Music is a central element of worship at RPC. The senior choir, a mixture of professional singers and volunteers, leads worship each Sunday through the year and periodically presents larger choral works by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Vivali and others. Sample recordings have been posted here.
We are justly proud of our magnificent organ, built and installed by Karl Wilhelm of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, in 1982. We also have an excellent grand piano and these fine instruments enhance our worship services, and make our church an excellent venue for various concerts which we present from time to time. These have included performances of opera, classical and popular music by Alessia Naccarato, John Greer, Brooke Dufton, Lawrence Cotton, Rachel Andrist, Mehdi Ghazi, the Penthalia Singers and other artists.
In his role in providing leadership in our Ministry of Music, our Music Director Christopher Dawes (pictured above) has been active in maintaining an online presence for RPC on FaceBook and YouTube ever since the onslaught of the Covid pandemic. See RPC FaceBook and RPC Toronto Media (on YouTube).
Numbered among Canada's leading church musicians, concert organists and choral accompanists, Chris is a unique musician and thinker whose career routinely takes him across musical and denominational lines few of his colleagues cross, and always into new and stimulating opportunities for both music and ministry. Following twelve years' service to St. James' Cathedral, Toronto he resigned as Director of Music in 2003, and has ever since accepted shorter term commitments to churches large and small. He is honoured to be serving the congregation of Rosedale Presbyterian Church, with its famous organ and fine choir.
One of Toronto's best-known and most sought-after freelance organists, Chris is also a pianist and accompanist of note, serving currently the orchestral and choral conducting and education programs of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music and the Toronto Children's Chorus, as well occasionally with such fine groups as the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, Elmer Iseler Singers and Choir 21 of Soundstreams Canada. Following on graduate work in Music Criticism in the area of musical genre Chris frequently speaks at conferences and concert performances and occasionally blogs and podcasts from www.ideasaboutmusic.ca.
Chris has served as Director of Canada's Summer Institute of Church Music (Whitby, Ontario) for twelve of its 48 years, and more recently founded and leads popular Hamilton-area Celtic church-and-pub band Chroi. A passionate advocate for the organ, sacred music and his country's cultural life, Chris is perhaps best known for a musicianship that crosses classical and popular styles and eras; for his imaginative, informed and approachable presentation of both the familiar and the obscure, and for his love of history, places, people, and all that is unusual and inspirational in music.
A native of Kingston, Ontario, Chris lives in Georgetown 45 km north west of Toronto where he, his wife Marcia, and their three children Nate, Simon and Charlotte belong to the Christian Reformed Church.