Each day will feature around 3 hours of programming, divided into 2 sessions, beginning at 1 pm EDT
with the second session starting at 4 pm. PLEASE NOTE: You will have access to the content you have
registered for until September 30th.
Sunday August 8
Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church
Matthew Larkin – Cathedral Church of St. James, Toronto
- Toccata “Exultemus Domino” – Tate Pumfrey
Apparition de L’Église Éternelle – Olivier Messiaen
Fantaisie on “All creatures of our God and King” – Gilles Maurice Leclerc
Hymn of Remembrance – Keith Jarrett (arr. Per W. Ohis)
Saraband (In Modo Elegiaco) – Herbert Howells
Toccata (from Toccata and Fugue) – Andrew Ager
Two contemporary Canadian toccatas frame a modern program, rooted in the joyful key of C. Longtime liturgical artist Matthew Larkin celebrates ceremony and ritual, on one of Canada’s most beautiful instruments, in one of the country’s most beautiful sacred spaces.
National Organ Playing Competition Semi-finals
Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church
Six semi-finalists will perform on the 2018 Wallace tracker organ at Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church. While the choice of repertoire is up to the individual competitor, the programme must include a piece by a Canadian composer and a work by Johann Sebastian Bach. For details of the players, programmes, and jury members, visit the competition website:
Monday August 9
St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church
David Enlow – St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, New York City
Programme: Marche Religieuse – Félix-Alexandre Guilmant
Choral No. 2 in B Minor – César Franck
Variations sur un Noël – Marcel Dupré
This is the largest organ in New York City, with 205 ranks, in a wonderful acoustic. David Enlow is a consummate musician, who has performed all over the world.
Lecture Recital “The Improvisations of Victor Togni” and Q&A
John Paul Farahat – St. Basil’s Catholic Church, Toronto
Victor Togni died in a tragic accident at age 30 in 1965. This was a great loss to Canadian music, as he was a skilled improviser and composer. He left a small amount of composed organ music, as well as a rich collection of improvisations. John Paul Farahat has transcribed some of his improvised recordings for analysis and performance. This multi-media lecture shows, with many examples, the range and quality of Togni’s work, which make a fine addition to our musical heritage, of which many organists may be unaware.
Andrew Adair – Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Toronto
Programme: Five Plainsong Preludes – Healey Willan
- Aeterna Christi munera
- Christe, Redemptor omnium
- Ecce jam noctis
- Ave maris stella
- Urbs Hierusalem beata
Willan composed these pieces for this organ. During his tenure at St. Mary Magdalene, he had the console moved into the choir loft, as well as adding a Tuba to the existing 27 ranks. Although the organ has since been enlarged to 51 stops, Andrew Adair as the resident organist is highly sympathetic to Willan’s style. Hear these preludes in a performance very much in the spirit of the composer.
Workshop 1 “Recording and Editing 101” and Q&A
Presenter: Stéphane Potvin
Since the pandemic changed all our lives, organists now need to have the technical skills to record and edit videos. This workshop is intended as a primer course, pointing out the do’s and don’ts, and will focus on recording your choir, soloists, and instrumentalists, for high-quality results.
Isabelle Demers – Baylor University, Waco & St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Houston, Texas
- Overture (St. Paul) – Felix Mendelssohn
- The Firebird Suite – Igor Stravinsky, tr. Demers
- L’oiseau de feu et sa danse (Dance of the Firebird)
- Variation de l’oiseau de feu (Firebird Variation)
- Ronde des princesses (Round Dance of the Princesses)
- Danse infernale du roi Kastcheï (Infernal Dance of King Kastchei)
Mendelssohn’s Overture from St. Paul is a dramatic piece that makes technical demands on the player, and will be played on the Letourneau organ at Baylor University. Stravinsky is not often attempted on the organ, but Isabelle Demers has created a transcription of his second suite from 1919. This exciting and sensuous music will be performed at St. Martin’s in Houston on the 106 rank Schoenstein organ.
