New National President for Royal Canadian College of Organists
17 September 2012
Fairbank: Appointed as National President of RCCO
Nicholas Fairbank has been appointed National President of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO). The Victoria (BC) organist will serve in the post until July 2014.
The RCCO has over 1,000 members across the country. Previous Presidents have included Healey Willan, Sir Ernest MacMillan and Barrie Cabena.
Commenting on one of the challenges facing Fairbank, the RCCO said: ‘As churches close, or move away from traditional liturgical organ and choral music, the role of the pipe organ in Canada is changing, and one of Fairbank’s goals as President is to raise the awareness of the organ as a secular concert instrument. A generation ago, many children and youth were exposed to the instrument at church, and were inspired to take up organ studies and become professional church musicians. Now few young people attend church and most organ students discover the instrument in the concert setting or through online media like YouTube.’
Fairbank studied organ with Suzanne Gibson and Patrick Wedd in Vancouver, with Richard Popplewell in London (UK), and with Naji Hakim in Paris, France. He holds Associateship diplomas in organ performance from the Royal Conservatory (RCM gold medal 1981) and the RCCO (Willan Prize 1998), and Master’s degrees from UCSB (French), the Université de Paris VIII (musicology), and the University of Victoria (music composition). He is on the faculty of the Victoria Conservatory of Music, where he teaches organ and harpsichord. He is also a piano and organ examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music and an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre. As an organ recitalist he has performed across the country, in Europe and in Mexico.