The King's Connection Magazine Volume 23 Number 2//Fall 2012 - Page 7
Born in South Africa, Dr. Kloppers credits God’s providence
with bringing his family to Canada in 1976. With no job offer
and no job openings, he came directly to Edmonton and shortly
after started at St John’s Anglican Church as the organist and
music director, a position he still holds today.
Growing up in a musical family, he began playing piano at
the age of six and took up the organ at 17. He completed a
Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music Honours degree at the
University of Potchefstroom. In 1961 he received a scholarship
from the University of South Africa to study Applied Organ
at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Frankfurt am Main
with Professor Helmut Walcha and Musicology at Frankfurt
University. After completing his Ph.D degree with a thesis on
the interpretation of Bach’s Organ Music in 1966, he returned to
South Africa to teach at the University of the Orange Free State
before coming to Canada in 1976.
In addition to teaching at King’s, Dr. Kloppers teaches organ
privately, and as a frequently-commissioned composer has
created works for The South African Foundation for Creative
Arts, the Friends of the Winspear, the CBC, the Royal Canadian
College of Organists, various publishers and private sponsors.
Of his time at King’s, Dr. Kloppers most enjoyed the challenge
of building a music program from scratch. Alongside his
colleagues from other disciplines, they worked collaboratively
with the collective goal of offering a high-quality Christian liberal
“My experience at King’s
has offered me a lifetime
of rewarding relationships
developing a music
program and sharing with
my colleagues the fruits of
our labours.” says Dr. Kloppers. ?
What students have to say
is a daunting
“ ToOn theup my memories of Dr. Kloppersmemory of him
other hand, choosing only one
is like trying to take a sip out of a fire hydrant. Quite simply,
the man is iconic. He’s a living legend — a monument to the
renaissance of the European art of organ from the twentieth
century onward. I can attest to this given the words of my
doctoral adviser who, flabbergasted to learn that I had studied
with Dr. Kloppers, exclaimed “Kloppers? Jacobus Kloppers?
Leora Nauta (’08 B.Mus.) PhD Candidate, Universiteit Utrecht.
“ A special a teacher.ofMusicology,King’s was having Dr.
Music History, and
organ lessons would not have been the same without his
expertise, passion and humour. But when university life
got inevitably stressful, one thing stands out in my memory
above everything else: coffee with Dr. Kloppers. His warm
invitations for coffee and a chat helped to make the task of
juggling student life with motherhood all the more bearable.
His kindness and humour never failed to bring a smile to his
students and others, and King’s would not have been the
same without him!
Jenna Nydam (’10 B.Mus.)
Dr. Kloppers has been a significant figure in my King’s
experience. He was the first person I met when considering
the Bachelor of Music program, and his impeccably genteel
nature, quick wit and kind enthusiasm for students instantly
won my heart. He inspires respect and love from his
students, which deepens with each year of study. He is the
epitome of musical knowledge and simultaneous humility,
combined with a treasure trove of witticisms that leave his
class in stitches. The music program is what it is today
because of his vision and dedication; Dr. Kloppers is truly a
tribute to King’s.
Cara-Joy Roeseler (’10 B. Mus.)
The King’s Connection /// Fall 2012 /// 5