Edwin Gledhill. Composer, teacher, b London 3 Jul 1830, d California Feb 1919. He arrived in New York in 1851 with his father, Robert L. Gledhill, who under the name Signor Salvi appeared as tenor soloist on Jenny Lind's North-American tours of 1851-2. After his father's death in 1853 Gledhill went to Philadelphia, moving later to Toronto, where he remained except for two sojourns (1902-8, 1917-19) in California. He was for five years the organist at Bond St Congregational Church but seems to have held no other office. He did teach privately, and his pupils included John Eaton, Henry Pellatt, and other children of well-to-do families. Gledhill's published music, some 30 works, appeared in the 20 years after Confederation. He was the most successful Anglo-Canadian composer of parlour ballads of his time. Such titles as 'Falling Leaves' (Nordheimer 1868), 'I Am Waiting for Thee' (ibid 1867), or 'Stay, Angry Tide' (self-published 1874) are characteristic. Other works relate to the contemporary scene, eg, the songs 'For Canada Fight' (Nordheimer 1886) and 'The Death of Gordon' (ibid 1886) or The Hanlan Galop
(ibid 1878) in honour of the champion oarsman from Toronto. Gledhill's distinction as purportedly the first Canadian composer to have had a street named after him was not in fact a musical honour; Gledhill Ave commemorates his ownership of a large tract of land in Toronto's Danforth district. Christopher Gledhill
is his grandnephew.
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