Stanley Osborne | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Stanley Osborne

Stanley (Llewellyn) Osborne.

Osborne, Stanley

Stanley (Llewellyn) Osborne. Clergyman, educator, hymnologist, writer, composer, b Clarke Township (near Bowmanville), Ont, 6 Jan 1907, d Oshawa, Ont, 7 Dec 2000; D MUS (Toronto) 1945, THD (Victoria University, Toronto) 1954, D LITT S (Victoria U) 1972, honorary DD (Queen's) 1974, honorary FRCCO 1987. He studied music in his teens with Rita Dudley and Gwendolyn Williams Koldofsky, and later at the University of Toronto with Frederick Horwood (theory), Viggo Kihl (piano), Sir Ernest MacMillan (orchestration), Charles Peaker (organ), and Healey Willan. He also studied theology 1929-32 at Emmanuel College and was ordained a United Church minister in 1932. After serving in several appointments he served 1948-68 as principal of the Ontario Ladies' College (from 1979 Trafalgar Castle School) at Whitby. He was one of the few Canadians who had earned doctorates in both music and theology. It is not surprising, then, that his activities centred on church music. He was co-editor of music for The Canadian Youth Hymnal (United Church of Canada 1939), editor of Music for Worship (F. Harris 1947), and editor 1956-9 of the magazine Jubilate Deo. He also published The Strain of Praise (Toronto 1957), a portion of his THD thesis on church music. In 1968 he was appointed full-time secretary to the joint committee which prepared The Hymn Book (Anglican Church and United Church 1971). The book, which was deemed unusual for its high number of Canadian compositions, stands as a monument to Osborne's work despite controversy over some of his harmonizations of established hymn tunes. In 1974 he founded and directed the Summer Institute of Church Music at the Ontario Ladies' College, of which he remained honorary director.

In 1975 he completed If such holy song ... The Story of the Hymns in the Hymn Book 1971 (Whitby, Ont 1976) and he prepared and published 1980-5 a guide to the singing and playing of these hymns. He wrote several articles for EMC. His compositions include Salvator Mundi (1945), Night Hymns on Lake Nipigon (1982), and The Lord Is God (1983). In 1986 he was made an honorary Fellow of the Hymn Society of America for his services to church music. In 1997 Osborne published I Cry to Thee, a prayer book, and another book the following year, entitled I List to Thee.

See also Hymns and hymn tunes

Further Reading