Festival logo

Organ Festival


Convention Workshops

Block 2 of 4

4. Our Organ is Dying: Repair, Rebuild or Replace?
(Grant Smalley and John Coenraads, Victoria BC)
If you are fortunate enough to have a pipe organ and it starts showing its age, don't despair. Repair, rebuild or replace - we'll discuss some of the options.

Grant Smalley and his wife Beverley have operated a pipe organ maintenance business on Vancouver Island, with help from valuable assistants, for more than 25 years. He began his career in Victoria with Hugo Spilker, a Dutch immigrant who serviced the local instruments. He moved to Ontario and built mechanical action instruments with Gabriel Kney for eleven years. In 1979 he returned to Victoria and took over from Spilker, who retired after nearly 30 years in the business.

John Coenraads is a retired teacher of math, science and technology. In the early 1970's he installed a ten-rank pipe organ in his home, for which he built a digital switching system. These days, John plays a "software organ" and is excited by the potential of this technology.

5. Organs in British Columbia
(Christopher Dalton, Vancouver BC)
This workshop will provide a tour in pictures and sounds of the pipe organs of British Columbia, large and small, including exerpts from Dalton's recently published book, Pipe Organs in British Columbia

Chris Dalton first experienced live pipe organ music at a Sea Scout function at St. Paul's Anglican Church, Esquimalt BC. His love for the instrument has taken him to hear and play over 300 instruments in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Washington. An avid organ historian, he has recently published a book, Pipe Organs in British Columbia.

6. Youth and the Organ
(Neil Cockburn, Calgary AB)
How often do we re-examine the methods by which we introduce young people to the pipe organ? How can we attract the attention of a generation entranced by Facebook and Twitter? Where can we find new organists in an increasingly secular society?
This presentation reviews some of the current resources and programs for presenting the pipe organ to young people, and considers how we might adapt our approach. Central to the discussion will be the question: what is it about the pipe organ that we want to share, and why?

Neil Cockburn MA MusM FRCO(Dip.TCR) PPRNCM is head of Organ Studies at The Conservatory at Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, where he has directed the Summer Organ Academy since 2000, and has led three Pipe Organ Encounter camps for young beginning organists. His formative teachers and mentors include David Sanger, Margaret Phillips, and Dame Gillian Weir.