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  • 06 August 2021 1:00 PM | Anonymous member

    From her studio (photo) Lead Instructor Valerie L. Hall has been instructing students who are seeking professional development that aims at the playing level of the Service Playing Examination.

    Engaging topics include:

    1. Session on body mechanics at the organ and why practicing at the piano might be better for your general health.

    2. Universally hated exercises for playing legato involving two moving parts in one hand.

    3. Learning to avoid the crescendo pedal and what happens to organists who accidentally use it!

    4. What happens in the audience while the organist searches for the next registration.

    5. Upcoming session on The Digital Church with Steve Millar and Chellan Hoffman.

    More information at

  • 29 July 2021 1:47 PM | Anonymous member

    The 2021 ARCCO Examination Preparation program (Summer Organ Academy) is off to a wonderful start!

    So far this year’s 13 students, studying under lead instructor Aaron James, have discussed general organ technique and improvisation skills, the study of pipe organ anatomy, and baroque repertoire and improvisation techniques.

    The ARCCO program runs until August 5th, check out this year's curriculum!

    Thank you to Aaron who has kindly provided us with a brilliant performance of one of the possible List C pieces for the 2022 ARCCO examination. Please enjoy Duruflé's Fugue sur le carillon des heures dans le cathédrale de Soissons, op. 12!

  • 21 July 2021 9:34 AM | Anonymous member

    Congratulations to all the young organists who participated in this year’s Summer Organ Academy for Youth Organists!

    Creativity was front and center at this year’s Academy as students ages 12-17 were involved in a week-long series of virtual collaborative projects and masterclasses. Thank you to lead instructor Sarah Svendsen and to this year’s star-studded group of guest artists/instructors Katelyn Emerson, Kim Farris-Manning, Wesley Hall, Mark McDonald, Jeff McLeod, Jonathan Oldengarm, and Patricia Wright.

    We hope that you will join us or recommend a young organist that you know to next year’s 2022 Summer Organ Academy. For more Information on the Academy and other educational resources, please visit ‘Education’ at

    Lastly, thank you to academy participant Cadence Brassard for sharing with us her performance and arrangement of Bad Romance by Lady Gaga!

  • 13 July 2021 11:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the successful exam candidates of 2021:

        Elizabeth Booker, Service Playing
        Charlie Eaton, Service Playing
        Maximilian Wilczynski, Service Playing

    These candidates will be recognized at Convocation, to be held over Zoom on August 12 during Organ Festival Canada 2021 (not August 1, as was originally stated in the July edition of Continuo).

    We are also pleased to present the successful exam candidates of 2020 at this year's Convocation, as there was no Convocation last year due to COVID. They are:

        Ryan Baxter, ARCCO
        George Langley, CRCCO
        Krisitana Renée Nikkel, CRCCO

    Prizes and Awards:

    Maximilian Wilczynski will be awarded the Kathleen William's Prize for the highest mark in the Service Playing examination, and Ryan Baxter will be awarded the Willan Prize, the Wayne C. Vance Prize, the Rollinson Prize and the Ruth and Ralph Barker Prize for his outstanding results in the ARCCO examination.

    Thank you to all of the candidates and their teachers for their hard work and dedication in 2020 and 2021!

    We hope you will join us at Convocation on August 12, 2021 to help us recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of all of our exam candidates and prize winners.

  • 14 June 2021 10:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce Amiel Elfert as the winner of the 2021 Lorna and Murray Holmes Scholarship! He will begin a Bachelor of Music (Organ) at the University of Victoria this September, studying with Donald Hunt and Mark McDonald.

    This scholarship, established in memory of Lorna and Murray Holmes, provides $1,000 to a student entering a program of organ or church music studies at a Canadian university.

    Congratulations, Amiel!

  • 07 June 2021 11:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce that on May 25 the Board of Directors approved the following statements:

    Diversity and Inclusion Statement:

    The RCCO is firmly committed to inclusion, diversity, and equity at all levels of the organization. We believe our work is enhanced by engaging a diverse community of individuals with different backgrounds, skills, opinions, and perspectives, thereby cultivating a welcoming environment of open communication, inclusion, and respect and we will strive to seek representation from Black, Indigenous and People of Colour and other underrepresented and equity-seeking communities in leadership roles and throughout our organization.

    Non-Discrimination Statement:

    It is the policy of the RCCO not to discriminate on the basis of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability. The RCCO has implemented a written Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy and all RCCO directors, employees and volunteers must comply with that policy in the course of their duties on behalf of the RCCO.

    To provide an environment free of discrimination and harassment, the Board of Directors also implemented a written Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy. To read the full document, please click here.
  • 31 May 2021 10:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It is with much excitement that we announce Martin Jones as the 2021 winner of both the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation Prize and the Godfrey Hewitt Memorial Scholarship!

    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. 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. Click here for a full biography of Martin Jones.

    Funded by the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation and administered by the RCCO, the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation Prize is a prestigious award of $7,500 given in memory of Canada’s preeminent musician from the 1920s through the 1950s.

