Dorothy Howard | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Dorothy Howard

Dorothy (Alice) Howard (née Phimister), mezzo-soprano, teacher (born 4 February 1929 in Winnipeg, MB; died 1 March 2013 in Winnipeg).

Dorothy (Alice) Howard (née Phimister), mezzo-soprano, teacher (born 4 February 1929 in Winnipeg, MB; died 1 March 2013 in Winnipeg). BA (Manitoba) 1949, Associate in music teaching (Manitoba) 1961, Associate in music performance (Manitoba) 1962, L MUS voice (Manitoba) 1963, M ED (Saskatchewan) 1980. Her principal teachers and coaches included Doris Mills Lewis in Winnipeg, Marjorie Thomas in England (where she studied on a Canada Council grant), and Maureen Forrester in Toronto.

She sang 1958-68 with the Choristers, both in the choir and as a soloist, and was a soloist 1957-67 at Westminster United Church, Winnipeg. In Winnipeg 1960-9 she taught high school music, English and French, taught music privately, and sang in opera, concert, radio and TV performances. She began teaching at the University of Saskatchewan in 1969, became the director of its voice program in 1970, and continued teaching there in 1990. Her pupils included Kristine Anderson, Karen Jensen, Michelle Milenkovic, Barbara Milner, Janice Paterson, and Kevin Power among others.

Howard appeared with the CBC Winnipeg Orchestra, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra (as its most frequent guest artist), Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and other ensembles. She was a founding member of the Saskatoon Opera Association and sung leading roles in many of its productions, eg, Carmen (1980), Iolanthe (1982), Amahl and the Night Visitors (1983), and Hansel and Gretel (1986). She also directed student productions at the University of Saskatchewan and participated in other musical organizations and events in Saskatoon.

In addition to the standard repertoire, Howard championed major Canadian works, eg, by Adaskin, Archer, Colgrass, Coulthard, Fleming, Freedman, Schafer and Somers, both in live performance and on CBC radio recitals. She gave a lecture-recital on 'Canadian Women Composers' at the first international conference on Women in Music at the University of Michigan in March 1982. She was active as an adjudicator, consultant, and examiner, participated in conferences and workshops, was regional representative 1980-6 of the Metropolitan Opera Council, and wrote papers (unpublished in 1990) on singing and adjudicating. She composed 'Celebrate Saskatchewan' (1980) which was published in Celebrate Saskatchewan Songbook (Saskatchewan Diamond Jubilee Corp 1980) and Saskatchewan Music (Saska-Music 1980).

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