RCCO Ottawa Centre
CRCO Section d'Ottawa

PO Box 2270 Station D
Ottawa ON K1P 5W4
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  2024 Owen Spicer  
Owen Spicer

Owen Spicer, B.Mus., ARCCO, is an organist and accompanist based in Montreal, Quebec. He has previously held positions as Organist at Montreal West United Church and Organ Scholar at Christ Church Cathedral Montreal, First St. Andrew's United Church London, Ontario, and St. Martin's in the Fields, London, Ontario. As a recitalist, he has performed at numerous venues in Quebec and Ontario, including Redpath Hall Montreal, St. Andrew's Church Ottawa and St, James Cathedral, Toronto. Owen has accompanied numerous choral and instrumental ensembles, such as the Caelis Ensemble and the Stratford Symphony Orchestra. Owen is a graduate of McGill University with a Bachelor's in organ performance and a minor in music theory and choral conducting. At McGill, he studied organ with Hans-Ola Ericsson, Jonathan Oldengarm, and Isabelle Demers, and choral conducting with Jean Sébastien Vallée. Owen is pursuing a Master's degree at McGill University in the studio of Isabelle Demers, and is currently Assistant Organist at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa, Ontario.

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  2023 Alexander Straus-Fausto  
Alexander Straus-Fausto

Alexander Straus-Fausto is a Canadian organist from Kitchener, Ontario, who is completing his master's degree in organ performance at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, in the studio of Dr. Martin Jean. At Yale, Alex is Co-Organist and Choir Director at the Berkeley Divinity School, Yale, and Director of Music at Holy Advent Episcopal Church in Clinton, Connecticut. 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 has also studied with Dr. Alcée Chriss, Hans-Ola Ericsson, Dr. Isabelle Demers, Dr. Jonathan Oldengarm, Christian Lane, Tom Bara, Dr. Peter Nikiforuk, and Joe Carere. While still a teenager, Straus-Fausto undertook a Canada Council-funded summer 2019 concert tour of the UK, playing in historic churches and cathedrals. Also in 2019, he was named Titular Organist at Église du Très-Saint-Nom de Jésus in Montreal, one of Canada's largest and finest symphonic organs. 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, and church music. He is one of ten finalists at the 2023 Longwood International Organ Competition, where he will compete in June for the largest cash prize of any organ competition in the world, and is also a Semi-Finalist in the 2023 National RCCO Competition. Many RCCO members will remember him as a boy fascinated by the organ, and he thanks each one of you who mentored him and permitted him access to organs, particularly Joe Carere who also allowed him to zoom his classes during Covid at Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, when access to great organs was even more challenging than usual.

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  2022 Maria Gajraj  
Maria Gajraj

Maria Gajraj is a Montreal-based organist, and is pursuing her Doctorate at McGill University, in the studio of Dr. Isabelle Demers. Her research focuses on Caribbean organ repertoire in the 20th century. Maria received her Master’s Degree in Organ Performance in 2020, after studying with Hans-Ola Ericsson. She has received scholarships from the Royal Canadian College of Organists, the Royal College of Organists, McGill University, and Carleton University, and was a semi-finalist in the 2021 RCCO National Organ-Playing Competition. Maria has played solo concerts in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and Cornwall, and live-streamed organ recitals during the COVID pandemic. Maria has had a private piano teaching studio for the past seven years, and is currently the Music Director of St. Lawrence Anglican Church in Montreal. Maria is passionate about studying and programming works by composers from historically under-represented and marginalized groups, such as composers of colour and women composers. She strives to break stereotypes, and to make the organ more accessible to everyone.

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  2021 Martin Jones  
Martin Jones

Martin Jones graduated in 2021 from Rice University with a BMus in organ, studying with Professor Ken Cowan; he also studied harpsichord with Mario Aschauer. Martin won the 2018 AGO Southwest Regional Competition for Young Organists in Denver, having won the Houston chapter competition that year. He won third prize, the hymn prize, and the audience prize in the High School Division of the 2016 Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition. He has also played in masterclasses with notable performers including Alan Morrison, Nathan Laube, Daniel Roth, Paul Jacobs, Peter Richard Conte, and David Higgs. A Canadian citizen, Martin is also a former American Boychoir chorister and Interlochen Arts Academy graduate; he was formerly organ scholar at St Thomas' Episcopal Church and School and organist at First Lutheran in Houston, TX. In the fall of 2021, he is enrolling in the Leipzig Hochschule für Musik und Theater for a Masters of organ performance where he will study with Martin Schmeding.

