Frederick Karam

Karam, Frederick. Composer, organist, choir conductor, trombonist, singer, teacher, b Ottawa, to Lebanese parents, 26 Mar 1926; d there 27 Mar 1978; B MUS (Toronto) 1950, ARCT (1950), D MUS (Toronto) 1953.

Karam, Frederick

Karam, Frederick. Composer, organist, choir conductor, trombonist, singer, teacher, b Ottawa, to Lebanese parents, 26 Mar 1926; d there 27 Mar 1978; B MUS (Toronto) 1950, ARCT (1950), D MUS (Toronto) 1953. He went to school in Ottawa, then studied at the University of Toronto and at the TCM with Gerald Bales, S. Drummond Wolff, and Healey Willan. For his doctorate he submitted his cantata for choir and orchestra, Lazarus. He was organist-choirmaster 1950-78 at St Elijah Syrian Orthodox Church in Ottawa, and conducted 1955-65 the Ottawa Choral Society and, for eight years, an Ottawa CBC orchestra. He also directed the Toronto Opera Lovers' Group and gave theory and voice lessons. He taught harmony/counterpoint, composition, and voice 1962-78 at the University of Ottawa, and when the Music Dept was established there in 1969 he took on the position of academic secretary. His compositions include Modal Trumpet (BMI Canada 1949), Poem for Strings (Associated Music 1952), Scherzo for piano (BMI Canada 1953), and, for organ, Gigue (BMI Canada 1957) and Divertimento (BMI Canada 1959). He also wrote a ballet for children and the sound tracks for three films.

His brother Ed (Edward Michael) Karam (b Ottawa 28 Aug 1929) played baritone saxophone in the 1950s in CBC Toronto orchestras and in jazz groups led by Moe Koffman and Phil Nimmons. He was music director for several CBC TV variety shows and studied 1960-4 with Gordon Delamont before leaving Canada to work as music director for Paul Anka. Ed Karam settled in Hollywood, where he has been a studio composer-arranger for recordings and TV shows by US singers (eg, Rod McKuen, Barbra Streisand, and Andy Williams). He also has written TV and film scores.