Thelma (Grace Isabel) O'Neill (b Johannes). Pianist, teacher, b Hamilton, Ont, 28 Jun 1915, d Sherwood Park, Alta, 27 Jun 2003; ATCM 1932, L MUS (Saskatchewan) 1934, B MUS (Alberta) 1981. Her teachers included George C. Palmer and Lyell Gustin 1926-46 in Saskatoon, Eva Dumesnil, Robert Casadesus, Alfred Cortot, and Jean Batalla 1946-8 in Paris, where she graduated from the Conservatoire and the École normale, and Helmut Brauss in the early 1970s at the University of Alberta. After 1939 she gave many solo recitals on CBC radio, and she was heard also 1940-5 in two-piano programs with Edmund Assaly. During her studies in Paris she broadcast works by Violet Archer and Robert Fleming on French radio.
As Teacher and Pianist
She played concertos of Bach, Mozart, Schumann, and Grieg with orchestras in Calgary, Montreal (CBC's The Little Symphonies), Regina, and Saskatoon, appeared as a recitalist in several Canadian cities, and in Saskatoon accompanied a number of visiting artists, including Marta Hidy, George Lambert, Howard Leyton-Brown, Albert Pratz, and the European violinist François d'Albert. Her pupils included Cedric Abday, Beverly Burrows, Margaret Chandler, Cheryl Cooney, Janice Plitt, Diane Rausch, Angela Taranger, and Françoise Vetter. A devotée of the Leschetizky method, O'Neill examined for the WBM, and in 1957 she joined the teaching staff of Alberta College, where she remained until the 1990s. She served 1967-8 as president of the ARMTA; that organization presented her with its recognition award in 1999.