Helen Martens

Helen Martens. Teacher, choir conductor, ethnomusicologist, b Sagradowska, Ukraine, 21 Feb 1928, naturalized Canadian 1935; LRSM 1952, BA (Minnesota) 1954, MA (Minnesota) 1956, PH D (Columbia) 1968. Her family emigrated to Canada in 1930, settling in Sanford, Man.

Martens, Helen

Helen Martens. Teacher, choir conductor, ethnomusicologist, b Sagradowska, Ukraine, 21 Feb 1928, naturalized Canadian 1935; LRSM 1952, BA (Minnesota) 1954, MA (Minnesota) 1956, PH D (Columbia) 1968. Her family emigrated to Canada in 1930, settling in Sanford, Man. She studied piano with Leonard Heaton in Winnipeg and musicology with Paul Henry Lang, Edward Lippman, Denis Stevens, and Walter Wiora at Columbia U. After teaching 1954-6 at H.J. MacDonald High School in Winnipeg, she taught piano 1959-62 at Bluffton College in Ohio and joined the staff at Conrad Grebel College, University of Waterloo, in 1965 as its first music professor, teaching courses in choral music and music history and appreciation. She founded in 1966 and was the conductor 1967-81 of the Inter-Mennonite Children's Choir of Waterloo, which in 1978 won top prize in the CBC National Radio Competition for Amateur Choirs. Her pupils have included Doria Lora and Jeremy Constant. She has become an authority on the music of the Amish, Hutterites (the subject of her 1968 dissertation), and Mennonites, and has contributed articles on these to EMC and Ethnomusicology. Martens has also done research on Felix Mendelssohn and has translated his letters into English.