Montreal’s downtown cathedral announces new Director of Religious Music

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The Corporation of Christ Church Cathedral Montreal has today announced that its next Director of Religious Music is to be Dr Jonathan White. Born in the UK, Jonathan White studied music at the University of Oxford where he was organ scholar at Lady Margaret Hall. Following his graduation, he spent a year at Canterbury Cathedral, where he was responsible for accompanying the daily services and training the choristers, as well as playing for numerous special services, broadcasts and recordings. Following this, he returned to Oxford to undertake doctoral research into the symphonic works of Sir Charles Villiers Stanford.

Jonathan subsequently spent two years at Yale University, based at the Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music where he held an academic scholarship. While there, he continued regular work as an organist and choir trainer. He also sang with the renowned Yale Schola Cantorum, performing across the US and on tour in Europe, as well as making a number of recordings on the Hyperion label.

As an organist, Jonathan has held positions in collegiate, parish and cathedral settings, including Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, Magdalen College, Oxford, and Henley Parish Church. He holds diplomas from the Royal College of Organists in organ performance and choral directing, and is deeply committed to education and working with young people.

He has taught in both primary and secondary schools in the UK, along with over 10 years teaching at Oxford University where he was Lecturer in Music at St Catherine’s College. He worked extensively with the Royal School of Church Music, as committee member and secretary of the Oxfordshire Area Committee and director of the Annual Three-Day School for Choristers.

Jonathan also supports musical education and outreach beyond the liturgical realm. In 2006 he founded Orchestra Europa, a UK-based charity dedicated to supporting post-graduate music students at a critical point in their professional development, while promoting a number of outreach projects in conjunction with Ark Schools. He co-founded Opus-U 360, an online publisher of music learning resources which are now in use in schools around the world. He has worked with the UK departments for culture and education, New York and Chicago Public Schools, and the European Union in producing educational policies and distribution partnerships.

Jonathan will begin his new ministry at Christ Church Cathedral in June, 2019. He arrives at a time when the Cathedral is not only looking to continue its tradition of musical excellence, but also to develop the programme in new ways that respond to the unique character of our city, and to reach people of all ages. He writes, “I am both honoured and thrilled to be coming to Christ Church this summer as the music programme enters this new and exciting phase in its continuing development. I hope to be able to balance the stewardship of the fine musical tradition for which the cathedral is widely known with bringing new ideas and developments to the table, and especially looking at ways in which we can engage more with children and young people through our musical work and outreach.”

“Jonathan brings with him a breadth of experience and entrepreneurship which will be key at this particular juncture in the life of the worship and outreach of Christ Church Cathedral“, said the Very Rev’d Bertrand Olivier, Dean of the Cathedral. “Christ Church is renowned for its excellence in music, and we very much look forward to working with Jonathan to build upon this tradition and expand our musical outreach to the wider community“.

Christ Church Cathedral is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal, and seeks to articulate a Christian faith that is inclusive and open to all. Set at the heart of downtown Montreal, it provides services in French and English, in the Anglican episcopal tradition.

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