Brenda Thorne - Bio
Brenda Thorne - BA ARCT
Brenda began piano lessons at age 6. By age 10, she was accompanying her brothers as they played the trumpet. By age 12, she was playing hymns and choruses at Sunday School and began learning to play the organ at age 13. As she continued her studies, she also accompanied her high school choir, her teacher’s college choir, the Woodstock Choralaires and the Oxford Youth Choir. During that time, she competed at the Woodstock Music Festival which culminated in her winning the senior piano Rosebowl competition in 1970.
Brenda was an elementary school teacher from Sept 1968 to June 2002. During that time, she spent much of her career teaching vocal music, instrumental music along with other subjects. As well, she directed many musicals including The Sound of Music, Li’l Abner, Anne of Green Gables and The Music Man.
She conducted many award winning choirs during her time teaching in elementary schools, winning many trophies at the Woodstock Music Festival for having the best choirs,a feat she continued with the choir of First Baptist Church.
She also completed her specialist in music education through Ministry of Education courses and her level III in Kodaly music education from the University of Waterloo. She received her teacher’s licence form London Teacher’s College, a BA from the University of Western Ontario and her ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
On top of her teaching duties, she wrote music curriculum, first for the Oxford County Board of Education and then the Thames Valley District School Board. As well, she presented many workshops to share her knowledge with other teachers working to improve their music teaching skills. During that time, she spent many years on the board of the Kodaly Society of Ontario and several years as president.
One of the highlights of her teaching career was taking 165 students to sing the national anthems before a Blue Jays game in June of 2002.
After retirement, Brenda took on the position of co-ordinator of the Woodstock Rotary Festival of Music. It was an interesting position which allowed her to watch children develop their musical talents from beginner to more advanced players.
Brenda and her husband Phil are proud parents to three wonderful children and Nana and Papa to their four amazing grandchildren.
It has been her honour and privilege to serve God and the people of First Baptist Church as music director since 1990.