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The recent performance of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, on Good Friday, at St. Paul’s Cathedral, with 87 participants of the St. Paul's Cathedral Choir and the St. Paul's Cathedral Special Choir, under the direction of Arthur McGlashan, brought forward the work of the Cathedral’s music director and organist Ian Sadler. It was his idea, and his vision, to have a mass choir sing this piece of music on Good Friday. Regard this quick croquis of Alan’s role in the life of the cathedral, and the words of those who participated and were present at the concert, as an invitation to learn more about the music events at St. Paul’s, the ministry of its choir and a Noon Hour Organ Recital series.

By MaryAnn McDowell

When the world around you is burning, and you feel helpless, what do you do? Most of us don’t know what to do, or how we can help. Ian Sadler, Organist and Choir Director of St. Paul’s Cathedral, rolls up his sleeves and plays (and plays, and plays).

During the wildfires of 2023, Ian decided to raise funds for the Emergency Relief Fund for the wildfires through the PWRDF. For Ian, music is at the heart of his faith, so he decided that he would play music to raise awareness and funds. This was no simple concert, however. Ian had a bigger plan. He would play an introduction and one verse of every hymn in Common Praise, and open the cathedral doors for all to hear.

He began at 8:00 am on the 9th of September, starting with Hymn #1 and played each hymn in order except for two.

The day continued with many folks dropping in to listen and contribute. Also involved in the fundraiser was Catharine, Ian’s wife and partner in all things musical. She updated a board to let each person know which hymn was being played, so that people could sing along, and there were many who did!

The day ended around 5:00 pm, with “God Save the King” and “O Canada”, the only two hymns played out of order. Ian had played well over 700 hymns, with only one short break in the day.

When all was sung and done, almost $6000.00 was raised to help combat the wildfires that were devastating our beautiful Canadian forests.

Thanks to Ian, Catharine and all who donated to this marathon event. We can’t wait to see what musical ideas Ian comes up with next!

Words from a chorister and a congregant

A very wise musician once told me that each performance is a gift to be shared; each musician gives what they have worked on, and each listener receives that gift personally. A work like this cannot be performed or shared without an audience, and performers have faith that the audience will receive and appreciate the gift offered.

The energy among the singers was high and all were ready to share the gift of the music. From the moment we stepped out into the cathedral, looking out over the approximately 400 people gathered, it was clear that we were about to share in something meaningful.

The programme was meant to commemorate, inspire, and bring together. For me, as a chorister, it did all that, and more. The opportunity to sing and share the requiem was a powerful experience for Good Friday.

MaryAnn McDowell, chorister

I could think of no better way to spend Good Friday evening than in beautiful St. Paul's Cathedral listening to the magnificent combined 87 voices of the St. Paul's Cathedral Choir and the St. Paul's Cathedral Special Choir, under the direction of Arthur McGlashan and accompanied by St. Paul's organist Ian Sadler.

A special treat was the addition of cellist Julia MacGregor, whose command of her 1703-constructed Carlo Guiseppe Testore cello filled the cathedral with such incredible sound.

The prolonged standing ovation and shouts of "Bravo!" only help underscore why London is Canada's first UNESCO City of Music. Bravo to all involved in bringing us this unforgettable evening!

Jim Cressman, congregant