Robert Anderson (photo by Douglas Johnston)
Mr. Anderson has been the Director of Music and Organist of Erindale United Church since September of 2009 and brought with him over thirty-five years of church music leadership experience, most of which were in ministry with the United Church of Canada..
He began playing by ear at the age of three, and by age five, was studying the curriculum of the Royal Conservatory of Music. Always picking at the keyboard of the family's old “Amherst” upright, and associating the pitches to the appropriate keys of the piano, at the age of three, when older siblings were having lessons in the home, the teacher was demonstrating a particular chord to the oldest sister which she repetitively messed up. Having grown impatient with hearing this back and forth banter and musical clamour and recognizing the pitches in the chord, Rob stopped his somersaults and play in the living room, ran in, pushed in-between them, and played the chord. Needless to say this was the beginning of piano lessons for Rob, and the older sister took this experience as her “Get out of Music Lessons Free” card...
While studying the piano, Rob, always being a “gadget person” was drawn to the organ with all its buttons, knobs, flashing lights, huge pipes, and even bigger sound. He began studying the organ, and at the age of seven or eight, became one of several organists in the family church.
His early years of study were with Mrs. Elaine Pudwell, at Holy Trinity Church in Welland, followed by several years at both St. Paul's Cathedral and Temple Beth Zion in Buffalo New York. By age thirteen, was appointed Organist and Choirmaster of Holy Trinity Church, Fonthill, Ontario. In 1983, after moving to South Florida, he was appointed the Organist in Temple Kol Ami, the largest Reform Jewish Synagogue in the state, while at the same time serving in Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Episcopal churches. Always believing that people of different faiths should get along and realizing that we have more in common than we have different from each other, he was responsible for joint services where the choir of the synagogue came and sang at the church, and the church choir attended the synagogue and sang with the temple choir.
Upon returning to Canada, Mr. Anderson studied music at Redeemer University in Ancaster and Brock University, St. Catharines, with Dr. Christiaan Teeuwsen and Dr. Paul Jessen as Organ Professors, and Dr. Harris Loewwen for Conducting, Choral Techniques, and Choral Ensembles.
Rob is currently the President of The Royal Canadian College of Organists (Niagara Centre), has conducted workshops for both the R.C.C.O. and The Royal School of Church Music, while teaching Organ, Piano, Voice, and Theory privately, using the Royal Conservatory of Music and other curriculum and teaches both here at Erindale United and from his home in Welland.
Aside from his responsibilities as Music Director here at EUC, President of the RCCO Niagara and as consultant for churches in the midst of repairing or replacing their instruments, or in the interviewing, negotiating and appointing of a new Music Director, Rob's other interests include History, Architecture, Antique Cars (He loves his 1950 Jaguar Mark V), and Photography, and he shares his life and home with his two dogs Roxie, a Miniature Schnauzer, and a 6 pound Toy Maltese named Spencer that rules the household with a 'Napoleon Complex'.