Choose from a range of workshops designed to build your skills and knowledge as a liturgical musician, improve your posture at the console, or act as a promoter for our great instrument in a swiftly-changing world! All workshop blocks begin at 9:45am. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, choose one from each block. Wednesday afternoon’s choral reading session is plenary.
Block 1: Tuesday July 7 (9:45am – 11:00 am)
Sacred Choral Commissions in the 21st century
Presenters: Maxine Thévenot & Stephanie Martin
Have you ever considered commissioning a new organ or choral work? Adding new music to the repertoire renews the life cycle of our tradition and is a gift for generations to come – but the process isn’t always straightforward. Come and get an inside look into the creative dance between commissioner and composer from two professionals with a wealth of experience, including past collaborations together.
Preaching to the Choir: Church Musicians and Spirituality (Panel Discussion)
Church musicians feel “called” to do the work they do for a variety of reasons: the love of God, the joy of music, a pay cheque, and everything in between. Similarly, choral singers and bell-ringers have different motivations. This panel discussion brings together musicians and clergy with broad experience in negotiating some of the pitfalls which arise when these motivations clash.
Alexander Technique for Organists
Presenter: Tim Pyper
With the hours organists spend practicing their craft, waving their arms at singers, or hunched over their computers come the associated aches and pains. In this interactive class, Alexander Technique practitioner Tim Pyper demonstrates some of the basics of healthy posture. Participants will gain practical advice in moving more easily and mindfully, thereby reducing pain and improving musical performance.
Block 2: Wednesday July 8 (9:45 am – 11:00 am)
Working with the Aging Voice
Presenter: Gary Froese
Let’s face it: no one is getting any younger; including choral singers – but that’s ok! Gary Froese brings a wide range of choral experience to this workshop which focuses specifically on getting the best results through a healthy approach to working with older singers.
DIY Organ Maintenance (Sponsored by Casavant Frères)
Presenter: Steve Miller
Sunday morning cipher, vox humana bleating, pigeon in your bourdon? Calgary Casavant representative Steve Miller knows that he can’t be everywhere at once! He’ll show you how to fix some of the most common technical issues.
Selling the Organ in a Digital World
Presenter: Michael Dirk
As social norms shift and people find themselves going to church less as a matter of course, the image of the organ is having to undergo a parallel makeover. This workshop will focus on practical ways in which you can use social media more effectively to market your concert series and help rejuvenate the organ’s image in your own community.
Special Session: Wednesday, July 8 (3:15 pm – 4:45 pm)
Oxford University Press Choral Reading Session with David Bednall
OUP composer-in-residence David Bednall is also an acclaimed conductor and organist (Queen’s College, Oxford, Gloucester Cathedral, Bristol Cathedral). In this 90-minute whirlwind sessions, he’ll take us through some of the newest releases from OUP’s extensive catalogue, as well as some music appropriate for smaller parish choirs. This workshop is sponsored by Oxford University Press.
Block 3: Thursday July 9 (9:45 am – 11:00 am)
A Sheet Music e-readers Primer
Presenter: Cheryl Duerr
Technology is changing our world faster than we can think. The range of hardware and software available to musicians in 2019 is staggering and constantly changing and improving. Tablets, keyboards, apps, and scanners can free us to create, catalog, and collaborate on a whole new level if we are willing to try them and experiment with them. Cheryl Duerr has been using e-readers herself and with her choirs. Should you give it a try?
Back to Basics: Tune up your Hymn-playing
Presenter: Peter Nikiforuk
“To everything there is a season,” says Ecclesiastes, ” a time to break down, and a time to build up.” Peter Nikiforuk brings our hymn-playing back to basics so that we can then build it up to something greater than before. Areas covered: tempo, breathing, registration, introductions.
Advanced Hymn-playing Techniques
Presenter: Edward Norman
If you fell you’ve got a good feel for the basics, but would like some techniques for spicing up your hymn-playing, this seminar is for you. Areas covered: texture reharmonizations, improvised extensions.