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  2020 Samuel Lee  
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.

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  2020 Manuel Piazza  
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.

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  2019 Stefani Bedin  
Stefani Bedin picture

Stefani Bedin is a solo and collaborative performer, liturgical musician and teacher, based in her hometown of Toronto. In September 2019, Stefani will begin the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Toronto, where she recently completed the Master of Music degree in Organ Performance and the Bachelor of Music degree in Music History and Theory (Honours). She studies organ under the tutelage of Dr. Kevin Komisaruk. Stefani also holds an A.R.C.T. in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has a keen interest in sacred music and is currently the Assistant Organist of St. Basil’s Catholic Parish at the University of St. Michael’s College. Committed to sharing the pipe organ’s music with diverse audiences, Stefani has given several solo recitals and is also an active executive board member of the RCCO Toronto Centre.

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  2018 David SIMON  
David Simon picture

David Simon has been an organist since the age of twelve, when he was organist for Daily Mass, recorded and broadcast nationally from St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica in his hometown of Toronto, Canada. He has since held church music positions in Canada and the United States and has played recitals and accompanied choir tours in North America and Europe. Simon is currently a DMA student at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, studying with Thomas Murray, and is an Associate of the Royal Canadian College of Organists and the Royal Conservatory of Music. In addition, he maintains an active Youtube channel of his recordings, compositions, improvisations, and transcriptions.

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  2018 Nicholas WALTERS  
Nicholas Wlaters picture

Nicholas Walters is a Master’s student in Organ Performance at McGill University in Montréal, QC where he studies with Hans-Ola Ericsson. First-prize winner of the 2017 Lynnwood Farnam Organ Competition, Nicholas enjoys an active schedule of recitals in Québec and Ontario. He was recently appointed as Assistant Organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa, having been Organ Scholar at the Presbyterian Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul in Montréal from 2015-2017; he also maintains an internship at the Church of St. Irénée in Montreal, where he explores performance practice considerations of Gregorian Chant. Nicholas has been the recipient of many awards and achievements at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He also holds an Honours degree in Chemistry from Queen’s University, Kingston, which allows him to enjoy occasional contract work in the Canadian nuclear industry.

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  2016 Shane MURPHY  
Shane Murphy picture

An aspiring concert organist from the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada, Shane began studying the organ with Dr. Christiaan Teeuwsen at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario. While there, Shane also attended pipe organ camps in Canada and the USA, studying with Christopher Houlihan, Chris Creaghan, Alan Morrison, Peter Richard Conte, and Jonathan Bezdegian. In 2012, Shane was awarded the Oakes’ Family Organ Scholarship, the Niagara Chorus’ Music Scholarship, and a two-week study-scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, PA, where he performed in the ‘Young Artist’s Recital’ series on the famous Wanamaker organ. In 2011 he spent three months in Germany where he studied early organ music with Egbert Schoenmaker. In 2015, Shane completed his B.Mus. in organ performance at McGill University, studying with John Grew and Hans-Ola Ericsson. In 2016, Shane will begin an M.Mus. degree in organ performance with Stefan Engels at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. His hope is both to become a concert organist and to teach organ at the university level.

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  2015 Rachel MAHON  
Rachel Mahon picture

Rachel Mahon holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance from the University of Toronto, where she studied with John Tuttle. Whilst pursuing her degree, Rachel was the Bevan Organ Scholar at Trinity College, University of Toronto as well as the Principal Organist at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church. She has won numerous awards and competitions in Canada, including one of five graduating scholarships from the Faculty of Music. Rachel has held organ scholarships at St James Cathedral, Toronto and at Truro Cathedral, England, and is currently the William and Irene Miller Organ Scholar at St. Paul's Cathedral, London, England. She studies with Henry Fairs at the Birmingham Conservatoire. In 2012, Rachel founded the duo Organized Crime with her Canadian friend Sarah Svendsen, a former winner of this Scholarship, and the two organists aim to entertain audiences with their music and a variety of other antics; more information about their unique performances may be found at organizedcrimeduo.com.

