A important function of the festival is to provide information and ideas that can help RCCO members succeed in their work. It is our hope that these workshops can serve as a springboard to new ideas and areas of interest. We consider self-care to be an important aspect of a career and information is offered to that end as well.
This workshop will provide an overview of several skills exercised within a contemporary understanding of congregational music ministry, none of which involves the use of a keyboard instrument. Topics addressed will include: knowing the difference between a choir and a congregation; ensuring a consistent understanding of singing as a priority of the whole congregational leadership structure (clergy and lay); teaching techniques for large assemblies, from effective gesture and communication to leading (vocally) with confidence; and a primer in what helps – and what hurts – effective congregational song when it comes to the layout and furnishing of our worship spaces. The central aim is to enable the learning of new and unfamiliar music by the whole congregation, across generations, and not just the trained specialists.
Christopher Fischer is a church musician with more than 25 years of experience in a variety of denominational contexts: Roman Catholic, Anglican, United Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church (USA) and Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC). Since 2006, he has served as Pastoral Musician at Knox Presbyterian Church in Guelph, Ontario, where he directs vocal and handbell choirs, an instrumental ensemble, a multidisciplinary worship arts programme for children and youth within the congregation’s LOGOS Ministry, and a global song group called Ubuntu. Knox is a mission-focused congregation committed to inclusive, intergenerational ministries. LOGOS and summer Vacation Bible Schools are Guelph and area-wide community endeavours, as is Ubuntu (an ecumenical outreach effort to nurture cross-cultural understanding and relationships).
It was through his position with the Elora Festival that Chris began a new initiative at the intersection of community music and health care: as founding Director of the Circle of Song Choir for residents of the Wellington Terrace Long-Term Care Home in Fergus, Ontario, who suffer from various forms of dementia – the first programme of its kind in Canada sponsored by a professional choral organization.
The chant envisioned by Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179) speaks the language of the 12th century in mode, imagery and motif. The extravagant melodies are notated in highly ornate neumes: virga, puncti, quilisma, pressus, podatus, and a variety of liquescent shapes. These neumes offer the shape and expressional guidance needed to successfully perform her chant. Too often, performers avoid the neumes, and perform Hildegard’s chant as an endless stream of undifferentiated pitches. This workshop is designed to unlock the mystery of the neumes and introduce their subtle magic.
Janet Youngdahl is a soprano and academic residing in Alberta, Canada. She has presented papers and recitals at American Musicological Society, The American Academy in Rome, The Banff Centre, the Society for Seventeenth Century Music, the International Medieval Society in Leeds, the Lyrica Society, and the Gregorian Institute of Canada. As a soprano, she has appeared at Lincoln Center, at Carnegie Hall, at the Proms in London and at the Utrecht and Melbourne Festivals. She has toured extensively with Medieval Ensemble Sequentia based in Cologne, Germany, and appears on eight BMG/Deutsche Harmonia Mundi recordings, including the Grammy nominated Canticles of Ecstasy. Recent discs with harpsichord player Vivian Montgomery include French Baroque cantatas by Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre on the Centaur record label and a new recording of the sacred songs of Barbara Strozzi, recorded at the Jane Austen Chawton House Library in England. Battaglia d'amore: the Music of Bellerofonte Castaldi was recorded in Italy for Toccata Classics. She holds a Doctorate of Music from Case Western Reserve University, a Masters of Music from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster in Ohio, and is a Professor of Music at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.
OrgelkidsCAN is an RCCO outreach program that gives children a hands-on experience with a pipe organ. Using a specially designed kit of parts, children build a real working pipe organ and make music on their own, helping them discover the mechanics, physics and sound of a pipe organ along the way. This workshop provides an overview of the program that is set to launch in September. Wanna build one? Come and see how OrgelkidsCAN.
Rick St. Germain is the project manager and Chair of the RCCO’s OrgelkidsCAN Project Committee. With a background in engineering, aviation and management, he has developed a love of all things mechanical. Since retiring from his Air Force career, Rick has been active in consulting and teaching information management courses globally. His passion for the organ and its music was nurtured by his wife who is an organist. Rick has been active with the RCCO for many years, offering his skills and leadership in graphic design, membership and most recently in strategic planning. As one of the outreach initiatives identified in the latest RCCO Strategic Plan, the OrgelkidsCAN project was a natural fit for Rick’s background and passion. He can hardly wait to show you all about it.
As busy musicians, there are many demands on your time and energy. Sometimes, slowing down a bit seems impossible. There is help - meditation can help you find a place of calm. In this brief introduction to meditation, you will learn how meditation is part of many faith traditions. We will look at how to physically prepare to meditate. We will then practice two techniques. The first is a quick and simple breathing technique and the second is a metta (loving kindness) prayer. We will end with a short discussion on resources that can help you get started in your meditation practice. Everyone welcome. Sitting cross-legged on the floor definitely not required.
