Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir

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Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir
Also known asMJGC
OriginMontreal, Quebec, Canada
GenresGospel music
Years active1982 (1982)–present

The Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir is a choir from Montreal, Quebec, Canada that sings primarily traditional and contemporary Gospel music.[1] The choir's repertoire also includes a mix of music ranging from Gregorian chant to Sebastian Bach chorals, traditional Zulu music and a modern Jazz: the oratorio.


The choir was founded and directed by Trevor W. Payne in 1982 and gave its first performance at the St. James United Church in Montreal.[2] The choir was founded to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Montreal's oldest black community church, Union United Church up the street from the Atwater Market on the corner of Delisle and Atwater, which borders the St. Henri and Little Burgundy neighborhoods. The two other founding members were the Reverend Frank Gabourel, minister of the Union United Church, and Daisy Peterson Sweeney,[3][4] the sister of Oscar Peterson, who taught both her brother Oscar Peterson and Oliver Jones to play the piano. The first members primarily came from The Montreal Black Community Youth Choir, which existed between 1974-1981 and was also directed by Payne.[5][6]

In 1983 the choir signed with Justin Time Records,[7] and in 1986 released a recording in with guest singer Salome Bey.[8] In 1993 the MJGC performed on the Klaus König oratorio Song of Songs. In 1995 their album Jubilation V: Joy to the World won a Juno. They won the outstanding recording artist in 1987 by The Association of Gospel Music Ministries, and in 1989 they were named the best choral ensemble, and also won for best gospel album. In the years 1993 to 1995 they were named vocal group of the year by the Canadian magazine Jazz Report. The choir released a 25-year retrospective album in 2007, Jubilation XI - Looking Back, Vol. 2.

The Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir has performed at gospel celebrations in Montreal and across Canada, the United States, and Europe.[9]

They have performed with such entertainers as Celine Dion, Ray Charles, The New Kids on the Block, Oliver Jones, Martine St-Clair, and Salome Bey. They have performed at many festivals, including the Montreal International Jazz Festival,[10] the Stratford Festival of Canada, and Toronto's Harbourfront and International choral festival. They have recorded a total of eleven CDs, some of which have won Juno Awards.[11]

In 2017 Payne retired as director of the choir.[12]


Montreal Black Community Youth Choir[edit]

  • The Montreal Black Community Youth Choir (RCI 424)
  • Goin' Up Yonder (Presqu'ile PE 13501)

Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir[edit]

  • Highway to Heaven (Justin Time JUST 10-2, 1986)
  • Jubilation II (Justin Time JUST 21-2, 1988)
  • Jubilation III - Glory Train (Justin Time JUST 35, 1990)
  • Jubilation IV - A Capella (Justin Time JUST 46-2, 1992)
  • Song of Songs (Enja ENJ-7057 2 1993)
  • Jubilation V - Joy to the World (Justin Time JUST 54-2, 1994)
  • Jubilation VI - Looking Back (Justin Time JUST 66/67-2, 1995)
  • Jubilation VII - Hamba Ekhaya - Goin' Home (Justin Time JUST 96-2, 1997)
  • Jubilation VIII - A Capella Plus (Justin Time JUST 167-2, 2001)
  • Jubilation IX - Goin' Up Yonder (Justin Time JUST-183-2, 2002)
  • Jubilation X - I'll Take You There (Justin Time JUST-215-2, 2005)
  • Jubilation XI - Looking Back, Vol. 2 (Justin Time JTP 7502-2, 2008)


Association of Gospel Music Ministries' Golden Note Award
  • 1987 Outstanding Recording Artist
Juno Awards
  • 1990 nominee, Best Roots and Traditional Album: Jubilation II
  • 1991 nominee, Best Roots and Traditional Album: Jubilation III - Glory Train
  • 1995 Best Blues/Gospel Album: Jubilation V - Joy To The World
  • 2003 nominee, Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album Of The Year: Jubilation VIII - A Capella Plus


  1. ^ Joachim-Ernst Berendt; Günther Huesmann (1 August 2009). The Jazz Book: From Ragtime to the 21st Century. Chicago Review Press, Incorporated. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-61374-604-2.
  2. ^ Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir. Coda. 259-270. J. Norris. 1995. p. 42.
  3. ^ The Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir at The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada
  4. ^ "Street to be named for Daisy Peterson Sweeney: Coderre". Montreal Gazette, August 16, 2017
  5. ^ Bill Brownstein. "Brownstein: Trevor Payne to leave Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir limelight". Montreal Gazette, December 1, 2017
  6. ^ "International Women's Day: Women who helped shape Montreal". CBC News. Mar 08, 2016
  7. ^ "Secret City Records’ Justin West on staying indie while building globally". Industry Observer, by Lars Brandle on Jul 11, 2018
  8. ^ Joel Flegler (1987). Fanfare. 11, Issue 2. J. Flegler. p. 53.
  9. ^ African Canadian Online: Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir
  10. ^ "Montreal Jazz Festival Stacks the Deck With Bob Dylan, King Crimson, Buddy Guy and a Cast of Thousands". Variety, July 3, 2017. By Mitch Myers
  11. ^ Nelson Wyatt. "Montreal choir shares jubilation, gospel". Chronicle Herald, December 8, 2012
  12. ^ Bernard Perusse. "Jazz fest: Farewell to Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir's first golden era". Montreal Gazette, July 3, 2017

External links[edit]