Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Local Organist Douglas Haas Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of local organist and music director Douglas Haas. He passed away December 27, 2020 after a brave fight with COVID-19. He was the father of Hamilton musician Annette Haas as well. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

From the online announcement:

December 25, 1936 – December 27, 2020

We are deeply saddened to report the passing of Douglas Haas, one of Canada’s preeminent organists. For 53 years, Doug served as the music director of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Kitchener, Ontario, where, in addition to playing weekly services as an organist and choirmaster, telecast live across Southern Ontario, he founded and hosted a weekly noon-hour concert series (which ran from 1975 to 2020) and an international organists' concert series. He also commissioned and performed many new Canadian choral and organ works.

In addition, Doug was a player on the world stage. Doug performed on tour in Canada, the USA, England, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Germany, Malta, and Switzerland, and was a guest artist with the Canadian Brass, the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, the Toronto Consort, the London Symphony Orchestra (Orchestra London), the Stuttgart Bach Collegium, and the W├╝rttemberg Chamber Orchestra, among other organizations.

Music was Doug’s life. He was an artist of the highest caliber and a dedicated teacher.

Doug is survived by his wife, Sheryl Loeffler (David’s sister), two children, Annette and Christopher and family, and his brother Dennis.

Doug died from complications of COVID-19.

Facebook Reactions

Trish Walker: "For so many years I always enjoyed listening to Doug play the organ at St Andrew’s.  I would take my mother to listen to all the Christmas and Easter services that Lloyd would record the audio for the TV station to air.  We shall miss you greatly Douglas." 

Sally Kandel (sister-in-law): "He was a world-class musician, a wonderful person, and the love that he and my sister shared was deep and everlasting."

Jonathan Oldengarm: "You were one of my first organ teachers, and had a formative influence on my understanding of the instrument. But your teaching went so much further, as you patiently mentored this somewhat erratic teenager towards a more structured approach to life in general. Over and over, you took chances on young musicians, and supported, encouraged, organized, pushed, and challenged us. And through all of it, you never lost that boyish enthusiasm for new ideas, new technology, new projects, or your zest for life. You were and are a continuing inspiration, may your memory be blessed, and may all of us who have benefited from your life's work go forth and do likewise."

Media Links

Videos above courtesy of arithmecode

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