Western Music Company, Ltd.
Western Music Company, Ltd. Retailing and publishing firm with headquarters in Vancouver, 1930-70. The company was founded by Herbert Drost to make available on the west coast a wide selection of printed music, especially for choir. Later, branches were operated in Winnipeg 1938-56, in Toronto 1948-55, and in Victoria, BC 1945-9 and 1954-73. The Vancouver store added records and instruments to its merchandise and in 1937 began to publish music. By 1960 over 450 pieces had been issued, more than half by Canadian composers (W.H. Anderson, Dalton Baker, Hugh Bancroft, Keith Bissell, Frederick Chubb, George Coutts, T.J. Crawford, Arthur Egerton, Robert Fleming, Leonard Heaton, H.E. Key, Burton Kurth, Kenneth Meek, Adelmo Melecci, Bernard Naylor, Clermont Pépin, Max Pirani, Alfred Whitehead, Healey Willan, and others). Prominent in the catalogue were the Western Series of choral, organ, piano, school-choir, and vocal pieces. Many of the publications were for competition-festival, school, or church use. The firm also published the treatise Full-throated Ease by James Terry Lawson (1955). The Western Music News was issued monthly 1934-40 and once or twice a year thereafter until 1955. Though primarily devoted to advertising the company's merchandise it also provided some documentation of musical life. For some years Western Music was the sole Canadian agent for Novello, J.B. Cramer, Arnold, and other British firms. Its own publications were sold in the USA by the British-American Music Co of Chicago. In 1970 the Western Music copyrights and stock were acquired by Leslie Music Supply, Inc of Oakville, Ont.