Archive for RCCO Vancouver Updates


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Pictures from our pre and post AGM boat rides, many thanks to executive member Michael Dirk!

Organ Crawl 2015 – Fraser Valley

We started in White Rock at the Good Shepherd Church (2250 150 St, Surrey, BC V4A 9J3). During the parish’s 1995 construction, a single donor offered a half-million for the commission of the magnum opus (no 20) of BC’s largest organ builder, Adrian Koppejan of Chilliwack. The three manual, 35-stop electric-slider action of neo-classic disposition resides at the front of the church in a capacity acoustic of 1.6 seconds. We enjoyed hearing the clear sounds of this instrument, and seeing the inside of the organ as well.

Our second church was Maranatha Canadian Reformed Church (12300 92 Ave, Surrey, BC V3V 1G3). This organ is a combination of the 1912 Casavant organ, purchased from the Central Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, and the 1961-1967 organ built by Mr. Stanley Haddon for the Canadian Reformed Church of New Westminster. The tonal alterations, rebuilding, and installation were done by the organ builder Kenneth A. Hodgson of White Rock, British Columbia. The power of this instrument was great, and looking down through the pipes high up in the organ loft was exciting. Everyone had a chance to play their favorite piece.

We conclude our trip at the Langley Canadian Reformed Church (21804 52 Avenue, Langley, BC V2Y 1L3). This organ was only installed in 2008 and is the most recent installation of a new Casavant organ in our province. Drawings and pictures of the install were displayed, and at the end of our journey, we enjoyed coffee, soup and buns. The console was moved in the center so that it was ideal to hear the sound.

See the video for an impression….

Vancouver Organist Retirement

The family of Henry Hageman wishes to announce his retirement as organist after 55 years of church service.

Henry took organ lessons as a young boy in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and was taught by the organist, Haite van der Schaaf.

He became official organist of a very old, medieval church in Amsterdam-West, on May 4, 1960. A few months later he obtained the church organist diploma.

Henry continued playing the organ in every congregation he was a member of: Amsterdam-West, Amsterdam-North; then after immigration to Canada, Winnipeg-Transcona, Toronto-Scarborough and later here in New Westminster Christian Reformed Church and the Bible Presbyterian Church in Port Coquitlam. He was instrumental in securing a fabulous organ by one of his favorite organ builders, Karl Wilhelm, in the Scarborough church.

Henry was an active member of the RCCO, often performed in recitals and faithfully attended them. He continued to take lessons even into his 70s. He inspired many, including his own children, with the love of early music. His inspiration was Bach; and he, like him, desired above all to glorify his Creator.



9th Annual RCCO Halloween Concert, October 25 2014

Organ Music for All Hallow’s Eve

Saturday 26 October 2014 @ 7:30pm

St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church
A 9th annual offering of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, Vancouver Centre.

Praeludium in f-sharp minor, BuxWV 146                         Dietrich Buxtehude (1637–1707)
Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt, BuxWV 183

Christina Hutten

Scherzo in g minor, Op. 49/2         Marco Enrico Bossi (1861–1925)

David Barry Waterlow

Requiem, Op. 9                Maurice Duruflé (1902–1986)
VII. Lux æterna
IX. In paradisum

Oculus Chamber Choir
Ben Ewert, conductor; David Poon, organist

— HYMN: Let all mortal flesh keep silence —

Trois Esquisses, CH 04       Denis Bédard (b. 1950)
I. Introduction et Toccata

Musica dominicalis (1958)       Petr Eben (1929–2007)
III. Moto ostinato

Michael Dirk

Le banquet céleste          Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992)

Tian Ip

Prélude et Toccata sur «Victimae Paschali Laudes», CH 38    Denis Bédard
Tu es Petra        Henri Mulet (1878–1967)

Michael Molnar

Special thanks to Darryl Nixon and St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church for the use of their
pipe organ and church for this event!

