"Aylmer, QC, Diocese of Ottawa. Luca Simpson-Hall, a young, emerging church organist receives financial support from the A.E.J. Fulford Trust for organ lessons from David Irving, Organist and Choir Director at Christ Church, Aylmer". [Text of entire article.]
The author, a former diocesan Bishop of Nova Scotia, relates stories of his interactions with church organists in the three Nova Scotia parishes in which he served: Bayfield-Antogonish Parish, Christ Church Parish, Dartmouth and St. John's Church, Truro.
"When we joined St. Peter's Anglican Church, Oshawa, in 1967, the Rev. Geoffrey Rennison was priest-in-charge and his wife, May, was organist and choir mistress. For more than 35 years, May devoted herself to the music program at St. Peter's. .... Our family lost a very special friend, and the Anglican Church lost a good and faithful servant [when May died in June of this year, 2009]".
"They play the most solemn of instruments, but they're not above having a little fun. Listen carefully and you may discern a bar or two of a nursery song or sea shanty in the music played by your church organist. According to David Drinkell, master of the music at the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in St. John's, Nfld., organists often sneak secular fare into the hymnal line-up. 'The Sailor's Hornpipe' fits almost exactly as a descant over 'Eternal Father, Strong to Save'. And the second half of the tune of 'Nativity' is identical to that of 'Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary', says Drinkell". An organist "in Scotland, on bad terms with the elders wreaked his revenge as they processed in by playing 'Send in the Clowns'." "Giles Bryant, director of music at All Saints' in Peterborough, Ont., recalls weddings where the brides were late and where he played a version of 'Adeste Fideles' that is usually accompanied by the words: 'Why are we waiting ?'"
Ernest Ashcroft, a Winnipeg artist internationally known for his stained glass church windows, has created a stained glass window for Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Winnipeg with the likeness of 90-year old Dr. Ronald Gibson, as a tribute to the congregation's long-time organist and choirmaster. The windows will be Ashcroft's last commissions prior to his retirement after a 47 year career.