1931 - 2019
Derek Holman, D.Mus. (London), FRAM, FRCO, FRSCM, FRCCO
Derek Holman, organist, composer, choir master, professor and animal lover, died in Ottawa on May 20, 2019. Beloved husband of Margaret Holman, father of Susan, Nicholas and Judith (Peter), grandfather to Derek, Michael and Riley, dear brother of Pearl (John), uncle to Karen (Giorgos) and Steve (Dee) and great-uncle to PJ.
Dr. Holman, as he was known by his choristers and students, was born in Cornwall, England on May 16, 1931. He held posts as an organist and choir-director in Anglican churches in England and Canada and was a professor for almost thirty years in the Faculty of Music’s Department of Theory and Composition at the University of Toronto. From 1975-85 he conducted the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus.
Dr. Holman was an established composer, creating many choral works, including hymn arrangements, a children’s opera, song cycles and oratorios. He received commissions from numerous artists and organizations, such as the CBC, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Toronto Children's Chorus, the Aldeburgh Connection and many others.
He was an inspiring mentor to countless young people in his church choirs, at the university and in the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus. He was awarded the Order of Canada for his services to music and received an honourary degree of Doctor of Sacred Letters from Trinity College in the University of Toronto.
A memorial service will be held in Toronto this fall to honour his musical legacy. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory to the Toronto Humane Society would be welcome. https://torontohumanesociety.akaraisin.com/tributepages/f6eca528e8af4ceb8bcb4c3458a98425
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