Margaret Miyagishima CPHR, PCC, MA, is a coach, facilitator and trainer. Her career began in Human Resources where she worked in a variety of public and post-secondary environments in the US and Canada. Following two decades in HR, Margaret started her consulting practice and has since become a Certified Executive Coach at the PCC level.
Her personal approach and ability to relate to people serve her well in connecting with her clients and in achieving the desired results, in either group or individual settings.
Margaret has been a student of yoga, mindfulness and meditation for over twenty years. Following her teacher training in meditation, she taught her first class in meditation in early 2017 and is happy to be sharing her interest in meditation to the attendees of RCCO Calgary Organ Festival.
A discussion of the effects of nutrition from the perspective of a professional musician who is also a long distance runner, a teacher and a parent.
Dutch-born flutist, Lucie Jones (Lucie Batteké) a former member of Symphony Nova Scotia, is currently principal flute with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra and has been an extra player with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra since 2005. Ms. Jones also regularly performs solo recitals and chamber concerts and has been recorded by the CBC across Canada.
Being very committed to Chamber Music, Lucie is the Past President of the Calgary Pro Musica Society, Past President of the Instrumental Society of Calgary, and currently President of the Flute Club of Calgary. Lucie is also an active clinician and adjudicator.
Ms. Jones received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance from the University of Toronto, a Master of Music Degree in Performance from the University of Calgary. During her hiatus from music, Lucie received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science and worked as a Software Engineer.
The Alexander Technique is an educational method that teaches us how to move with greater ease in any activity. It is especially useful to organists since we must negotiate many physical components while playing our instrument (including bench height, pedals, multiple keyboards and music racks). The session will begin by discussing some basic anatomy as it relates to organ playing. Then we will explore and refine patterns of movement and begin to apply them to organ playing. Certified Alexander Technique educator Tim Pyper will use verbal cues as well as gentle hands-on guidance to help participants find greater fluidity, efficiency and freedom in their playing.
An accomplished recitalist, Tim Pyper has won First Prize in numerous regional and national organ competitions including the Arthur Poister Memorial Competition (2008), and the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ National Competition (2001). He was a featured performer at the 2002 R.C.C.O National Convention and was described by The American Organist as possessing “effortless technique and sensitive musicality.” His solo recitals have been aired by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and by National Public Radio’s Pipedreams.
Tim holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Cornell University where he studied with Annette Richards and David Yearsley. His dissertation focused on the performance practice of early 20th-century English organ music. He received his B.M., M.M. and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music as a student of David Higgs and he holds the Fellowship diploma from the Royal Canadian College of Organists. Other significant teachers have included Giles Bryant, John Tuttle, William Porter (improvisation) and Barbara Lister-Sink (piano).
Since 2017, Tim has been Interim Director of Music at Church of the Holy Apostles in New York City. From 2010-2015, he was Director of Music at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer in Calgary, Alberta. Previous church appointments include tenures as Assistant Organist at St. James' Cathedral, Toronto and Organist of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Rochester, New York. In 2018, he became an AmSAT-certified instructor of the F.M. Alexander Technique.
There is a perception that the younger generation today is self-absorbed and only interested in social media and popular music (in the church: Praise and Worship Music). My own experience as organist/choral director at St. John’s Anglican in Edmonton in the last two decades has been quite contrary! While the younger generation grows up with popular music and can identify with it, it lacks the rejection of tradition and traditional music which characterized a previous generation. This generation is quite open, even enthused about traditional choral music, liturgy, ceremony and classic music in general and eager to work together with the Senior Choir. This bodes well for the future of traditional church music, i.e. choral and organ music. In the workshop I will share with you my experience in this regard.
Jacobus Kloppers was born in South Africa 1937. After private studies in Piano and Organ he completed his undergraduate music studies at the Potchefstroom University for Christian High Education(1961) and obtained his Performer and Teacher Licentiates in Organ from the University of South Africa (UNISA) . With a UNISA Scholarship he continued his Organ study with the Bach specialist/performer Professor Helmut Walcha at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Frankfurt am Main (1961-1965), West Germany and received a PhD in Musicology from the Frankfurt University in1966 with a thesis on the Interpretation of Bach’s Organ Music.
He taught Organ and Musicology at the University of the Orange Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa (1966-1976) and at The King’s University College (a private Christian college - now University - in the tradition of the Free University, Amsterdam) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from 1979 until his retirement in 2013. He served as organist/choir director in Reformed Churches in South Africa (1956-1961, 1966-1976) and West Germany (1961-1966) and in St. John’s Anglican Church in Edmonton from 1976 to the present. He gave organ recitals and lectures in South Africa, North America, Germany and Austria and did organ broadcast work for the SABC and CBC.
