Alexander (Reid) Tilley. Educator, composer, conductor, b St John's, Nfld, 8 Nov 1944; B SC (McGill) 1965, BA (Sir George Williams) 1966, B MUS (McGill) 1970. He was raised in Montreal and studied composition with Istvan Anhalt and Bruce Mather and double-bass with Tom Martin. In 1971 he joined the music dept of the Halifax City District School Board as a music specialist teacher, advancing to assistant supervisor 1975-80, acting supervisor 1978-9, and founder of the department's Experimental Music Studio. One of the Maritimes' leading school music educators, he continues as double-bass instructor in the all-city instrumental program, and at Queen Elizabeth High School conducts three choirs and implements one of the few courses in Canadian music at the pre-university level in Atlantic Canada. He became choir director of St Andrews' United Church, Halifax, in 1978.
Tilley has composed or arranged over two dozen choral pieces for school or church use, including Songs for the School Year (commissioned by the NSMEA 1982 and published by Harris, 1985-6) from which ''In Flanders Fields' has achieved national notice; Winter Games Fanfare (composed for the closing of the 1987 Canada Winter Games); and various settings of biblical texts, carols, and folk songs from the Helen Creighton collection. His music for the film Life Classes won the award of merit as best original score at the Atlantic Film Festival in 1987. His choice of compositional techniques ranges from arrangements of Atlantic folk tunes for school orchestras (Atlantic Suite, 1974; rev 1978) to complex atonality (Dialogues, 1982, recorded on Atlantic Canadian Composers' Association ACCA-1987 by Suzanne Lemieux oboe, and Patricia Creighton flute). As a member of the RCCO he is an active conductor of church and community massed choirs; he conducted the premiere production of Dennis Farrell's opera The Birthday of the Infanta in 1979. He has written for the BCMEA Journal, and the NSMEA Notes. He is a charter member of NOVA MUSIC and ACCA, a member of the NSMEA, CMEA, and CLComp, and in was president 1978-9 of the Canadian Music Council.