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Learn to play! the Organ


THUNDER BAY, ON  ----   September 15, 2012  --- Learning to play in instrument is the dream of many young people. Imagine for a moment learning how to play an instrument like this. The organ has the power and colour of a full symphony orchestra.

The organ is not only the king of instruments it is a door of opportunity for some musicians who want to earn their living from music. A classically trained organist does a lot more than play the pipe organ. They help the people they work with to achieve some satisfaction with the musical talents that they have. So organists work with choirs, they work with instrumentalists and sometimes small orchestras! Organists work with children’s choirs and they lead hand-bell choirs. For this reason many organists become leaders in community music and spread their talents over a wide range of interests. Imagine working with children on a Christmas pageant one day and the next rehearsing a brass fanfare for a special service. Given time organists are asked to do all of these things. It all begins with organ lessons. Sadly in Thunder Bay there are few if any organists who earn their living from playing alone. Music is a part of their lives and it becomes a welcome avocation.

The Royal Canadian College of Organists, Thunder Bay Centre, is searching for interested candidates to apply for a scholarship for study at the console of one of our local pipe organs. This scholarship entitles the recipient to 10 free one-hour lessons from a qualified instructor. For 2012 the application deadline is October 19. For an application and more details call Susan Marrier at 768 – 5321.

In a letter to local clergy David Bythell chapter President encourages local parishes to seek out young people with a musical background and encourage them to accept some training. Ten lessons is not enough to create a competent organist but it is enough to spark a desire to do something great, like learn how to master the organ.  The RCCO teachers will adapt their teaching to suit the tastes and skill level of their students, so the material taught is interesting and appropriate to the student’s needs The students need an instrument to practice on. This instrument need not be a pipe organ; in fact there are many suitable electronic and digital instruments in the city.

A couple of generations ago many homes had an upright piano and for over 100 years the piano was the most popular musical instrument. Today good pianos even digital ones are expensive. Apartment living is not compatible with a heavy rehearsal schedule on a piano. Combined with the changes to music education in Ontario’s schools there are fewer potential candidates than ever. If you are a grandparent then perhaps you know young ones who could benefit from ten free lessons.

The local chapter of the Royal Canadian College of Organists has enough resources to fund at the most four students this season. If you are interested or have a son or daughter you need to keep busy then consider this offer, if could change their life.

Bert Rowson
Arts Editor:

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