Michael Jarvis joins St. Barnabas from St. Jude’s Parish in Vancouver where he was the Music Director.
There he was responsible for all Masses and Liturgies, as well as developing and enlarging the Parish Choir. Previous to that he was (for 17 years) the Music Director at St. Joseph’s Church, Hamilton, whose choir recorded two CDs and toured Italy, performing Masses at St. Peter’s, Vatican City, as well as Sta. Maria dei Ricci and the Duomo in Florence, and at the International Choral Festival in Impruneta.
As Music Director, Michael Jarvis developed the music programme from six volunteers (and no library) into one of the finest church music programmes in Southern Ontario. Upon his leaving in 2006, St. Joseph’s had two well-established choirs: a contemporary choir of about 30 members (9.30 am Mass) and a liturgical choir of about 50 members (11.30 am Mass), as well as an extensive Cantor programme and a children’s choir of about 20 members. During the school year Michael was responsible for choosing (with the school staff), leading and playing the music for the weekly St. Joseph’s Elementary School division Masses. He was responsible for approximately 45+ weddings per year and about 25+ funerals as well as all other liturgies and services that required musical leadership. Michael also supervised the rebuilding of the church’s Casavant/Warren organ into a magnificent instrument, modelled after French organs of the 1830s, and was an advisor regarding acoustics on the Church Restoration Committee.
From 2001 to 2006 Michael Jarvis was the Conductor and Artistic Director of the Mohawk College Singers (a 75-voice choral society) in Hamilton, ON, which regularly performed major choral works with full orchestra as part of their concert series. His performing editions of 17th and 18th century choral and organ music have been published by GIA, Chicago. He has taught harpsichord and continuo, and has lectured many times at the University of Toronto (specifically harpsichord technique and repertoire to the Doctoral candidates in Musicology, and baroque vocal performance practice and ornamentation to singers in the undergraduate and graduate vocal oratorio classes via Professor Darryl Edwards). He has taught harpsichord performance at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario and at Havergal College, Toronto, and fortepiano at UBC. He has also presented at UBC to the joint piano class (Mark Anderson) on an introduction to the style and technique of the fortepiano. He is a regular guest clinician with the BC Recorder Society. He has been choral director, clinician and coach for Ontario CAMMAC early music. From 1985-1987 he was Organist and Music Director at All Saints’ Cathedral in Halifax, where he directed all aspects of the Cathedral’s music program, including the Cathedral’s concert series and the music for the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Early training included being Assistant Organist and Music Director to Wayne Riddell at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul in Montreal, where he assisted Wayne in all aspects of musical preparation and management of the 75-voice professional choir, accompanying, leading sectionals and conducting on occasion. As well as assisting in the management of the church’s high-profile 6-concert recital series with members of the OSM, as well as the planning and co-ordination of the yearly CBC Christmas Sing-In with the Canadian Brass (Michael was the organist at the very first one!) He also was continuo player for the Tudor Singers of Montreal, Wayne Riddell’s/Canada’s premiere professional Chamber Choir.
On the performance side – Michael Jarvis has been acclaimed as one of Canada’s finest harpsichordists, fortepianists and continuo players, and is in demand as a collaborative artist. He has performed with many of Canada’s leading orchestras and chamber ensembles, including Early Music Vancouver, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Aradia, Les Violons de Roy, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Chorus, Symphony Niagara/Chorus Niagara, the Hamilton Philharmonic, Sinfonia Mississauga, the Boris Brott Festival Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, as well as with Via Salzburg, the Toronto Chamber Orchestra, the Tudor Singers of Montreal, the Elmer Isler Singers, the Elora Festival Singers, I Furiosi, the Toronto Consort, Baroque Music Beside the Grange, the Vancouver Bach Choir, the Bach-Elgar Choir, the Vancouver Cantata Singers, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, among very many others. He has also guest conducted the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, was musical director of the baroque dance ensemble of La Belle Danse in Toronto, and was for 15 years Artistic Director of the period instrument ensemble The Baroque Players (of Hamilton.) In addition to performing across Canada, he has performed as soloist and continuo player throughout the USA, England, Italy and Bermuda.
He has accompanied, conducted, or played continuo for many of Canada’s finest singers, including Maureen Forrester, Daniel Lichti, Benjamin Butterfield, Russell Braun, Monica Whicher, Tracey Dahl, Joshua Hopkins, Carolyn Sinclair, Kimberley Barber, Eric Shaw, Laura Pudwell, Bruce Kelly, Marc Dubois, Jane Archibald, Andrew Tees, Suzie Leblanc, Daniel Taylor to name but a very few; as well as many of North America’s leading early music performers.
He has also appeared as soloist or continuo player at many festivals, including The Elora Festival, the Guelph Spring Festival, The Grand River Baroque Festival, The Festival of the Sound, and Music at Westben, the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Bloomington Early Music Festival.
Michael may be heard on the Marquis Classics, Hungaroton, ATMA, Naxos, Solitudes and Avalon CD labels, as well as on London Records, and has many times broadcast nationally and regionally for the C.B.C., as well as nationally across the U.S. on N.P.R. He, and renowned Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins, were most recently recorded by CBC for national broadcast in June 2013. His most recent CD on the Marquis label (Hummel Sonatas for fortepiano and violin; Paul Luchkow, violin) was recently nominated as “Album of the Year” at the Western Canadian Music Awards. His new recording for Marquis CD, the world premiere recording of the complete so-called “Mythological Sonatas”, op. 25 by Michel Corrette (with violinist Paul Luchkow) is currently in production/post-production.
Michael is featured on two national Canadian television specials “A Baroque Christmas” and “A Baroque Easter”. He was also co-host and star of the 13-part television series “Come into the Parlour” for Bravo-tv. Featuring co-host and star Carolyn Sinclair, soprano, and their original 1857 Chickering square grand, the series features some of Canada’s finest musicians from the opera and concert stages, including baritone Russell Braun, mezzo Kimberley Barber, violinist Mayumi Seiler, tenor Eric Shaw, tenor John Tessier, baritone Bruce Kelly, ‘cellist Margaret Gay, and violinist Julie Baumgartel. In Toronto he conducted the premiere of the Canadian 12-tone chamber opera “Cassandra” by Vancouver composer Ian McAndrew, leading a chamber orchestra and an international cast of singers, including coloratura Jane Archibald, and soprano Carolyn Sinclair.