Blakeman Welch

Composer, journalist, therapist, teacher, b Birmingham, England 27 Feb 1935; BA (Durham) 1957, certificate in education (London) 1960, B ED (Manitoba) 1974. While teaching in London Welch conducted and administered several small opera companies such as Focus Opera 1963-5, New Circle Opera 1965-6, and Wimbledon Light Opera 1967-8. After moving to Winnipeg in 1969, Welch met S. C. Eckhardt-Gramatté and studied with her until her death in 1974, devoting his musical energies increasingly to composition from that time on. His music is written for acoustical instruments featuring a wide variety of stylistic elements: 'Joplinèsque rhythms,' aleatoricism, serialism, and jazz. He writes for soloists and all sizes of ensemble.

In Winnipeg he has been choral director of Temple Shalom Synagogue 1970-5, artistic director at the Golden Voices Opera 1970-5, director of the Jewish United Folk Choir 1971-4, musical director of the Cultural Company Choir at Red River Community College 1979-80, music critic and editor of The Downtowner and The Voice 1979-89 and for the Winnipeg Sun 1988-90. A fellow of the American Association of Hypnotherapists, Welch became director of the Winnipeg Hypnosis Centre in 1980. Welch was the winner of the 1990 Folklorama Song Contest, is a founding member and president 1982-4 of the Manitoba Composers Association, and a member of the CLComp.