December 3rd, 2017



Trevor’s Farewell Gospel Celebration
featuring the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir
Founded and directed by Dr. Trevor W. Payne, C.M.


Dr Payne’s interview with Ken Connors

35th anniversary

On Sunday, December 3 at Théâtre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts don’t miss your chance to celebrate Trevor’s Farewell Gospel Celebration featuring The Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir Founded and directed by Dr. Trevor W. Payne, C.M. This Montreal tradition marks the 35th Anniversary of the choir and will create lasting memories for Dr. Payne on this momentous occasion.

Tickets to the concert are available now at or 514-842-2112 or at the Place des Arts Box Office.

This year’s concert reflects 35 years of performances and inspirational music and its programming has a decidedly inclusive touch to it. Concert-goers at last year’s show were asked to submit their favourite songs for consideration and those songs make up the set list for this December’s annual concert. To mark the anniversary the choir has opened its membership to all former members in order to include them in Dr. Payne’s final Gospel Celebration.

Albums which will be available for sale at the concert span the past 35 years. One is a compilation of the first 25 years of the choir and another, the choir’s first, features its biggest international hit, ‘O Mary Don’t You Weep’.

The Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir’s roots run deep in the Montreal community. In 1974, the Montreal Black Community Youth Choir was founded by Trevor W. Payne, Daisy Peterson Sweeney (Oscar Peterson’s sister) and Union United Church’s then-minister, Frank B. Gabourel. In 1982, to celebrate the church’s 75th anniversary, the Choir held a joint concert with the Union United Church Senior Choir, featuring Ranee Lee, Oliver Jones and Charles Biddle, which launched the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir to its current status as one of the world’s finest gospel choirs. The Choir has 12 albums as well as several Juno nominations and one win. It was the very first gospel artist ever to win a Juno and the first international artist recorded on the Justin Time record label. The choir has been included in countless international gospel and jazz compilations, including two with the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

The Choir supports many causes and organized a charity concert for the Saving Station Foundation last summer; has made 14 appearances at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, performing at various venues, including Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, the Maison Symphonique, Théâtre Maisonneuve and Théâtre St. Denis; and was part of the critically acclaimed, sold out, Opéra de Montréal presentation of Porgy and Bess. The Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir has performed for her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II three times, as well as Nelson Mandela and collaborated with such artists as Ray Charles, Céline Dion, Barry White and Michael Bolton. Their international concerts have taken place at such venues as the Philharmonic Hall in Berlin; WDR Studios in Cologne and Frankfurt, Germany; The Hungarian State Opera House; Théâtre des Beaux Arts in Brussels and Le Festival Jazz sous les Pommiers in Coutance (Saxony), France.

Always invested in the community around it, the choir was recently involved in the funeral services for Oscar Peterson’s sister, Daisy Peterson Sweeney, and the dedication of a Cultural Center in Griffintown to Dr. Oliver T. Jones. The Choir’s Gilead Jubilation Foundation has two missions: to seek out new, talented Gospel singers and to provide the support that allows the Choir to perform at fund-raising events for charitable organizations, at no cost to the charities.

His work in the arts and the community has been recognized often over the years. In 1996, Artistic Director and founder, Dr. Trevor W. Payne C.M. was invested into the Order of Canada in recognition of his work to introduce and promote gospel music to the Canadian community, for the Choir’s support of numerous charitable causes and for its outreach efforts to the community’s youth population. He has been bestowed the 1994 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award for his significant achievement to the Black performing arts and for his promotion of gospel music through the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir and in 2014 Dr. Payne was honoured in a tribute by the Coloured Women’s Club of Montreal.