Donald McKellar is professor emeritus at the Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western University. As founding associate dean and founding chairman of the Music Education Department, he helped develop the Faculty into one of the largest in Canada. Don also served as acting dean from1970 to1971.
To recognize some of Don’s many accomplishments, The Faculty of Music plans to name space in its new facility. He spoke about this building at a gathering of friends at the end of March. Please help us continue his legacy by making a gift today. Together we can ensure Don’s name lives on in this new space, and that future students will gather in it to learn and rehearse.
Professor McKellar is known as a builder of musical education programs. He was:
founding conductor of Western’s symphony orchestra and bands
founding conductor of London Youth Orchestra
senior conductor of many youth summer music camps, including the National Music Camp of Canada and the Ontario Music Leadership Camp
conductor of the International Symphony Orchestra of Sarnia -Port Huron
music director and conductor of musical theatre productions at Theatre London for 10 years
Don is a graduate of:
the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester
the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto
the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto
the Western Conservatory of Music, London, Ontario
secondary school music teacher at Nepean High School, Ottawa
invited to London to be the first secondary school full-curriculum music teacher
developed pilot secondary school music programs for London
London school music programs today are considered to be among the finest in Canada.
past president of the Canadian University Music Society, past president of the Ontario Music Educators Association
past senior vice-president of the International Society of Music Education
author of the Aim and Goals of the Canadian Music Educators Association, adopted by Canadian Provincial Music Education Associations
adjudicated major music festivals from coast to coast in Canada and abroad, including Hong Kong. Professor McKellar is bilingual and adjudicated in English and French for more than 50 years.
escorted many Canadian youth, bands, orchestras and choirs to conferences and festivals in Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada for more than 25 years with the Ottawa Arts Bureau of the Continent
artistic director and producer of National Youth Orchestra Festivals at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa
presented many pre-concert commentary for the National Arts Center Orchestra, Ottawa and commentator and occasional conductor of Orchestra London Canada
As part of the 1978 celebrations of Western’s 100th anniversary, Don chaired the World Congress of the International Society of Music Education. More than 2,000 delegates from around the world attended, and 60 youth ensembles and internationally acclaimed clinicians performed. It was the largest and most successful congress held by ISME up to that time and placed the Faculty of Music at Western as a leader in the field of music education in the world.
awarded the "Jubilate Award of Merit" (the highest honor of the Canadian Music Educators Association) in recognition of significant contribution to music education in Canada
Honorary Life Member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators Association
Honorary Life Member of the Ontario Music Educators Association
Honorary Life Member of the Ontario Band Association in appreciation of his contribution to school music education and commitment to establishing bands in Ontario
2005 City of London, Mayor's Honour Person of the Year in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the arts in London
In 2005, Gary McPherson, then president of ISME wrote: "ISME conveys a very special thank you to Don for his magnificent work over many years developing music education in Canada and internationally. Thank you Don for your efforts to develop the world of music education."
produced the 40th Anniversary Celebration Concert for the London Kiwanis Music Festival
produced the National Canadian "Youth Talent Competition" for Western Fair, London
produced “Music Reigns" for two years, which raised more than $200,000 for Orchestra London and Kings University College.
served as master of ceremonies for the annual "Stars of the London Kiwanis Music Festival"
Don McKellar Event PhotosSpeech Part 1Speech Part 2