My how we’ve changed!  ——-or have we?

In 1960, Carl Little was appointed music director of the Parkwoods choir.  This was the beginning of exceptionally fine music from the choirs of Parkwoods.

In 1960 women wore hats to church and the choir, robed in black gowns always sang from the choir loft at the back of the church. Familiar hymns were sung from the blue Hymnary, accompanied by the organ.

In 2010, dress became a little more casual, choir gowns have been discarded and the choir has moved downstairs in view of the congregation.  These years have seen us move through a variety of music, including the Red Hymn Book and more recently, Voices United.

During this time, a dozen music directors and over 200 choir members have dedicated their time and talent to the choirs.  Nearly 100 former choir members gathered for a reunion in 1999 to celebrate Music at Parkwoods.

Although our outward appearance and some of the music has changed in the intervening years the expectations for continuing the standards set in the beginning have not.
Each of the choir directors has brought his or her own interest, style, enthusiasm, talent and creativity to worship through music. Their exceptional leadership and the support of the ministers and congregations have encouraged the choirs to bring music that is uplifting, challenging and worshipful to the church and to the community.  Trumpets, flutes, recorders, organ, piano, string ensembles, tambourines, violins and even a mouth organ have enhanced the musical experience we have enjoyed at Parkwoods.

The music has changed over the years – Bach’s Cantata # 69, the Faure Requiem, Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols to Fettke’s No Other Lamb, the Crucifixion by Stainer  to Oscar Peterson’s Hymn to Freedom and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and more recently, the Christmas Cantata by Mark Hayes,  Listen to Christmas and Together at Christmas by Pepper Choplin.            .


Youth are encouraged to share in the musical experience at Parkwoods playing piano, guitar, recorders and singing.  Several youth have gone on to become successful professional musicians.  Our junior choir practices enthusiastically on Sunday after worship under the direction of  two dedicated leaders from our congregation  These young people, who are six to twelve years of age, delight us several times a year singing during the worship service and at our annual Christmas concert.  A lively group that makes both musical and theatrical presentations too!

Parkwoods Music Directors

1960-present (2017)

Carl Little
Dwight Bennett
Lorraine Ball Jarvis
Marg Crew (interim)
Emily Dingle Berberich
  Don Horsburgh
     David Self
 Ingrid Ziegler
Peter Sugden
Roy Runions
Ann McAllister
Mary Anna Higgins
  Richard Leach
Yvette Gudas

Join us in discovering the joys of making music together at Parkwoods! Music has always played a central part of life of the Parkwoods congregation. We have two choirs and from time to time hear instrumentalists, both professional and amateur, who complement our worship experience. With the great variety of music available today, we offer music for our services that reflects both traditions and the diversity of our congregation.

The twenty-five members of the Senior Choir, under the direction of Music Director, Ingrid Ziegler, share an enthusiasm for singing well as they provide leadership for the Sunday worship service. The congregation enjoys a number of special presentations by this spirited group, whether it be at concerts, cabarets, or carolling in the community.

Parkwoods United Church Photo © Cliff Hope Parkwoods United Church Photo © Cliff Hope
Parkwoods United Church Photo © Cliff Hope Parkwoods United Church Photo © Cliff Hope

… more music photographs