McCaul, John

John McCaul. Educator, theologian, impresario, b Dublin 7 Mar 1807, d Toronto 16 Apr 1886; BA (Dublin) 1824, MA (Dublin) 1828, LL D (Dublin) 1835. A specialist in classical languages, McCaul moved to Toronto in 1839 as principal of Upper Canada College. He became vice-president in 1842 and president in 1849 of King's College (renamed the University of Toronto in 1850) and was president 1853-80 of University College, University of Toronto. A keen and skilled amateur musician, McCaul organized in 1845 two concerts of choral and orchestral works by Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and others. He organized the Toronto Philharmonic Society and was its president 1845-7 and 1854. He was also president 1851-3 of the Toronto Vocal Music Society. The musician most often associated with McCaul in these ventures was James P. Clarke, with whom McCaul revived the Philharmonic Society in 1872 for a performance of Handel's Messiah with a 150-voice choir. Also in collaboration with Clarke he composed the anthem 'Blessed Be the Man' (Nordheimer), which was performed in Toronto in 1846 and has been reprinted in CMH, vol 2. Of his own works (which included other anthems and a vocal quartet) the ballads 'Waters of Babylon,' 'Merrie England,' 'Riflemen Form,' and 'In the Springtime of the Year' enjoyed a measure of popularity.