Music Director

Chellan Hoffman, MMus

From Baroque to Beatles, Chellan is comfortable playing all styles of music, and has performed with many soloists, choirs, ensembles and theatre groups in the province. She has also given solo organ performances in venues across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. Highlights in her career have included playing historical pipe organs in Germany, Austria and Czech Republic; travelling with a touring choir to England to accompany daily services in the cathedrals of Chester, St. Paul’s London, Chichester, Salisbury, and the Abby of St. Albans; performing in concert with Grammy-award winner, Paul Halley, and son Nick Halley; performing with Knox Choir at Carnegie Hall, New York, and National Arts Centre, Ottawa. 

For over forty years, Chellan has served as a church musician in eight churches, and in four different denominations. She is an assistant with the organ tuning firm, Pipework, an organ instructor at Mount Royal University, a national Vice President for the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and Chair of the Editorial Committee for the national magazine, Organ Canada

Knox United Music Program

Knox United, a century old church in the heart of downtown Calgary, has a celebrated history of involvement in the fine arts. Its congregation has been a leader in incorporating the arts into their religious services, providing a venue and cultural hub for a wide variety of local and international organizations, and has been a valuable resource centre for the Calgary community at large.

Ensembles

The Knox Choir

The Knox Choir rehearses weekly and provides musical leadership on Sundays from September to mid-June. The choir enjoys preparing and performing music from many historical periods and in a wide variety of styles, from gospel to chant; Handel to bluegrass. In recent years, the singers were proud to be part of two massed choirs that performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall, 2016, and Ottawa’s Shaw Centre and National Arts Centre on Canada Day, 2017.

Halo Singers

This “occasional" ensemble provides opportunity for people who like to sing, but cannot manage a weekly rehearsal schedule. The group meets once a month, before the Sunday service, to prepare a choir piece and lead the congregational music for that day.

EquiKnox Singers and Band

Folk, pop, blues, and gospel are just some of the genres that this ensemble explores. EquiKnox consists of a group of 4-6 singers and a house band that includes piano/organ, guitar, mandolin, bass, and percussion. The ensemble provides music one Sunday each month, and participates in festival worship occasions, such as Christmas Eve and Easter.

Soulstice

Soulstice is a small ensemble of singers who enjoy more technically difficult choral material. Soulstice is often featured at Sacrament services (Baptism, Communion) and Festival services.

Handbells

Knox does not currently have a Handbell Choir, but we would love to have the opportunity to bring out our beautiful 3-octave ring of handbells and add them to our musical repertoire. A weekly class for beginner and intermediate ringers will be offered in the Spring of 2019. 

Musical Outreach

Knox singers and instrumentalists enjoy bringing their music to people in senior and specialized care residences, and to patients in hospitals. The groups also participate in community concerts, fundraisers, and special events, often in partnership with a wide variety of community musicians and musical groups. 

Contact

If you are interested in joining any of the Knox ensembles as a singer or instrumentalist, please contact Chellan Hoffman, Music Director, at choffman@knoxunited.ab.ca

Pipe Organ

A prominent feature in the Knox sanctuary is one of the largest pipe organs in Canada.

The organ was originally built and installed by Casavant Frères in 1912 as opus 529, rebuilt and expanded in 1956 and again in 2002. It is a large versatile four manual instrument with 95 stops and over 5000 pipes. In addition to the great, swell (enclosed), choir (enclosed) resonance and pedal divisions, it has an antiphonal (echo) division located in the rear gallery.

The work in 2002 included the addition of a digital capture system with 256 levels of memory, a sequencer and a computer diskette drive for the storage of piston information. In cooperation with local organizations – the Calgary Society of Organists and the Calgary Centre of the Royal Canadian College of Organists – Knox has had a history of supporting many international organ virtuosos who have presented major programs on the instrument.

In July 2018, the sound textures of the organ were enhanced by the addition of 200 pipes in the antiphonal division. In 2019/2020, 700 more pipes will be added, and a second console will be installed in the back gallery. This expansion was made possible by an ‘organ donation’ from Knox Metropolitan Church in Edmonton.

A Venue for the Arts

WE ARE A WELCOMING VENUE FOR INSPIRING PERFORMANCES . . . 

The church and sanctuary, as a premier concert venue, hosts numerous groups and programs:

  • Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Bach at Knox”

  • The Festival Chorus, Calgary Bach Society, Cantaré Children's Choir, Alberta Children’s Choir, Choir Alberta

  • Local high school music programs

  • Educational and theological speakers

The Sanctuary, Labyrinth Room, Lower Theatre and Parlour are venues for concerts, theatre performances, small recitals, rehearsals, weddings, receptions and gatherings. The Gymnasium, Library, Board Room and Choir Room are also utilized for community meetings, education classes, childcare, noon-time sports, yoga, and other activities.

Building on its past achievements, Knox is looking forward to expanding its relationships with other arts organizations in the city and continuing to support the Calgary community in the presentation of quality Fine Arts programs.

Special Seasonal Events

Calgary Carol Festival – 40 years and going strong!

Established by former music director Frank McKitrick in 1978, the Calgary Carol Festival is regarded by many Calgarians as the beginning of their Christmas season. Held annually on the first weekend of Advent, this festival is expanding from three nights to four in 2019 – Friday evening will be added to the traditional run of Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with all concerts starting at 7:00 pm. The festival features many excellent community, school, and church choirs, singing some of their favourite Christmas repertoire. This event is also a significant fund-raiser for the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank.

Christmas Eve Services

Christmas Eve inside the “Cathedral of the West” is a special experience. Knox features all the musical ensembles (and special guest artists, Foothills Brass Quintet) with music ranging from traditional Christmas favourites to exciting contemporary takes on carols. Knox is one of only a few Calgary churches that offer a late (11:00 pm) Christmas Eve service, responding to a tradition still held by many in the Calgary community. In addition, a 7:00 pm service is offered, as well as a newly added 9:00 pm service. One of the favourite traditions at the 7:00 and 11:00 pm services is to sing Silent Night by candlelight, and watch the twinkling stars appear on the walls of the vaulted spaces around the chancel and the pipe organ.


If you would enjoy participating in our musical culture please contact the Knox United Church office.