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St. Andrew’s by the Lake United Church
Kingston ON


Musical Director


The St. Andrew’s by the Lake minister is Rev. Christine Sloan.

Rev. Sloan majored in Communications before completing her M.Div. at Queen’s. She served at the Bath-Morven Pastoral Charge from 2010 to 2018.

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Musical Director

Musical Director

Barbara Szarek graduated from the Warsaw Chopin Academy of Music with distinction. She holds a B.Mus. in piano and voice as well as a M.Mus in voice and drama. Possessing a unique voice and an ability to interpret music, Barbara started performing early in life. She was offered leads in such classics as Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte, Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice, Tchaikovski’s Eugene Onegin, and Puccini’s La Boheme.

Spotted as a young talent, she was soon giving performances in Germany, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain. In 1990, Barbara decided to pursue her career outside of Europe, in Canada.

Barbara came to Canada to compete in an international singing competition. Soon afterwards, she was flooded with requests to perform throughout the country. Amongst others, she took on the part of Drusilla in Monteverdi’s L'incoronazione di Poppea at the Northern Opera Theatre in Montreal. Soon after she appeared as Jenny in Kurt Weill’s Three Penny Opera. This success was followed by her debut on the Northern American stage, with performances in Arizona, Florida, Washington, Vermont, New Hampshire and Virginia. Crowning her success, a number of awesome reviews followed the performances. In the words of The Newport Daily Express’ critic, “From the first note, Szarek's glorious voice filled the opera house like velvet” However, Barbara was not only interested in a career onstage. On the contrary, she knew from the start that having made a name for herself, she would like to share her gift off-stage, and help newcomers become great singers. As a result, she divided her time between teaching and performing.

Barbara has earned a reputation as a passionate, principled and proficient teacher starting as Principal Voice Coach for International Ensemble de Montreal (1991-95), then becoming Voice Instructor for the National Academy of Music and at McGill Conservatory of Music. In addition, she was the Children's Choir Conductor at St. George’s Catholic Church, Montreal. In 2007, Barbara moved to Kingston and continued working as a performer and teacher. She sang as a soloist in numerous performances and recitals (Mozart’s C-Major Mass with Melos Choir 2007, My Path of Love at St. George’s Cathedral 2008).

During the same period she continued her teaching work with Musical Theatre Program students in St. Lawrence College in Brockville, as well as a full time faculty member in the Music and Digital Media Program at SLC Kingston Campus.

Barbara is currently working as the Music Director in St Andrew’s By-The-Lake United Church and continues teaching as a private instructor at Queen’s Community of Music and in her private studio, Grace Tone Music Studio, where she works with the students who are interested in developing a wide range of vocal skills and healthy vocal technique for classical, musical theatre and as pop music singers. She has also been preparing students for all levels of Royal Conservatory of Music exams. Barbara’s goal in teaching is excellence and natural, healthy sound production.


Office Administration

Fran Raven has worked mostly in service related positions, and likes working with people. 

She and her late husband started the first computerized graphic design bureau in Kingston in 1986. This graphic design and pre-press business, continues to operate.

Fran enjoys serving the Lord and his church at St. Andrew’s by-the-Lake.