Programs for Organists: Honours Bachelor of Music (four years)
Honours Bachelor of Music Therapy (four years) Diploma in Performance (one year)
Teaching and Practice Organs (all with first-class mechanical action, and available)
Casavant (1974) in the Seminary Chapel
Letourneau (1988) in the Organ Teaching Studio
Brunzema continuo organ
two Wilhelm practice organs
"We are in a struggle for the mind and soul of our culture" (James
WHY STUDY CHURCH MUSIC?
No other musical post exists where a musician's creativity
can find as much expression as in the the field of church music. Performing,
composing, conducting, teaching--the possibilities are endless. Hymns,
anthems, cantatas, concertos, oratorios, solos, organ concerts, even operas,
film music, ballet, wedding and funeral music--they may all be taught,
performed and composed, from the simplest to the most complex polytonal
choral or instrumental pieces.
Church music offers a unique opportunity for a musician to
reach people from all walks of life with good performances of fine vocal
and instrumental music. Millions of people gather each weekend for worship
(more even than for sports). For probably 90% of these people, the only
'live' music they will ever hear is what they hear in places of worship.
Church music involves training volunteer or (in some cases)
professional or semi-professional choirs, orchestras, instrumental ensembles
and vocal groups, soloists, and playing an instrument such as the organ
(or piano). The director of music is responsible for the people's singing
of the liturgy and hymns, directing the vocal and instrumental forces as
needed, and playing, directing, composing music for all church services.
The potential and the need are great for training leaders (known as Choir
Directors, Organists, Directors of Music, Ministers of Music, Soloists
Much of what goes on musically in churches is vulgar and
cheap. The aim of the church music program at WLU is to revive cultural
excellence in church music.
WLU's emphasis on performance (live music making).
Nothing can replace this, especially in the context of a church/synagogue
service, influenced by the unpredictable (attendance, mood, liturgical
year, local issues etc.)
WLU's emphasis on improvisation. Live music making,
spontaneity, reacting to the mood of a service, moving from one part to
another within a service, unifying the service both musically and in mood:
all are reasons for stressing the development of improvisational skills
(as in WLU's music therapy, composition, and jazz programs). Oxford University
Press publishes Jan Overduin's MAKING MUSIC--Improvisation for Organists,
a textbook inspired by and written specifically for WLU students.
WLU's close relationship with Waterloo Lutheran Seminary
(on the same campus). Daily chapel services, other special services, relating
with seminary students and professors. A great opportunity that is mutually
WLU's co-operation with
Conrad Grebel College at the
University of Waterloo. Additional courses in hymnology, worship, and theology.
Where appropriate, cross registration is encouraged.
WLU's Practicum Option. Students gain practical experience
by working in a church, under supervision.
WLU's Chapel Choir. This choir participates in seminary
services, and services in other churches.
WLU's Faculty resources: including Dr. Barrie Cabena
and Prof. Jan Overduin, internationally recognized church musicians.
WLU's physical resources. Five excellent tracker organs,
and a chapel with very fine acoustics.
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ORGANISTS:
MU392A: Organ Literature and Construction I
MU392B: Organ Literature and Construction II
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CHURCH MUSIC STUDENTS:
MU292A: The history and practice of church music I
MU292B: The history and practice of church music II