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  • 21 June 2024 1:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Following a decision to make changes to the cathedral's team of organists this past April, a letter urging the church leadership to reconsider has been circulated. Read the full text of the petition below:

    We, organists, professionals, students, amateurs, beginning and experienced musicians, music lovers, heritage lovers and defenders, the public and believers, protest against the changes to Notre-Dame’s team of organists imposed without consultation on April 24, 2024 by the cathedral’s rector.

    Why were new organists needed at Notre-Dame de Paris? After the disastrous fire, the perfectly understandable decision was taken to lay off the Notre-Dame organists for economic reasons, with the exception of the choir organist, whose service was still required, albeit relocated to Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois.

    Five years after April 15, 2019, what is the justification for the partial renewal of the current team? Why was Johann Vexo (substitute choir organist for the past 20 years at the time of the fire) sidelined? Why wasn’t Philippe Lefebvre offered the chance to remain at his position for at least a few months, to participate alongside his colleagues in the cathedral’s reopening ceremonies?

    The way in which new organists have been recruited continues to raise questions. Indeed, since 1984 - the date of Cardinal Lustiger's Ordonnance, which proposed special arrangements for "certain organs of specially consecrated renown" - competition has been the sole means of recruiting cathedral organists. Why such a choice?

    Of course, the role of any church organist is to serve the liturgy. And as such, it's up to the rector of the cathedral to preside over the choice of appointments. But Notre-Dame, whose international renown is undeniable, is also a most important symbol of organs and music in general, both in France and throughout the world. In view of its immense reputation, it is our duty to make it shine with the talent of highly qualified artists. Notre-Dame de Paris has always been home to exceptional musicians who have brought - and continue to bring - honor to the profession: personalities who have previously proved themselves not only through their vast experience as servants of the liturgy, but also through their academic careers, their success in international competitions, and their international careers.

    Of course, exceptional careers call for exceptional arrangements: the appointment of Thierry Escaich, renowned composer, improviser, international concert performer, winner of five Victoires de la musique awards, professor of composition and improvisation at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, cannot be contested.

    On the other hand, the recruitment without competition and for an indefinite period of time of a young 21-year-old organist, just a student, in the course of his studies and without any diploma, to the choir organ but also to the great organ, on the sole faith of a “promising talent”, seems incomprehensible. It is an arbitrary choice that can’t be explained on artistic grounds, and sends out the wrong signal to young professional organists who have taken or are taking the trouble to train extensively in both musical repertoire and liturgical accompaniment, demonstrating, in the final analysis, a very high level of church musicianship. How can we explain to them that the high level of skills acquired through their work might not be taken into account in the criteria leading to an appointment?

    That is why we’re calling for the return of the organists on duty at the time of the fire on April 15, 2019, with the addition - since the rector is calling for a “reinforced” team - of the talented Thierry Escaich. In addition, nothing prevents Philippe Lefebvre’s retirement from being deferred, with respect and dignity, for a few months. As for youth, it is obviously welcome and expected, but any appointment must be subject to the practices that have governed the appointment of organists up until now, and which underpin the legitimacy of the fortunate ones selected in the eyes of the profession, and, more broadly, of believers, of the musical public and lovers of musical and ecclesiastical heritage.

    Sign the petition at:à-nouveau-en-feu-contre-la-nomination-des-futurs-organistes

  • 21 June 2024 9:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are delighted to announce that Alexander Straus-Fausto has been selected as the recipient of the 2024 John Goss Memorial Scholarship!

    Alexander Richard Straus-Fausto is a Canadian organist who has a broad repertoire of music, dating from early fifteenth-century keyboard music to contemporary organ music. Audiences enjoy his exhilarating, clean, colourful, virtuosic, sensitive, and innovative organ performances. He has further expanded the organ’s reach by creating more than 50 original transcriptions of major orchestral works, reflecting his passion for the symphonic organ as a virtually unlimited medium for artistic expression.

    He is 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 fields of organ performance, harpsichord, organ building, carillon, and church music. In October, Alexander will be a competitor in the Toulouse International Organ Competition, symphonic category. It will be his second international competition, after Longwood Gardens in 2023. He has performed at Trinity Church in Boston; Grace Cathedral in San Francisco; Woolsey Hall at Yale University; Washington National Cathedral; Basilica National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington; Maison Symphonique in Montreal; Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts; Trinity Wall Street in New York City; and many other series, including the Organix Concert Series in Toronto. He is also looking forward to upcoming concerts at La Madeleine in Paris, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

    He will be working on an Artist’s Diploma in the fall with David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music. Alexander graduated with a Master’s degree in organ performance from both the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and the Yale School of Music. He completed his Bachelor of Music at McGill University Schulich School of Music and his secondary school studies at Michigan’s Interlochen Arts Academy. He is represented by Seven Eight Artists.

