Organ Week at SSM - 2010

Organ Week at Stratford Summer Music celebrates 10 Years with Edmonton-based organ and organ/piano duo DUO MAJOYA!

MajoyaIt’s all Canada, all the time, as Organ Week celebrates the 10th anniversary season of Stratford Summer Music at the sanctuary and magnificent organ of St. James’ Anglican Church, Stratford. Featured in three 11:15am concerts on Thursday, Friday and Saturday July 29,30 and 31 is Canada’s organ and organ/piano duo Duo Majoya, Edmonton-based husband/wife team Marnie Goesbrecht and Joachim Segger. The sound and spectacle of four hands and four feet double the sonic possibilities of the King of Instruments, and unlock a brand-new and rarely-heard repertoire for its audiences.


Then, on Sunday August 1st Stratford Summer Music continues its journey into the history and culture of the organ in Part III of the Heritage of the Organ series launched in 2008 - this time focussing on one of the things the organ does best of all - lead YOU in singing the greatest hymns of all time. SSM Artristic Associate Christopher Dawes is joined by a quartet of young local singers, Diana Bryans, Amanda Wilhelm, David Baldwin and James Baldwin on a survey of the beauty and majesty of Holy Song - plan to listen, learn, and lift your own voice in singing your favourites.

For information on the recently rebuilt organ of St. James’ Anglican Church, visit this page of the church’s web site.


Click here to download the Organ Week Duo Majoya program in PDF.

Thu July 29, 11:15am – Duo Majoya @ St. James’ Anglican Church
Here’s to Canada and Our Heritage

Prelude and Fugue in C Major - Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (1736-1809)

Sonata in D Major, K 381 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) (arranged by Duo Majoya)
Allegro - Andante - Allegro molto

Sonata in d minor, Op. 30 (1857) - Gustav Merkel (1827-1885)
Adagio - Allegro con fuoco - Fuga

Marche Militaire Op. 51 No. 1 - Franz Schubert (1797-1827) (arranged by Duo Majoya)

Sinfonietta for Organ Four Hands (1993) - Denis Bédard (b. 1950)
Intrada - Scherzo - Hymne - Carillon


Fri July 30, 11:15am – Duo Majoya @ St. James’ Anglican Church
Here’s to Canada and Our Friends

Rhapsody on American Hymn tunes (2007) - Charles Callahan (b. 1951)

Variations on an Easter Theme (O Filii et Filiae) (1986) - John Rutter (b. 1945)

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (1997) - Michael Burkhardt (b. 1957)
Siciliano - Carillon

Ragtime an Organ Duet, op. 49 (1987) - Charles Callahan (b. 1951)

Petite Suite pour orgue quatre mains (1996) - Denis Bédard (b. 1950)
Introduction - Fanfare - Lied - Scherzando

Rhapsody for Organ Duo (1992) - Naji Hakim
Allegro molto - Andante sostenuto - Vivace - Andante tranquillo - Quodlibet


Sat July 31, 11:15am – Duo Majoya @ St. James’ Anglican Church
Musical Memoirs of Two Canadian Organists

Dance Suite for Organ Duet (1997) (7 1/2) - Jacobus Kloppers (b. 1937)
Habanera and Minuet - Polka and Cakewalk

Variations on an Original Theme (1971/73) - Barrie Cabena (b. 1933)

Trilogie pour orgue quatre mains (1992) - Denis Bédard (b. 1950)
Cortege - Reverie - Danse
From the Musical Memoirs of a Canadian Organist (1993) - Jacobus Kloppers
The Improvisational Genius confounded by Organ Gremlins
(Praise My Soul) - St. Anne: (“O God Our Help”) -
a. Hymn singing with the 1940 Casavant Pipe Organ
b. The Youth Group’s Rendition on their new Electronic Hardware
Music for the Rite of Holy Matrimony:
  Disagreement between the Duly-Appointed Organist, Roy L. Flair and the truly Adamant Mother-of-the-Bride, Grace Macnifeek
  (Clarke’s “Trumpet Voluntary” vs Wagner, Mendelssohn and “Amazing Grace”)

Toccata and Feud BTW 565 - Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Sun August 1, 2:00pm
The Twenty Favourite Hymns of All Time”, Part III of Heritage of the Organ:
@ St. James’ Anglican Church

Christopher Dawes and friends lead a historical tour of your favourites - and lead you in singing them. Sample the broad sweep of hymnody from antiquity to the present in solo, choral, organ selections and of course lots of singing for the audience.

Christopher Dawes, concept, host and keyboards
Soloists and Vocal Quartet: Diana Bryans, Amanda Wilhelm, David Baldwin, James Baldwin



GiesbrechtSeggerMarnie Giesbrecht and Joachim Segger are Duo Majoya. Their duo repertoire includes piano duets, organ duets and duets for organ and piano. Concert programs are eclectic and innovative, including a broad range of original, commissioned and arranged works. They have performed extensively in North America, Europe and South Africa. Regular performers in the Winspear Centre for Music in Edmonton, and Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, performances also include Los Angeles, California (American Guild of Organists national convention); Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris; St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna; Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche, Berlin; Marienkirche, Legnica, Poland and Winchester Cathedral, England. Upcoming concerts include the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Shenzhen Concert Hall, China and the Santa Rita International Organ Festival, Torino, Italy. Duo Majoya has performed from coast to coast in Canada on concert series, at conventions and organ festivals. They have performed and given workshops on organ and piano extensively in the United States and Canada.

