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Church Musicians Meet in Ontario
The 2008 Summer Institute of Church Music will provide a time for church musicians to “re-equip both mentally and spiritually.”

Christopher Dawes, director of the Summer Institute of Church Music, with church musician Anne Mizen-Baker at Trafalgar Castle School in Whitby, Ontario.

Church musicians of all denominations and abilities are finding a welcome respite and refreshment each July at the Summer Institute of Church Music. Founded 38 years ago by Dr. Stanley Osborne, this week of music education, association with other musicians and spiritual development happens each July in Whitby, Ontario, about 60 kilometres east of Toronto.

The week is “a chance to talk about and work out frustrations and to re-equip both mentally and spiritually,” says director Christopher Dawes. There’s also time to study with excellent teachers and connect with other church musicians. The week consists of daily chapel services, anthem reading sessions, organ master classes, choir rehearsals, concerts by faculty and students as well as sessions in piano improvisation and arranging. Sixty people attended last year. 

Bev Foster, who works in the evangelical Anglican tradition, was on faculty last summer. Her goals include facilitating “thoughtful music-making” and bridging between mainstream church music and contemporary Christian music.

The institute’s focus is on choral music and organ but there are always sessions that include praise music using guitars and piano. The institute also includes the biennial Osborne Organ Competition, now in its 20th year. It often enables young winners to pursue advanced study in church music.

Originally published in Faith Today, April/May 2008.

 

 
 
 
 

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