McKELLAR, Donald A. - At University Hospital on Sunday, August 28, 2016, Donald Andrew McKellar, MM, Mus Bac., ARCT, Amus, Professor Emeritus Don Wright Faculty of Music Western University. He was predeceased by his parents Dr. Hugh Ellar McKellar and Ellenora May McKellar (Andrews), his first wife Wesanne (nee Anderson), second wife Judy (Nancekivell), daughter Ellen Mary and brother Ian. He will be lovingly remembered by his children Laura Jean McCann (partner Allan Leitch) of Thorndale, Donald Ellar McKellar (partner Kathleen MacDonald) of Vancouver, grandchildren Wesdon McCann (husband Gabe Traczuk), Laran McCann, Andrew McKellar, Colin and Kate MacDonald McKellar, and sister Jean Dollar (husband John) in London. Donald was born in St. Thomas, Ontario on May 25, 1926. His teaching career began at Nepean High School, Ottawa in 1950, continuing at Wheable High School in 1956 where he introduced the first curriculum Secondary School music program in London. At the Don Wright Faculty of Music from 1961-91, he was a Founding Chairman of the Music Education Department and Founding Associate Dean. He was President and Honourary Life Member of many Provincial, National and International Music Education organizations and was an Internationally recognized conductor and adjudicator. Don travelled the world extensively presenting in concert Canadian Youth Music organizations, Canadian music teachers, and adult music groups. He also authored articles in several noted music education journals. Don was the producer of many music productions at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa. He was the Musical Director at the London Little Theatre, now the Grand Theatre. In later years, he was conductor of the Mocha Shrine Historic Concert Band. On Saturday, October 1, the Alumni concert at the Don Wright Faculty of Music will be dedicated in memory of Don McKellar. Cremation followed by private graveside service at Woodland Cemetery. Memorial contributions to Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University would be appreciated.
August 29, 2016, 4:09 pm
Laura Jean and family,
I was shocked and saddened to learn of Don's passing. He was a great friend, mentor and educator. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Please let me know when the celebration will be.
Betty Anne Younker
August 30, 2016, 6:52 pm
Laura Jean and family;
Don was a constant presence at the Faculty, a committed supporter, and true advocate of music education. He will be greatly missed.
Betty Anne (Younker)
August 31, 2016, 7:11 am
I'm very sad to hear of Don's passing. He was a long time family friend and a significant influence in my career choice. We enjoyed happy times through musical theatre as well as a love of music. Mum and dad were close friends. He leaves a wonderful legacy. He will be sorely missed. Memories live on.
August 31, 2016, 9:28 am
I was deeply saddened when I learned of the death of my friend, Don. I am so, so sorry. Don and I have been friends since we became Western colleagues shortly following my arrival on campus in 1965. He conducted the University Orchestra at the Official Opening of the Dental Sciences Building in 1968.
Please permit me to convey to all members of the McKellar family my most profound and heartfelt sympathy. Don will be sorely missed.
August 31, 2016, 11:02 am
I knew Don from the Baconian Club and from politics. I wanted to extend my sincerest condolences to his family and friends. I truly enjoyed Don's company and certainly wished that he could have been with us longer.
September 1, 2016, 10:09 am
59 years ago next week, I met Don, as my grade 9 music teacher, his first year at Wheable. As I had a few years of piano lessons, he assigned me a french horn. Now, what use is a french horn? Bet I could still play an octave on one.
I was in his school band, the cadet band, his musicals during my time there. I grew to love music. Still get great peace from quiet listening.
Don was my start. I watched him master the flute in class. We all respected his knowledge and abilities, his gentle, soft way of teaching. I was pleased to hear that he had moved on to Western.
A great man, a great contribution to the world of music, he spread the music story well, to so many. You will be missed, Don.
September 1, 2016, 1:02 pm
Please accept my condolences on the loss of your father, Laura Jean, and Laran, on the loss of your grandfather.
Don was such a key figure in my ongoing journey to become a musician in my adult years. He was so enthusiastic, encouraging and fun when conducting New Horizons Band groups. He was, for me, a fine example of someone who never gave up being fully engaged with life.
I'll remember him fondly.
September 2, 2016, 10:17 am
To Laura Jean McCann, Allan Leitch and all the family, I wish to extend my condolence.
September 3, 2016, 9:49 am
My condolences to the family. I was a student at Nepean (1954 - 1960) and took music classes from Don.Fond memories of many school assemblies featuring the school band as well as musical productions. The musical talents of this musician are well remembered. In a recent conversation with a fellow student, we shared reminiscences of Don's special musical contributions to our school life.
Many have enjoyed the musical talents of this exceptional "teacher".
W. Donald Webster
September 3, 2016, 12:48 pm
To Donald's family:
My deepest sympathy. His world was music
and he shared his musical talents with many.
Got to know Don through the Mocha Concert
Band. He will be missed.
September 3, 2016, 5:42 pm
I had the great honour of working with Don at The Grand Theatre as a teenaged rehearsal accompanist, and then again during Purple Patches at UW0. His professionalism and love of music set a great example for me, and I never forgot him. Then, decades later, we met again, as he was a guest at our B&B while he was adjudicating for the Grey County Kiwanis Festival of Music here in Owen Sound. It was a privilege and a delight to know this very special man. He will be missed.
September 4, 2016, 12:23 pm
Dear Laura Jean and Family
What a sad day when I learned of Don's passing. He was such a valued mentor and friend, always sincerely interested in my work, my life and my family. I will miss our many chats, visits and emails. We are all so blessed to have had Don in our lives...his ebullience and optimistic spirit were an uplifting joy. His great passion was his beloved Faculty of Music which he felt in every fibre of his being. Without a doubt its reputation as a schoool of music of international stature is due in no small measure to Don's fervent and devoted advocacy. My sincerest condolences!
September 5, 2016, 12:09 pm
I am saddened to hear of Don's passing. He was a mentor and friend to me, as well as a fine musician, teacher, adjudicator, pioneer, and forthright advocate for good music programs in schools. I'll miss you, Don.
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