UNB Choral Society | UNB

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UNB Choral Society


Group photo of UNB Choral Society

While an all-male Glee Club was present at UNB from as early as 1941, 1944 saw the establishment of UNB's first Co-ed Choral Club, under the direction of Dr. Marcel de Merten. The Co-Ed Choral Club was open to all female students on campus with an interest in music. In 1947 the Co-Ed Choral Club and Glee Club practiced and performed together under the direction of Dr. Frank J. Toole. In January 1948, the two clubs merged to form the Varsity Singers, directed by Dr. de Merten. The club was renamed once again in 1959 as the university Choral Society, falling under the direction of Professor Arthur F. Trythall, who also directs the UNB Band. Mr. Trythall passed away in 1961 and was succeeded by Douglas Start who then became the director of both the band and the choir. Due to this, the band and the choir had been seen in concert annually. The Choral Society was terminated with the retirement of Mr. Start in 1978. Then UNB saw a few year of hiatus in vocal music production until the establishment of the Bicentennial Choir in 1985.

The UNB Choir had weekly rehearsals and performed at various university events, such as the annual Founder's Day celebration and the Red 'n' Black Revue. They also performed radio programs broadcast over the local radio station CFNB. At the 1960 Winter Carnival, the entire Choral Society, under the direction of Mr. Arther Trythall, performed the play Rose Marie, by Rudolf Friml. Back then, this was the most expensive single production produced at UNB.

UNB Choral Society in concert, March 1970

Information from UNB Archives and The Canadian Encyclopedia. Top photo courtesy of UNB Archives, UA RG 340, 7592B_l.
Last Updated: June 29, 2018 by Yiyang Shi