Archive of Past Events

Following are some of the events and activities of the RCCO Halifax Centre that have taken place.

Annual General Meeting

Date: Monday, June 7, 2021 7:30pm – via Zoom
Chair: Wayne Rogers

series❝ Virtually Organ — Armchair Travel ❞

#1 of 2 – ‘Organ 101: The Art of Hymn-Playing’
Date: Sunday, March 7th, 2021 7:30 pm
Led by and featuring demonstrations from:

  • Shawn Whynot (Director of Music, Bethany United Church)
  • Wayne Rogers (Minister of Music, St. Matthew’s United Church)
  • Matthew Fraser (Wayne C. Vance Organ Scholar, Metropolitan United Church Toronto)

This workshop focuses on hymn playing and how we, as accompanists and worship leaders, can best support congregational singing from the organ and piano.

Preview video-clip (1:20) : Organ 101: The Art of Hymn-Playing
Three videos from this session are now available on our YouTube channel.

#2 of 2 – ‘Meet Your Colleague’ CANCELLED
Date: Sunday, May 2nd, 2021 7:30 pm
Co-hosts: Wayne Rogers and Robert Summerby-Murray

Wayne in conversation with Robert, presenting recordings of “My Favourite Organ Music”.

👉 We had to cancel this event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We may re-schedule it for the fall.

‘Sound the Note of Gladness’
– videos for Advent and Christmas –

Tune in to our Facebook page or our YouTube channel every Tuesday and Thursday up to Christmas for seasonal organ music by Halifax Centre members. Videos posted by about 5pm Tuesdays and Thursdays during December (2020).

🎃 Halloween Event for Halifax Centre Members

Saturday, October, 31st, 2020 at 7:30pm – via Zoom

A time for greeting one another over Zoom plus…

  • co-hosts, Wayne and Lynette, will present updates on:
    • singing with masks and the latest on COVID restrictions for faith organizations
    • information on copyright in the new live-streaming digital age, read from a new article written by Kevin Parks
  • 2 short organ videos to lift your spirit
  • link to Toronto Centre’s Phantom of the Pipes at Metropolitan United Church

Zooming with costumes encouraged!

The Ordination to the Diaconate: Patrick Salah

Live-streamed from St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica, Halifax
Saturday, August 15 @ 10:00am ADT

Leading music was Shawn Whynot, organist, and a quartet.

‘Sundays at 2’

At 2pm, every Sunday during June 2020, a short 15-minute video were posted on the RCCO Halifax Centre Facebook page. The videos featured a few pieces for organ or piano (or a few other instruments).

Sunday, June 7 : program…

  • Menuet (from Suite Gothique) – Leon Boellmann (Patrick Salah, organ, St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica)
  • Cantabile (from Symphonie VI) – Charles Marie Widor (Shawn Whynot, organ, Bethany United Church)
  • Improvisation on ‘It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood’ – Mister Rogers/Matthew Fraser (Matthew Fraser, piano, St. Matthew’s United Church)

See more details and video here.

Sunday, June 14 : program…

  • David German’s Festive Trumpet Tune (Patrick Salah, organ, St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica)
  • an accordion arrangement of Beethoven’s Fur Elise (Shawn Whynot, accordion)
  • Denis Bedard’s Postlude II from Trois Postludes (Matthew Fraser, organ, St. Matthew’s United Church)

See more details and video here.

Sunday, June 21 : program…

  • Denis Bedard’s Dialogue sur Te Deum (Patrick Salah, organ, St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica)
  • George Thalben-Ball’s Elegy (organ and trumpet) (Sarah Krawiec, flugelhorn; Matthew Fraser, organ, St. Matthew’s United Church)
  • Dieterich Buxtehude’s Prelude in G Minor (Shawn Whynot, organ, St. Matthew’s United Church)

See more details and video here.

Sunday, June 28: program…

  • Eugene Hill’s Toccata (from Sonatine) (Matthew Fraser, organ, St. Matthew’s United Church)
  • Great is Thy Faithfulness – arr. Dan Miller (Wayne Rogers, organ, St. Matthew’s United Church)
  • O God, Beyond All Praising (Hymn Concerto on Thaxted) – arr. Richard Proulx/Patrick Salah (Patrick Salah, organ and chimes, St. Mary’s Basilica)

See more details and the video here.

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Monday, June 1, 2020 at 7pm

The meeting was for all member of the Halifax Centre. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held as an Internet teleconference via ZOOM.