Church musicians regularly find themselves in situations where music must be extended or truncated to adjust to the reality of the church service. Being able to improvise and embellish music opens new opportunities for musicians to express themselves and make the music of the service more personalized. Joachim brings extensive skill and experience to show us some of the ways that hymns can be enhanced through improvisation.
Joachim Segger, pianist and collaborative artist, holds the Alberta Centennial Medal for his outstanding work. As organist, Segger is renowned as a clinician and for his service playing and improvising; he is currently recording a CD of hymn improvisations on the piano. Dr. Segger is Professor and Chair of the Music Department at The King's University, Edmonton, Alberta.
Drums are a great way to promote collaboration within a group and Keri Roger and her extensive collection of instruments provides us the opportunity to work together for a common goal. Because drums are inexpensive and store easily, they are excellent instruments to teach rhythm and notation.
Roger Duncan is a teacher, professional facilitator, composer,and author. In 1993 he started The One World Drum Co. with Keri Rodger in Calgary, Alberta. With over 25 years of teaching,leadership and performance experience Roger has brought drumming into the lives of thousands of people.
Roger teaches drumming to help children and adults alike with the creation of CommUNITY, self expression, and a healthier more productive life.
Here is an opportunity to try out new choral music in a choir of your peers. The music offered in this workshop features Canadian composers of liturgical, sacred and seasonal music. To round out the session, there will be contrasting pieces. This workshop takes place in the rehearsal room of the Jack Singer Concert Hall.
Malcolm Edwards was born in Halifax, England and emigrated to Canada in 1967. He is a graduate of Sheffield College of Education (UK), Trinity College of Music, London, the University of Lethbridge, the University of Montana and has done further graduate work at the University of Northern Colorado. He taught music in junior and senior high school for twelve years in southern Alberta before joining the University of Calgary as a Professor of Music Education in 1980. He retired from the university in 2011. In the community he was affiliated with the Youth Singers of Calgary for 21 years directing the Act Three and Encore divisions. He is now employed as an Adjunct Professor of Music at St Mary’s University College where he directs the choir and teaches a music history course.
We who serve the church as music ministers do so in an atmosphere of general anxiety for the future of not only our vocation, but of the church itself. Such an existential crisis can often magnify or exacerbate underlying historical tensions between musicians and other church leaders, undermining effective team ministry and escalating what may have been simmering tensions or mistrust into full-blown confrontation. Many clergy burn out by mid-career, and a significant number of musicians leave – or are dismissed by – their congregations. This workshop will take the form of a moderated discussion of the sources of conflict between clergy and musicians, an examination of the complementary qualities, skills, strengths and weaknesses that can make for effective examples of each discipline, and a summary of practical examples and suggestions for both improving team ministry and dealing more effectively with conflict in churches.
Providing accessible, relevant occasions for learning, networking and mutual support among music ministers and other church leaders is an area to which Chris has devoted an increasing amount of time and energy. In 2015, he began collaborating with the Presbyterian Church in Canada, through its Crieff Hills Retreat and Conference Centre in Puslinch, Ontario (near his Guelph home), hosting annual conferences for musicians, clergy and other interested Christians (representing several traditions). He has written articles concerning congregational song, intergenerational worship and musical leadership for publications of the Presbyterian and United Churches in Canada, as well as the Journal of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators in the United States. He has also presented workshops for the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Christian Reformed Church, the PCC’s Synod of Central, Northeastern Ontario and Bermuda, the RCCO, the Toronto School of Theology’s Continuing Education division, and a number of individual congregations and presbyteries in Ontario.
The first event of the Calgary Organ Festival kicks off at high noon with Kids ’n’ Keys @ Knox. This is a two hour educational experience, geared towards kids aged 7 to 14, however, kids of all ages are welcome! We have activities and games that will help you learn more about the organ, like Organ Beanbag Toss, Organ Scavenger Hunt, and Organ Pictionary. Don’t miss a chance to play the miniature pipe organ, too! Music reading skills will allow you to participate in more activities, but if you’ve never played the piano or organ before, there will still be lots to see and do. Afterwards, Kids ’n’ Parents might like to take a walk over to Central United Church for 3 pm, to hear young organists play their favourite music in the Student Academy Recital.
Please contact us if you would like to attend this event.
The Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO) is the professional organization for organists in Canada. It provides support to its members in the development and practice of fine organ and choral performance and sound musicianship, and works to promote these interests in the wider Canadian public.
Our vision: Inspiring connections with organ music.
Our mission: To promote a vibrant and inclusive community that engages more people in the transforming power of the organ and its music.
© RCCO Calgary Centre 2018
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