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Donald John Alexander Wright, CM (September 6, 1908 - June 27, 2006) was a Canadian composer, musician and educator.

Life and careerEdit

He was born in Strathroy, Ontario, where his father owned a piano manufacturing company. He began studying cello and trumpet in childhood, and later formed the Wright Brothers Orchestra with his brothers Clark, Ernest and William. While attending the University of Western Ontario, Wright was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity. He subsequently worked as a music teacher in London, and then became station manager of local radio station CFPL, where he created the Don Wright Chorus, whose recordings of popular and light classical music received widespread airplay on the Dominion Network in Canada and the Mutual Broadcasting System and NBC Radio in the United States.[1]

He was married to Lillian Meighen Wright, the daughter of former Canadian Prime Minister Arthur Meighen. Their daughter Priscilla sang on a rendition of Warwick Webster's "Man in a Raincoat", arranged by Don, which was an international hit in 1955 and resulted in Priscilla performing the song on The Ed Sullivan Show.[1]

Wright moved to Toronto in 1957, where he composed scores for films and TV and published a number of choral and popular songbooks for use in school music programs. He subsequently endowed a number of university music scholarships in the 1960s. Following his wife Lillian's death in 1993, he also endowed a maternity department at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital in her honour.

Wright was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2001.[2] After a generous donation, the University of Western Ontario renamed its music faculty the Don Wright Faculty of Music in his honour in 2002.

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit

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