Position Description – Fall 2023
Director of Music, Christ Church Deer Park
Based on RCCO Guidelines and as Negotiated
Incumbent and Churchwardens
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.
Sunday 8:00 am Holy Eucharist – Sunday worship begins with a quiet said service of Holy Communion from the Book of Common Prayer, with a small and committed group of parishioners in attendance. This liturgy includes a homily. There is no music component at this service, except on Easter Day and Pentecost.
Sunday 9:15 am Holy Eucharist Contemporary Service – Sunday worship continues with a contemporary service of Holy Communion focused on young adults, and families with children. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the music is focused around piano and guitar. While the Director of Music is expected to have administrative oversight of this service, a separate group of musicians has been hired for this service and the Director of Music is not expected to play at this service.
Sunday 10:30 am Choral Eucharist – each Sunday there is a full choral Eucharist with a vested 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) as well as a sung/chanted psalm. Varied mass settings (congregational and choir) are used for the Gloria, Sanctus and Benedictus and the Agnus Dei. Each week the choir oﬀers at least one anthem/motet. The Director of Music is required to play at this liturgy.
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 sizes and instrumentation, which take “centre stage” in the. 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 worship in the church or 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 and sacred music that have been chosen to throw light on a particular theme. This service has proven attractive to a wide variety of worshippers—two notable constituencies being seminary students and members of the LGBTQ community.
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.
While the Director of Music is responsible for providing leadership for the music ministry at Christ Church Deer Park (which includes the 9:15 worship service), the primary focus of the Director of Music will be the 10:30 am Sunday liturgy, where the Director of Music will play, conduct the choir, paid leads and other musicians, as required. This ministry will also include 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. In addition to the 10:30 am Sunday worship service, the Director of Music will be responsible for providing music for the 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 the 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 choristers, their worship includes music and song, and that music is an essential part of their Christian faith.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by November 27, 2023.
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.
October 30, 2023
Position Description – Fall 2023
The Family Minister at Christ Church Deer Park will work with parishioners and staff in a collaborative and creative manner to ensure the efficient administration and implementation of programs for our families. This position reports to the Associate Priest with input from the Rector and will involve regular meetings both with the supervisor and the larger ministry team on a weekly basis.
Christ Church Deer Park strives to be a missional and inclusive community, and the Family Minister will be a critical leader in our parish to offer vibrant family programming that brings the love of God to all generations of our parish. We are looking for a candidate who can bring joy and laughter to the position, while cultivating a love of Christ.
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.