Matthew Fraser (organ) with Holly Carr (painter)


Matthew Fraser, organist, partners with silk-screen painter, Holly Carr for a concert celebrating the light and life of springtime.

Concert in Memory of Allen Wayte: “Organ and Opera”


Featuring Thomas Leslie, tenor, and Alcée Chriss, organ

Friday, March 27 at 7:00 p.m
First Baptist Church (1300 Oxford Street, Halifax)

Tickets are $20 regular and $5 for students.

The Halifax Centre of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, ( and the Canadian International Organ Competition ( present a tribute concert in memory of organist Allen Wayte, featuring tenor Thomas Leslie and renowned organist Alcée Chriss. The program titled Organ and Opera includes classical, operatic and jazz works by Bach, Art Tatum, Duruflé and Bizet.

RCCO Travelling Clinician: Jean-Willy Kunz

Workshop: Expanding the Organ Repertoire
(Improvisation, Jazz, Non-Classical, and more)

Saturday, February 25, 10:00-11:30am
St. Matthew’s United Church, Halifax

When you think of the organ, you probably think of music by Bach. That’s not the only style of music that can be played on the organ! Jean-Willy Kunz, resident organist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and renowned jazz, contemporary and classical organist comes to Halifax to lead this interactive workshop on how to expand the organ repertoire from classics, like Bach, with jazz, improvisation, non-classical music, and more! It will be interesting for all – not just organists!

All are welcome, free of charge! Refreshments will be provided. 

Concert: Jazz Pipes featuring Jean-Willy Kunz, organ

Saturday, February 25, 7:00pm
St. Matthew’s United Church, Halifax

Tickets: $20 available in advance or at the door

Internationally acclaimed organist and organist in residence of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Jean-Willy Kunz, comes to Halifax for a weekend of workshops and a concert on the grand Casavant organ of St. Matthew’s United Church featuring a diverse program of classical works, jazz improvisation, Kunz’s own transcription of Camille Saint-Saëns humourous The Carnival of the Animals (Le carnaval des animaux), and more! The Carnival of the Animals will include poetry written by CBC’s Bill Richardson, as well as illustrations by Mary GrandPre (the illustrator of the Harry Potter novels). We’re confident you have never heard the organ quite like this, so join us for this rare and fantastic performance

St. Matthew’s is an accessible and inclusive space. All are most welcome.

CD’s of jazz music for organ and band will be for sale following the concert—
cash only.


Pipe Dreams

Wednesday, August 28, 2019, starting at 7pm
St Matthew’s United Church
1479 Barrington Street, Halifax

All are welcome to this exclusive film screening in advance of the theatre release. Immediately following the film will be a question & answer period with the director (Stacey Tenenbaum) and one of the stars of the film (Thomas Gaynor), as well as a short performance by the artist on St. Matthew’s Casavant Organ! Come and discover this phenomenal instrument up close and watch this wonderful, informative documentary!

Note: You will need to purchase a ticket, but there is no need to print anything out. Your name will be confirmed against a guest-list on the evening.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019
St Matthew’s United Church
1479 Barrington Street, Halifax
Beginning at 12:15pm

Matthew Fraser performs piano and organ works of Arnatt, Mendelssohn, Bedard, Vierne, Thalben-Ball and Bach.

Summer Concerts at the Cathedral

Cathedral Church of All Saints’
Cathedral Lane, Halifax

Wednesday, August 14, 2019, starting at 12:15pm
Dr. James Burchill, Cathedral Organist Emeritus, performs works of J.S. Bach.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019, starting at NOON
Gabriel O’Brien, Organ Scholar at Kings College, performs works of Widor, Bach and Willan.

RCCO National Convention 2019
July 7-11, 2019

RCCO Student Organ Academy
July 3–7, 2019

RCCO National Organ Playing Competition
July 5–7, 2019
Cathedral Church of Saints
1330 Cathedral Lane

Spring Sing!
Saturday, April 27, 2019
First Baptist Church Halifax (1300 Oxford Street, Halifax)
Beginning at 7:00pm

We know you’re dreaming of springtime, and we are too!

Save the date (add to your calendar) for the Royal Canadian College of Organists Halifax Centre’s
Spring Sing: Poetry and Music for the Spring and Easter Seasons

The evening will celebrate the bright and joyous seasons of Easter and Spring through uplifting choral music, congregational hymns, readings, poetry, organ repertoire, and a sing-along Hallelujah Chorus (which everyone is invited to sing!—printed music will be provided)

All are welcome to join a massed choir for rehearsal prior to the event (4–6pm). In the coming weeks, additional information will be released regarding special guests joining the choir. Check back regularly!

