Joan Peebles

Joan (Angusta Brownie) Peebles. Contralto, teacher, b New Westminster, BC, 5 Jan 1899, d there 11 Oct 1991. After five years as a school teacher, she won the Hudson's Bay Company medal in 1923 in the first British Columbia Music Festival and thereafter studied with teachers in Vancouver (Mrs.

Peebles, Joan

Joan (Angusta Brownie) Peebles. Contralto, teacher, b New Westminster, BC, 5 Jan 1899, d there 11 Oct 1991. After five years as a school teacher, she won the Hudson's Bay Company medal in 1923 in the first British Columbia Music Festival and thereafter studied with teachers in Vancouver (Mrs. Walter Coulthard), New York, and Rochester. In Rochester she made her concert debut in 1924 under Eugene Goossens and her opera debut in 1925 as Nancy in Martha. She repeated that role, 8 Jul 1926, in the first opera performance ever given at Chautauqua, NY, returning as principal contralto each season until 1942. She toured the USA and Canada 1927-9 with the American Opera Company, winning particular acclaim as Carmen. In the 1930s she was associated with many organizations including the Banff Scottish Music Festival (CPR Festivals), the Worcester Festival, and opera companies in Detroit and Philadelphia. Her many radio performances included an abridged Carmen with Edward Johnson on radio station CFRB, Toronto, in 1933. In 1942 Peebles retired to Titusville, Pa, where she taught privately till 1974, when she returned to New Westminster. Her only commercial recordings were of excerpts from Carmen with Raoul Jobin (RCA Camden CAL-221) made in 1940 under the auspices of the National Committee for Music Appreciation, New York.


Further Reading

  • Leech, Maggie. 'Famed native daughter,' New Westminster Columbian, 24 Aug 1979