Music Matters 2014 in Red Deer, AB: A fabulous time was had by all!

A passiontate group of musicians and music lovers gathered in Red Deer from across Alberta and Northwest Conference, with leadership from across the country, for Music Matters 2014, September 5-7! Plans are now underway for next year’s event, likely in Manitou Conference in northern Ontario. We’ll post updates as they are available, so check back regularly to see what’s up for next year.

Many people were asking for copies of Fred Graham’s Sunday morning sermon, a stunning and passionate statement on the importance of music and music leadership in the life of the church. We’ll post a copy Fred’s text here as soon as it is available.

Thanks to all who attended and to all who helped to organize and lead the event, and a huge thank you to Sunnybrook United Church in Red Deer for their gracious hospitality!

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Pipe organs in IMMEDIATE need of homes

Two small pipe organs are in IMMEDIATE need of homes.  One is a 1940 Casavant, the other is a 1983 Brunzema.  Excellent working condition.  For more information, PLEASE contact Ken Hassell, the Music Director of Orchard Valley United Church, New Minas, Nova Scotia.

Phone:  (902) 679-6919; email:

I have approximately 40 pictures of each instrument as well as specifications to send to any who contact me.

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October 4, 2014 – Spreading Harmony with Gathering Sparks: A Vocal Harmony Workshop and Concert

Join Folk Trio Gathering Sparks and the Emmanuel Howard Park Gospel Choir for an uplifting afternoon of song and celebration!
Workshop & Concert: $45 per person– includes dinner and a free concert ticket for a friend!
Concert Only: $10 per person
Continue reading

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Aurora United Church, Aurora, ON, seeks Music Coordinator

Aurora United Church ( Aurora, Ontario - less than an hour north of Toronto) is a vibrant faith community, worshipping together for over 195 years. Following the fire which destroyed our historic building on April 11, 2014, we are a congregation in transition. We currently hold our worship services at Trinity Anglican Church (Aurora) while we engage in a dynamic review of our mission and facility space needs. Our Position Description provides more background on our current situation. Continue reading

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Fred Graham honoured as Fellow of The Hymn Society in The United States and Canada!

Congratulations, Fred, for an honour well deserved! Fred is one of our most well-known musicians in the United Church, and a Music United executive member, and we in Music United wish him well and thank him for his many contributions to music in the United Church and abroad. Full details in the press release.

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Islington UC, Toronto, ON, seeks soprano soloist

Soprano staff singer/section lead for the Senior Choir of Islington United Church.
Please contact Dr John Derksen, Minister of Music:

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Windermere United Church, Toronto, ON, seeks Minister of Music

Windermere United Church, in west-end Toronto, seeks a Minister of Music who can help develop a Christian community through the music program.    The church is open to new and innovative ideas, as well as a diversity of musical styles.   In the past we have had a variety of guest musicians, as well as a pick-up choir of congregation members that sings a few times a year.

We have a C. Franklin Legge 1926 Pipe Organ and a Heintzman baby grand piano in the Sanctuary, and we encourage the inclusion of other instruments to supplement the musical offerings.

Applicants should be proficient on the piano and/or the organ, be willing to build the choir, and to provide innovative, diverse styles of music for the church community.

Salary:  $13,500.   This position is to be considered a 1/4 time position.

Resume submissions will be accepted until July 31, 2014 only.

Start:   September 1st

For full job description, please submit your inquiries and a resume to

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Director of Music wanted – All Saints Kingsway Anglican Church, Toronto, ON

All Saints’ Kingsway is looking to hire a Director of Music for September 2014. The successful candidate will be an accomplished organist and musician, have expertise in choral direction, evidence a deep knowledge of the Anglican liturgy, versed in traditional, new, and world music, open to innovation, committed to the support of congregational singing, and prepared to utilise the diverse musical skills of congregants of all ages.
The position will be 20-25 hours a week as negotiated and will include time for administration, preparation, and rehearsal in addition to liturgical duties..
All Saints has a 3 manual 51 rank Casavant organ opus 3874, installed in 2009 as well as two grand pianos in the worship space, a 1947 Heintzman and a 2006 Stegler

We have an 18 member choir which includes paid leads.

The church also has a large music library with a broad range of styles.

