25 May 1916 – 16 July 2003
Clifford Poole – Pianist, teacher, composer, b Reddish, near Manchester, 25 May 1916, d Toronto 16 Jul 2003. He was taken to Canada as a child and settled in Toronto, where he studied piano with Mona Bates. With another Bates pupil, Gordon Hallett, Poole formed the Poole-Hallett Duo, which gave concerts 1936-42 in Toronto and Montreal and on CBC radio. In 1938 Poole made his solo debut at Eaton Auditorium, Toronto. He served in the RCAF during World War II and occasionally, while on leave, performed with the Bates Ten-Piano Ensemble. With his wife, Margaret Parsons, he formed the Parsons-Poole Duo and toured Canada and the USA extensively 1954-65. (See Parsons for discography.) Poole taught 1938-41 and 1943-8 at the TCM (RCMT). In 1948 he joined the staffs of the WOCM and the Music Teachers’ College, both in London, Ont. In 1956 the conservatory and college became constituent parts of the University of Western Ontario, and Poole served 1957-60 as principal of both. In 1963 he rejoined the piano department of the RCMT and began teaching piano at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. He taught until the 1990s. Chia Chou, Beverley Diamond, Zenovia Kushpeta, Marjan Mozetich, Halyna Mychalczuk, and Raymond Pannell were among Poole’s many pupils. Between 1949 and 1962 Poole and Margaret Parsons composed, compiled, and edited much piano music for young players, including their Parsons-Poole Festival Piano Series, and Poole continued to contribute to RCMT-Harris publications. He used the pseudonyms Charles Pierson and Ernest Marsden for some of his music publications. Poole’s many pedagogical piano pieces have remained favourites among the festival repertoire. Clifford Poole: Piano Highlights (HPA70) is available from Frederick Harris. Poole was music director 1968-81 at St Anne’s Anglican Church in Toronto where he also directed the St Anne’s Music and Drama Society, which specialized in productions of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Poole was conductor of the York Regional Symphony Orchestra (York Symphony Orchestra) 1973-89, of the East York Symphony Orchestra 1978-84, and of the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra 1980-5. He founded the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra in 1985 and conducted it until 1999.