Allan McIver

(Joseph) Allan McIver, composer, arranger, pianist, conductor (born 17 January 1903 in Thetford-Mines, QC; died 15 June 1969 in Montréal, QC).

(Joseph) Allan McIver, composer, arranger, pianist, conductor (born 17 January 1903 in Thetford-Mines, QC; died 15 June 1969 in Montréal, QC). Raised in Sherbrooke, Québec, where he studied violin, flute, and (with Alfred E. Whitehead) piano, he was a pianist for silent films after moving to Montreal in 1926. He later studied harmony with Oscar O'Brien. McIver's first radio engagements ca 1930 were as a singer (baritone) and pianist. He appeared in the early 1930s as a piano soloist with the CSM (Montreal Symphony Orchestra) and the Ottawa Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 1936 he went to New York as accompanist and arranger for the Trio lyrique, remaining there for a year as a staff arranger for the CBS radio network. Back in Montreal, McIver continued to work with the Trio lyrique, became a leading conductor and/or arranger for CBC radio shows (eg, 'The Play of the Week,' 'Light Up and Listen,' and 'Serenade for Strings') and wrote background music for many radio dramas. During World War II he wrote and conducted music for the Victory Loan shows and radio broadcasts in Montreal. He also conducted for shows given by Jack Benny at army bases across Canada.

After participating in CBC (Montreal) TV's opening telecast 5 Sep 1952, McIver served as music director for many CBC TV and radio variety programs, including 'Silhouettes,' 'Paillettes,' 'Northern Electric Concert,' 'Le Trio lyrique,' and 'Sunday Night Shows'. Besides incidental music he wrote several pieces for orchestra (one, Francesca, was published by Southern Music) and the score for the feature film Le Rossignol et les cloches.


Further Reading

  • Selinger, Jac. 'Alan [sic] McIver says it with music,' Radio World, 17 Mar 1945.