Get over the dark winter months with this glorious celebration of the resurrection and blooming of flowers!

Choral Sharing (poster)
Monday, February 4, 2019
St Thomas More Church
15 Caledonia Road, Dartmouth
Beginning at 7:00pm

All are invited to join Halifax RCCO Colleagues as we explore compositions both old and new from three different traditions. The session will run from 7:00 – 8:30pm followed by a time of refreshment and conversation. Please indicate your interest (email Patrick Salah) to allow for enough handouts.

RCCO Annual Lessons and Carols for Christmas

December 3, 2018, 7:00pm
Presented by RCCO members and choirs
Cathedral Church of All Saints’, Halifax

OrgelkidsCan demonstration

Friday, November 23, 2018
Home of Centre President and Regional Director, Margaret Machum

All members of the RCCO Halifax Centre and their significant others were invited for an evening of fun featuring a demonstration of an OrgelkidsCan pipe organ. OrgelkidsCan has developed a kit which, once assembled, creates a small, table-top working pipe organ. The kit can be put together by children who can then have fun playing the instrument that they have assembled. This will be a great opportunity to become familiar with the kit and to think of ways to promote it with children in the area.

The evening began at 5:45pm with pizza followed by the OrgelkidsCan demonstration.

Phantoms Of the Pipes
October 27, 2018
Presented by RCCO Members and guest performers
Fort Massey United Church, Halifax
Beginning at 7:00pm

OBEY presents: Áine O’Dwyer (UK) + chik white
October 12, 2018
Fort Massey United Church

The first show of OBEY Convention’s fall/winter programming features two performers twisting traditions and conjuring sonic places. Through extended techniques, hardened improv and physical mysterium, Áine O’Dwyer and chik white provide spiritually charged experimentations. Join us for an evening of new listening at Fort Massey United Church.

Áine O’Dwyer is an Irish musician, performer, listener and sonic stalker, who has earned a reputation as one of the UK’s most subversive and heady performers. Her recent practice centers around the pipe organ as an integral site of found and forgotten space, acoustic phenomena and the performativity of instruments, time, memory and the body. Described by All About Jazz as a ‘hyper-accomplished musician and innovator’ and praised by The Quietus for creating ‘folk music at it’s most primordial, visceral and raw’, we can’t wait to hear what powers she’ll unearth from within the 105-year-old organ at Fort Massey United.

2018 Halifax Summer Organ Concerts:

St Mary’s Basilica, 5221 Spring Garden Road
Concerts begin at 7:00pm and last about 45 minutes
Freewill donation
June 19 – Shawn Whynot
July 3 – Diemo Landgraf
July 17 – Matthew Fraser
July 31 – Kim Tan-MacNeill
August 7 – Robert Summerby-Murray
August 28 – Patrick Salah

All Saints Cathedral, 1330 Cathedral Lane, Halifax
Concerts begin at 12:10pm and last about 50 minutes
Collection in aid of Organ Restoration Fund
July 18 – James Burchill
August 15 – James Burchill

Save The Organ
2nd Annual Regional Mini-Conference
Friday, May 4, 2018—registration 6:30pm; session 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Saturday, May 5, 2018—registration 9am; sessions 9:30am – 5pm
Sunday, May 6, 2018
First Baptist Church, Halifax
Conference Website

Halifax Centre Barbecue and Annual General Meeting
Monday June 4, 2018
At the home of David and Susan Wilson, Halifax
Beginning at 6:00pm
Please Note: Members are encouraged to bring along their significant others (spouse, partner, friend, etc.)

Organ Crawl
Saturday April 14, 2018
Presented by Whit Giffin and Andrew Barss
Chester United Baptist Church, Chester
Beginning at 10:30am with lunch served at 12:00pm

Resonance: An Evening of Music for Brass and Organ
Thursday, April 5th, 2018
Presented by Scotia Brass and organist Kevin Parks
St. Andrew’s United Church, 1390 Robie Street, Halifax
Beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The evening’s program include works by Eric Ewazen, Howard Cable, Anton Bruckner, Dieterich Buxtehude, Herbert Murrill, and other great composers. The concert will be by free-will donation and is open to the public.

