Our Music Director: Melvin Hurst
Humbercrest invited me to come as their Director of Music in 2004 after a twenty-three year tenure at Kingsway Baptist Church. And suddenly, I am going into my sixteenth year in this faith community!
My academic preparation includes an A.R.C.T. (Associate Diploma with the Royal Conservatory) in piano, a B.Ed. with Distinction (University of Sask.) and M.Mus. (University of Oregon, USA) in choral literature. This graduate degree included studies in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Our lives are enriched by time spent in another country. This was particularly true for me, as I had the good fortune to study with outstanding German musicians, notably Helmut Rilling, a scholar in the music of J.S.Bach.
The role of Music Supervisor for a School Board in Saskatchewan helped prepare me for teaching at the university level. I taught as an Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Saskatchewan and Queen’s University, Kingston.
For many years I was a Music Specialist with the Peel Board of Education, giving workshops for teachers in the area of music literacy, recorders, choral techniques and developing curriculum. In my final position at Nahani Way Public School we developed a music literacy program and were the first public school in Ontario to use English Handbells.
The Music Festival movement was always of interest to me. It was an opportunity to learn, to hear others and explore new repertoire. It was my keen sense of pedagogy working with teachers and children that led me to the art of adjudicating. I have been adjudicating festivals across Canada for many years and had the privilege of adjudicating the National Festival in Trinidad and Tobago….twice, both in February!
The congregation at HUC values the role of the Music Ministry, and it is a joy to work with our semi-professional choir. We offer a wide variety of repertoire, engaging professional musicians when needed. The three manual Casavant organ and Steinway concert grand piano are both a real asset to the music program.
Helping a congregation find their voice in a sacred space is a very enriching personal experience.