John E. Ronan

Short Name: John E. Ronan
Full Name: Ronan, John Edward, 1894-1962
Birth Year: 1894
Death Year: 1962

Ronan, John Edward. (Colgan, Ontario, October 28, 1894--October 15, 1962, Toronto, Ont.). Roman Catholic. Attended St. Augustine's Seminary, Toronto, 1915-1920; Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, Rome, 1933-1936; much additional private study. Director of Church Music, Archdiocese of Toronto, 1920-1962; founder and director, 1937-1962, of St. Michael's Choir School, whose students (all male) supply music for all service at St. Michael's Cathedral, Toronto. For use there, he produced over 1000 compositions and arrangements, nearly all with Latin texts, and hence scarcely usable since the liturgical and language changes of Vatican II, which he did not anticipate. Despite immense prestige and tireless effort, he could only begin to meet the needs of Canada's English-speaking Catholic parishes for competent organists and singers. His English translations and paraphrases, intended for congregational use, are merely incidental to his work as teacher and exemplar.

See: Spitzig, Walter J. (1978). Sing jubilate: a descriptive history of St. Michael's Choir School, Toronto, 1937-1977.

--Hugh D. McKellar, DNAH Archives

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