Choosing Hymns
Monday March 5, 2018
Presented by Kevin Parks
A.S.T. Chapel, Halifax
Beginning at 7:00pm

Sun. March 3rd, 7:30pm – Hymn Fest 2013 is at St. Matthew’s United Church, 1479 Barrington St,  Sunday March 3rd, 7:30 pm. All welcome, freewill offering.

POSTER-Hymn Fest 2013

Sunday, April 14 at 7 pm Gala Organ Concert in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Letourneau organ at St.George’s (Round) Church. Organist Garth MacPhee will perform works by Buxtehude, Bach, Liszt and Duruflé,  joined by Tempest Baroque Orchestra, led by David Greenberg. Tickets are $100 for patrons, $20 regular and $15 for students, and may be purchased at the Parish Office and online by visiting the Parish website (  This special celebration of the organ includes the addition of a new stop, the zimbelstern, which was used for the first time at the Easter Vigil this year. Proceeds will go to the Friends of St George’s Society, in support of the music programme of the parish.  A reception will follow the concert.
This concert will be preceded by an Orgel Probe at 6 pm, at which time Garth will give a tour of the instrument, inside and out.

Fri. Apri 19th, 7pm, Rockingham United Church, 12 Flamingo Drive, Halifax Organ Concert by Dr David Peters:  From Bach to Gospel: Music to Raise the Roof”, Admission: $15 per person (full time students: $5) 902-443-2947

Sat. April 20th, 9:30amDavid Peters’ lecture on ‘Historic Organs of Newfoundland’ will be given at Bethany United Church, 7171 Clinton Av. (next to the Rotary) on the morning of Saturday April 20th, 9:30ish – 11 AM. Free for RCCO  members and students, non-members donation at door.

Sat. April 27th 7:30 pm Bethany United and Scotia Brass in Performance. The Bethany United Parish Choir and the Scotia Brass under the direction of James Williams performing choral selections for the Season of Easter. Audience members will also have the opportunity to sing majestic hymn arrangements accompanied by the 16 piece brass ensemble along with organ. The concert will also feature organists Shawn Whynot and Patrick Salah. General Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door and at the church office by calling 902-455-0521.

 Halifax Centre Events

 November and December 2013

 An “Evening with a Colleague” was provided on Monday 18th November by our member Hugh Creighton, at First Baptist Church, Halifax. With wit and insight, Hugh discussed organs he has encountered during his extensive travels within Canada and abroad, comparing and contrasting various styles of organ building and playing.

The annual Halifax RCCO Carolfest reverted to All Saints’ Cathedral, Halifax on Monday 2nd December, following the completion of renovations. A large congregation, welcomed by Lynette Wahlstrom, current President of the Centre, enjoyed organ preludes and enthusiastically sang several hymns and carols, backed by a massed choir assembled from various Halifax churches. Further items sung by this choir were supplemented by anthems from two church choirs: First Baptist and St David’s Presbyterian. Guest harpist Katherine Fitch Loza accompanied several choral items and played during the Offertory. Prayers and readings were offered by the Reverend Dr Helen Ryding, Chaplain to the Centre. Conductors and organists were RCCO members: Tristan Cleveland-Thompson, Freeman Dryden, Ray Grant, John Hudson (host organist), Margaret Machum, Skippy Mardon, Kevin Parks, Patrick Salah, Robert Summerby-Murray, Lynette Wahlstrom, Shawn Whynot and Douglas Wiseman.

Submitted by John Walter


Monday Feb. 17th, 2014 7:00-8:30 pm St. George’s Round Church, 2222 Brunswick

Hymn workshop: Garth Macphee, presenter.

Describing hymn accompaniment as the church musicians’ fundamental task
whose complexity and depth is often underestimated and neglected,
Garth MacPhee gave a well-thought out presentation on this skill to members
of the Halifax Centre on Monday 17 February 2014 at St George’s Round Church
assisted by John Walter, Freeman Dryden and Malcolm Bradley. Emphasizing the
importance of establishing and maintaining the tempo and pulsation Garth
also worked with his three volunteers on articulation and phrasing,
registration, introductions and special effects.