Tuesday August 10
Holy Family Roman Catholic Church
Rachel Laurin – Église Ste Anne, Ottawa
Three fortunate organists will be given a Masterclass by the incredibly accomplished Rachel Laurin. Acclaimed internationally as a performer, composer, and improviser, she will share her guidance and insights into performance subtleties. If you wish to apply, visit the Get Involved page for more information.
Workshop 2 “The Collaborative Organist” and Q&A
David Enlow – Church of the Resurrection, NYC
Much of what organists are asked to do is to accompany other musicians, whether soloists, choirs, or instrumentalists. David Enlow offers his insights into the do’s and don’ts when collaborating. He brings his years of top-level experience, together with his well-known humour, to help one be a better accompanist.
Aaron James – Holy Family, Toronto
Programme: Ciaccona – Bernardo Storace
Mein Gott, das Herze bring’ ich dir – Johann Schneider
Trio super “O Gott, du frommer Gott,” BWV Anh i.V. – J.S. Bach
Toccata nona – Georg Muffat
Accomplished organist Aaron James will perform an intriguing programme of Baroque music on an instrument well-suited to sensitive and informed performance.
Workshop 3 “The Art of Transcription” and Q&A
Isabelle Demers – Baylor University, Texas
The organ can convincingly perform not only music written specially for it, but also an almost limitless range of other music – orchestral, vocal and more. Isabelle Demers has arranged and performed many such transcriptions, and will discuss the intricacies of their creation and interpretation.
Jean-Willy Kunz – CIOC Bach-Mobile @ a Montreal zoo
Programme: Carnival of the Animals – Camille Saint-Saëns, tr. Kunz
Jean-Willy Kunz has created a very successful transcription of Saint-Saëns’ beloved music. He will perform this outdoors at a zoo on the new Bach-Mobile, which is used in and around Montreal to publicize the organ and the Canadian International Organ Competition (CIOC). This performance will also include poetry and engaging artwork.
Wednesday August 11
Selwyn College Chapel
Ottawa Bach Choir – Ottawa
Programme: music by J.S. Bach, Jean Richafort, and others
Directed by Dr. Lisette Canton, this remarkably successful choir won a Juno Award in 2020, and has performed several times by invitation at Bachfest Leipzig, as well as in a dozen other European cities, plus China, other East Asian locales, and the USA. The programme will include one of Bach’s phenomenal motets as well as music from the exquisitely beautiful Requiem by French Renaissance composer Jean Richafort.
Performances & Interview
Angela Hewitt with Ian Alexander – St. Albans Cathedral, UK & Umbria, Italy
Programme: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – J.S. Bach
Passacaglia in C Minor – Bach, tr. d’Albert
Angela Hewitt is one of the world’s busiest pianists. She has graciously agreed to be part of OFC 2021, as an Honorary Patron of the RCCO. She will perform a stunning piano transcription of Bach’s Passacaglia in C minor at St. Albans Cathedral, and will offer an exciting glimpse of her new Fazioli concert grand piano in Umbria. She will also be interviewed by her long-time friend Ian Alexander, talking about her life and music.
Duo Majoya & Mark Segger, Timpanist – West End Christian Reformed Church, Edmonton
Programme: Piece Concertante for Organ, Piano and Timpani – Jacobus Kloppers
Dr. Kloppers wrote this music originally for organ, strings, and timpani, but re-cast it for organ, piano, and timpani for Duo Majoya. This is a premier performance of this exciting, lyrical and rhythmic arrangement.
Workshop 4: “Music of Female Composers” and Q&A
Sarah MacDonald & Selwyn College Choir/Choral Scholars – Cambridge University, UK
Female composers have been unfairly ignored over the centuries, and this is your chance to find out what we have been missing! Sarah MacDonald has been a leader in many ways, including being the first female Director of Music at an Oxbridge college. She has a keen personal interest in this topic, and will draw on her choir to provide selected examples.
