Robert Donnell

Robert Donnell. Carillonneur, composer, b Toronto ca 1910, d St. Petersburg, Fla, 8 Feb 1986.

Donnell, Robert

Robert Donnell. Carillonneur, composer, b Toronto ca 1910, d St. Petersburg, Fla, 8 Feb 1986. He studied in Guelph, Ont (where he became carillonneur at the Cutten Memorial Carillon of St George's Anglican Church in 1926), at the TCM, and with Jack Skillicorn at the Soldiers' Tower Carillon of the University of Toronto. After studies 1934-6 with Percival Price (Dominion Carillonneur at the Peace Tower Carillon on Parliament Hill, Ottawa), he became Price's assistant in 1936, then attended the Beiaardschool te Mechelen (Royal Flemish Carillon School) in Belgium. He graduated in 1938 and succeeded Price as Dominion Carillonneur in 1939. He later studied composition and orchestration with Bernard Wagenaar at the Juilliard Graduate School in New York. During World War II Donnell served in the RCAF as a music arranger and consultant. He was musical adviser 1946-9 and president 1950-2 of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, and he performed on instruments in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. In 1975 he retired as Dominion Carillonneur and became carillonneur at the Rainbow Tower Carillon in Niagara Falls, Ont. Donnell's compositions include Canada's official citizenship song 'This Canada of Ours' (Thompson 1947) and many other works and carillon arrangements for his own performance.


Further Reading

  • Shackleton, Philip. 'Young man in a belfry,' SatN, 10 Jan 1950

    Stephenson, Bill. 'Crash bang boom: the masterful touch,' The Canadian, 4 Mar 1967