Margaret Drynan

Margaret (Isobel) Drynan (b Brown). Teacher, composer, organist-choirmaster, writer, b Toronto 10 Dec 1915, d Oshawa, Ont, 18 Feb 1999; B MUS (Toronto) 1943, ARCT 1975, honorary FRCCO 1984. Her teachers included Arthur Benjamin, Madeline Bone, Michael Head, E.

Drynan, Margaret

Margaret (Isobel) Drynan (b Brown). Teacher, composer, organist-choirmaster, writer, b Toronto 10 Dec 1915, d Oshawa, Ont, 18 Feb 1999; B MUS (Toronto) 1943, ARCT 1975, honorary FRCCO 1984. Her teachers included Arthur Benjamin, Madeline Bone, Michael Head, E. Kelvin James, Campbell McInnes, Molly Sclater, and Healey Willan. A member for 37 years of the St Mary Magdalene church choir, she also sang in Toronto with the Tudor Singers and with Reginald Stewart'sToronto Bach Choir (approximately four years with each). In Oshawa she was organist-choirmaster 1950-3 at Holy Trinity Church, and was founder and conductor 1953-68 of the Canterbury Singers of Oshawa. She was supervisor of music 1960-9 for the Oshawa elementary school system and music consultant 1969-81 to the Durham Region Board of Education. She was a founding member (1963) and president 1973-5 of the Oshawa District Council for the Arts and a founder of the Oshawa Arts Centre. In 1960 she became a director of the Oshawa Symphony Association, on which she served as chairperson and later as lifetime member, and she also was a member of the percussion section of the Oshawa Symphony Orchestra. She was active in other local organizations and local branches of national ones. For many years the Canadian editor of Diapason magazine, Drynan also contributed to Music Magazine and EMC. In 1978 she was a founding member of the Healey Willan Centennial Celebration Committee, which she served as vice-president; she compiled a memorial tribute booklet, Healey Willan, issued by the RCCO, spring 1979. In 1990 Dynan was a director of the Healey Willan Scholarship Committee. She also served as national president 1982-4 of the RCCO, and was an honorary vice-president of that organization. From 1983-90 she served as organist-choirmaster at St. Matthew's Anglican Church, Oshawa.

Drynan's compositions include a Missa brevis (1952), four operettas, some 40 songs and string works, folksong arrangements, carols, and plainsong settings. The Missa brevis and such songs and carols as 'Songs for Judith' (named for her daughter), 'Including Me,' and 'Why Do the Bells of Christmas Ring?' have been performed in Canada and abroad. Her publishers include Berandol, Thompson, and Boosey & Hawkes. The RCM included her The Fate of Gilbert Gim in its vocal repertoire (Harris, 1991).

In 1976 Drynan received the honorary RCCO award. In 1984 she was named Woman of Distinction in the Arts by the YWCA.

Compositions

The Canada Goose: a musical play in three acts. (Judith Drynan). 1980. G.V. Thompson 1988


Further Reading

  • MacDonald, John.' Music is a life-time occupation for Margaret Drynan,' Oshawa Times, 6 Sep 1991

    'Obituaries - Margaret (Peggy) Drynan.' American Organist, vol 33, May 1999