Priest: Rev. Rhonda Waters

rev-rhonda-watersChurch of the Ascension is pleased to welcome the Rev. Rhonda Waters as our new incumbent, effective September 1.

Rhonda moved to Ottawa in February, 2016 to take up an interim position at St. Matthews in the Glebe, after having been Associate Priest and Director of Education at Montreal’s Christ Church Cathedral..

Born in rural Alberta, Rhonda still thinks the Prairies are “the most beautiful place on earth”. She studied anthropology at McGill University in Montreal, became a “big city easterner”, moved to New York with her husband, Thomas, for graduate studies in 2001 and then back to Montreal in 2007 for studies at the Montreal Diocesan Theological College where she received her Master of Divinity degree.

Rhonda’s early experience of strong lay leadership in the church instilled in her a deep appreciation for the work of all God’s people and the importance of building a strong community of faith to sustain that work both within and beyond the walls of the church building.  She is excited to join in the tradition of social justice and service at Church of the Ascension.

Rhonda and Thomas, have one son, Gilbert, who is a constant source of hard questions and valuable theological reflection for Rhonda’s own spiritual journey.

Children and Youth

Gabrielle has over 20 years experience working with children and youth in Canada, England and Scotland. A native of Ottawa, Gabrielle has worked with many organizations in the city, including Girl Guides Canada, the Ottawa Children’s Choir and the Ottawa Regional Youth Choir.

At Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Gabrielle took courses in History, Music, English and Religious Studies and helped produce 4 student musical productions. Back in Ottawa, Gabrielle completed an MA in English from Carleton University looking at Nancy Drew and fictional representations of teenage girls and then a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Windsor, where she had the opportunity to attend the 2009 conference,  “Best Interests of the Child: Meaning and Application in Canada” at the University of Toronto.

After completing her degrees, Gabrielle fulfilled a desire to visit the United Kingdom and spent most of the next two years working and travelling through England and Scotland where she enjoyed the opportunity to meet and work with so many different people including singing with the Paisley Abbey choir for their 850th anniversary celebrations.

Upon her return to Canada in 2014, Gabrielle joined Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa working first as a librarian with their girl’s choir and then taking over the position of Children’s Ministry Co-ordinator in 2016. Gabrielle lives in Manotick with Rocky, her 7 year old terrier mix who reminds her to be grateful for the simple things in life.

Music Director: Adam Reid

A graduate of University of Ottawa’s music program (B. Mus, 2013), Adam completed his Bachelor of Education degree in 2014, and today is working as a sales associate at Campbell Douglas Keyboards, Ottawa’s top piano dealer providing service to the community for over 31 years. Church of the Ascension in Ottawa welcomed Adam Reid as their Music Director in 2015.

Adam studied the organ with Brad Mills and Jennifer Loveless. He studied piano with Andrew Tunis and Frédéric Lacroix in Ottawa, and Jean-Paul Sévilla in France, adding significantly to his skills as a talented pianist. While at University of Ottawa, he studied Choral Conducting with Laurence Ewashko and Orchestral Conducting with David Currie.

As a former member of the Opera Lyra Chorus, the Ewashko Singers, the NAC Pops Chorus and the Calixa Lavallée Chamber Choir, Adam has acquired an impressive singing background. He is also active in musical theatre as an actor (Robert, The Drowsy Chaperone, Gaston, Beauty and The Beast, Max Bialystock, The Producers, Mr. Bumble, Oliver!) pit band musician (Grease, Little Women, Beatlemania) and music director (Peter Pan: A Musical Adventure, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street). He will be performing as guitarist in Studio Theatre Perth’s upcoming production of The Spitfire Grill, in June 2017.

A distinguished educator, Adam is currently teaching musical theatre with Ottawa Children’s Theatre and Stagecraft. He has spent many years teaching private piano, voice, guitar and drum lessons, and is the former choir director and organist for two rural choirs in Lanark and Balderson ON. He also worked a short contract for Calvary Christian Academy in Franktown conducting the grade 5, 6, 7 and 8 concert band classrooms. He is frequently seen working as a substitute accompanist/coach for Ottawa Choirs, theatre companies and private music programs.

Adam is an enthusiastic explorer of piano duets and duos, and is a founding member in two groups: Tetrapod with Risa Tonita and Pianofourte with Aidan Shenkman.

He is also playing guitar and singing in Perth based rock group Under the Covers, and is recently an occasional teacher with the Upper Canada District School Board.

His future projects include further developing the music ministry at Church of the Ascension, including acting as artistic director for the Ascension Chamber and Jazz Series. He will also be presenting a solo piano recital of works by Canadian Women Composers for Canada’s sesquicentennial in fall of 2017, a piano duets recital with Pianofourte, and sharing his love of music performance and education in any way he can. None of these would be possible without the support of his fiancée Anne-Marie, with whom he spends his free time when he finds it.

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