Rj Staples. Administrator, conductor, trumpeter, educator, broadcaster, b Grenfell, near Regina, 1904, d Richmond, BC, 9 Nov 1972; BA (Manitoba) 1931. In his home town he played in the dance and theatre orchestras and directed the band. In the late 1920s he was a trumpeter in theatre, hotel, and symphony orchestras in Regina. He took his professional training at the University of Manitoba, the Winnipeg Teachers' College, the University of Saskatchewan, Columbia U, and Florida State U, continuing to supplement his studies until 1954. His teachers included Ernst von Dohnányi, Robert Shaw, Irvin Cooper, Harvey Brooks, and Marion Atkinson. He taught music or was principal 1924-33 in various Saskatchewan and Manitoba schools. He was music director 1933-45 at Central Collegiate, Regina, and also served 1935-40 as adviser to the Saskatchewan Dept of Education and 1940-5 as chairman of the provincial committee on school music courses. He moved to Moose Jaw as music director of the Teachers' College, then became supervisor of music (1949-69) for Saskatchewan schools. He lectured on school music methods 1948-66 at the University of Saskatchewan and frequently at other schools and summer schools. Staples was conductor 1949-54 of the Regina Civil Service Choir. As a scriptwriter, arranger, and commentator 1948-66 and consultant and arranger 1966-70 for the CBC, Staples has been credited as the guiding force behind the development of school music broadcasts in Saskatchewan. He was president 1938-44 of the Regina MEA, honorary president 1955-69 of the SMEA, and charter member and vice-president 1960 of the CMEA. Besides writing many school-music textbooks and guides for the classroom teacher and developing some music-education devices, Staples composed or arranged numerous choral pieces.
See also Inventions and devices; School music; School music broadcasts.
Music Manual for the Classroom Teacher (Regina 1947, rev 1961)
Let's Play the Classroom Instruments (Brooklyn 1958)
- ed. Saskatchewan Sings, 2 vols (Toronto 1964)
Music Activities for the Primary Grades (Toronto 1969)
Other teaching manuals and series of instrumental and choral texbooks.