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MUSIC at St. Barnabas on the Danforth
Sunday music upcoming and recent repertoire on the choir music blog
here »


Practices Thursdays 7:45pm – 9:15pm

The choir welcomes new, enthusiastic singers to join. An ability to read music desired but not essential. A commitment to Thursday practices and Sunday morning services expected.

Please speak to our Music Director, Konrad Harley or email c/o the church office here »

View repertoire past and present here ».


CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS CHOIR begins Sunday, October 6, 12-1 p.m. For more info see flyers at the back of the Church or speak with Shukura.

NEW CHOIR MEMBERS WELCOME! – Practices Thursdays 7:45pm – 9:15pm The choir welcomes new, enthusiastic singers to join. An ability to read music desired but not essential. A commitment to Thursday practices and Sunday morning services expected. Please speak to our Music Director, Konrad Harley or email »

CONCERTS at St. Barnabas - see here »

Konrad Harley is Choir Director and Organist at St. Barnabas. From a field of seventeen applicants Konrad was chosen for his deep musicianship, both as an organist and as composer. Konrad’s home church is Holy Trinity Anglican in Thornhill where he began his organ studies. He now has degrees in Organ Performance and Musicology, and is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships. In addition to Konrad Harley compositionsteaching and conducting duties at University Konrad has served for seven years at Christ Church, Woodbridge.

Konrad completed his Doctoral thesis on the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev in 2014 at the University of Toronto: "Harmonic Function in the Music of Sergei Prokofiev." Listen to Konrad’s compositions here » konradharley.bandcamp.com

Contact Music

THURSDAYS at 7:45 pm September - June

The Choir
The Choir Easter 2014

St. Barnabas on the Danforth has a long tradition of good choral music. The choir consists of volunteers and four professional soloists/section leads.

Our repertoire includes anthems and motets from every period of the church's song, oratorio choruses, plainsong, etc. In addition to providing music for regular Sunday worship and special services, the choir presents an annual festival of lessons and carols during Advent and another during Epiphany.

Rehearsals are held from September to early June in the choir room or church on Thursday nights from 7:45 to 9:15 pm. New members are always welcome. Some music-reading ability is a definite advantage but is not essential. A love of singing and a strong commitment to the group are essential.

Swell Organ at St. Barnabas

During the summer of 2013 work was undertaken to complete Phase Two of our organ restoration project.

The Swell is one of four “divisions” of our organ, the others being the Great (on which phase one of the restoration project was completed during the summer of 2012), the Choir and the Pedal. This part of the instrument is located high up on the right side of the chancel, and is contained in a large wooden box with an opening on one side that is covered by shutters which bear some resemblance to Venetian blinds. The organist can open and close these shutters using a pedal at the console, enabling expression from soft (when closed) to loud (when open, allowing the sounds to escape). The Swell division, which is the largest on our instrument, also has the most variety of sounds, from silky soft flutes and string sounds to the clarion ring of the cornopean stop, which is like a miniature trumpet.

The shutters mentioned above are controlled by a separate motor which we believe is the original piece of equipment. As airflow is created by the blower motor located in the church’s basement, it is then ducted to a series of reservoirs, which are commonly known as wind chests. Wind chests store air which provide for pressure demands (i.e. the louder the sound, the more air is required). A wind chest is basically a wooden box. Picture a box that has a cover attached that moves up and down on a wooden hinge. This hinge is attached to the box and cover with leather. Leather, as we know, is flexible which allows the hinge and cover to move up and down based on pressure demands. Leather, over time, dries out and as the cover moves up and down, cracks begin to form, which explains why we sometimes hear air noise coming from the organ chambers. Much of the leather in our instrument is dried and cracked, and leaking .… just about ready to blow out. As the hinges blow, the reservoir will leak so much air that the organ will be rendered unusable.

This is a very concise, and as non-technical as possible explanation of the work to be done over a period of six or so weeks this summer. Our organ is the most valuable asset of our church, apart from the property and building, and is well worth restoring and preserving for future generations to enjoy.

DR. EUGENE GATES, Organist & Choirmaster Emeritus

Dr. Eugene Gates was organist and choirmaster of St. Barnabas Anglican Church for over 38 years. He received his musical education at Acadia University, McMaster University, University of Toronto and through additional study at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, and in England. His principal organ teachers were E. F. Gmeiner, Edwin A. Collins and Douglas Bodle.

Eugene Gates is also on the faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, where he teaches organ, piano and history of music. He is also an examiner emeritus of that institution.

After 38 years of faithful service at St. Barnabas, Dr. Eugene Gates decided to retire. The parish celebrated Eugene’s ministry on Sunday, October 31, 2010, and he subsequently accepted the title of Organist and Choirmaster Emeritus.

Konrad Harley Prokofiev 2016 Click the image to see set
The East Toronto Latvian Lutheran Congregation’s Organ Fest and Special Service Sunday November 1 was a tremendous success, attended by 200+. A portion of the freewill offering will go towards the Organ Fund.
You will no doubt notice the baroque-style tracker action organ next to the eagle lectern. This instrument is on long-term loan from Emmanuel College in the University of Toronto. It is a valuable addition to our instrumental forces. We extend our thanks to Dr. Swee Hong Lim and Mr. Clement Carelse for facilitating this relocation.


St. Barnabas on the Danforth Anglican Church, Toronto • 416-463-1344 • Location » Contact us »