James Burchill
18 February 2014


A highlight of this year’s Halifax Centre season was the two-day visit of
David Briggs. His well-attended organ recital at the Cathedral Church of All
Saints on Friday 9 May 2014, when he played works by J. S. Bach, Joseph
Haydn, David Briggs, César Franck, Paul Dukas and Gustav Mahler (arranged by
David Briggs), interspersed with information and humour, concluded with a
continuous four-movement improvisation which made good use of the themes
suggested by John Hudson: “Abide with me” and “O Canada”. Saturday at First
Baptist Church included two workshops on French organ music: in the first Mr
Briggs discussed its history and played representative examples, and in the
second, assisted by organists Patrick Salah and Garth MacPhee, he made
suggestions for performance. In the evening at United Memorial Church David
Briggs was the guest speaker at the Centre’s Clergy-Organist dinner.

James Burchill
12 May 2014

David Briggs Concert 7:30 pm ~ Friday, May 9, 2014 Cathedral Church of All Saints, 1330 Martello
Guest Organist David Briggs will present a concert of organ music.
Tickets $20 regular/ $10 seniors, RCCO members and students/ 12 & under free

David Briggs Workshop & Masterclass 10-12 – 2-4 ~ Saturday, May 10, 2014, First Baptist Church, 1300 Oxford

Open to public: $25 full day, $15 half day, RCCO members free
David Briggs will present a workshop on French Organ music 10 am-12 noon, followed by masterclass, 2-4 pm.
First Baptist Church Halifax, 1300 Oxford
Sat. May 10th, 6 pm Clergy/Organist dinner , United Memorial Church, 5375 Kaye St.  Guest speaker: David Briggs
Tickets $15 per person, contact <>
  Friday 19 September 2014 at First Baptist Church (Host Organist Lynette
Wahlstrom) Freeman Dryden and Claude Hicks gave an interesting talk helped
by Power Point photos on organs either junked, threatened, or transplanted
because of closure, demolition or threat of same of their churches. Freeman
and Claude deserve much credit for the pipe organs they have managed to
save.  Submitted by James Burchill 22 September 2014.


Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza  Sun. Oct. 5th, 2014 12:30-1:30 pm First Baptist Church Halifax, 1300 Oxford

An interactive and educational event for children, ages 7-14, was led by Kevin Parks, and hosted by FBC Halifax’s Lynette Wahlstrom. Two enthusiastic groups of youth, ages 11-16, and 5-10, were introduced to the ranks and swells of the pipe organ, with a chance to play the 3-manual Casavant as well.  Pizza was enjoyed by all!

 Phantoms of the Pipes

With special guests The Halifax Grammar Prep School Choir, directed by Shawn Whynot, and Walter Kemp as Master of Ceremonies, the seventeenth annual Phantoms of the Pipes was held on Saturday, 25 October 2014 at Fort Massey United Church, Simon Abbott, host organist. Organised by Simon Abbott and John Walter the performers, in addition to the Grammar School choir and the two organisers, included RCCO members Alan Fraser, Erin Hansen, Margaret Machum, Lynette Wahlstrom, Shawn Whynot and David Wilson; guest performers included Leah Collins-Lipsett, organ; Kevin Robarts, piano; Angus McDonald, Jacqueline Quackenbush, Benjamin Shaw and Patrick Simms, singers. A collection in aid of the David MacDonald Scholarship Fund was received and the well-attended event was followed by a reception.

RCCO 2014 Carolfest
An unseasonably warm evening encouraged an excellent turnout for the annual
RCCO Carol Fest held at the Cathedral Church of All Saints on 1 December
2014. Featured were a commissioned carol by Michael Robson who conducted the
performance, and the choir of the Cathedral Church of All Saints conducted
by their Interim Choir Director, Eszter Horvath. The prelude was performed
by Alan Fraser with soprano Anita Simmons-Clancy, David Wilson, and Skippy
Mardon, and the postlude by Robert Summerby-Murray; the prayers and readings
were given by the Centre Chaplain, The Revd Dr Helen Ryding, and the welcome
by centre president Lynette Wahlstrom. Members and guests who performed as
conductors and organists included Robert Summerby-Murray, Ray Grant, Lynette
Wahlstrom, Shawn Whynot, Eszter Horvath, Margaret Machum, Patrick Salah,
James Burchill, and Allison Kearns playing the Bodhran drum.

