Three Cantors coming to Petrolia



 Kathryn Hollinrake Photo

 Anglican Priests David Pickett, William Cliff and Peter Wall, with Maestro Angus Sinclair are The Three Cantors. They’ve been singing everything from hymns to Gershwin to Leonard Cohen to raise money for world hunger for 17 years. They’re in Petrolia Sept. 17.


Bill Cliff sees singing as an extension of his ministry as an Anglican priest but don’t expect to hear only hymns when the Petrolia native returns to town with his cohorts The Three Cantors.

Cliff, who was born in Petrolia and had his initial music training at LCCVI, returns Sept. 17 to sing with his fellow priests David Pickett, Peter Wall and Maestro Angus Sinclair as a fundraiser for the Anglican Church’s efforts to raise money to end world hunger and for St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

Since they started singing on a dare in 1997, the Three Cantors have performed 230 concerts across Canada and the US including on CBC Radio and before the Governor General of Canada.

Cliff says all three are trained musicians who found once they started that their voices blend well together. “We all have a good sense of humor and we get along together well,” he says. That translates on stage where Cliff says they see their music as “an extension of what we do as our ministry; it is just another way of being a priest.”

That doesn’t mean you’re going to feel like you’re in church. Cliff says with a wide catalogue of music to chose from people are sometimes surprised by what they hear.

“We do everything from Gregorian chants to Leonard Cohen – all of which involve halleluiahs,” he jokes. “We sing Broadway, church music, hymn classical and jazz.”

Cliff says since fall is coming a Sept. 17th concert is likely to include a few autumn songs as well.

“People are surprised by us …they just are not expecting priest to be singing Gershwin.”

If you go, The Three Cantors will be at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Sept. 17 at 7:30pm. For tickets call 519-882-2400 or 519-882-1933.