RCCO Ottawa Centre
CRCO Section d'Ottawa

PO Box 2270 Station D
Ottawa ON K1P 5W4

Welcome to the Ottawa Centre of the
Royal Canadian College of Organists

Welcome to the Ottawa Centre RCCO website. Please use the menu above to browse our site.

find us on facebook Members! Advertise your events. Something musical happening in your life? Members, send your events to: publicity (at) rcco-ottawa (dot) ca and we'll share them on Facebook!

COVID-19 virus and the RCCO - Ottawa Centre

The Ottawa Centre takes the COVID-19 virus seriously and is closely monitoring the situation. We will adhere to the advice of Ottawa's Medical Officer. Watch this pages for event changes.


2020 Ottawa Kiwanis Music Festival Organ Classes Results

Last April, when the Kiwanis Music Festival was scheduled to take place, most of its classes were held virtually because of the pandemic; but because the churches had closed and the organ students were not able to practise, the organ classes had to be delayed for some months. Even now, as you know, there are some students who still have difficulty obtaining practice time.

In the end, the classes took place on Saturday November 21 in the First Church of Christ, Scientist; we are very grateful to the church for their welcome and hospitality to the students. The Kiwanis Festival kindly gave the RCCO permission to run the classes ourselves (though they paid the insurnace to cover the day) and they transferred the available scholarship money to the RCCO; Mervyn Games, the resident organist of the church, generously allowed practice time for the students, and Rachel Laurin did a wonderful job as adjudicator. Thank you, everyone!

Mervyn Games, Minako Uchino, Rachel Laurin, Aleesha Katary, Frances Macdonnell
Results: Click more » « less

Six students had registered to compete last April; one of them has since left Ottawa, and one is presently unable to practise. Of the remaining four students, two elected to record their pieces and submit them electronically, and the other two played live. Here are the classes, and the marks awarded by Rachel Laurin, who heard both the electronic submissions and the live performances:

Class OG 104: Bach, Junior
Prelude and Fugue in F major (from the Short Eight)
1. Aleesha Katary - 87%

Class OG 101: General, Junior
Chorale Prelude on St. Peter, Healey Willan
1. Aleesha Katary - 86%
2.Yi Zhou (sent in by recording) - 83%

Class OG 102: General, Intermediate
Intermezzo (12 Stücke, Op. 80), Max Reger
1. Minako Uchino - 84%

Class OG 106: Bach, Senior
Trio on Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend (BWV 655)
1. Aurora Xu (sent in by recording) - 87%

There were two scholarships available, totalling $1,100: the RCCO Ottawa Centre Scholarship of $500, and the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa Arnt Loa Scholarship of $600. Rachel Laurin decided to award these as follows:

Kiwanis Club of Ottawa Arnt Loa Scholarship
$350 - Aurora Xu
$250 - Minako Uchino

RCCO Ottawa Centre Scholarship
$400 - Aleesha Katary
$100 - Yi Zhou

Congratulations to all the students and their teachers! The deadline for the 2021 Kiwanis Music Festival is December 18; please enter in good time. I encourage all students to enter both classes available at your own performance level, the Bach and the General classes: when it comes to the awarding of scholarships, it creates a much stronger impression to have played in two different styles.

Well done, everyone, and we now look forward to the 2021 Kiwanis Music Festival!

Frances Macdonnell, Co-ordinator

How to Run a Virtual Choir

Godon Johnston's webinar on How to Run a Virtual Choir presented on September 19, was recorded and can be viewed on You Tube at: https://youtu.be/KxkJNOlA-8I

AGO 2020 Distinguished Composer Award

Congratulations to Rachel Laurin who was honored by the AGO with the 2020 AGO Distinguished Composer Award. The award was presented by David Hurd. You can hear Rachel's composition, Mr. Mistoffelees Overture in this video. The presentation of the award starts at 35:10 followed by a brief interview with Rachel by Chelsea Chin and then the world premiere of Mr. Mistoffelees Overture played by Alan Morrison.