Submitted by James Burchill
4 December 2014

Events 2015


Mon. Feb. 9th, 2015  A Memorial service at St. Luke’s Anglican in Dartmouth was held for honoured colleague,  Doug Wiseman. Many of you will remember Doug as he was regional director for the Atlantic for many years and subsequently chair of the College Development Fund.  The following obituary appeared in the Chronicle Herald:

Wiseman, Douglas Frank – 74, passed away suddenly at home February 5, 2015. Born in Halifax, he was the son of the late Gordon & Edith (Kline) Wiseman. Doug spent 33 years as Stores Manager of the Biology department of Dalhousie University. But his true calling was a church organist & choir director. At the age of 16, he became organist of Emanuel Anglican Church, Spryfield & subsequently served at Oxford Street Untied Church, St. George’s Anglican Church, St. John’s Anglican, Stairs United, and Emmanuel Anglican Dartmouth. For the past 25 years. He was director of music & Organist at St. Luke’s Anglican Church Dartmouth. In 2010, Doug was chosen to direct the mass choir for the 300th anniversary of continuous worship in the Anglican Dioceses of Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island. Doug was a Lay Reader in the Anglican Church. He was a long-time member of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, achieved a level of Colleague. He was chair of the Halifax Center of the RCCO for 6 years.

— Evening with a Colleague Feb. 9th, 2015
RCCO members and interested folk from Fort Massey United Church met at First
Baptist Church on Monday 9 February for a talk with photographs by Leah
Collins-Lipsett and Simon Abbott, chief musicians at Fort Massey, on their
self-directed organ tour of Europe in Summer 2014.

You can follow their blog on

James Burchill
10 February 2015

Mar. 9th, 2015 Hymn workshop: Garth Macphee, presenter.

Describing hymn accompaniment as the church musicians’ fundamental task
whose complexity and depth is often underestimated and neglected,
Garth MacPhee gave a well-thought out presentation on this skill to members
of the Halifax Centre at St George’s Round Church. Emphasizing the
importance of establishing and maintaining the tempo and pulsation Garth
also worked with his three volunteers on articulation and phrasing,
registration, introductions and special effects.

10 am May 1, 2015   Workshop Employee/Employer Relationships – Fred Graham -RCCO National Professional Support Rep.

An interactive presentation by our RCCO National Representative on Professional Support.

Please invite your Music Committees and Worship Leaders

10 am -noon, First Baptist Church Halifax, 1300 Oxford

Contact Kevin Parks <> for more information


 Fri. May 8th, 2015   Wesley Warren Lecture Demonstration

First Baptist Church Halifax, 1300 Oxford

7-9 Lecture demonstration: public welcome $10, RCCO members free

Sat. May 9, 2015    7:30 pm – Wesley Warren Recital – the music of Herbert Howells


Cathedral Church of All Saints, 1330 Martello

HALIFAX CENTRE, RCCO, 8 – 9 May 2015

The visit of Travelling Clinician, Wesley Warren, to Halifax on May 8 – 9
began with a workshop on Herbert Howells, the man and his organ music, at
First Baptist Church (host organist Lynette Wahlstrom) on Friday evening.
The following evening his organ recital at the Cathedral Church of All
Saints (host organist James Burchill) in addition to Herbert Howells
included music by Johann Scheidemann, Dietrich Buxtehude, J.S.Bach, Felix
Mendelssohn, César Franck, and Henri Mulet.

Submitted by James Burchill
10 May 2015


Recital by Dr Sharon Pond
A lunchtime recital by Dr Sharon Pond, Associate Organist at Christ Church Cathedral, Fredericton NB, opened the Halifax RCCO Centre’s 2015/16 season on Wednesday 16th September. Playing the 4-manual Casavant organ at St Matthew’s United Church, Halifax, Dr Pond treated an appreciative audience to a demanding selection of pieces by Bach, Cernohorsky, Dupre, Schumann and Durufle.


Friday and Saturday, 16/17 October   at FBC Halifax, 1300 Oxford
Guest Speaker, James Chubb
Organist and Composer with a
30-year career in organ technology

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16th, 7:30-9:00  at FBC Halifax, 1300 Oxford, Parlour 3rd floor
A general talk on understanding organ-related technology. Of interest to all those involved in church music.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17th, 10:00-12:00  at FBC Halifax, 1300 Oxford, Sanctuary
Details on organ design and technology including sound-generation, audio and control systems, MIDI, and Hauptwerk.

Friday Dinner
Harvest Supper at FBC, 5:30. Tickets $15.00
Call Church Office at (902)422-5203 to reserve a ticket

Saturday Lunch: Daryll’s Restaurant
Saturday, 17 October, 1:30-4:00
1:30. Fort Massey United Church
2:20. Fairview United Church
3:10. Bethany United Church


Carolfest, December 7, 2015.