    The Godfrey Hewitt Memorial Scholarship was established to honour the late Godfrey Hewitt and is administered by the RCCO's Ottawa Centre. The $5,000 scholarship is awarded annually to an advanced organ student to support further courses of study.

    Congratulations, Martin!

  • 25 May 2021 11:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear Friends,

    We are saddened to share news of the death of Past President, Mark Toews. Mark was diagnosed with cancer last fall. He remained positive through treatment regimens but succumbed to his illness on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Aaron James, President of the Toronto Centre sums up Mark's contributions to the RCCO and the organist community in Canada as follows:

    "Mark has been a leading figure in the RCCO for many decades, serving in numerous roles in the organization including President of the Toronto Centre, President of the College (2002-2004) and Chair of the 2009 Centennial Organ Festival. A distinguished performer, he earned the DMA degree at the University of Michigan and was heard widely in concert in Canada, the United States, and England. Many of us are familiar with his CD Variations Plus recorded on his instrument at Lawrence Park Community Church, featuring the music of Bach, Bonnet, and Dupré along with a number of Canadian compositions including Eleanor Daley's trinitas, commissioned for the inauguration of the Lawrence Park organ. Mark was especially well known as an outstanding organ teacher, mentoring numerous young students many of whom have gone on to have prominent careers as performers in Toronto and elsewhere. All of us in the Toronto Centre are the beneficiaries of his leadership, wisdom, and generosity of spirit."

    Our condolences go Mark's family, friends and the congregation of Lawrence Park Community Church in Toronto.


    Dr. Peter Nikiforuk
    President, The Royal Canadian College of Organists
  • 21 May 2021 11:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The deadline to register for Summer Organ Academy 2021 is coming up on May 31st! Don't miss this amazing opportunity to learn online this summer by registering for one of our three program streams: Youth Organist, Church Organist or ARCCO Examination Preparation. Access to a pipe organ is not required for any of the programs, and students can practice and complete all assignments using a digital organ, piano, or an electric keyboard. Read on for more information on each program!

    Youth Organist

    Dates: July 12 - 16 (from 12:00 PM ET - 3:30 PM ET daily)
    Cost: $320.00
    Lead Instructor: Sarah Svendsen

    This stream is intended for young organists (ages 12-17) seeking knowledge and skill enrichment. Each day of the program includes 2 hours of lectures and masterclasses, 1 hour for collaborative project work, a 10-minute guest performance and 20 minutes of social and Q&A time. Daily topics include intro to improvisation, audience engagement, collaborative projects, jazz improvisation, intro to transcriptions, plus a wide array of repertoire study. Click here for the complete daily outline!


    Church Organist

    Dates: July 19, 21, 26, 28 and August 4 and 6 (from 12:45 PM ET - 2:30 PM ET daily)
    Cost: $250.00
    Lead Instructor: Valerie Hall

    This stream is intended for the community organist seeking professional development, and is aimed at the playing level of the Service Playing Examination. Daily topics include technique, registration, accompanying, score interpretation, the digital church, and music and liturgy. The complete daily outline is available here. Each day includes 90 minutes of class time plus 15 minutes to chat with your instructor and fellow students. Participants are also invited to submit up to 4 videos to be viewed by the instructor, with one video from each participant being screened during the academy.


    ARCCO Examination Preparation

    Dates: July 20, 22, 27, 29 and August 3 and 5 (from 2:00 PM ET - 3:30 PM ET daily)
    Cost: $250.00
    Lead Instructor: Aaron James

    This stream is intended for undergraduate or advanced high school organists who are seeking training geared towards the ARCCO exam, particularly keyboard skills and improvisation. Taught by the Chair of the RCCO's Examinations Committee, Aaron James, daily topics include practice strategies, pipe organ anatomy, open score reading, applied keyboard skills, organ history, careers, and a broad array of repertoire study. The complete daily outline is available here. Each day includes 90 minutes of class time and 15 minutes for socializing. Participants are also invited to submit 5 “homework assignments” as short videos which will be viewed by the instructor. The instructor will hold virtual office hours each week where students can receive individual and hands-on feedback on their work.


  • 10 May 2021 12:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The RCCO is hiring two temporary, part-time positions through the Canada Summer Jobs program.* It is expected that the successful candidates will be working remotely. The application deadline for both positions is May 21, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET. Please click on the job titles below for full job descriptions and application instructions:

    Administrative Coordinator

    Marketing Coordinator

    *Note: To be eligible for employment, and in accordance with funding from Canada Summer Jobs, applicants must
    be; 30 years of age or younger at the start of employment; a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to
    whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant Ontario legislation and regulations.

    The Royal Canadian College of Organists is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from persons identifying as visible minorities and indigenous heritage. All applicants are thanked for their interest, however only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No telephone calls please.


The Royal Canadian College of Organists

20 St Joseph St

Toronto, ON M4Y 1J9

Phone: 416.929.6400
Email: info[at]

The Royal Canadian College of Organists

20 St Joseph St

Toronto, ON M4Y 1J9

Téléphone : 416.929.6400
Courriel : info[

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