Composer, educator, conductor, music librarian, studio and orchestra trombonist, pianist, Errol Gay was a consummate musician. In the course of his rich life he held positions at several universities, was a conductor and chorus master with the Canadian Opera Company, assistant musical director at the Charlottetown Festival, music advisor/conductor for the Hart House Orchestra (U of T), music director of Orchestra Toronto, co-conductor of the High Park Choirs of Toronto, co-conductor of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company Youth Chorus and a frequent guest conductor with leading orchestras in the USA and Canada, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He was the TSO’s associate music librarian for 24 years.
Profiled in The WholeNote’s We Are All Music’s Children in May 2015, Errol Gay shared a generous first-person account of his youth in British Columbia, with parents who loved music, actively supported it in their community, and encouraged it in their son.
More biographical details are included in First the Child, Then the Music – Paula Citron’s April 2015 feature about his wife, Ann Cooper Gay. Here’s a sample: “Cooper Gay met him when he was assistant conductor on a COC North American tour of Cosí fan tutte (she sang 100 Despinas in two years). Cooper Gay was elected by the cast to get Errol Gay to slow down the tempi of his conducting. The singers secretly taped a performance, then Cooper Gay was to invite Errol Gay to a room party where he would hear the tape from the hallway. As they passed the door, he stopped and said, “That’s too fast!” The tempi problem was solved and a 40-year relationship began. …”