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  • 28 September 2023 1:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Save the Date! - October 1, 2023 @ 3pm

    A musical celebration in honour of RCCO Honorary Vice-President and Dublin St, United Church (Guelph) Organist Emeritus Barrie Cabena's 90th birthday, featuring the Dublin Chancel Choir, Dublin Handbell Choir, Irene Gregorio, Daniel Cabena, Sheri Cabena, Neil McLaren, and guest organists from the Royal Canadian College of Organists-Waterloo-Wellington Centre: David Hall, Angus Sinclair, James Brown, Bradley Moggach and Jeff Enns. Freewill offering in support of Dublin St. United Church; reception to follow.

  • 28 September 2023 11:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Royal Canadian College of Organists is excited to announce the premiere of Season Two of Organist Launchpad!

    In a new three-part episode, composer and organist Rashaan Allwood explores jazz improvisation and contemporary classical improvisation, followed by a masterclass in pop music arranging with Cadence Brassard.

    Then, join organist John Paul Farahat for a four-part class on organ accompaniment in the Catholic tradition, including the role of an organist in a Catholic setting, Gregorian chant and hymn playing, cantor accompaniment, and prelude and postlude planning.

    Produced in partnership with the Canadian International Organ Competition and funded by Canadian Heritage, Organist Launchpad presents instructional videos and masterclasses for organists of every skill level and is now streaming worldwide!

    We hope you’ll check out this exciting new resource on our webpage or on YouTube, then help us spread the word. This second season features nine incredible presenters from Canada and abroad. As always, Organist Launchpad is free to watch, worldwide.

    Watch at RCCO.CA
    Watch via Facebook
    Watch via YouTube

    And if you want to help boost the signal, click through to your social media platform of choice, give us a like and share, and then access the video from there!

  • 27 September 2023 11:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A service honouring the life of Catherine Palmer will be held tomorrow, Thursday, September 28th at 11:00 a.m. at The Church of the Ascension (33 Overland Drive, Toronto, ON). The service will also be livestreamed at the link below.

    Her obituary as it appeared in the Toronto Star can be accessed here:

  • 14 September 2023 10:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are saddened to announce the passing of Catherine Palmer, longtime Director of Music at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church in Toronto. After moving from the United States, she became the first woman in Canada to obtain the Fellowship Diploma of the Royal College of Organists, eventually going on to serve as Chair of the Examination Committee for RCCO. Her many other accomplishments included appointment to the faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Music, regular performances on the CBC, and the founding of both the Holy Trinity Singers and Palmer Singers. A funeral service will be held at Church of the Ascension in Toronto.

  • 14 August 2023 12:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear Friends,

    We are deeply saddened to inform you of the passing of beloved Canadian composer, organist and educator, Rachel Laurin on August 13, 2023.

    Rachel’s passing is deeply felt by her many devoted friends and colleagues across the country and is a great loss to the Canadian musical community

    Rachel’s obituary and details about how she will be remembered will be shared as they become available.

    In the meantime, we invite you to watch Rachel performing the beautiful and moving Méditation from her Suite Brève, Op. 6. No. 1:

  • 07 July 2023 10:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    National Organ Competition Results

    We are excited to announce the following results of the 2023 National Organ Competition:

    1st place (Godfrey Hewitt Memorial Fund $5,000)

    Martin Jones

    Martin Jones is in his second year of study with Professor Martin Schmeding for a Master’s degree in organ performance at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" in Leipzig, Germany. In 2021 he was the winner of the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation Prize and the Godfrey Hewitt Memorial Scholarship. Martin also won the 2018 AGO Southwest Regional Competition for Young Organists, and he won third prize and the audience and hymn prizes in the High School Division of the 2016 Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition. He has played in masterclasses with many notable performers including Alan Morrison, Nathan Laube, Paul Jacobs,Daniel Roth, David Higgs, Pieter Dirksen, and Jürgen Essl. Martin holds a Bachelor of Organ from Rice University in Houston, Texas where he studied with Ken Cowan. He is graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, where he studied with Thomas Bara, and a former American Boychoir chorister.

