Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Founded in 1889 to serve as the examination body of the RAM, the RCM, and, in 1947, the Royal Manchester College of Music and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music. In 1984 it was reconstituted as an independent company, linked to the Royal Schools.

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Founded in 1889 to serve as the examination body of the RAM, the RCM, and, in 1947, the Royal Manchester College of Music and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music. In 1984 it was reconstituted as an independent company, linked to the Royal Schools. It conducts or has conducted examinations annually throughout Great Britain, and by 1990, in more than 80 countries worldwide.It began these in Canada in 1895 and continued them until 1953. However, in the late 1970s, in response to requests made by both students and teachers, particularly those who moved to Canada from Hong Kong, the board resumed its activities in Canada, specifically in British Columbia. John Bayne Maclean of Montreal (president of Maclean Publishing Co) was the AB's first honorary general representative and Montreal the Canadian administration centre. Nordheimer Piano & Music Co was the first agent for AB publications. During the years 1902-9 the AB operated in conjunction with McGill University, with Charles A.E. Harriss as director of examinations, but when McGill in 1909 set up its own system of examinations, the AB continued independently, establishing secretariats in eastern Canada (a Montreal office serving Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island), Toronto, Manitoba-Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. By the 1930s 3500 candidates were being tested annually by British examiners. The number declined with the increase of activity by Canadian music examination systems - notably those set up by the RCMT and the WBM - and in 1953 the Canadian secretariats were closed. From the beginning the AB's presence in Canada was a subject of criticism. A.S. Vogt and other Ontario musicians engaged in an acrimonious argument with Samuel Aitken, a representative of the AB, in the late 1890s. Some teachers, particularly in French Canada, chafed under policies which they felt were inapplicable to the Canadian situation and objected to the 'sheet-music traffic' in AB-approved and AB-supplied editions. Later, however, musicians appreciated the AB's high standards, well-devised syllabus, experienced examiners, scholarly editions of basic repertoire (notably the Tovey-Craxton annotated editions of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and the Beethoven Piano Sonatas), and the substantial scholarships which enabled as many as four Canadian students a year to complete their training in London. Of 104 Canadians awarded AB scholarships from 1909 to 1953, 77 accepted the awards.

Award Winners

1909
Gladys McElvie Egbert, Calgary

1910
Jaroslav Bauer, Calgary

1911
Grace Trotter, Montreal


1912 Freda Sweet, Calgary

1913
Philip Shadwick, Winnipeg;Caroline Fotheringham, St Andrews, Toronto

1916
Odette de Foras, Calgary

1918
Marion O'Neail, Winnipeg

1919
Ben Loban, Winnipeg

1920
Dorothy Browne, Calgary

1921
Mary Pierce, Calgary

1922
Hugo Rignold, Winnipeg

1923
Jean Cotton, Calgary

1924
Barbara Custance, Vancouver

1925
Mary Graham, Winnipeg

1926
James Wright, Winnipeg; Betty Bateson, Calgary; Nancy Reed, Vancouver

1927
Frederick Grinke, Winnipeg; Smyth Humphreys, Chilliwack; Molly Mooney, Port Arthur

1928
Mike Kucyerk, Winnipeg; David Martin, Winnipeg

1929
Elizabeth Emery, Victoria; Elizabeth Harrison, Nova Scotia; John Kuchmy, Winnipeg

1930
Sara Bakum, Winnipeg; Evelyne Pearson, Calgary; Kathleen Tierney, Calgary

1931
Aubrey Arthur, Edmonton; Beatrice Hodgson, Vancouver; Clifford McCormick, Toronto

1932
Sylvia Cates, Winnipeg; Eugene Nemish, Winnipeg

1933
Verdun Leigh, Calgary; Ross Pratt, Winnipeg

1934
Norma Gallia, Vancouver; Mary Shortt, Calgary; Billy Waterhouse, Winnipeg

1935
Geraldine Paget Mellor, Victoria; Violet Paget Mellor, Victoria; Noel Taylor, Calgary; Gordon Watson, Winnipeg

1936
Patricia Norris, Edmonton; Clelio Ritagliati, Winnipeg; Mary Tierney, Calgary

1937
Harold Clark, Calgary; Jean Gilbert, Calgary; Maxwell Ward, Vancouver

1939
Daphne Sandercock, Ontario

1940
Samuel Margolian, Halifax

1941
Ida Vivienne Smith, Toronto

1942
Sydney Humphreys, Vancouver

1943
Carol Jutte, Vancouver; Robin Wood, Esquimalt

1944
Irene Bubniuk, Saskatoon; Winifred Scott, Winnipeg

1945
Barbara Draper, Calgary; Mary Gillard, Vancouver; Elsie Jensen, Winnipeg

1946
Zonia Lazarowich, Winnipeg

1947
Mae Broadbent, Windsor; Arthur Davison, Montreal; Walter Money, Winnipeg

1948
Eileen Graham Powell, Kelowna; Gerald Jarvis, Vancouver; Hugh McLean, Vancouver; Patricia Rundle, Vancouver

1949
Andrew Babynchuk, Winnipeg; Thomas Rolston, Vancouver

1950
Carlina Carr, Calgary

1951
Marion E. Gibbs, Victoria; Lila Wong Git Sen, Nanaimo

1952
Dale Bartlett, Lethbridge; Donald M. Bell, Burnaby

1953
Daryl Irvine, Toronto; Constance M. Voth, Winnipeg


Further Reading

  • Canadian Protesting Committee. An Account of the Canadian Protest against the Introduction into Canada of Musical Examinations by Outside Examining Bodies (Toronto 1899)

    Aitken, Samuel. The Case of the Associated Board (Toronto 1899)

    Sandwell, B.K. The Musical Red Book of Montreal (Montreal 1907)

    Montreal Music Year Book, 2 vols (Montreal 1931, 1932)

    The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music 1889-1948 (London no date)

    Jones, Gaynor G. 'The Fisher years: the Toronto Conservatory of Music, 1886-1913,' Three Studies, CanMus Documents 4 (Toronto 1989)