John Tuttle has a varied career as recitalist, church organist, choral conductor and educator throughout Canada and the United States. He graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied organ with Alexander McCurdy. Following graduation, he served in the United States Army as organist and choirmaster of the Post Chapel at the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., then returned to Philadelphia to serve as Dr. McCurdy’s successor at First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia in 1971.In 1975, he and his family left the United States for Toronto when he was appointed organist and choirmaster of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Bloor Street. In 1989, he assumed the post of organist and choirmaster of St. Thomas’s Anglican Church, a parish that has long been respected for its liturgical and musical practice. In 1979, he was appointed organist to the University of Toronto and adjunct associate professor of organ at the Faculty of Music. In the summer of 2006, he was appointed organist and music director of Trinity College Chapel at the University of Toronto and visiting instructor in church music for the Divinity School.In 1981, John founded the Exultate Chamber Singers, who soon gained a national reputation for superb choral singing, twice winning the Healey Willan Grand Prize in the CBC National Choral Competition. For 15 years, he was also music director of the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus, which commissioned numerous operas for children and toured throughout Canada and the United States, and for 25 years he conducted the Hart House Chorus at the university.
John earned the Fellowship Diploma of the American Guild of Organists, and has received honorary Fellowship diplomas from the Royal College of Organists (U.K.) and the Royal Canadian College of Organists, of which he was national president from 1986 to 1988. In the fall of 2005, he was awarded a Doctor of Sacred Letters degree (honoris causa) by Trinity College in the University of Toronto for his contribution to sacred music through his work at St. Thomas’s Church and the university.
[Photo of John Tuttle by Gary Ray Rush Photography.]