Gifford Mitchell

Gifford (Jerome) Mitchell. Educator, organist, choir director, b Cobden, Renfrew County, Ont, 29 Apr 1913, d 3 Dec 2006; BA (McGill) 1934, B MUS (Toronto) 1948. He taught history and languages in Westmount, Que, after graduating from McGill University.

Mitchell, Gifford

Gifford (Jerome) Mitchell. Educator, organist, choir director, b Cobden, Renfrew County, Ont, 29 Apr 1913, d 3 Dec 2006; BA (McGill) 1934, B MUS (Toronto) 1948. He taught history and languages in Westmount, Que, after graduating from McGill University. During World War II he spent five years in the RCAF. After studies in music education at the University of Toronto, he served as music supervisor 1948-51 for the Westmount Protestant School Board and 1951-69 for the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal.

During 21 years in Montreal he conducted the Montreal Elgar Choir 1951-69, was active in church music, taught 1955-69 at McGill University, and directed the McGill Choral Society. He was president 1960-2 and executive director 1962-6 of the CMEA, which made him an honorary life member in 1983. He taught 1969-80 at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont, where he began the faculty of performance studies in 1975 and conducted the Whiteoaks Choral Society until 1978.

Mitchell was a collaborator on the three-volume Songs of Praise for Schools (Toronto 1956, 1957, and 1958); was co-author with W. Earle Terry of the teaching text Music 7 and, with Terry and G.H. Wood, of Music 8; and was a contributor to the Hymn Book of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada (Toronto 1971). He appears as choir director on three recordings: National Anthems, with the Elgar Choir (RCA 56-3287, 1958), Sing at Christmas (International IRCM-1204, 1959), and Spring Song (Laurentian CTM-2-6003, 1960, 1961) with the McGill Choral Society.

Mitchell retired to Kingston, Ont, where he became chairman of the senior citizens' organization, Later Life Learning, in 1987 and lectured extensively on music and music appreciation.

See also School music.