Biography

Jim Leonard: Organist and Accompanist

Jim Leonard is one of Canada’s finest organists, an increasingly prolific composer, and a master of the keyboard, whether it be the most difficult classics or the coolest jazz-piano.

A graduate of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto in 1971, he and his wife, Lenore, took up residence in Barrie. He became organist at Collier St. United Church and Head of Music at Innisdale Secondary School, where he taught for 23 years.

He is an Associate of The Royal Canadian College of Organists, having won the Healey Willan Prize for highest marks on the exam.

Recent musical highlights for Jim Leonard were his pipe organ recital in Zweibrücken, Germany in 2003, and the première of his opera, Maria Chapdelaine in 2004.

With the Huronia Symphony, he appeared as guest soloist for Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony and Handel’s Organ concerto #4 in 2007. He returned in March 2009 to perform Guilmant’s Organ Symphony No.1 in D minor with the orchestra at Collier St. United Church.

Jim was the accompanist for the King Edward Choir of Barrie from 2001 to 2009.

Compositions

  • Gloria for trumpet and SATB choir
  • Opera-Maria Chapdelaine (2004) performed by Opera Barrie
  • Prelude in E minor for pipe organ (in the style of Johannes Brahms) 2004
  • Concert Mass-Maria Chapdelaine (2006) for organ, strings, percussion, soloists and SATB choir. Performed by the King Edward Choir of Barrie
  • A Celtic 23rd Psalm (2006) for SATB choir and piano
  • Collier Church Introit (commemorating the church’s 170th anniversary) for soprano soloist Judy Rodger and SATB choir. (2006)
  • Gloria for soprano soloist Judy Rodger and the Collier St. Choir (2007) (Christmas story)
  • Passacaglia for organ (2007)
  • Kontakion and Oikos for the Lyrica Choir of Barrie. (performance April 5,2008)
  • Fantasy on the name BACH for organ.(perfomance March 1st, 2008)
  • Te Deum for SATB choir and organ.
  • Now Sing With Joy for SATB choir and organ. Dedicated to Barbara McCann and the King Edward Choir. Performance: Nov.29 2008.
  • Fanfare for Organ (also Nov.29, 2008)
  • Jubilate Deo for SATB choir and piano dedicated to the Lyrica Choir of Barrie; Steven Winfield, conductor. Performance May 23, 2009 at Burton Ave. United Church.
  • Ave Verum for mixed choir and organ; dedicated to Barbara McCann and the King Edward Choir. Performed on March 7, 2009 at Collier Church Barrie.
  • Victimae Paschali Laudes dedicated to the Cellar Singers, Orillia ON. Albert Greer, Conductor. Premiere performances, April 3 and 4, 2009.
  • CFB Borden Fanfare dedicated to Major Thomas Loney. Performance on May 10, 2009. Collier St. Church.
  • Toccata and Fugue in D minor for organ.
  • Missa Brevis, dedicated to the King Edward Choir, Barbara McCann conductor. ( written in August 2009) SATB and organ.
  • Pie Jesu for soprano solo and organ (written September 2009) dedicated to the memory of Donald Airhart.
  • Trumpet Tune for organ; dedicated to Dr. Kenneth Inkster. Published in the RCCO national magazine- “Organ Canada”
  • Commissioned work

  • Introduzione e Tarantella, commissioned by Ulrich Kretschmar -a member of the Orillia Wind Ensemble- for solo flute and band. Soloist: Sergio Pallatelli, an internationally acclaimed teacher and soloist performed this work on February 28, 2009 at St. Paul’s Church in Orillia.
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