David Simon – Basilica of Our Lady, Guelph
Programme: Rhapsody No. 1 – Herbert Howells
Symphony No. 5 (First Movement) – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, tr. Simon
Rhapsody No. 3 – Howells
David Simon won the 2019 National Organ Playing Competition, and will demonstrate his terrific technique in this challenging, emotional and dramatic programme, performed on a vintage Casavant with a rich variety of colours, including some modern upgrades.
Thursday August 12
Central Presbyterian Church
Michael Bloss – Christ’s Church Cathedral, Hamilton
Programme: Scherzetto (Pièces en style libre) – Louis Vierne
Preludio, Intermezzo & Toccata (Deuxième Symphonie Op.26) – Marcel Dupré
Michael Bloss offers some classic French late Romantic music, played on the splendid Casavant in Christ’s Church Cathedral, Hamilton.
Hymn Tune Competition
Martin Jongsma & Ariel Harwood-Jones – Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church
Composers are invited to submit a hymn tune for a beautiful text by Hamilton Centre member Paul Chappel. The three finalists will be performed by Martin Jongsma and soprano Ariel Harwood-Jones, and will be voted on by all registrants to determine the winner of the $100 prize. Visit the Get Involved page for more details.
National Organ Playing Competition Finals
Central Presbyterian Church, Hamilton
Three finalists will perform a programme of 40-45 minutes, including a newly commissioned piece by Hamilton composer John Laing. They are competing for $8,500 in prizes. The jury will consist of Michael Bloss, Isabelle Demers, David Enlow, John Laing, and Patricia Wright.
Although robes and processions are not possible this year, it is important to present prizes, announce competition winners, recognize accomplishments and offer inspiration.
Friday August 13
Rachel Mahon – Coventry Cathedral, UK
Programme: Sinfonia from Cantata 29, “Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken” – J.S. Bach, arr. Guilmant
Trio from Triptyque – Jean Langlais
Chant de paix – Langlais
Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue – Healey Willan
Rachel Mahon is well known in the Canadian organ world, and was appointed Director of Music at Coventry Cathedral in 2020. The fine organ there was largely paid for by donations from the RCCO, spearheaded by Healey Willan, as the modern cathedral rose from the ruins following the destruction of war. Rachel is delighted to include Willan’s monumental I P & F in her programme.
Workshop 5 “Anthem Reading Session”
Shawn Grenke, Alison Clark & Choral Scholars – Eglinton St. George’s United Church, Toronto
Composers are invited to submit anthems for any level of choir, either unpublished or self-published. Pieces will be selected from your submissions by Shawn Grenke and Alison Clark, both very experienced musicians. The selected pieces will be performed during this session. For more details, please visit the Get Involved page.
Norman Reintamm – St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Hamilton
Programme: Chorale (Homage to César Franck) – John Selleck
Prelude, Fugue & Toccata on “Go to Sleep, Baby” – Philip Forde (world premiere)
St. Joseph’s Church houses a large two-manual Casavant in a very good acoustic. Norman Reintamm will premiere a work by Philip Forde, his colleague in Barbados, and perform a Chorale by John Selleck, a modern Canadian composer.
Workshop 6 “Improvisation and Phrasing” and Q&A
David Simon has won improvisation competitions and is a creative and disciplined player. He will present ideas on phrasing and structure during improvisation.
Rachel Laurin – Église Ste Anne, Ottawa
Programme: Omaggio Festivo, Op.89 – Rachel Laurin
Prelude in D – Daniel Ficarri
Bagatelle Burlesque, Op.98 “Hommage à Beethoven” – Laurin (world premiere)
III: Tempo di Minuetto (Septième Sonate) “Hommage à Haydn” – Raymond Daveluy
Chromatic Trio, Op.64 (Twelve Short Pieces, Vol.3) – Laurin
V: Paraphrase-Carillon (L’Orgue Mystique, No.35, Op.57 – In Assumptione B.V.M.) – Charles Tournemire
For the final concert of the Festival, Rachel Laurin will perform three of her own compositions, plus one by her late mentor Raymond Daveluy and another by a young American composer, finishing with some joyous Tournemire.
Updated June 9