William (Thais) Atkins. Bandmaster, teacher,composer, b London 29 Jul 1907, d Toronto 7 Mar 1979; ARCM 1935. After studies at the RMSM (Kneller Hall) and the RCM he was a bandmaster 1935-46 in the British army, then moved to Toronto where he was music director 1947-68 of the Queen's Own Rifles
of Canada, retiring with the rank of captain. He became music director for the city of Brampton, Ont, in 1947 and conducted the Brampton Citizens Band for over 30 years. During that time the band won 28 firsts in national and provincial competitions. Atkins was honoured by the city at the band's 90th-anniversary concert in 1975. He began teaching conducting, composition, and woodwinds for the Ontario Dept of Education in 1953 and was principal 1968-72 of the department's summer school for teachers. He was president 1955-6 of the CBA
and adjudicated bands at many Ontario festivals. Atkins' compositions include the official march of the (British) Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Keep Fit
(Boosey & Hawkes), and various unpublished works. He also arranged Healey Willan's Élégie Héroïque
for band (Boosey & Hawkes 1971).