Ronald Gibson

Ronald (Wilson) Gibson. Organist-choir master, conductor, pianist, teacher, critic, violist, b Maidstone, Kent, England, 28 May 1903, d Winnipeg 14 Dec 1993; ACCO 1927, B MUS (Manchester) 1949, ARMCM 1949, honorary LL D (Winnipeg) 1972. Gibson's family settled in Mordmen, Man, when he was 10.

Gibson, Ronald

Ronald (Wilson) Gibson. Organist-choir master, conductor, pianist, teacher, critic, violist, b Maidstone, Kent, England, 28 May 1903, d Winnipeg 14 Dec 1993; ACCO 1927, B MUS (Manchester) 1949, ARMCM 1949, honorary LL D (Winnipeg) 1972. Gibson's family settled in Mordmen, Man, when he was 10. He began piano lessons there and taught himself to play the violin. He was organist at Morden Presbyterian Church until his family moved in 1918 to Winnipeg, where he studied organ with Arnold Dann at Wesley College, continuing with Arthur Egerton. He also studied engineering at the University of Manitoba 1919-20. Gibson was a violist and assistant conductor 1924 to ca 1934 in John Waterhouse's Winnipeg String Orchestra and in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra under Hugh Ross. He held church positions at Winnipeg's Young United 1920-5, Broadway Baptist 1925-9, St John's United 1930-4, and Holy Trinity Anglican Church 1934-87. He was president of the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers' Association 1929-31. He also conducted several organizations including, 1927-9, the Winnipeg Choral and Orchestral Society (with which he had made his concert debut as a pianist in 1925 in Mendelssohn's Concerto in G Minor) and, 1935-40, the Manitoba Schools' Orchestra. After RCAF service overseas he conducted 24 concerts with the CBC String Orchestra in Winnipeg, then returned to England for studies 1946-9 at Manchester University with Humphrey Procter-Gregg and others and at the Royal Manchester College with Iso Elinson (piano) and Evelyn Rothwell (oboe). Gibson served 1949-63 as director of the School of Music, University of Manitoba, and continued to teach at the school until his retirement in 1968. Among his students was the conductor Victor Davies. After retiring from his faculty position, Gibson wrote music criticism for the Winnipeg Free Press until 1988. He was a regular contributor 1970-7 to The Canada Music Book. In 1968 he began composing works for voice, organ, and choir, most of them for church use. Waterloo published five of his anthems in 1978. He was made an honorary life member of the RCCO, the CFMTA, and the MMEA and in 1987 he was awarded the Province of Manitoba's highest award for services to music, the Office of Provost of the Order of the Buffalo Hunt. He was a contributor to EMC. Holy Trinity Anglican Church had a stained-glass portrait of Gibson installed to honour his over 50 years of service there.

Writings

'Those turbulent early days,' CFMTA Newsletter, winter 1986


Further Reading

  • Owen, Margaret, 'Profile: Ronald Gibson,' Manitoba Music Educator, vol 23, May 1983