Conductor, teacher, pianist and composer Roland Graham is the Director of Music at Southminster United Church in Ottawa (Canada), as well as the founding Director of Ottawa’s Rideau Chorale, Artistic Director of both the popular Doors Open For Music at Southminster (DOMS) and Master Piano Recital Series (MPRS), and founding Artistic Director of non-profit music production company, Upbeat! Productions.
Roland’s choral training began as a boy chorister at St. Pauls’ Cathedral in London Ontario, immersed in the superb Anglican sacred choral tradition. He later sang with Ottawa’s St. Matthew’s Choir of Men and Boys under Matthew Larkin, the Ontario Youth Choir under Ivars Taurins, and Montreal’s Christ Church Cathedral Choir under Patrick Wedd.
Roland has been conducting since 2009, first as Music Director of St. Clement’s Anglican Church in Verdun QC, and since 2010 as Director of the Southminster United Church choir in Ottawa. From 2012 to 2014, he conducted the Castenchel Choir in Wakefield QC, and in 2015 he founded Rideau Chorale, which has grown in under four season from a pick-up choir of non-auditioned enthusiasts to a dynamic chorus that has tackled such works as Duruflé's Requiem, Orff's Carmina Burana, and Handel’s Messiah.
Roland has been heard as a pianist on CBC Radio 2 and has had compositions performed in Canada and abroad, most notably his Canticles for the Evening Service which were premiered at Canterbury Cathedral, in the UK.
Roland developed and first presented his choral workshop in the summer of 2014, meeting the needs of amateur choral singers, novice to experienced, seeking to deepen their understanding of ensemble music making and bring performance skills to the next level.
Participants of his workshops, which blend theory, vocal and ear training and general musicianship into learning fun repertoire, have praised them for being "richly textured, vividly imagined, and clearly delivered", and Graham for his “fine teaching, energetic direction and great ideas.”
Esteemed Canadian conductor Matthew Larkin has called him “an excellent conductor and an inspiring educator” who has “made musicians time and again of people who never thought that they would sing a note.”
Roland has taught at the Université de Montréal, the West Island Conservatory of Music, and now maintains a busy private teaching practice in Ottawa. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Ottawa where he studied with Jean Desmarais, and a Master’s from the Université de Montréal where he studied under Jimmy Brière and Marc Durand with support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.