Duo Majoya’s latest collaborative CD Duo Majoya: Organ Duets on the Davis Concert Organ will be launched on Monday, August 23, 2010 at a free noon hour concert at the Winspear Centre for Music, sponsored by the Davis Trust.

Other CDs are Skyscape (organ and piano, recorded in Jack Singer Concert Hall, Calgary, 2002), The Elegance and the Ecstasy (piano duets, 2000), Transcriptions for Two (organ duet, organ and piano, 1997) and Dancing Ice (solo and duo Canadian organ music, 1993). Duo Majoya's CD Skyscape was awarded “5 out of 5 stars” by Rick Phillips on CBC Sound Advice (January 2003).

Commissioned works by Canadian composers include Duet Suite for Organ: From the Musical Memoirs of a Canadian Organist by Jacobus Kloppers; O Sacred Head (organ duet) by Charles Stolte and works for organ and piano by Howard Bashaw, Denis Bédard and Jeffrey McCune. American composer and jazz musician Joe Utterback composed two Jazz Suites for piano and organ for the duo. Duo Majoya’s organ and piano recital at the American Guild of Organists’ Convention in Los Angeles, July 2004, received an immediate standing ovation and was hailed as “Sensational!!” by Guild President and Program Committee Chair, Fred Swann.

Trailblazers of contemporary repertoire for the unusual combination of organ and piano, Duo Majoya has explored and expanded the vast and kaleidoscopic tone colour possibilities through performances of arrangements (transcriptions) and commissioned works. Their success encouraged and directly influenced others throughout North America to form duos (such as the New York Organ and Piano Duo) and to commission more works for organ and piano.

Dr. Marnie Giesbrecht is Professor of Music at the University of Alberta. Dr. Joachim Segger is Professor and Chair of the Music Department at The King’s University College, Edmonton. Giesbrecht and Segger direct the music at First Presbyterian Church in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

 (Part III of Heritage of the Organ)

download “20 Favourite Hymns” program in PDF format

Christopher Dawes, program concept, host and keyboards

DBryansDiana Bryans, soprano, in her younger years, was a member of the St. Marys Children's Choir. She has studied classical voice with Barbara Dunn-Prosser since the age of 11 and has worked at the University of Ottawa under the private instruction of Sandra Graham. She has participated in several vocal competitions including the Kiwanis Music Festival of Stratford, the Provincial Music Festival Finalists, and NATS Vocal Competition. Her stage productions include Ellie Greenwich in Leader of the Pack; Featured Soloist in Blame It On The Movies; Annie in Annie; Bonnie Jean in Brigadoon; and a member of the chorus in Poulenc's opera Les Dialogues Des Carmelites. She also performed for Stratford Summer Music as both Mozart's mother and wife in Mozart for Kids in 2006. Diana plans to return to school in the fall at the University of Western Ontario in the Vocal Performance program.



AWilhelmAmanda Wilhelm, mezzo-soprano, has just completed her Opera Diploma at Wilfrid Laurier University where she also acquired her Undergraduate degree in voice performance, studying with Daniel Lichti and Kathleen Brett. Amanda Wilhelm has been a soloist at many different churches and is in her fourth year as a choral scholar at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Kitchener. She is very excited to be joining Christopher Dawes and other guests artists she grew up singing with. Amanda has participated in NATS (national association of teachers of singing) and has competed at the provincial level in voice, as well as winning many awards and trophies in local competitions. With Opera Laurier, Amanda has played many roles including Madame Armfeldt in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Madame de Croissy in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites and the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. In excerpt shows she has played Carmen in Bizet’s Carmen, Orlofsky in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, Addie in Blitzstein’s Regina, and Madame de la Haltière in Massenet’s Cendrillon.


DBaldwinDavid Baldwin, tenor, grew up in St. Marys and spent his formative years in the St. Marys Children's Choir. Though two years ago he relocated to Buffalo, NY to work as a chemical engineer, he can still occasionally be heard doing freelance singing in southern Ontario. He's thrilled to be singing at Stratford Summer Music for the second time, his previous appearance having been last year on the Barge with his barbershop quartet, Chameleon. He's doubly thrilled to be singing with his older brother, James!




JBaldwinJames Baldwin, baritone, began his musical education in the St. Marys Children's Choir and then as a member of the Amabile Boy's Choir in London. He has been living in Toronto since, studying at the University of Toronto and singing professionally both as a chorister, having been a member of the Elmer Iseler Singers, the Elora Festival Singers, and the Canadian Opera Company Chorus; and a soloist, performing Handel's Messiah, Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols and Dona Nobis Pacem, Durufle's Requiem, and most recently Brahms' Requiem. In addition to returning to the Elmer Iseler Singers this fall, highlights of the upcoming season include Faure's Requiem with the Amadeus Choir of Toronto this November and Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Masterworks of Oakville this coming April. James doesn't get enough opportunities to sing with his brother, and is looking forward to making music with him again for you today!

For information: Stratford Summer Music, (519) 271-2101 / toll-free 1 (866) 288-4313


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