July 31, 2011
The money raised at a concert by The Three Cantors at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer in Calgary on June 10, 2011 is music to the ears of the people of Slave Lake.
Many residents of the town had to flee for their lives in May when wildfires driven by high winds blazed through the community destroying hundreds of homes, the town hall, library and government centre. But when more than 300 people gathered at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer to hear the three Anglican priests and their accompanist combine a wide variety of music, including humorous ditties, traditional hymns and show tunes, they were also thinking about the people of Slave Lake and their efforts to rebuild their community. More than $5,000 was raised and will be distributed through PWRDF)to help rebuild Slave Lake. Organizer Ruth Seltner of St. Laurence Anglican Church, Calgary, was thrilled with the turnout, the generosity and the concert itself. “It far exceeded our expectations,” she said. “People had already bought tickets, and then dug into their wallets again when we passed the plate. It was so generous and so moving. And everyone was thrilled with the concert itself.”
Alison Longson, PWRDF Coordinator for the Diocese of Calgary, said the Slave Lake churches are very grateful for the money and are conducting an assessment of how it might best be used. “I keep meeting folks that were at the concert and they are still raving about it,” said Longson. “I wrote down some of their comments, one being: Ã¢â‚¬ËœI’ve not enjoyed a concert as much in a long time. I came away filled with joy.’ ”
The Three Cantors are: The Rev. Canon David Pickett of Ancaster, Ontario; The Rev. Canon William Cliff of London, Ontario; The Very Rev. Peter Wall of Hamilton, Ontario and their accompanist Angus Sinclair (also from London). The concert included a delightful mix of ensemble and solo pieces by each member of the group, as well as audience participation with the crowd frequently being encouraged to join in.
And they did: with gusto.
In fact, Rev. Pickett, rector of St. John’s Anglican Church in Ancaster, was very impressed. “We have never had an audience of such great singers before,” he said after the concert. “It was like one huge choir, it really made the concert fun for us as well.”