President and bass trombonist Dave Arthur was honoured by the Ontario Chapter of the Canadian Band Association as the Canadian Musician of the Year 2009. Read the article from the 2010 January/February issue of The Music Times.
Well known local musician Dave Arthur is the Canadian Band Association (ON) musician of the year for 2009.
By Michael Purves-Smith
Dave Arthur’s name has been added to the list of Musician of the Year for the Canadian Band Association.
This list goes back almost 80 years and includes the names of many prominent musicians who have made significant contributions to the band movement not only in Ontario but across Canada. As the award is presently constituted, nominations are submitted from the 35 member bands from across the province of Ontario and then the executive chooses by vote the most worthy candidate.
Dave Arthur is one of those people who quietly keep society moving. He is consistently dedicated to the highest possible principles. He has always made music a priority in his life, and the Wellington Winds have
benefitted immeasurably thereby. He was a founding member of the group some 29 years ago and has, except for two years when he and his wife Barbara lived in Hawaii, been intensely involved with the
group ever since. In addition, he has been a stalwart member of the bass section of the Grand Philharmonic, both the large and chamber choirs, and the touring Consort Caritatis Choir.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Music degree in music education from the University of Illinois, where he was privileged to work with the legendary Dr. Harry Begian. Dave of his specialties while working on that degree was band orchestration. This skill he has put to stellar use for the Wellington Winds over the years. He has arranged for the group a number of important classics of the 20thcentury repertoire such as Scenes from the Ballet Cinderella (Prokofiev), Atmospheres (Ligeti), Sleigh Ride (Delius), Valses Nobles et Sentimentales (Ravel), Four Early Songs (Berg), and, for brass choir, a superb arrangement of the Masonic Funeral Music (Mozart.)
Dave Arthur’s competence is as important to the Wellington Winds in performance as it is in administration. He has performed on both bass trombone and tuba in the Winds. He continues to perform tuba with the brass quintet of the Winds. After returning from Hawaii a few years ago, where he had performed with a group similar to the Winds, but also with a trombone choir, he has been instrumental in fostering a fine trombone choir that meets monthly in the KW area. He is a skilled conductor and the Winds have enjoyed working under his baton on a number of occasions. His contributions to the ensemble are even more astonishing when we remember that over most of those years he has been a member of the Board of Directors, often, as currently, as President. His most recent task was to oversee the orderly transition of conductors for the group, which he carried through with his usual aplomb. Among his other contributions to the group was a stint as librarian. Dave is one of those people who is always there when he is needed, and with a minimum of fuss. A few years back the Winds received a grant from the Region
to build risers for the main performance area of the group, First United Church, Waterloo. Dave was at the heart of this and oversaw the work that went into finishing it. The risers have proven to be a boon for the entire music performance community in the region. They are, however, heavy to move and, once again, Dave is usually there to help with that operation. This year he was behind the receipt of a $20,000.00
grant from the Trillium foundation to the Wellington Winds.
He was for many years head of music at Forest Heights Collegiate in Kitchener, where he had an outstanding band program and helped organize the Central Ontario Band Workshop. Being a man who likes new challenges, he chose to finish the second half of his career as a teacher of Physics at Cameron Heights Collegiate, where he continued involvement with extracurricular music. Over his playing career, Dave performed in the Wilfrid Laurier University Wind Ensemble, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and at one time or another, most of the area community bands. As recently as this past May, as the convenor
for registrations and housing, he was instrumental in making the Symposium, Music is for Life, the resounding success that it was.
Dave is a world traveller, not only with the Consort Caritatis and the Guelph Chamber Choir, with whom he has travelled in Europe, Russia, and China, but with his wife in Central America and Asia. It is easy to lose track of him. A part of his travel instinct arises out of his passion and concern for the environment. Upon retirement from fulltime teaching, he immediately undertook the presidency of the Ontario Society for Environmental Education. He has been active in trying to bring a stronger focus on the environment across the curriculum in our province.
Dave is a father of two and now a grandfather. He was the contractor for the building of his beautiful, forest-shaded home and did the renovations of his Meaford cottage. He is a skier in the winter, a woodworker, and a vigorous supporter and attendee of the KW Symphony. In addition, one will often see him at other concert and opera performances.
One wonders, how one individual could achieve so much.
The Music Times, Vol.IV, No.1,January-February, 2010