2005 Inductees: DR. ERIC ABBOTT
Dr. Eric Abbott
(4 August 1929 ~ 9 February 1988)
Bandmaster, cornetist, pianist, organist, composer, and arranger.
His academic qualifications included the following: ATCL 1949, LTCL 1950, L MUS (Acadia) 1951, B MUS (Acadia) 1952, L MUS TCL 1955, M MUS (Acadia) 1956, D ED (Boston) 1969, FTCL 1970
Eric Abbott returned home to Newfoundland after graduating with a Bachelor of Music Degree from Acadia University (1951) at the same time as the Kiwanis Music Festival was beginning. His skills, innate enthusiasm and work ethic were so necessary in promoting music in general and the work of the Kiwanis Music Festival in particular.
His experience in brass was particularly significant to the Music Festival. His years of contribution to its Syllabus Committee in designating classes and instruments for competition as well as selecting test pieces were unique and unmatched.
Dr. Abbott began teaching music in St. John's in 1948 and became band director for Booth Memorial Brass Band and the Avalon Consolidated School Board in 1968. As a school music teacher he trained singers, choirs, brass players, bands and pianists; many of whom participated in the Kiwanis Music Festival.
Few music teachers were as involved in more diverse and varied avenues of musical performance as Eric Abbott. However, his unique and essential contribution was in raising awareness in music for bands, bringing it to the level matching that of piano, vocal and choral performances.
He also had a very distinguished broadcasting career, which began in 1949, and included several hundred piano, organ and cornet recitals.
In 1983, the onset of Meniere's disease forced him to retire from full-time teaching but he continued to teach privately and maintain his positions as instructor and conductor with several community groups.
Many of today's music teachers and performers were former students of Dr. Abbott. He continued to be a supporter with genuine interest in the Music Festival until his death in 1988. He has left a legacy that will be long remembered.
The Kiwanis Music Festival Association of St. John's, is pleased to induct into the Hall of Honour the name of Dr. Eric Abbott in the Music Category.
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