Job Openings

Director of Music

Applications for this position are now closed.

May 16 2022

Overview of Position

  • Position: Director of Music, Christ Church Deer Park
  • Hours: Part-time, approximately 20 hours per week
  • Compensation: Based on RCCO Guidelines and as Negotiated
  • Reports to: Incumbent and Churchwardens
  • Start Date: Preferably no later than September 1, 2022

Christ Church Deer Park

Christ Church Deer Park, situated at 1570 Yonge Street in the Yonge & St. Clair area of Toronto, is a beautiful and historic Anglican church.  The Parish of Christ Church Deer Park is a diverse, warm, approachable and committed community with uplifting and inspiring liturgies that create an atmosphere of peace and provide for a genuine experience of worship and communion.  Christ Church Deer Park has three regular liturgies each Sunday morning; a mid-week liturgy; a monthly Jazz Vespers service offered by professional jazz musicians; and a monthly Friday night Church on Tap, which is a contemporary and inclusive worship service. We also observe the rhythms of the Church’s calendar, with special attention given to Christmas and Easter.

The Worship Services at Christ Church Deer Park

Sunday 8:00 am Holy Communion – Sunday worship begins with a quiet said service of Holy Communion from the Book of Common Prayer celebrated by a small and committed group. The service includes a homily and it concludes with a hymn sung from Common Praise, which is accompanied by the Director of Music.

Sunday 9:15 am Holy Communion Contemporary Service – Sunday worship continues with a contemporary service of Holy Communion focused on families with children.  The atmosphere is relaxed, and the music is focused around piano and guitar.

Sunday 10:30 am Choral Eucharist – each Sunday there is a full choral Eucharist which begins with an opening hymn as a vested altar party processes into the chancel behind the robed choir. The liturgy follows the Book of Alternative Services and draws on a mix of traditional and modern music, both congregational and choral. A typical Sunday Eucharist will have three congregational hymns (processional, offertory, recessional), congregational Gloria, Gospel acclamation, Sanctus and Benedictus and Lord’s Prayer. The Choir offers a harmonized responsorial psalm (with congregational refrain), an Agnus Dei, and an anthem.

Wednesday 7:30 am Eucharist – a number of people, some of whom are unable to attend on Sundays, like to begin their Wednesday with this quiet said Eucharist (following the Book of Alternative Services), celebrated in the side chapel. The service includes a short reflection or sermon by the presiding celebrant. There is no music component to this service.

Jazz Vespers – fourth Sunday of the month, September to June at 4:30 pm – taking place at Christ Church Deer Park for more than 20 years now, this is our best attended service, as it attracts people from both of our Sunday morning congregations, members of other churches, and others who would not necessarily affiliate themselves with any church or even any religion.  Instrumental music is the principal focus, and it is offered by a number of high-quality professional jazz ensembles of varying size and instrumentation, which take “centre stage” in the chancel in front of the altar. Following jazz etiquette, the congregation acknowledges the end of every piece and every improvised solo with applause. The service is included in the official programme of the Toronto Jazz Festival.

Church on Tap – fourth Friday of the month 7 pm – a monthly contemporary and inclusive service followed by a social pub night, with free cold beer (and non-alcoholic alternatives) and snacks. Participants meet in the intimate setting of the Arthur Smith Room, the lounge adjacent to the parish hall.  The basic outline of the liturgy follows the Book of Alternative Services, but the focus of this service is again musical: a live ensemble of vocalists and instrumentalists performs thought-provoking secular music that has been chosen to throw light on a sacred theme. This service has proven attractive to a wide variety of worshippers—two notable constituencies being seminary students and members of the LGBTQ community.

Music at Christ Church Deer Park

Christ Church Deer Park has a long and respected tradition of exceptional music that is woven into the fabric of our liturgical life and very much serves and inspires the worship experience. Christ Church Deer Park is both a singing congregation and a congregation of discerning listeners. Over the past few years, we have tried to provide a clear distinction between the types of music available at each liturgy and look to the Director of Music to weave different genres of music into the life of the Church.

For members of the choir, singing at Christ Church Deer Park is not just an enjoyable artistic activity, but an inward spiritual discipline and outward offering in service to the whole congregation.  The choir is currently composed of about 10 volunteers and four or five professional section leads—Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, and Bass. We do not presently have a choir for children, but the expectation is that the Director of Music will look for ways to involve children into the life of the Church, particularly at special times such as Christmas.  Christ Church Deer Park regards music as something that can help build its community, so it is always looking for ways to integrate music and children, as both represent a gateway for new members to our Church.

Depending on the needs of the repertory, the Choir is accompanied either on our three-manual tracker organ (Karl Wilhelm, 1982) – one of only three trackers in Toronto – which is the visual centre of the chancel beyond the altar, or on a baby grand piano that sits in the middle of the chancel. Other instruments (flutes, trumpets, etc.) occasionally feature. The weekly organ postlude is awaited with anticipation, and acknowledged with applause and, sometimes, cheers.

The choir performs concerts throughout the year, both in the Church and occasionally, in other venues. Past years have also seen successful collaborations with the choirs of Timothy Eaton Memorial Church and Grace Church on-the-Hill.