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Church Music Summer Institute 2014!

cmsi13-8Monday through Thursday had teaching times with international concert artist Ellen Wang. Studies included organ voices and their character, pedal playing, organ accompaniment playing, hymn playing, classical playing, etc., with each topic being introduced by a lecture followed with demos by Ms. Wang. The intent was to motivate the students towards adding organ to their future.

CMSI began as a help to pianists who were already playing organ, but not very  sure of what they were doing. We still do this, but now we also invite young piano students to participate.

CMSI now offers piano students between 10 and 20 years of age a free $300 scholarship to cover CMSI tuition. This is a very successful program towards increasing the number of organists!

This Years CMSI’ 14 is August 11. 12, 13, & 14

For more information: Ask for Roy at (800) 668-4177 or

RCCO Members’ Recital, Saturday May 30

The next RCCO event is our annual members’ recital, which will take place this year at Ryerson United Church, 2195 West 45th Avenue, Vancouver, at 7pm on Saturday, May 30.

Mark your calendars!  More details soon.

Organ Crawl – Vancouver

Next RCCO event is an ORGAN CRAWL on Saturday, February 8, 2014, starting at 2:30 pm, to…

  • St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 2:30 – 3:30 pm
  • St. Paul’s Anglican Church, (this is a change of venue) 4 – 5:45 pm
  • Holy Rosary Cathedral. 6 – 8 pm

Join us at St. Patrick’s Church, 2881 Main St, Vancouver (west side of Main between 12th and 13th). There is bus service along Main (see the Translink website) and ample parking at St. Patrick’s behind the church. Anyone needing lifts from there to St. Paul’s and then to Holy Rosary Cathedral, please email Rachel at <>.  Skytrain stations are easily accessible by foot from Holy Rosary Cathedral.

Light refreshments will be served at St. Paul’s, and donations will be accepted at that point to cover costs.

Each organ will be introduced, and then participants can have a close look at the organs, and have an opportunity to play the organs. And take some pictures and videos…!

St. Patrick’s Catholic church

The Leslie Smith organ is a brand new 2/14 tracker in the German Baroque style.  Originally planned for Guardian Angels Catholic church, the organ has now found the perfect home in the lively but clear acoustics of St. Patrick’s Catholic church.  For specs:

St. Paul’s

Casavant two-manual organ from the early 1900’s, rebuilt by Casavant in the 1950’s.
Beautiful historic space and instrument.
Also: Sabathil one-manual Harpsichord (8′ and 4′), well-tempered (not equal-tempered).

 Holy Rosary Cathedral

And this is your chance to play the magnificent organ at Holy Rosary Cathedral!

RCCO Halloween Concert, October 26 2013: review and photos

A successful Halloween Member’s Recital in Vancouver involves oddities and delights none can truly anticipate. It all began with Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, but with the Toccata performed by James Loeffler, a very young mad-scientist. As he was finishing, out from underneath a large white cloth beside the console emerged Michael Dirk…his monster, in rather Frankenstinian glory (just in time to do the Fugue). A toddler, not quite two-years-old, was the next performer. Little Edgar Poon was dressed as Chekhov (From “Star Trek”), and was set to do a quiet improvisation. For months now, he has delighted in pressing down keys whenever sitting at an organ (and has even been at the Philadelphia Wanamaker behemoth). Father David Poon deftly crouched behind the bench (ornamenting, expanding, and creating harmony to accompany the little themes), wisely drawing the performance to a close just as a little finger seemed excited at the prospect of pushing general piston 4. Yasuko Tsuno artfully navigated through Beethoven’s opening Allegro con brio to Symphony no.5, with the help of a gigantic spider. Then gypsy Susan Ohanessian swirled through the haunting Franck Pastorale, with the page-turning assistance of her husband, taking a break from running his steam engine. David Poon returned to play Ganon’s boss music from the classic video game, Zelda: A Link to the Past…but clearly needed to pick up more heart containers, for it came to an abrupt end with him “losing his life”! Escaped convict and ne’er-do-well Sam Balden was the MC for the evening, and took a break from his poetry and seasonal history lessons to play the eerie Kyrie from Preisner’s Requiem for my Friend, and the celebrated Funeral March (by Gounod) of a Marionette (of Hitchcock fame).To conclude the evening, barbarian prince Michael Molnar (anachronistically) played Durufle’s stirring Fugue sur le thème du Carillon des Heures de la Cathedrale de Soissons  (say that five times fast), and Boellmann’s mighty Toccata from the well-loved Suite Gothique. Horrible seasonal jokes were delightfully given and painfully received, and a lavish reception was presented afterwards. St. Andrew’s-Wesley remains an excellent Gothic location, and the Vancouver Centre continues to get stranger and stranger each year!


