Cook, Melville

(Alfred) Melville Cook. Organist, choir conductor, composer, teacher, b Gloucester 18 Jun 1912, d Cheltenham, Eng 21 May 1993; ARCO 1931, FRCO with the Harding Prize, 1931, B MUS (Durham) 1934, D MUS (Durham) 1940. He studied in England with Sir Herbert Brewer, Herbert Sumsion, and Sir Edward Bairstow. After a distinguished career as organist in Leeds and Hereford, he moved to Canada in 1966 to become director of the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir and organist-choirmaster at All Saints Anglican Church. He was the organist-choirmaster 1967-86 at Metropolitan United Church, Toronto, where he organized organ recitals, chamber concerts, and choral performances, and presented a number of oratorios with the Metropolitan Festival Choir and orchestra. Cook taught organ 1974-7 at McMaster University, Hamilton. Among his published choral compositions were 'I Love All Beauteous Things' (Stainer & Bell 1935), 'West Sussex Drinking Song' (Curwen 1956), 'Antiphon of Darkness and Light' (Novello 1973, commissioned for the Dayspring Festival at Metropolitan United Church), and "The Character of a Happy Life" (Leslie 1990). He gave recitals and adjudicated in Canada and abroad. He made recordings at Leeds Parish Church (RCA VICS 1624), Hereford Cathedral (EMI CSD 3565, RCA LVLI 5019, RCA VPS 1065), and in Toronto with the Metropolitan Silver Band and the Danforth Citadel Band (Cathedral Brass, 1973, Metropolitan Silver Band STM-0473) and as conductor of the Metropolitan Festival Choir and Orchestra in Haydn's Stabat Mater with the tenor Ronald Murdock and the mezzo soprano Janet Stubbs (1988?, Stereodyne/Audio Ideas). His playing can also be heard on EMI's Great Cathedral Organs Series. Cook retired to Cheltenham, Eng in 1986 and stopped performing. He was a contributor to EMC.