Frances Macdonnell

Frances (Buchan) Macdonnell. Organist, choir conductor, composer, b Ottawa 30 Apr 1947, BA (Queens) 1969, FRCO 1973. After studying in Ottawa with Godfrey Hewitt, Macdonnell studied in England 1970-2 with Ralph Downes and Douglas Hawkridge.

Macdonnell, Frances

Frances (Buchan) Macdonnell. Organist, choir conductor, composer, b Ottawa 30 Apr 1947, BA (Queens) 1969, FRCO 1973. After studying in Ottawa with Godfrey Hewitt, Macdonnell studied in England 1970-2 with Ralph Downes and Douglas Hawkridge. In 1975 she founded the Cathedral Singers of Ottawa, which won the Maclean-Hunter Canadian Church Choir Competition in 1979. She became organist and choir director of Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa in 1980. In 1982 she initiated the Three Cathedrals Festival in which the choirs of the Anglican cathedrals in Kingston, Ont, Montreal, and Ottawa subsequenly met annually for a joint festival, the location rotating among the three cities. In 1989 the Christ Church choir became the first cathedral choir to tour in the Arctic, where it premiered Violet Archer's, 'The 96th Psalm,' which it had commissioned. In 1990 the same choir performed this work and premiered an anthem by Macdonnell, 'Christ is made the sure foundation,' at the dedication of Washington National Cathedral. She has written the Madawaska Mass, and her compositions, including the motets 'Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled' and 'Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle,' are published by Oecumuse in England. Macdonnell was chairman of the Ottawa centre of the RCCO 1980-3, and was the RCCO's National Chairman of Education 1985-91. She appears frequently in recital in Canada and England and has been broadcast nationally on the CBC radio and has recorded Bach's Orgelbüchlein (1983, Marc Productions WRC1-2600).