Jamie (Keith) Syer. Pianist, harpsichordist, teacher, administrator, b Calgary 17 Jul 1954; B MUS (Calgary) 1976, M MUS (Yale) 1978, MMA (Yale) 1981, DMA (Yale) 1987. He studied piano with Ward Davenny, Claude Frank, and Linhart Walker, and harpsichord with John Searchfield. He received annual awards 1971-8 from Alberta Culture, won a first prize in the 1977 CBC Talent Festival, and was a semi-finalist in the 1980 Montreal International Music Competition and the 1984 Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition. He taught 1978-82 at Mount Allison University, where he also played solo recitals as pianist and harpsichordist and was a member of The Lyric Trio, which was heard on both French and English networks of the CBC.
Returning to Calgary, Syer was an organist-choirmaster 1982-7 at various churches; he also commissioned Canadian composers to write for church choirs, brought concert music to the parishes he served, and organized workshops on specific aspects of church music. He was a founding member in 1982 of the Lyric Chamber Players of Calgary, with whom he has appeared as pianist and harpsichordist. He became associated with the Naramata (BC) Summer School of Musical Arts for church musicians, serving 1986-8 as its president. In 1986 he was music consultant to the Canadian Christian Festival, and in the same year he began to teach at Mount Royal College Cons; he also taught 1988-9 at the University of Calgary. Syer has performed and commissioned contemporary music, and in 1986 he became artistic director of New Works Calgary, a new music society dedicated to promoting Canadian music. Syer has appeared across Canada, in solo piano recitals and with the Calgary Philharmonic, Quebec Symphony Orchestra, and MSO among others, and he has frequently been heard on the CBC. He has also performed in duo recitals with his wife Laurie Lindsay Syer, a violinist with the Calgary Philharmonic.