The Importance of the Position of Director of Music

  • The Director of Music is responsible for providing leadership for the music ministry at Christ Church Deer Park by enhancing the Church’s various liturgies through music; by leading the Christ Church Deer Park choir and paid leads and other musicians, as required; by encouraging congregational singing and musical participation; and offering solo pieces on the organ and the piano.
  • The Director of Music works in close consultation with the Incumbent to execute and implement the musical elements of our Anglican worship and liturgy including providing music for Sunday services, major festivals within the Christian calendar, and other liturgical events from time to time that require music, including researching musical styles, both traditional and contemporary, and selecting appropriate anthems, hymns, and songs for choir and congregation. The relationship between the Director of Music and the Incumbent is one of the most important in the liturgical life of the Parish.  Together, they share a ministry.  The Director of Music must therefore possess the necessary interpersonal skills to ensure that this shared ministry of music is successful.
  • The Director of Music must also have a strong relationship with the congregation encouraging congregational participation in the liturgies of Christ Church Deer Park through music thereby empowering and equipping the Parish in its musical expression of its faith recognizing that the role of music can build up the lives of the faithful.
  • The Director of Music is responsible for the recruitment of new members to the choir, for mentoring the choir and exercising a comfort with teaching and training in an adult context. Directing and leading the choir includes weekly evening rehearsal times, Sunday rehearsal and playing at the various services. Moreover, the Director of Music will nurture and inspire the choir, recognizing that for many members of the choir, their form of worship includes music and song, and that members of the choir incorporate music into their personal Christian mission.
  • Christ Church Deer Park has a variety of liturgies, each with a particular musical focus. The Director of Music will be directly responsible for all aspects of the music at the worship services of Christ Church Deer Park (other than Jazz Vespers and Church on Tap, where the Director of Music will have an indirect role).  The Director of Music must have an all-encompassing view of, and control and direction over, all forms of music offered at Christ Church Deer Park and a coordinated vision of how that music is part of the faith life of participants in each of the varied service types at Christ Church Deer Park.

Other Specific Duties, Responsibilities and Attributes of the Director of Music

  • The Director of Music is expected to have a familiarity with the Anglican liturgy, the Anglican tradition and its liturgical seasons as well as a flexibility with various other musical styles. Pastoral sensitivity to the diversity of the congregation is also important.
  • In consultation with the Incumbent, and in keeping with the music budget established by the Churchwardens, select and hire choir leads and instrumentalists, as necessary for the worship services of Christ Church Deer Park.
  • Attend the weekly staff meeting of the Church chaired by the Incumbent.
  • Provide music for occasional weekday services, ecumenical events, funerals and weddings. Funerals and weddings are separately remunerated.
  • Take primary responsibility for the Church’s musical resources including preparing the annual budget, upkeep of the choral room and library, choir robes, instruments, maintenance schedule, hymn books and materials.
  • Able to identify talents in others and to invite new people to participate in the life of the Church through music.
  • A desire to creatively expand the music ministry of Christ Church Deer Park.
  • The Director of Music is expected to have excellent leadership, teaching, communication and collaboration skills and have a broad range of musical talent and knowledge. Excellent interpersonal and team-building skills are required as well as a demonstrated ability to work in an open, honest and appreciable manner in a church environment.
  • Other music-related duties which, in consultation and agreement with the Incumbent, may arise from time to time.
  • This is a part-time position, with an average of approximately 20 hours per week. Christ Church Deer Park is open to the nature of the engagement, including one as an independent contractor.

Specific Qualifications

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree of Music or Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO) diploma
  • Membership in the RCCO is preferred
  • Experience in directing choral music
  • Ability to proficiency in various styles of music on the organ and piano

Other Terms and Details

  • Employment may commence at your earliest opportunity with a preference for not later than September 1, 2022
  • Compensation and terms to be determined based on academic credentials, years of experience and weekly time invested in the position in accordance with RCCO guidelines and as agreed between the successful applicant and Christ Church Deer Park
  • A live audition, which would include interacting with selected members of the Christ Church Deer Park Choir, will be required for applicants moving forward in the process. 

Submit your Application

If this position is of interest to you, please submit your resume and cover letter to Amanda Jagt, the Director of Parish Operations at Christ Church Deer Park at ajagt@christchurchdeerpark.org by June 24, 2022.

Inquiries about the position are also welcome.  Please call Amanda Jagt, the Director of Parish Operations at Christ Church Deer Park (416-920-5211 ext. 22) and she will put you in contact with the Chair of the Search Committee for a new Director of Music at Christ Church Deer Park.  All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence. 

The Story behind our

Tracking Organ

Our magnificent three manual, tracker-action organ was installed in the chancel of the church in the spring of 1982 and dedicated to the Glory of God and in memory of those who died in the First World War and the Second World War.

The organ, built by the Karl Wilhelm Company of Mont St. Hilaire, Quebec, has a classical continental design. The case is made of white oak and the pipe shades are of carved butternut. Voiced in the classic French style, its 36 stops and 50 ranks are capable of interpreting a wide variety of organ literature.

Installation required considerable changes to the chancel including moving the altar forward and arranging choir seating to either side. These renovations prompted the design and production of our award-winning Benedicite Kneelers, done in needlepoint by a dedicated group of church members.