The purpose of the Band at Holy Trinity is to meld our traditional Anglican liturgy with contemporary musical expression that is less formal, but no less dignified, moving, and spiritual, than that of the choir and organ. Offering this alternative one Sunday a month broadens the expression of faith at our church.
The Band has been together in more or less its present form for more than ten years now.
Though largely unschooled musically, the Band members are experienced and devoted students of the contemporary idiom. Our singers/percussionists—Ann Matheson, Morgan Kunitz, Vicky Webb, Barbara Finch, and Kelly Collins —seem to get more confident all the time. Mark Selander, a local rock ‘n’ roll guitar hero, continues to be our backbone, playing bass. Dwane Kunitz sometimes contributes drumming, and Darlene Kunitz occasionally helps out with the singing. Frank Burgess sings, plays guitar, and keep things organized. We sometimes have guest musicians as well—saxophone, harmonica, recorder—and lately we have been joined on piano by Holy Trinity’s musical director, John Brough.
We try to find music that has more to recommend than simply that it is Christian, and to avoid lyrics, tunes, rhythms, and arrangements that are insipid and dismissible. Our main musical inspiration is the work of theWinnipeg singer-songwriter-guitarist Steve Bell, but we have also chosen music written by or learned from the recordings of, for example, Van Morrison, Bruce Cockburn, Linda Tillery, Greg Brown, Stephen Foster, and Roger Miller (yes, that Roger Miller), as well as music from the Anglican hymn book and the American tradition. In the past year or year, the Band has also done several original song written by Frank.
We have a good time putting the music together each month, collectively choosing the songs and creating the arrangements. We enjoy each other’s company, and all of us manage to hang on to our sense of humour, even when we have to work through difficulties. We rehearse twice a month, plus Sunday morning before the service, and work hard to keep the quality of the music high. It’s heartening to us to see people join enthusiastically in the singing, even when we haven’t given them as much written guidance to the song as the hymn book does. Kind parishioners often come up at the end of services to compliment us, and this, too, is gratifying.
We hope that our music helps people to get in touch with the holy in a different way from how it happens on the other Sundays of the month.
Feel free to check out these links to watch the Band perform some of their songs: