St John’s is looking for a new Director of Music.
Dr Gordon Johnston retired at the end of June 2023 following over 30 years of music leadership at St John’s. In September, Barb Hallam-Price began as Interim Director of Music. Churches have learned the importance of intentional interim leadership following a long clergy incumbency – and this same thinking applies to Dr Johnston, whose leadership has been significant. We welcome Barb’s leadership as an opportunity for perspective and discernment about the kind of leader we are seeking for the role of Director of Music.
We look forward to the process of creating a role description, posting, interviewing and selection of the successful candidate. As we move through this process, look to this page for updates on our progress. In the meantime, we welcome questions about St John’s, the choir, the instruments, and opportunities for music to engage our local community and the city.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
Cara Gilbertson, soprano
Cara Gilbertson is an accomplished performer and teacher. Cara began as a choral scholar at St John’s during her master's degree studies at the University of Ottawa, and is a frequent soloist with the St John's Choir. She made her National Arts Centre Orchestra debut in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and returned to Southam Hall in Elijah under the baton of Maestro Helmuth Rilling. She has toured throughout Europe with the Ottawa Bach Choir directed by Dr. Lisette Canton.
Cara became Artist in Residence at St John's after graduating from the University of Ottawa. She is the founder, director, and a voice teacher at the Bytown School of Singing, which has a special friendship with St John's. The School offers many of its training and coaching sessions in spaces at St John's Church. Cara’s annual Summer Vocal Academy is based at St John's and Cara's students give regular recitals here. Find out more about Bytown School of Singing and about Cara's role HERE.
Grayson Nesbitt, tenor
Grayson Nesbitt has been singing in church settings and in performance contexts since he was 3 years old. Grayson began his formal education at the University of Ottawa under Laurence Ewashko. Grayson completed his Masters degree in Music Literature and Vocal Performance at the University of Western Ontario in 2018. Grayson has performed a variety of roles from different musical periods from Baroque to Contemporary, but some highlights include: Goro in Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Frederic in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, and Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. Grayson is part of the teaching faculty of the Bytown School of Singing.
Carolyn Streich, soprano
Carolyn Streich has been a choral scholar at St John the Evangelist Church since 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Ottawa in Voice Performance. Carolyn’s graduate studies are in Counselling Psychology and she is pursuing a career as a mental health counselor.
Ian Solomon, tenor
Originally from the East Coast, Ian Soloman studied under Stephen Boey during his Bachelor of Music at UPEI and is currently undertaking a Master of Music at the University of Ottawa under Christiane Riel. During Ian's undergrad he performed as a soloist in many sacred works such as Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb, Handel's Messiah, and Mozart's Requiem. Ian also performed the role of Tamino in UPEI's production of Mozart's Die Zauberflöten' as well as Thisby in uOttawa's production of Brittan's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Ian recently made his professional debut as Spoletta in a local production of Puccini's Tosca.
Katie Cruickshank, alto
Katie Cruickshank recently joined St. John the Evangelist at the beginning of 2023 as the alto choral scholar. Katie has been singing in choirs since she was 10 years old and is currently in the last year of her Bachelor of Music degree in Voice. Katie is excited to be a part of the choir at St. John and is grateful to have the opportunity to work with other inspiring and talented musicians.
Nikhil Gopal, baritone
Nikhil Gopal is a native of Kitchener, Ontario. He is currently a second-year voice performance major at the University of Ottawa, where he studies with Professor Christiane Riel. Nikhil enjoys learning the details of vocal technique, and has developed a special love of art song and melodie française.