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RCCO Vancouver Centre Annual Members Recital

Vancouver organists present an eclectic programme on St James’ majestic three-manual Casavant organ.  This annual event is a great opportunity to hear and meet Vancouver organists as their performance bring to life the rich pallete of sound of the historic pipe organ.

Admission is by donation, and the event is followed by a reception. Please confirm your attendance for planning purposes.

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The Organists

Angelique Po is an organist, pianist and continuo player living and working in Vancouver, BC, and current President of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO) Vancouver Centre, an organisation which supports the community of organists across BC and their continuing education. Her versatility and interest in a broad range of music styles have led her to collaborate with a variety of ensembles and soloists, as well as perform world premieres of many new works. As the featured artist with trombonist Jeremy Berkman for Vancouver Pro Musica’s Sonic Boom 2021, she premiered ten new works written for trombone and organ by BC composers in an online concert in March 2021. She was featured again in Vancouver Pro Musica’s A Little Further Series in October 2021, playing eight world-premiere solo organ pieces. She also played the world premiere of David Millard’s Requiem with Vivaldi Chamber Choir in 2022, for mezzo-soprano soloist, large choir, organ and string quartet.

Gerald Harder undertook initial organ study with Richard Unfreid at Biola University in Los Angeles, and graduate study in organ performance and choral conducting at the University of Western Ontario in London. Gerald holds the Associate Diploma of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. He has served churches in Los Angeles, Ottawa, Victoria, and Vancouver as organist and music director.  Since 2000 he has been Organist & Choirmaster at St James' Anglican Church, Vancouver, where he directs a comprehensive program of liturgical music. Gerald sings bass with the Vancouver Cantata Singers, and is active locally as an accompanist.

PJ Janson studied organ performance with Frederick Geoghegan, Suzanne Gibson, and Erich Schwandt. He received his education at the University of Victoria, and after completing his PhD in musicology he was on the music faculty at Augustana University College (now part of the University of Alberta). PJ has served as organist at various churches, including St John the Divine Anglican Church, St Aidan’s, and St Matthias ( Victoria ), and All Saints Church ( Christchurch, UK ).  He is active as a composer, and he has been assistant organist at St James' Anglican Church since 2015.  PJ is thankful to those who support him in his music endeavours — including his cat, who wakes him up early every morning, reminding him to put in 90 minutes of practice on the organ bench.

The Pipe Organ at St James'

In 1938 Casavant Frères of St Hyacinthe, Québec, was awarded the contract for a new 3-manual organ of 1760 pipes.  The organ itself was located in the north transept of the church, formerly the choir gallery, which was lowered to make room for the instrument, with a façade designed by Adrian Gilbert Scott — the same architect who designed St James’ Church building.  Over the years some minor changes were made to meet the musical demands of a living church, including a new Choir division with three ranks in the west gallery in 1948, and a new organ console in 2003.  With the addition of the Choir division, the organ now has 33 ranks, and just under 2000 pipes.  The main organ is located high on the north gallery of the church – an excellent location, as grand sound of this fine Casavant Frères organ is marvellously enhanced by the church's outstanding acoustics.