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Uploaded by: Silchester (10/04/21)
Composer: Willan, Healey
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: The Armley Schulze
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
James Healey Willan was born in England on 12 October 1880 and began musical training at age eight, with studies at St. Saviour's Choir School I Eastbourne. He continued at St. Saviour's until 1895, when he began working as organist and choirmaster at several London-area churches. He earned the ARCO in 1897 and fellowship in 1899. From 1903 to 1913, he was organist and choirmaster of St. John the Baptist Church on Holland Road in London. In 1913 Willan emigrated to Canada.
Willan became organist-choirmaster of Toronto's largest church, St. Paul's, Bloor Street, whose rector, Canon Cody, was later to become Ontario provincial education minister and the chancellor of the University of Toronto. In 1914, Willan was appointed a lecturer and examiner in music at the university. His royalties as a church music composer allowed him to leave "low church" St. Paul's in 1921 and to become precentor of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene (Toronto). He remained there until his death. St. Mary Magdalene's, under Willan, became a North American mecca for choral and Anglican church musicians.
In 1920 the Toronto Conservatory (since 1947 the Royal Conservatory of Music) appointed Willan as head of its theory department. Later he became vice-principal. From 1937 to 1950, Willan was University of Toronto Professor of Music and Organist and responsible for the music degree examinations.
He had many notable pupils.
Healey Willan was one of the first Canadian musicians to appear on a Canadian postage stamp.
Willan, who would describe his provenance "English by birth; Canadian by adoption; Irish by extraction; Scotch by absorption", died on 16 February 1968 in Toronto.
The park immediately to the east of St. Mary Magdalene church was named in his honour.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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