Dr. Darren Hamilton - Biography

Dr. Darren Hamilton is a musician, vocalist, arranger,  songwriter, music educator, researcher, workshop clinician and music consultant whose musical journey encompasses a wide range of experiences in community and educational settings spanning over 20+ years.  Dr. Hamilton is an Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT) with Specialist qualifications in Music and Business and has taught high school music full-time with the Peel District School Board for 15 years. In 2023, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Music Education in the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto where he now teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music education and directs the U of T Faculty of Music Gospel Choir (curricular ensemble course).

Darren Hamilton Promo Photo 1

Dr. Darren Hamilton has been an active community music member and gospel music enthusiast for most of his life. He has held numerous local church music leadership roles including Worship Leader, Music Director and Brass Band Director. In 2015, concluded an eight-year tenure as Regional Music and Worship Director for the Church of God of Prophecy - Eastern Canada. He has also served as a member of the Juno Award-nominated Youth Outreach Mass Choir (appearing on their 1997 CD release, Just Look) and as a member of the Juno Award-winning Toronto Mass Choir (appearing on their 2018 CD release, By Special Request, and their 2022 CD release, Celebration Live).  In 2017, he joined Toronto Mass Choir’s annual PowerUp Gospel Music Workshop clinician lineup as the director of the PowerUp Chorale which rehearses and performs several times during the conference weekend. Under his direction, the PowerUp Chorale recorded and contributed two songs to the 15th anniversary PowerUp Gospel Live album released in November 2019. Dr. Hamilton has also facilitated gospel music workshops at the annual Ontario Music Educators’ Association (OMEA) conference and for Long and McQuade’s March Break Learning Clinic Series. In the summer of 2018, Dr. Darren Hamilton founded the Waterloo Region Mass Choir for which he currently serves as Artistic Director. In the fall of 2019, he became the Course Director of the University of Toronto Gospel Choir credit course, the first gospel music credit offering in the history of the Faculty of Music at the institution. Most recently, Dr. Darren Hamilton has served as co-producer, vocal arranger and composer on Waterloo Region Mass Choir's debut EP which released in April 2022. He has also served as creative director for video projects related to the release of the EP.

Dr. Darren Hamilton holds a music diploma in contemporary vocal performance and composition from Grant MacEwan University, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from York University, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, a Master of Music in Music Education from the University of Western Ontario and a Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education from the University of Toronto. His research interests lie in formal gospel music teaching pedagogy and issues of equity, diversity and social justice in music curriculum.

Scholarships and Awards

2022 - Covenant Award Nominee - Canadian Christian Song of the Year, GMA Canada Covenant Awards

2022 - Covenant Award Nominee - Video of the Year (Waterloo Region Mass Choir), GMA Canada Covenant Awards

2022 - MusiCounts Teacher of the Year, JUNO Awards

2021 - Artist Development Grant for Waterloo Region Mass Choir's debut EP project, FACTOR

2021 - Music Recording and Video Project Grant for Waterloo Region Mass Choir's debut EP project and related video projects, Canada Council for the Arts

2021 - Band Aid Program Grant for Hip Hop/R&B program at Peel District School Board high school, MusiCounts

2021 - Music Recording Grant for Waterloo Region Mass Choir's debut EP project, Ontario Arts Council

2015 - The Don Wright Award in Music, Western University

2008 - The Don Wright Music Education Scholarship, OISE/University of Toronto

2007 - Mico Teacher Education Scholarship, Mico Alumni Association Scholarship Fund

2007 - Guntley-Lorimer Science and Arts Scholarship, Harry Jerome Scholarship Fund

2004 - Barbara and John Poole Scholarship, Grant MacEwan University

1998 - The Royal Bank Scholarship, Harry Jerome Scholarship Fund