The successful candidate will provide for musical support for 1-2 Sunday Celebrations a week as well as other major feast days celebrated throughout the year. She/he will arrange for choral and musical support for these Celebrations, and will be the primary musical accompanist. As well the successful candidate will be called on to prepare and present other musical events throughout the year. Preparing for our Celebrations and musical events is facilitated by a regular weekday evening choir rehearsal. She/he will become an active member of a staff team who meet regularly to plan, review, report, and support one another. The successful candidate will work with clergy on the choice of hymns and other music consistent with the particular theme for the day or the season. Although the care and nurture of the choir will be a primary concern she/he will also imagine and implement other musical groupings representing the significant musical gifts to be found in the All Saint’s community.

All diocesan and parish policies and practices must be known and adhered to and particularly the Diocese of Toronto’s Sexual Misconduct and Screening Policies. This position is screened as high risk and requires successful completion of Police Records Check and reference check as a condition of employment.

Remuneration will be negotiated according to the appropriate salary and benefits scales including the RCCO scale for church musicians.

A more detailed job description is available by request.

This position may be made into 2 positions at the parish’s discretion.

Would interested applicants please send a cover letter and resume to The Rev’d Canon Dr Andrew Sheldon at by July 25, 2014.


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St. John’s United Church, Oakville, ON, seeks Director of Music

St. John’s United Church located in the heart of downtown Oakville, Ontario, is searching for a new Director of Music.

We are a vibrant congregation with music being integral to weekly worship where we explore and enjoy a wide range of musical genres and expressions.

We are looking for an experienced and enthusiastic music director who is skilled as both an organist and choir director.

In worship we enjoy a 3-manual Casavant organ, Kawai Baby Grand and a digital keyboard.

The music director’s responsibilities include a well-established senior choir, growing junior choir and bell choir.

Compensation for this 20 hour/week position is commensurate with credentials and experience and will follow the RCCO guidelines. We welcome applications from accompanist and conducting teams.

Please forward your resume including references to Please visit our website at

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MUSIC…MATTERS! 2014 in Red Deer, AB, September 5-7, 2014

Attention all musicians and music lovers!

Music United is sponsoring a supportive, learning event for church musicians at Sunnybrook United in Red Deer in September because we have heard comments like the following:

“I have no tenors in my choir…”
“Oh yeah?  I have no choir!”
“Oh yeah?  I have nobody to play!”
“Oh yeah?  I have nothing to play!”
…and it gets worse!

Music United has held two successful Music…Matters events — in Brandon, MB in July, 2012 and last year, in Riverview, NB in September, following a format that included a Hymn Festival (open to the public) on Friday evening, a series of workshops (registration required) on the Saturday, and participation in worship with the host congregation on the Sunday morning. Somewhere in there is our Music United Annual General Meeting, social time, and even a jam session!

Here’s the schedule of events for 2014 (or download the Music Matters Program and Workshop descriptions and leader bios for sharing with friends and colleagues).

Friday, Sept 5

  • 6:00pm Registration (for Saturday workshops)
  • 7:00pm Ode To Joyfulness a Hymn Singing Festival (open to all)

Saturday, Sept 6

  • 8:30am Gathering (with a few songs)
  • 9:00am Session 1: Worship planning using Gathering (Tammy-Jo Mortensen)
  • 10:00am Break (bathrooms, move to next session)
  • 10:15am Session 2: The Pianist as Organist (Fred Graham)
  • 11:15am Break
  • 11:30am Troubleshooting for Music Leaders (Deer Park team)
  • 12:30pm Lunch (on-site for all attendees)
  • 1:30pm Session 3: Drumming in worship (Carol Zacharias)
  • 2:30pm Break
  • 2:45pm Session 4: Song-writing (Bruce Harding)
  • 3:45pm Break
  • 4:00pm Session 5: Anthem Reading Session (Terry Head)
  • 5:00pm Dinner (on your own to explore the dining opportunities of Red Deer)
  • 7:00pm Music United – AGM
  • 9:00pm Social time, location TBA – plenty of stimulating conversation and jamming opportunity

Sunday, Sept 7

  •  10:00 am Participation by Music United in worship at Sunnybrook United Church

Download the full Workshop descriptions and leader bios for sharing and your own information. Registration is available on our Music Matters eventbrite page.

Our hope is that many of you can attend in early September before your choir and/or teaching schedules become too hectic. Registration cost is a very affordable $50 ($40 if registered before the Early Bird Registration date of August 25, 2014) and includes lunch on Saturday.  Please join us as we make a joyful noise, meet some new friends, exchange ideas, and share our passion. See you at Sunnybrook!

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