The Calgary Boys' Choir's Founding Artistic Director, Douglas Parnham, has passed away

Date: Mar 5, 2018

CALGARY, CANADA (02 March 2018) — The Calgary Boys’ Choir is sad to report that its founding artistic director, Douglas Parnham, has died. He was 92 years old.

Doug Parnham founded the choir in 1973 and served as its artistic director until 1991. Since then, the choir has continued his legacy of not only extracurricular music education, but also instilling values of leadership, empowerment and self-discipline.

“When Mr. Parnham started the choir with a mere handful of boys, he sought to provide an opportunity for musical boys to develop their talents, and offer another dimension of education and entertainment in the community,” says Paul Grindlay, current artistic director of the Calgary Boys’ Choir. “Mr. Parnham grew and developed the organization into a world-class ensemble with a membership often over 100 boys and young men during his tenure. His legacy is monumental and will be remembered fondly by many boys, families and audience members.”

“Mr. Parnham was a mentor and leader to countless young men, and his legacy continues with every new generation of boys to join our choir,” says Dmetri Berko, President of the Calgary Boys’ Choir Society. “We will ensure that his musical contribution to our city is always remembered and treasured within our choir and within our community.”

“Mr. Parnham’s teachings had a profound impact on me during my formative years of training,” says Oliver Munar, an eight-year member of the choir from 1985-1993. “He gave us many life lessons by challenging us to sing in different languages, collaborating with professional musicians, and taking us on choir tours. I can’t thank him enough for his vision, his generosity, and his friendship.”

The family has advised that it will have a private ceremony to mark his passing. Douglas was predeceased by his wife Elizabeth, who died in 2014. He is survived by his children Moira (Wayne), Kristen (Trent), Shelagh (Grant), Christy (Michael), Douglas (Shannon), and Drew (Lesa); grandchildren Meredith, Mitchell, Jake, Shane, Katie, Anna, and Jia-Li; and great grandchildren Oliver, Wesley, Crosby, and Abigail. At this time, we would like to express our sincerest and deepest condolences to his family, and our gratitude for his generous legacy.

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Oliver Munar
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