A large audience attended the Anglican Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax, for the annual Halifax RCCO Carolfest. The evening commenced with an organ recital, followed by massed choir anthems and congregational carols and hymns, interspersed with readings. Participant organists and conductors were Paul Halley (host organist), Tristan Cleveland-Thompson, Freeman Dryden, Ray Grant, Kevin Parks, Skippy Mardon, Robert Summerby-Murray, Margaret Machum, Lynette Wahlstrom, John Walter, David Wilson, Shawn Whynot, Pierre Perron and Nick Veltmeyer.  Sarah Krawieck played the trumpet. Choir members from several churches in the Halifax region and beyond combined for the massed choir. Readings were undertaken by Charlotte Cochrane, Maureen Yeats, Tingdzin Otro and Susan Drain, and the Cathedral Dean, the Very Reverend Paul Smith, presided. Proceeds after expenses were devoted to RCCO initiatives and programs.

Hymn-Fest, February 21, 2016.

To honour the 150th Anniversary of St Mark’s Anglican Church, Halifax, members of the Halifax RCCO Centre led a festival of hymns at the church. An unusual feature of the event was the “appearance” of the authors of the hymns (as costumed “personages” played by members of St Mark’s), who explained the circumstances surrounding the composition and inspiration of the words, most of which originated in the 19th century. Organists and conductors who participated were Freeman Dryden (host), Kate Jones, Margaret Machum, Skippy Mardon, Matthew Fraser, John Walter and Wayne Rogers. Brass support was provided by Sarah Krawieck (trumpet) and Trevor Hannon (trombone). The Rector of St Mark’s, the Reverend John Morell, presided.

Evening with a Colleague, April 11, 2016

Shawn Whynot presented a talk on the musical, textual and liturgical aspects of Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem Mass. The event was held at Bethany United Church, Halifax, and was followed by refreshments and discussion, the audience comprising both members and guests.

Organ Rescue Symposium, May 2, 2016

This event, hosted by Lynette Wahlstrom at First Baptist Church, commenced with short talks by Freeman Dryden, James Chubb, Andrew Barss and Colin Walsh, followed by discussion. Various factors affecting the survival and retention of pipe organs were considered, including the cultivation of an appreciative audience for organ music, the identification of organs worthy of preservation, the encouragement of churches to recognize the value of their instruments and the location of storage space for organs in transition. Details of some local successes were presented.

Submitted by John Walter

Fall 2016

  • Halifax Centre News October 2016
    Evening with a colleague: Update on the Kingston Convention
    Halifax Centre events for the 2016/17 season commenced with a presentation by Centre President Margaret Machum on October 3
    rd, 2016 at First Baptist Church, Halifax. Margaret discussed her attendance at the Kingston RCCO Convention in July, 2016, as well as the Summer Institute of Church Music in Whitby, Ontario, and the
    2016 Convention of the American Institute of Organbuilders in Boston, Massachusetts in August. Phantoms of the Pipes: This annual Hallowe’en event was again held amid the mid-Victorian Gothic Revival
    gloom of Fort Massey United Church, Halifax, on October 28
    th , 2016. Captain Angus McDonald was guest MC. Organ works by Britten, Bach (2), Elgar, and Bédard (2) were played by RCCO Halifax Centre Organists Hugh Creighton, Kate Jones, Lynette Wahlstrom, John Walter and David Wilson. Special guests, the Halifax All-City Youth
    Honour Choir, conducted by Krista Vincent and accompanied by Pamela Burton, gave polished renditions of songs by Brian Tate, Doreen Rao and John Williams. Guest soprano Natalie Thimot, accompanied by Lynette Wahlstrom, artfully presented songs by John Woods Drake and Samuel Barber. Despite the rain, a large and appreciative audience gathered and over $1,100 (after expenses) was raised for the David
    MacDonald Scholarship fund, which provides lessons for aspiring organists.
    Silent Movie:
    Before a full house, Halifax Centre member Shawn Whynot continued another Hallowe’en tradition on October 29 th , 2016 at Bethany United Church, with his entertaining organ accompaniment to a scary silent movie “The Cat and the Canary”. This event has been held for many years and is proof that the organ still has wide appeal when in capable hands.

