Overduin, Jan

Jan (Garrit) Overduin. Organist, b Franeker, Holland, 12 May 1943, naturalized Canadian 1962; ARCT 1961, FRCCO 1963, BA (U Western Ont) 1964, FTCL 1966, Associate American Guild of Organists 1967, MA (Waterloo) 1969, M MUS (U Western Ont) 1979. He emigrated to Canada, settling in St Thomas, Ont, in 1955. His organ teachers included Alan Harrington, Peter Hurford, Gordon Jeffery, and Marie-Claire Alain. In 1970 he received a Canada Council award to study improvisation and choral conducting with Jean Langlais and Wilhelm Ehmann. He was the first to complete successfully at one sitting the associateship and fellowship examinations of the RCCO, and he also won the Healey Willan Prize. He has been a prize winner at international organ festivals held in London, Ont (1967), Bruges (1970), and St Albans, England (1973). He has been heard in recital on the CBC, BBC, and Belgian Radio. In April 1984, he presented the tenth anniversary concert for the Flentrop organ at the NAC. Beginning in 1983, he has made annual tours of Europe performing in Germany, France, Holland, Switzerland, and Portugal.

Between 1967 and 1973 Overduin developed the music program at Rockway Mennonite School in Kitchener, Ont, founded the Niagara Chamber Choir, conducted the Menno Singers and the Mennonite Mass Choir, and served as organist-choirmaster at Waterloo First United Church. He moved to London, Ont, in 1973 where he was organist-choirmaster at Rowntree Memorial United Church 1973-8 and a secondary-school teacher of vocal music and English. Overduin conducted the 300- to 400-voice Mennonite Mass Choir 1979-84. In 1985 he became director of music at St Matthew's Lutheran Church in Kitchener. He began to teach at Wilfrid Laurier University in 1978 where, in 1991, he was professor of organ, theory, and conducting and conductor of the WLU Choir.