|The Anglican Parish of Salt Spring Island is preparing to welcome the return of world renowned
organist, Gerald Wheeler on September 30 and October 1, 2002. Wheeler has had a wonderful musical association with
the parish for many years and islanders will remember his extraordinary recital here on the occasion of
consecration of All Saints' church for which he also wrote a fine anthem.
On Monday, September 30 at 7 pm,
Wheeler will be offering a choral workshop at All Saints', open to all island choristers and congregations. His
vivacious yet disciplined style of teaching is engaging for all levels of singers and his expertise in choral
technique and expression offers a wonderful learning opportunity. Cost of the workshop is $10.00 with registration
at the church office, phone 250-537-2171.
On Tuesday, October1 at 7 pm, Wheeler will be playing the island's only pipe organ in a fabulous 'audience
friendly' concert. Works will lean toward the late Romanticism, interwoven with 2 or 3 favourite hymns, old and
new. His inimitable style and skill has earned him the reputation of being one of the world's greatest organists
and the parish's Music Makers will be offering the opportunity for audience members to meet Wheeler in an informal
setting after the performance.
Through his association with the parish on Salt Spring Island, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Victoria has
been able to invite Wheeler to give a recital in celebration of the gift given to them, by Christ Church
Cathedral, of various parts of their recently dismantled organ. Supported by the Association of Downtown Churches,
the concert at St Andrew's on Friday Sept. 27th has generated tremendous excitement in the musical community of
Victoria. Although the renovations on the organ in All Saints' will not be completed by October, they too are
delighted to be part of the thanksgiving, since parts of the organs from both the cathedral and St. Andrews will
soon be installed in All Saints' Church.
Wheeler, whose creative energy is indefatigable, will have played with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra at
Places des Arts in Montreal on Sept 24 and 25, 2002, and will repeat the performance in Carnegie Hall on Oct 27th.
Wheeler was born and educated in England and received his musical training at the Royal College of Music in
London where his teachers included Harold Darke and Herbert Howells. He was awarded his Fellowship of the Royal
College of Organists in 1956 and in 1996 received an Honorary Doctorate from the Diocesan Theological College in
After graduation he became assistant organist of Paul's Cathedral in London, but in 1956 accepted an
appointment as organist of St. Mathew's Church in Ottawa. In 1966 he became director of music at Christ Church
Cathedral in Montreal, a post he held for 31 years. He now lives in Maine where he has been the director of music
at St. Francis-by-the-sea Anglican Church in Blue Hill since 1996.
As harpsichordist to the McGill Chamber Orchestra he has toured South America, Mexico, Japan, South Korea,
Taiwan and Hong Kong.
He has given organ recitals in England at the cathedrals of Southwark, Guilford, Portsmouth, Carlisle and
Gloucester, at York Minister and St. Paul's Cathedral in London and at the abbeys of Westminster and Tewkesbury.
Tickets for his concert at All Saints are $12 ($8 for students) and are available in advance at the church
office, 9 am to noon Monday through Friday, and at et cetera. Those attending the workshop on Monday may obtain
tickets for half price.