By Michael Molnar

Group pictureI can play without looking The monster is awake The mad sc. and monster 1 J. S. Monster Decor The Roma are coming The not so shy convict


RCCO Members’ Recital 2013 – Kerrisdale Presbyterian Church


Mark your calendars!

The annual RCCO Members’ Recital will take place at Kerrisdale Presbyterian Church (2733 W 41st Ave, Vancouver, at Yew, lots of free parking behind the church) on Saturday, May 26 at 7 pm.

Performers will include Sam Balden, Michael Dirk, Frank Ezinga, Cindy Leung, Huiyan Ma, Michael Molnar, Susan and Paul Ohannesian, and David Poon.

Entry by donation.

Repertoire and other details will be announced.



Holy Rosary Cathedral presents:


Friday March 15, 8 PM – Holy Rosary Cathedral, Dunsmuir & Richards, Vancouver, BC

Tickets: $20 / Students and Seniors $15
Available at the door, at the Cathedral Office (646 Richards) and by phone 604 682 6774

Holy Rosary Cathedral presents organist Valerie Hall in a programme including J. S. Bach, French Baroque composer Louis Marchand, British composers Francis Jackson and Herbert Sumsion, Anglo-Canadian composer Healey Willan, and BC composers Nicholas Fairbank (Victoria) and Denis Bedard (Vancouver). The recital will be projected on a giant screen at the front of the cathedral.
An inveterate performer, Valerie Hall has appeared as organist, harpsichordist, singer and choral conductor in Canada, the United States and Europe. A native of Winnipeg, she obtained a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from the University of Manitoba and a Master of Church Music degree from Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois. An active recitalist, Valerie has been invited on three separate occasions to perform on the famous Carthy Organ in Calgary’s Jack Singer Concert Hall. She has been a frequent recipient of Saskatchewan Arts Board grants for professional development and was awarded the Lilian Forsyth scholarship for advanced study in 2005.
Valerie has been Director of Music at Holy Rosary Cathedral in Regina since 2007 and Organist since 2002. She presides over one of Canada’s finest pipe organs and supervises an ongoing, three-year scholarship program in liturgical training for young organists. A respected pedagogue, she has taught organ at the university level and her private students have gone on to further study at some of Canada’s finest universities.
A past national president of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO), Valerie was for several years National Chair for Membership and Regional Director for the Prairies. She is frequently invited to perform at national conventions of the RCCO and will this year be a juror for the RCCO National Organ Playing Competition as well as a presenter at the convention in Ottawa. Valerie has been an enthusiastic advocate for Canadian composers: consistently featuring their works on her recital programmes and demonstrating the breadth and variety of talent we are proud to call our own.

– Louis Marchand: Plein jeu, Basse de trompette, Tierce en taille, Dialogue from Livre d’orgue
– J. S. Bach: Leipzing Chorale Preludes: Von Gott will ich nicht lassen (BWV 658), Trio super “Herr
– Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend” (BWV 655), Schmücke dich, O liebe Seele (BWV 654)
– Denis Bedard: Suite du premier ton
– Francis Jackson: Three Pieces (Procession, Arabesque, Pageant), Op. 17
– Nicholas Fairbank: Variations on “Kingsfold”
– Herbert Sumsion: Pastoral
– Healey Willan: Prelude and Fugue in C minor