Two Godfrey Hewitt Memorial Scholarships, amounting to $5,000 each, have been awarded for 2020 by the Godfrey Hewitt Memorial Fund to:

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Samuel Lee picture

Samuel Lee began studying organ in Ottawa in 2011 with Karen Holmes. In 2018, still studying with Karen Holmes, he completed the FRCCO diploma, as well as a B.Mus. in Piano Performance at the University of Ottawa with David Jalbert. In 2020, Samuel obtained an M.Mus. in Organ Performance and Church Music at McGill University with Hans-Ola Ericsson. Samuel will begin a Doctoral degree in organ at McGill in September 2020. Stemming from his love for all sorts of instrumental music, he will be studying Edwin Lemare’s transcriptions, his technique, as well as the art of transcription in general. Samuel looks to someday perform orchestral repertoire and chamber music on the organ, as well as creating transcriptions of his own.

Manuel Piazza picture

Manuel Giovanni Piazza grew up in Toronto, Canada, where he graduated from the University of Toronto with a BMus in Organ Performance and studied with Dr. John Tuttle. As an undergraduate student, he played in masterclasses led by organists such as Olivier Latry, Dr. William Porter, Stefan Engels, and David Briggs. While in Toronto, he served as choir director and organist at Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church, organ scholar at Trinity College (University of Toronto), organ scholar at St. James' Anglican Cathedral, and one of the five organists of St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica. From September 2019 to April 2020, he was organ scholar at Truro Cathedral in Cornwall (UK), where he worked with Christopher Gray and Michael Butterfield. In August 2020, he will begin graduate studies at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music in New Haven, Connecticut.

Messiaen: L'Ascension

Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria

Messiaen: L'Ascension - organist Donald Hunt (Program starts at 5:15)

This meditation of music and words marks both the Feast of the Ascension as well as the one-year anniversary of Patrick Wedd's death. Hunt is a former student of Wedd and the short reflections will be offered by clergy who knew him well throughout his impressive career.

This is a recording of a live stream to hear Messiaen's own organ transcription (1933-1934) of his orchestral masterpiece "l'Ascension," played by Donald Hunt, Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Patrick Wedd (January 4, 1948 - May 19, 2019), pre-eminent Canadian church musician.

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This meditation of music and words marks both the Feast of the Ascension as well as the one-year anniversary of Patrick Wedd's death. Hunt is a former student of Wedd and the short reflections will be offered by clergy who knew him well throughout his impressive career.

Suggested donation to the Patrick Wedd Music Fund at Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/5518


Are you thinking of doing one of the RCCO exams? The Ottawa Centre has decided to offer support for centre members who wish to pursue certification from the RCCO. The Examination Bursary of $200 is intended to be used by the examination candidate to pay for a small number of lessons from a senior organist familiar with the examination requirements and standards.

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The lessons may be on the topics of the candidates choice (repertoire, practical tests, written tests or ear training) and the Centre can provide recommendations on appropriate teachers with experience of the standards of performance expected for successfully completing RCCO examinations.

To be awarded an Examination Bursary please contact in confidence the Membership Convenor: Donald (dot) Russell (at) rcco-ottawa (dot) ca for the Ottawa Centre. Applications are typically made in the fall. Payment will be made to the applicant after confirmation of registration for an examination has been received.

Follow us on our new FACEBOOK page

The Ottawa Centre has a Facebook page. You can follow us at RCCO/CRCO-Ottawa We invite you to 'like' our page and share it with your friends, church etc. Events, concerts, videos etc. will be posted for public consumption. For members who have an event coming up, we can advertise it on our page. Send your information to Publicity. Thanks to Josh Zentner-Barrett for creating and maintaining this page.


Please note that this timeline can be found by selecting Centre Info | Web Archive pages | Ottawa Cente History Timeline on the menu above.

The Centre History kiosk made its debut at Orgelfest 2013. This is an interractive display which places significant events on a timeline. Bill Vineer supplied muich of the content and Rick St Germain put it all together. Click on the graphic below to access this display.

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RCCO-Ottawa Centre is a Registered Charity: 11912 6498 RR0001

This page was last updated on: Wednesday, 06-Jan-2021 12:05:14 EST