Wayne Riddell

Wayne (Kerr) Riddell. Organist, choir conductor, teacher, b Lachute, Que, 10 Sep 1936; B MUS (McGill) 1960.

Riddell, Wayne

Wayne (Kerr) Riddell. Organist, choir conductor, teacher, b Lachute, Que, 10 Sep 1936; B MUS (McGill) 1960. He studied with Juliette Rodrigue and Kenneth Gilbert and served as organist-choirmaster at several Montreal churches, including Westmount Park United 1958-65, Erskine and American United 1965-72, and the Church of St Andrew and St Paul 1972-86. Riddell has taught at Marianopolis College and 1961-4 in the protestant schools. In 1969 he was made director of choirs and vice-chairman of the department of school music at McGill University. He founded the Tudor Singers of Montreal in 1962 and conducted it until 1986; he toured and recorded with the choir, and led it to great renown. In 1988 he was conductor of both the National Youth Choir, organized by the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors, and of the Ontario Youth Choir.

The choir of the Church of St Andrew and St Paul made 4 LPs under Riddell, including Jubilate (1978, St Andrew & St Paul AP-175), Noël Nouvelet (1979, London LOS-26637), Te Deum (1980, St Andrew & St Paul AP-177) and Magnificat (1984, Savvy CSPS-2371). This choir for many years presented an oratorio series, performing major works of Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Fauré, and Duruflé. It was also the first recipient of the Canada Council's Healey Willan Prize as the best choir in its annual choral competition.

In 1991 Riddell continued to pursue an active career as a freelance choral conductor. He has travelled extensively, guest conducting choirs and orchestras, and acting as adjudicator and choral workshop clinician. He was a guest conductorat the Glasgow International Festival in Scotland in October 1990, and led a five-day choral workshop at the Elora Festival in 1991.

In 1988 Riddell was named a Member of the Order of Canada.He is a contributor to EMC.


Further Reading

  • Nielsen, Carolyn. 'Wayne Riddell,' ACCC, vol 2, Summer 1982

    - 'Directions: an interview with Wayne Riddell,' Anacrusis, vol 6, Fall 1986