Welcome to Zion-Memorial United Church
37 Franklin Street
Carleton Place, Ontario
K7C 1R6


Music at Zion-Memorial United Church

The church choir has 35 members with an average service of 16 years and a total service of 518 years. Among them are retired music teachers, retired organists and even a retired professional chorister. It can be quite intimidating when you are surrounded on all sides with only a sheet of hieroglyphics to fend them off.

We are split into four teams:

  • Bass, who run the show,
  • Altos who think they do,
  • Sopranos who know they do, and
  • the Tenors who spend all their energy trying to hit the high notes.

Our present Organ is a 700 watt Rogers Westminster 890 in oak with walnut inserts. It was installed in November 1982 with an opening recital in April 1983. Behind the pipes on either side of the choir loft are giant speakers and a chime. At the back of the sanctuary is a carillon horn. The organ has lots of little buttons which let you choose from a host of voices such as Krummhorn, Viola Pomposa, Blockflote, Contre Trompette and Bourdon Doux just to mention a few. If you are foolish enough to open up the back you'll discover three great hinged panels covered with little circuit cards and a zillion wires. Somewhere in the top is a Z80 microprocessor who's job it is to remember the settings of all those little voice buttons, because organists invariably forget. The pipes are only decorative but are similar to those used on our previous organ which was donated by William Wilson Taber in 1955.

Choir practice starts at 7 p.m. sharp each Thursday night, unless your name begins with a "J". We often begin with a few warm-up exercises, deep breathing from the Bass, long sighs from the Altos. Next we zip through the hymns and then have a go at the anthem and whatever else we find on the top of the organ. Each choir member is allocated a NEW black folder with pockets for THEIR music but they're not above snitching your copy if you don't turn up. Often members write their name on the front of the music so that they can personalize it inside with more little squiggles, as if there weren't enough already. Others tend to write their name on more than one copy to make it easier to find (not mentioning any names). Periodically we convene around the organ to sing together just as we would in church. This allows our voices to swell but also lets Tony keep his ear on the Tenors. By 8:30 p.m. we've generally had enough and all head home.

New choir members are always welcome, please just call the church or drop in to a practice.


Copyright Zion-Memorial United Church, 37 Franklin Street, Carleton Place, Ontario, K7C 1R6