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  2014 Julie PINSONNEAULT  
Julie Pinsonneault picture

Julie Pinsonneault has a B.Mus. from McGill University, where she was mentored by John Grew and Hans-Ola Ericsson, and she presently serves as the organ scholar at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Montréal. She has given many recitals in the province of Québec, including at the Cathedrals of Québec, Saint-Hyacinthe, Sherbrooke and Rimouski. She has also participated in the Festival Orgue et Couleurs and the organ music festival at the Église des Saints-Anges Gardiens de Lachine. Julie won the First Prize at the 2011 Lynnwood Farnam Organ Competition, and also took part in the 2013 Mikael Tariverdiev Organ Competition in Kaliningrad, Russia where she was awarded the Vera Tariverdieva prize for audience favourite. Julie will play at the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal in August 2014 as part of the Festival International des Grandes Orgues de Notre-Dame de Montréal. In September 2014, she will begin an M.Mus. in organ and musicology with Michel Bouvard at the Institut supérieur des Arts de Toulouse in France.

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  2013 Sarah SVENDSEN  
Sarah Svendsen picture

Hailing from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Sarah Svendsen holds a B.Mus. in organ performance from the University of Toronto. A busy recitalist, some of Sarah's most recent engagements have included the 2012 Copenhagen International Organ Festival, the 2012 Stratford Summer Music Festival, and the Calgary Organ Symposium Young Artist's Platform. Currently studying with Dr. Patricia Wright, the Minister of Music at Toronto's Metropolitan United Church, Sarah also serves as Assistant Organist at Metropolitan United Church, and is on the Executive of the Toronto Centre of the RCCO as well as the RCCO National Strategic Planning Committee. Sarah is cofounder/ performer in Organized Crime Duo, recently featured in Toronto's Organix'13. In August 2013, she will be a Semi-Finalist in the National Organ-Playing Competition offered by the Royal Canadian College of Organists. In September 2013, she will begin an M.Mus. degree in Organ Performance at Yale University.

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  2012 Stephen BODA  
Stephen Boda picture

A Canadian organist from Ontario, Stephen Boda holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto, where he studied Organ Performance with John Tuttle, harpsichord and improvisation with Kevin Komisaruk, and conducting with Jeffrey Reynolds. During this time, he received masterclass instruction from Thomas Murray, Andres Sieling, and Todd Wilson. Stephen was an Organ Scholar at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Hamilton, Ontario, and, while in university, the Peaker Organ Scholar at St. Paul's Bloor Street Anglican Church, Toronto. He has also studied piano privately with Valerie Tryon. This past year he has served as the Associate Organist at Grace Church-on-the-Hill in Toronto, accompanying both the Choir of Gentlemen and Boys and the Choir of Women and Girls. Stephen is beginning a Masters degree in organ performance at Yale University in the fall of 2012.

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  2011 Wendy NIEUWENHUIS  
Wendy Nieuwenhuis picture

Wendy Nieuwenhuis, a Canadian organ student from Alberta, is halfway through an M.Mus. program at the University of Alberta, Canada. She is an active member of the Royal Canadian College of Organists as the Editor of the Edmonton Centre Newsletter, and is the co-ordinator of a weekly recital series at the University of Alberta. She is the Assistant Organist at First Presbyterian Church, Edmonton, where Marnie Giesbrecht and Joachim Segger are the Directors of Music. In the spring of 2012, she intends to study in Vienna with Craig Humber, himself a former winner of the Godfrey Hewitt Scholarship.

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  2010 Shawn POTTER  
Shawn Potter picture

Shawn Potter, a Canadian organ student from Nova Scotia, has just graduated from Mount Allison University and will begin working on his M. Mus. degree with John Grew at McGill University in the fall of 2010. He has held a Canadian Merit National Scholarship as well as the Mount Allison Bell Scholarship throughout his four undergraduate years, and has been the Organist and Choir Director of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Sackville, New Brunswick, since 2008. Active in sports and community charitable activities, he has also performed a youth internship in Ghana, and has participated in many university musical activities. He is also an accomplished harpsichord continuo player, singer, trumpeter, and accompanist.

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  2009 Matthieu LATREILLE  
Matthieu Latreille picture

Matthieu Latreille is a Canadian graduate student from Québec who is studying at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, specializing in the work of Maurice Duruflé. He won the First Prize in the Concours de musique du Canada (2007) and at the Lynnwood Farnam Competition (2005) (previously the John Robb Competition). He was awarded the Prix du lieutenant gouverneur du Québec in 2005 on graduating from the Conservatoire de musique de Gatineau. He is the organist of Église Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and of the Church of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, both in Montréal. He has been presented in recital in many parts of Canada. Matthieu Latreille intends to study with Olivier Latry at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique de Paris in the summer of 2009.

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Ryan Jackson picture

Ryan Jackson is a Canadian graduate student from Ontario who is beginning a doctoral degree in organ performance at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, where he will study with Paul Jacobs. After graduating from the University of Toronto in 2006, where he was the inaugural recipient of the Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Award of $25,000, he completed the Master of Music in Organ Performance at Yale University, Institute of Sacred Music, where he was awarded the Baker Stipend. In 2005 he won the First Prize at the National Competition of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and in 2007 he won Second Prize at the Fort Wayne National Organ Playing Competition. He has served on the National Council of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and was the University Chapel Organist at Yale University in 2007 - 08. He was presented in recital at the National Convention of the Royal Canadian College of Organists in Halifax in 2006.

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Michael Unger picture

Michael Unger is a Canadian graduate student from Ontario who is working towards a doctoral degree in organ performance at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he studies with David Higgs. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario in 2002, where he won the Gold Medal, Michael completed a Master of Music in Organ Performance at Eastman; as well as his doctorate in organ performance, he is also presently pursuing a Master of Music in Harpsichord at Eastman. In 2006, he was a semifinalist at the national competition of the American Guild of Organists, in 2004 at the Odense International Organ Competition of Denmark, and in 2003 at the National Competition of the Royal Canadian College of Organists; in 2002, he won the first prize in the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors Composition Competition. He has appeared in recital in many parts of the united States and Canada, as well as in Denmark. He has been the Director of Music at South Presbyterian Church, Rochester, since 2002. During the summer of 2007, he will be attending organ and harpsichord academies in Italy, Germany, and Sweden.

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Isabelle Demers picture

Isabelle Demers is a Canadian graduate student from Québec who is beginning a doctoral programme in organ performance at the Juilliard School in New York 2006. After graduating from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal in 2003, where she studied with Jean LeBuis and Regis Rousseau, Ms. Demers went to New York to earn an M.Mus. in organ performance at the Juilliard School, studying with Paul Jacobs. In 2005, she was the third-prize-winner of both the Royal Canadian College of Organists National Organ Playing Competition and the Miami International Organ Competition, where she also won the Audience Prize, and she was also a finalist in the Dublin International Organ Competition. In 2003 she was awarded a Canada Council for the Arts Grant for Professional Classical Musicians (Emerging Artists). She has played recitals in Italy, the Czech Republic, Paris, and Bucharest, as well as in many places in Canada and the eastern United States.

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Craig Humber picture

Craig Humber is a Canadian graduate student from Newfoundland who plans to continue his organ studies with Michael Radulescu in Vienna in 2005 - 2006. After graduating from Acadia University in 1999, he studied for five years at the Hochschüle in Leipzig with Arvid Gast and Tobias Schade. In 2000, the Royal Canadian College of Organists awarded him the John Goss Scholarship for advanced organ studies outside Canada. In 2002 and 2004, he was awarded a Canada Council for the Arts Grant. In 2003, he was the first-ever North American prizewinner at the Gottfried Silber-mann International Organ Competition in Freiberg, Germany. He has played recitals and has been broadcast in Austria, Germany, and Holland, as well as in Canada.

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This page was last updated on: Saturday, 25-May-2024 15:17:38 EDT