    2nd place (Helen Murray and Family Prize $2,500)

    Joshua Ehlebracht

    Joshua Ehlebracht is 23 years old and pursuing a master’s degree in organ from the Yale School of Music in the studio of Prof. Martin Jean. Joshua has always had a passion for music and his previous studies include a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from the Eastman School of music studying with Professors Nathan Laube and Anne Laver, as well as a Colleague diploma from the Royal Canadian College of Organists. Joshua is currently serving as interim organist at St. Paul’s on the Green in Norwalk, Connecticut, and has previously worked in Lutheran and Presbyterian churches with his first church position at the age of 15. Joshua is from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada and began his musical journey at the age of six with piano lessons, followed by organ lessons with Dr. Peter Nikiforuk at the age of 10. Joshua holds second place prizes from the Albert Schweitzer organ festival in 2017 and the RCCO run Fairclough competition in 2016. He also spent time performing solo recitals around Ontario in London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Brantford, and Toronto at St. Paul’s Bloor Street and Metropolitan United Church, as well as several performances around Rochester, NY, and New Haven, CT, including performances at Woolsey Hall, Dwight Chapel, and the United Church on the Green.

    3rd place (Muriel Gidley Stafford Prize $1,000)

    Alexander Straus-Fausto

    Working on his master’s degree in organ performance at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Alexander Straus-Fausto from Kitchener, Ontario is thrilled to be studying under the direction of Dr. Martin Jean and playing on Yale’s Newberry Memorial Organ. He completed his Bachelor of Music at McGill University Schulich School of Music and his secondary school studies at Michigan’s Interlochen Arts Academy. While still a teenager, Straus-Fausto undertook a Canada Council-funded summer 2019 concert tour of the UK, playing in historic churches and cathedrals. In fall 2019, he was appointed Titular Organist at Église du Très-Saint-Nom-de-Jésus in Montréal, whose four-manual, 120-rank Casavant organ is acclaimed as one of Canada’s finest. Straus-Fausto was named a member of The Diapason’s “20 under 30” class of 2023,” which recognizes young artists under the age of 30 who have made significant contributions to the field of organ performance. Straus-Fausto was also named a competitor in the Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition 2023.

    Left to right: Joshua Ehlebrecht, Alexander Straus-Fausto, Martin Jones; Elaine Graham (Godfrey Hewitt Foundation); judges Chelsea Chen, Christa Rakich, Kola Owolabi, Aaron James, Aaron Tan. Back row: Joachim Segger, Marnie Giesbrecht, Competition Chairs. (National Organ Competition Committee members Adrian Foster and David Simon absent from photo)

    Congratulations to all competitors in the 2023 National Organ Competition. The level of playing in all rounds was remarkably high, showcasing a vibrant future for organ music!

  • 04 July 2023 2:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to all of the National Organ Competition Semi-Finalists! The performances on Saturday were truly inspiring.

    A special congratulations to the three finalists:

    Alexander Straus-Fausto

    Martin Jones

    Joshua Ehlebracht

    Hear all three compete in the Finals at Lawrence Park Community Church on Wednesday July 5 beginning at 2:00pm.

    We gratefully acknowledge the support of BMRBPIPEORG INC., The Berriman Bailey Foundation, and our many loyal donors, who have made this competition possible.

  • 01 July 2023 5:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Day 6 - Today was the last day of the Summer Organ Academy 2023. The Student Recital offered an opportunity to see the growth and development of the students after only a week at the Academy! A reception followed where the students had a chance to reminisce about the week and have their final goodbyes. Thank you to all the students, faculty and instructors for making this year's Academy such a success!

  • 30 June 2023 11:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Day 5 - It's the final countdown!  Today's the last full day of activities at the Summer Organ Academy.  We have a lecture by John Paul Farahat and a masterclass with Aaron Tan.  Students also go about their last day of private and improvisation lessons.  Come to our Student Recital, tomorrow, July 1, at Rosedale United Church at 1:00 pm to watch some of our talented students perform!

  • 30 June 2023 12:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Semi-finals are TOMORROW - Saturday July 1st at Rosedale Presbyterian Church, Toronto from 10:00 am and 1:30 pm. Admission is free (donations to the RCCO accepted at the door). Don't miss this opportunity to hear five phenomenal young emerging performing artists!

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The Royal Canadian College of Organists

201-720 Bathurst St

Toronto, ON M5S 2R4

Phone: 416.929.6400
Email: info[at]

The Royal Canadian College of Organists

201-720 Bathurst St

Toronto, ON M5S 2R4

Téléphone : 416.929.6400
Courriel : info[

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