Leonard Wilson

Leonard Wilson. Organist-choirmaster, composer, lecturer, writer, b near Manchester 1911, d Vancouver 22 Apr 1963; LTCL 1929, honorary FTCL 1947. Though his family emigrated to Vancouver when he was 9, Wilson returned to England at 18 for five years of study at the TCL and the RSCM.

Wilson, Leonard

Leonard Wilson. Organist-choirmaster, composer, lecturer, writer, b near Manchester 1911, d Vancouver 22 Apr 1963; LTCL 1929, honorary FTCL 1947. Though his family emigrated to Vancouver when he was 9, Wilson returned to England at 18 for five years of study at the TCL and the RSCM. His teachers included Sydney Nicholson, George Oldroyd, and Dom Anselm Hughes. He was organist 1935-48 at St Michael's Anglican Church, Vancouver, and organist-choirmaster thereafter at the same city's St James Anglican Church, where he developed a standard of high-church musical service similar to that of the renowned choirs of Healey Willan at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Toronto. He was appointed local representative of the TCL in 1942. His compositions included masses, introits, and fauxbourdons. A CBC program about his choir-training methods - 'And Places Where They Sing' - was telecast nationally 24 Mar 1963. Wilson taught liturgical music at the Anglican Theological College, University of British Columbia, and gave many talks and recitals for the CBC. Some of his lectures were published in Music of Western Man (London, Toronto, Vancouver 1958) edited by Peter Garvie from the CBC radio series of that name. Wilson began writing for newspapers in the 1930s and was the regular reviewer 1961-3 for the Vancouver Sun. It is said that he was a gentle critic, but his opinions were respected. He was a vice-president of the RCCO and also, 1957-9, of the BCRMTA, which established a scholarship in his name after his death. The CBC Vancouver Choir, directed by Hugh McLean, recorded (RCI 255) his Lord's Prayer and his Missa brevis No. 2, and for the same disc McLean recorded his organ pieces Meditation, Canzona, and Antiphon.


Further Reading

  • 'One man's busy week,' CBC Times, 23-9 Mar 1963