John Tuttle retired as Organist and Choirmaster on 3 July 2016. Elizabeth Anderson is the Interim Organist and Choirmaster until 31 December 2016.
Music is an essential part of the celebrations at St. Thomas's Church, which is one of a very few parishes (or cathedrals) that make use of the hundreds of settings of the mass and the canticles as a regular and integral part of the liturgy. St. Thomas's choristers sing a broad repertoire at three liturgies each Sunday, and at special celebrations for feast days and other events throughout the year.
There are, in fact, three choirs at St. Thomas's: a small ensemble sings at the 9.30 a.m. Sung Eucharist; a larger choir sings the 11 a.m. Solemn Eucharist, weekday masses on feast days, and the liturgies of Holy Week; and a third group sings Solemn Evensong and Devotions each Sunday evening at 7 p.m.
In 2004, the 11 a.m. Solemn Eucharist choir won first prize in the Church Choir category of the CBC National Radio Competition for Amateur Choirs. In the summer of 2005, the choristers combined to be choir-in-residence for a week each at York Minster and at Gloucester Cathedral, and returned to England in 2010 as choir-in-residence at Salisbury Cathedral and St. Paul's Cathedral.
Rehearsals take place Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 6:45 for the 9:30 a.m. liturgy, and 7:00 to 8:45 for the 11 a.m. liturgy and special services. Evensong rehearsal is Sunday at 5:30 p.m. until about 15 minutes before the service begins.
St. Thomas's offers a large and diverse music repertoire to enhance the worship. Participating as a chorister is immensely rewarding. For further information or to arrange an audition, contact John Tuttle, organist and choirmaster, by calling the church office at (416) 979-2323.
CBC National Radio Competition 2008
By Julia Armstrong, originally published in the September 2008 issue of The Anglican Journal
Two Toronto Anglican church choirs, both renowned for their excellent musical traditions, placed first and second in the 2008 CBC National Radio Competition for Amateur Choirs. The Gallery Choir of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, conducted by Stephanie Martin, captured first prize and St. Thomas’s 11 a.m. Solemn Eucharist Choir, conducted by John Tuttle, captured second prize. Each sang three short pieces, which, according to the rules, could total no more than eight minutes.
Entrants were required to submit a short recording of selections that reflected a variety of styles and periods, including one piece in French and a work by a Canadian composer. Jurors narrowed the field by region for the quarterfinals, then another round of judging determined which two or three choirs per category would advance to the semi-finals.
First-prize recipients in all categories sang on May 18 at the Mondial Choral Gala concert in Laval, Que., and the top choir of the entire competition was awarded the Healey Willan Grand Prize.