are specifically selected to expand on and reflect the other parts of the liturgy, notably the Word. While the choir leads the singing, the intent is to bring the community together as a single choir raising our voices in praise and thanksgiving to God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Who can take part and minister?
St. Joseph’s Music Ministry welcomes people of all ages, from children and youth to seniors. Regardless of your experience and whether a singer or instrumentalist, if you have basic musical ability, there is an ensemble that will fit your gift.
Every member of the Music Ministry is a parishioner. The Ministry is led by the Music Director, who is dedicated to promoting musical excellence and ensemble development. Choir members often find that their vocal skills grow through their involvement in the choir. The Ministry offers opportunities for those with the ability and the interest to serve as cantors or soloists.
St. Joseph’s Parish is blessed with four choirs, one at each weekend liturgy. An integrated ensemble composed of choristers from several masses sings at Christmas and through Triduum/Easter. While many choose to join the choir at the Mass they most frequently attend, the Music Director will work with you to determine which choir best fits your availability and skills.
Saturday Evening 5 pm Mass Choir:
The Saturday 5 pm choir currently consists of fewer than 10 regular members. This tightly-knit, but musically disciplined “family” nonetheless often sings in harmony (SATB: soprano, alto, tenor and bass). As a smaller choir, every member’s regular presence and participation is critical.
This choir rehearses every Saturday from 4 – 4:45 pm, before the 5 pm mass.
Sunday Morning 9:30 am Mass Choir (Family Choir):
The 9:30 am choir is a multi-generational group of singers and instrumentalists, whose mission is twofold: to support the assembly in song and to call forth and develop the musical talents and leadership abilities of our younger parishioners. This choir is a good starting point for those with less experience. It rehearses at 8:45 am before Mass.
Sunday Morning 11:30 am Mass Choir:
The Sunday 11:30 am choir is a traditional SATB choir that challenges all members to reach high standards of excellence. In addition to singing St. Joseph’s “canon” of beloved hymns, this ensemble also introduces new hymns and liturgical works to the community that reflect the modern, inclusive spirit of the parish.
The choir is the core of the ‘high holiday’ choir and of the Music Ministry’s concerts throughout the year. Its concert selections include recent compositions by Canadian composers, bigger works and songs reflecting Canada’s and St. Joseph’s pluralistic community.
This choir requires greater commitment and engagement, with an expectation of personal practice and reliable attendance at rehearsals, including every Thursday evening from 7:30 – 9:30 pm and again on Sunday morning at 10:45 am. To sing at Mass or in concerts, attendance at rehearsals is mandatory.
Sunday Evening 7:00 pm (University Mass) Choir:
The University Mass Choir arises anew every new university school year, as it is largely composed of university students who are studying or enjoy music, although all members of the community who wish to join are welcome.
This choir rehearses Sunday evening an hour before Mass, at 6:00 pm, in the church during the university school year (September – April).
Time Commitment for all choirs:
Depending on the choir, the usual weekly time commitment ranges from 2-4 hours, including attendance at Mass. This is necessary to be able to truly serve pastorally by confidently leading the assembly in musical prayer and liturgy. As our primary responsibility is liturgical ministry, choristers must commit to Mass first and may not join solely for concerts or the high seasons. Choristers are expected to attend rehearsals regularly, both during the week (depending on the choir) and immediately prior to Mass, arriving promptly and ready to sing. During the Christmas and Easter Seasons and prior to concerts, attendance at additional rehearsals is also required.
Those interested in the Music Ministry should be able to carry a basic melody and match musical tones when they are played. All singers are expected to have a positive and respectful attitude towards the Music Director and other choristers and be willing to accept direction from the Music Director.
Interview: A brief meeting with the Music Director to determine the most appropriate choir and your voice placement (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass).
The Music Ministry is led by Jamie Loback, one of Ottawa’s most respected and rising young choral conductors. Jamie holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in music from the University of Ottawa and is experienced at leading children’s, youth and adult choral ensembles, serving as Artistic Director of the Ottawa Regional Youth Chorus, the Ottawa Catholic School Board Chamber Choir and the Capital Chamber Choir in addition to his work as Music Director at St. Joseph’s. Jamie also plays a leadership role in weekly and seasonal liturgical planning, ensuring an integrated liturgical experience.
Contact: Jamie Loback 613-233-4095, ext. 228 [email protected]