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This profile was last updated on 7/29/13  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. John W. Vandertuin

Wrong Dr. John W. Vandertuin?


Phone: (416) ***-****  HQ Phone
Royal Canadian College of Organists
202 - 204 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5R 2N5

Company Description: RCCO conventions offer opportunities to hear and meet world-class recitalists and clinicians from Canada and abroad, to participate in workshops on a wide variety...   more

Employment History

  • Organist


  • degree of FRCCO
23 Total References
Web References
Dr. John ..., 29 July 2013 [cached]
Dr. John Vandertuin
Dr. John Vandertuin To Be Guest Organist in August
Dr. John W. Vandertuin is a widely acclaimed Canadian organ recitalist and composer. He commenced his formal study in Piano and "Music Braille" at the Ontario School for the Blind in Brantford, Ontario and made his recital debut in Paris, France at age 14, while a student of Jean Langlais, the renowned French blind organist and composer. Dr. Vandertuin was made a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, in July 2004. He has performed across Canada, in the U.S.A., France and The Netherlands. His performances have been broadcast nationally by the CBC as well as by Radio Canada.
Dr. John Vandertuin, who has ..., 1 Aug 2012 [cached]
Dr. John Vandertuin, who has been blind since birth, plays the organ at Grace Anglican Church in Brantford, Ontario in August 2012. MICHAEL PEELING/YOUR BRANT CONNECTION/QMI AGENCY
Dr. John Vandertuin, who has been blind since birth, plays the organ at Grace Anglican Church in Brantford, Ontario in August 2012.
Blind since birth, Dr. John Vandertuin started to play the organ at age 3 without any training.
Vandertuin was born in Brandon, Manitoba of 1957 to Dutch immigrant parents and raised in the Christian Reformed Church.
The family home had a Reed organ the toddler was drawn to. The biggest challenge for the three-year-old was getting the instrument plugged in because of his blindness, a product of his optic nerve never developing. His family tells him he stood up on the foot pedals and started playing music from memory.
"I guess I knew what I was after," Vandertuin said. "I was not a child who didn't have any idea what I was doing."
Hearing music at home is the earliest memory he recalls, reminiscing about his mother singing him Dutch nursery rhymes, which he would sing back to her.
Vandertuin's love of music has stayed with him as a world-renowned organist.
"The organ has so many sounds, like an orchestra itself," he said of his attraction to the instrument.
When it came time to enroll young John in school, his parents found no school in Brandon would take him because of his blindness.
Eventually he was enrolled in a Roman Catholic school. A nun would send him home with music for his parents to play for him, which he would learn and play for his class.
When he was nearing six years old, his parents put John on a train for Brantford, Ontario, more than 2,000 kilometres away, to attend the Ontario School for the Blind (now the W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind). With no family to guide him, Vandertuin felt daunted, but a few staff members were on the train to help him through the trip.
Vandertuin later wrote how the school became his "home away from home" as he lived in residence at the facility.
He took some comfort in having grandparents who lived nearby in Mt. Pleasant. A year later, his family moved to Brantford. Vandertuin credits good teachers and the junior school principal for helping him adjust to the school and his new life in Brantford.
Vandertuin began his formal study of piano and music braille at the Brantford school.
At 14, he went to Paris, France with his mother to study music with world-renowned blind organist Jean Langlais.
"It was quite an honour," Vandertuin said.
Vandertuin was invited to compete in the International Improvisation Competition in Haarlem, The Netherlands twice, making him only the second Canadian to do so.
Despite his talent and love for music, Vandertuin felt his first calling was to be a minister. However, financial constraints led him to turn down acceptance in a theological seminary, but he feels his music serves a religious purpose.
"I like to think I minister through my music," he said.
Vandertuin works as a freelance organist at churches in the area, but his beliefs take priority over his occupation.
"If someone offers me a job that means I can't be open about my beliefs, I can't go ahead and go along with it," he said. "I would be compromising my self."
At times, prospective employers have told Vandertuin not to mention he and his wife are born-again Christians, but he flatly refuses to take those jobs.
"If I don't have my faith, then what's the point? he said. "I'm not going to compromise my beliefs, so I won't do the job."
In addition to working as an organist for several churches in different denominations, Vandertuin has also served as choir director.
Vandertuin has two free concerts coming up in October. He will play at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in London, Ontario at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 12, then on Oct. 24 at 12:15 p.m. at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Kitchener.
Vandertuin will return to UWO on Oct. 27 to be honoured with a place on the university's Wall of Fame at the Don Wright Faculty of Music.
The organist and singer has written and recorded his own compositions of contemporary Christian music. His albums include the 1999's "Glory to His Holy Name" performed at Holy Name Church in Toronto, "Christmas Classics" and "John W. Vandertuin, Live in concert" at St. Peter's Cathedral Basilica in London, Ontario, Canada, which was dedicated to the memory of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, and has been recognized by the Vatican.
Vandertuin has had many of his works published and will soon be included in the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada.
Dr. John Vandertuin, ..., 7 April 2009 [cached]
Dr. John Vandertuin, internationally known blind concert organist, will perform an Evening of Praise benefit concert for cbm at Grace Anglican Church, Brantford on Saturday, April 4th, 8 p.m. Free will offering. Receipts will be issued for donations over $5.
Dr. Vandertuin commenced his formal study in Piano and "Music Braille" at the Ontario School for the Blind in Brantford, Ontario. He made his recital debut in Paris, France at age 14, while a student of Jean Langlais, the renowned French, blind organist and composer.
In July 2004, Dr Vandertuin, was made a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organist, (honoris causa), at the National Convention of the RCCO held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in recognition of his exceptional abilities as an Organ Recitalist.
Lloyd St. Amand, M.P. Brant, 10 Feb 2005 [cached]
February 10, 200 - Member's Statement to the House on Dr. John Vandertuin
Member's Statement to the House on Dr. John Vandertuin
Dr. John Vandertuin, is a gentleman with exceptional musical talent, and I am honoured to acknowledge him today.
At an early age, Dr. Vandertuin began his formal study in Piano and "Music Braille" and attended the well known W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind, in Brantford, and at the age of 14 made his recital debut in Paris, France.
After a lengthy and rewarding career as an Organist, Dr. Vandertuin has earned numerous awards and honours, most recently in July 2004, Dr. Vandertuin was made a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask all my Honourable Colleagues to join me in congratulating Dr. Vandertuin his many outstanding accomplishments.
John Vandertuin, Canadian ..., 22 Nov 2012 [cached]
John Vandertuin, Canadian concert organist, plays a grand Romantic program in a live concert performance recorded on the tonally restored 1926 Casavant op. 1135 of 56 ranks in the resonant St. Peter's Cathedral Basilica in London, Ontario. Dr. Vandertuin is a composer of choral and organ works published by Concordia, Darcey Press, Fairbank, and Tuinmeester Editions.
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