Ada Kent

Ada (Jane Fairlina) Kent (b Twohy). Pianist, organist, composer, b Denver, Colo, of Canadian parents, 8 Feb 1888, d on a visit to London 23 Jul 1969; LAB 1904, B MUS (Toronto) 1906.

Kent, Ada

Ada (Jane Fairlina) Kent (b Twohy). Pianist, organist, composer, b Denver, Colo, of Canadian parents, 8 Feb 1888, d on a visit to London 23 Jul 1969; LAB 1904, B MUS (Toronto) 1906. Taken at 13 by her mother to Hamilton, Ont, she studied piano 1901 with Helen Wildman and piano and organ 1902-5 with J.E.P. Aldous and 1905-8 in Toronto with A.S. Vogt. She gave a solo recital 25 Oct 1904 in Toronto. Commuting 1905-8 between Hamilton and Toronto, she served in Hamilton as organist at St Paul's Presbyterian Church and taught at the Hamilton School of Music. In Toronto she taught 1907-16 at the TCM and the Moulton Ladies' College and served 1909-18 as organist at Trinity Methodist Church and accompanist to the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

Also active 1909-13 as a soloist, Kent toured in southern Ontario (her repertoire included works by Aldous and H.A. Fricker) and played the first movement of Grieg's Concerto with the Welsman TSO. She was organist 1920-2 at Deer Park United Church, Toronto. Among her works (written after 1933 and listed in Catalogue of Canadian Composers) are the vocal pieces 'At Christmastide,' 'Long Ago,' and 'Dominion Hymn' (all Waterloo 1934), the children's song collections Sing a Song of Canada (Thomas Nelson 1937), Let's Pretend (Gage), and Tiptoe Tunes for Tiny Tots (Waterloo 1952), and the widely performed anthem 'No Flower So Fair' (Carl Fischer 1940). Some of her songs were performed in 1938 by Jeanne Pengelly before the Vogt Society and by the contralto Mary Jarred, accompanied by the composer, on a BBC broadcast to Canada from London. In a Wigmore Hall recital of her songs and violin pieces 2 Jun 1938, David Martin played her 16 Variations on an English Theme, described in The Times of London as 'none the worse for recalling greater achievements' and in the Daily Telegraph and Morning Post as 'of a type nearer to Corelli than to Brahms or Elgar'.