I am a performer, teacher, composer and editor. I have led workshops on congregational song across North America, as well as in Korea, Indonesia, Poland, Switzerland and Scotland.
My wife Wendy Wyatt Donaldson and I have worked in many contexts to build singing communities of faith. I was Music Director at Beaches Presbyterian Church (Toronto) for two decades, and Pastoral Musician for seven years at Trafalgar Presbyterian Church (Oakville, Ontario). My ensemble, Hilariter singers and players, have recorded CDs and performed throughout Ontario. For five years I worked as Worship Consultant to the World Council of Churches in Geneva, where I planned and led worship for people of many faiths and the WCC's global Assembly in Busan, Korea.
Worship as play
The spirit of play is essential to worship. Worship comes alive when we are able to enter into its drama, when like children we engage in playful worship that is open to learning, to wonder, and to transformation.
Music as community
My favourite musical instrument is the ensemble. The conversation between players and congregation is a microcosm of community. I love uncovering the musical gifts of a community and helping them find expression in music.
Singing the world
For me, the guiding story of Christian community is Pentecost. The followers of Jesus came from everywhere, each with their own language, culture, songs, traditions. But as they sang of the wonder and mystery of God among them, everyone understood.
Music as ministry
Pastoral musicians hold many things in balance: a passion for the Christian story; the calling of a teacher who strives to discover and bring out the best in those they work with; and a recognition that their work is part of the whole and serves the whole of the community's life.
- Worship Consultant to the World Council of Churches, Geneva, Switzerland
- Pastoral Musician and Worship Enlivener at Trafalgar Presbyterian Church, Oakville, Canada
- Conductor and Artistic Director of Hilariter, an ecumenical ensemble of singers and instrumentalists, Toronto, Canada
- Honorary Doctor of Divinity, Knox College, University of Toronto, Canada
- Co-Editor of The Book of Praise and member of the task force for The Book of Psalms for the Presbyterian Church in Canada
- Music Director at Beaches Presbyterian Church, Toronto, Canada
- A.R.C.T. in classical guitar performance, Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto