The Halifax Centre: background
The first in Atlantic Canada, the Halifax Centre was organized in November 1951. With Maitland Farmer as chairman, the executive comprised musicians of churches representing six denominations, indicating the breadth of congregational involvement and the deep texture of leadership talent which over the ensuing half century would contribute to the growth of the city’s artistic sophistication while maintaining a constantly renewing membership of 30 to 40. Dating from the founding year of the Centre, the Annual Carol Service has been a feature of the pre-Christmas civic scene. Added to its workshops, guest recitalists and organ explorations, have been innovative series such as the October Phantom of the Pipes and the informal Evenings with a Colleague. There has been an emphasis upon scholarship programs to assist aspiring young organists, and projects to guide pianists to the organ. Collaborative relations have been in practice between the Centre’s musicians and the Province’s university music departments and schools of theology. The Centre has hosted two national gatherings, 1973 and 2006, and two regional weekends (Church Music 2000,2004).
See Walter H. Kemp, ”Atlantic Region”, In Service High, and Anthems Clear: 100 Years of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (Toronto, RCCO,2009,39-41).