George Little

(Lloyd) George or Georges Little. Choir director, organist, educator, administrator, b Sydney, NS, 4 Sep 1920, d Montreal 19 Oct 1995; B MUS (Dalhousie) 1944, B MUS (Toronto) 1949, honorary D MUS (Montreal) 1991.

Little, George

(Lloyd) George or Georges Little. Choir director, organist, educator, administrator, b Sydney, NS, 4 Sep 1920, d Montreal 19 Oct 1995; B MUS (Dalhousie) 1944, B MUS (Toronto) 1949, honorary D MUS (Montreal) 1991. He obtained provincial teaching certificates from Nova Scotia in 1939 and Quebec in 1945 and 1963 and diplomas in organ and harpsichord from the CMM in 1944, the École normale de musique de Paris in 1949 and 1951, and the Conservatoire national de Paris in 1951. He taught piano and pedagogy 1942-4 in Halifax and school music 1944-5 at William Dawson College, Montreal. He lectured in 1948 and 1950-5 at McGill University Summer French School and taught organ and solfège 1951-7 at the CMM and choral singing and conducting 1953-69 at the CAMMAC Centre and 1955-63 at McGill University. He was music director 1962-4 for French protestant secondary schools, and served 1965-9 as chief of the music section of the Quebec Ministry of Education and 1969-80 as head of its arts division. He was organist-choirmaster 1939-64 at churches in Nova Scotia and Quebec, including Montreal's Erskine and American United Church, where he served 1951-64. He made his debut as a concert organist on a 1950 CBC 'Wednesday Night' broadcast from Montreal's Notre Dame Church and as a choral conductor that same year in Bach's Christmas Oratorio at the Ermitage.

Little attained a national reputation as the founder, and conductor 1951-65, of the Montreal Bach Choir with which he presented the premieres of many Canadian works and performances of major pieces from the renaissance, baroque, classic, and 20th-century repertoires. He also founded and conducted 1957-71, the Petit Ensemble vocal and, with his brother Carl in 1953, co-founded the Otter Lake Music Centre (CAMMAC), which he co-directed until 1965. In 1966 he was a founder of FAMEQ. He was active in many organizations, including the Canadian Music Council (vice-president 1975-6), and spoke frequently at Canadian and international conferences. A Canada Council grant enabled him, 1972-3, to research choral singing in Asian and African countries. (See also School music.) In 1983 he was awarded the Canadian Music Council Medal, and also the Kodály Medal from the Hungarian government for the promotion of that composer's work. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1993.

See also Edna (m Knock) Little (his sister).

Writings

'Organ and choral aspects and prospects,' 10th Music Book, ed Max Hinrichsen (London and New York 1958)

'Music education in Quebec,' MSc, 241, 242, May-Jun, Jul-Aug 1968

'La formation de l'artiste pour 2001,' CMB, 2, Spring-Summer 1971

'Une éducation musicale pour l'homme,' CMB, 10 Spring-Summer 1975


Further Reading

  • Morency-Létourneau, Gabrielle. "Rencontre avec Georges Little," Alla Breve, Feb 1991

    Knock, Edna H. Little Did I Know: A Sister's Memoir of George Little, Musician (Brandon 2002)