    Alexander is very grateful to the RCCO for their continued support.

  • 07 June 2024 8:40 AM | Anonymous

    Texte français suit


    All members are cordially invited to the Annual General Meeting of the Royal Canadian College of Organists.

    • Date: Saturday, July 6, 2024
    • Time: 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm EDT
    • Location: Meeting to be held by teleconference via Zoom

    Meeting materials and Zoom link will be available on the Members’ Discussion Forum page of the RCCO website at no later than June 15, 2024.

    We look forward to seeing you there.


    Tous les membres sont invités à l'Assemblée générale du Collège royal canadien des organistes / Royal Canadian College of Organists.

    • Date : le samedi 06 juillet 2024
    • Heure : 13h30 à 14h30 EDT
    • Lieu : la réunion se tiendra par téléconférence via Zoom

    Les documents de la réunion et le lien Zoom seront disponibles sur la page du Forum de discussion des membres du site Web de la CRCO à le 15 juin 2024.

    Au plaisir de vous voir.

  • 08 May 2024 12:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Friday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m., Lawrence Park Community Church will host a special evening in honour of Mark Toews, who served as Director of Music for 30 years. Mark passed away from cancer on May 22, 2021. This evening is a tribute to his legacy.

    For reservations:

    If you reserved for the November concert, and plan on attending, you do not need to do anything. If you had reserved and are unable to attend, or if you are requesting reservations for the first time, please contact Judi at

    How to access the event:

    This concert is available in person at Lawrence Park Community Church, located at 2180 Bayview Avenue. There is a Green P parking lot across from the church.

    Online access is also available. The Zoom link can be found at this page:

  • 29 April 2024 2:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are saddened to share news of a devastating fire at the historic Bridgetown Baptist Church in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia, a centrepiece of the community, as well as our RCCO Annapolis Valley Centre.

  • 25 March 2024 11:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

  • 20 March 2024 12:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce the list of nominees standing for election to the 2024-2025 Board of Directors and Regional Council.

    Additional nominations for these positions may be made by the membership on or before May 1, 2024. Nomination submissions must be received by the National Office on or before May 1, 2024 and consist of 1) the consent in writing of the nominee, and 2) the signatures of five other members in support of the nomination.

    Where only one person is nominated for a position
    , those nominated will be elected by acclamation. Where more than one person is nominated for the available position(s) an election will be conducted. (In the event more than one person is nominated for a Regional Councillor position, only members of Centres in that region are eligible to vote.)  If required, the election will be conducted online and managed by a third-party voting service provider to maintain confidentiality. A notice with candidate information and full voting instructions will be sent in mid-May. Members without an email address will receive an election package in the mail. Voting will close June 15, 2024. (Members who have email but would prefer to vote by mail-in ballot must notify the national office prior to May 1, 2024.)


    Elizabeth Shannon
    Executive Director

  • 08 March 2024 9:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Woman Composer Sunday was launched by the Royal College of Organists (UK) and the Society of Women Organists as an annual celebration to coincide with International Women's Day. This year, it falls on Sunday, March 10. In preparation for this event, we are sharing some resources to help you get started exploring women composers in Canada, including episodes of Organist Launchpad from Janet Yieh and Maria Gajraj, organ and choral selections available for purchase at the RCCO online store, and other useful links.

    Other resources for Woman Composer Sunday: The American Guild of Organists - Task Force for Gender Equity The Society of Women Organists Amplify Female Composers A Great Host of Composers

  • 06 March 2024 1:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Professor of Organ at the University of Toronto, Kevin Komisaruk, presents 'An Instrument of Change: Inhabiting our Future with the Virtual Organ.' During this enlightening presentation and workshop, Komisaruk provides an introduction to virtual-organ technology (Part 1) and discusses how to leverage technology for creative expression (Part 2) and the virtual-organ technology’s ability to help us become stronger artists (Part 3).

    Organist Launchpad is funded thanks to a grant from Heritage Canada, and is produced by the Royal Canadian College of Organists in association with the Canadian International Organ Competition.

    Watch at RCCO.CA
    Watch via Facebook
    Watch via YouTube

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The Royal Canadian College of Organists

20 St Joseph St

Toronto, ON M4Y 1J9

Phone: 416.929.6400
Email: info[at]

The Royal Canadian College of Organists

20 St Joseph St

Toronto, ON M4Y 1J9

Téléphone : 416.929.6400
Courriel : info[

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