RCCO Halifax Carolfest 2016 Archive: Margaret Machum, President’s Welcome:

Welcome to Carolfest 2016. As President of the Halifax Centre of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, I welcome you to this annual celebration of the Advent and Christmas seasons. How nice it is we can gather at this time of year when we pause to reflect on past, present, and future, and to consider and express our gratitude for family, friends, and colleagues. – to reflect on our accomplishments individually and as an organization in these challenging times  – to reflect on the happiness and inspiration we bring to our congregations through our work as church musicians  – to think about what lies ahead and how we can help one another cope with the challenges. As we ponder all these things, let us join together to share some lovely Christmas music with one another. We thank you for coming. We appreciate your support. Let us celebrate the joys of Christmas in music and word.

Spoken by Margaret Machum, Dec. 5th, 2016 Cathedral Church of All Saints

Organ recital: Nicholas Veltmeyer, Organist of Christ Church Dartmouth and Sub-Organist of the University of King’s College, Halifax, played a recital of Lenten music at St James’ Anglican Church, Halifax on Monday, March 13th 2017. An appreciative audience was treated to works by Brahms and J.S. Bach, and to a novel improvisation on Lenten Prose, in which the performer added a genuine Vox Humana (his own) to the resources of the 1989 Létourneau tracker-action organ.  The recital concluded with Bach’s famous variations on “Sei gegrüsset, Jesu gütig”, well-chosen to display the versatility of the instrument.

Choral Reading, Halifax RCCO Centre:On Monday, January 9th 2017 a Choral Reading was conducted by Halifax member Tristan Cleveland-Thompson at Fort Massey United Church, where he was recently appointed Organist and Music Director. The anthems presented were new to most of those present, being accessible contemporary works by Canadian composers Kathleen Singer (Benediction), Paul Halley (Infinite Light), an arrangement by Jeff Enns of a song by Brown, Emerson and Morrison, (Song of the Land) and an anthem in Spanish by American composer Kinley Lange (Esto les Digo). Members agreed that all these works deserved a place in their choirs’ repertoires.


7:00 pm, Fri. May 12th, 2017  Exploring the Organ

9-4, Sat. May 13th

First Baptist Church Halifax, 1330 Oxford

A mini-conference led by James Chubb, Andrew Barss, and Margaret Machum is to be held May 12-13, 2017 in Halifax. Entitled Saving the Organ: Restoring Organ Popularity in the Twenty-First Century, the concept of the conference is to bring together as many people as possible from all facets of the organ world, including organists, organ builders, technicians, teachers, clergy,
financial people, to help establish a new industry-wide framework and plan for building the environment for the success of the organ in the 21st century.
The mini-conference will take place Friday evening, May 12, and all day Saturday, May 13, 2017. The schedule includes an introduction to the conference and keynote speaker on Friday evening with
workshops by three others on Sound and Architecture, Economics, and Priorities on Saturday morning and afternoon. The final session will be a general discussion with the leaders and special guests on the
issues and the development of plans for moving forward.
For those who wish to stay for Sunday, a church service with strong use of the organ is being planned, followed by lunch at a local restaurant, and then a visit to two churches with interesting environments to assess and discuss.

September 23 2017 Michael Capon Organ Recital

Michael Capon-Announcement 

RCCO’s 2017 Traveling Clinician, Michael Capon, Director of Music – St. George’s Anglican Cathedral in Kingston, Ontario.


Friday, Sept. 22nd, 2017  7-9 pm  St. Andrew’s United Church, 6036 Coburg

“Sacred Choral Music” featuring readings of Canadian music with Michael Capon, our 2017 RCCO Traveling Clinician.


Saturday, Sept. 23rd, 2017 9-11:30 am  St. Andrew’s United Church

“Leading Hymns and Songs at the Organ” with Michael Capon:

This workshop will explore techniques for creative leadership of congregational singing from the pipe organ, including introductions,verse transition, registrations, revoicing, chording and re-harmonization.


Saturday, Sept. 23rd, 2017 2 pm 

Michael Capon in Concert, 

Cathedral Church of All Saints, 1330 Cathedral Lane

Phantom of the Pipes

Date: Saturday 28th October 2017.
Place: Fort Massey United Church, corner Queen and Tobin Streets, Halifax NS.
Time: 7:00 pm
Special guests:
 “Lake Voices” school choir from Sackville/Fall River (Conductor: Lisa Webb

Admission: $10 at door

Refreshments following the concert

The Royal Canadian College of Organists- Halifax Centre
                  Monday, December 4th, 2017 at  7 p.m.
                    The Cathedral Church of All Saints’
                        Cathedral Lane, Halifax, N.S.
                    Admission – free-will offering