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Keith Bissell
1912 - 1992
W.K. Bissell
Warren Keith [Keith] Bissell (12/02/1912 - 09/05/1992) a Canadian composer (from Meaford), educator and conductor; B MUS (Toronto) 1942. While teaching 1934-48 in Toronto schools he studied composition at the University of Toronto with Leo Smith. He was assistant supervisor in 1948 and supervisor 1949-55 of school music in Edmonton, where he was organist-choirmaster at Christ Church and founder ca 1952 of the Edmonton Junior Symphony Orchestra. In 1955 he was appointed supervisor of school music in Scarborough (part of Metropolitan Toronto). After studies in 1960 in Munich with Gunild Keetman and Carl Orff he introduced the Orff-Schulwerk method to the Scarborough school system. Using Canadian folk music and his own compositions Bissell effected the transition from the German idiom to the English, thereby increasing the method's usefulness to music educators across the country. He lectured at universities in Canada and the USA. He also founded and conducted the Scarborough Teachers' Chorus (1956-70) and the Scarborough Orff Ensemble (1960-73). He encouraged educators to use music by Canadian composers. With John Adaskin he organized the first Canadian composers' seminar in music education, held in Toronto in 1963. He was president of the OMEA 1957-8, the NYO 1970-1, and the Canadian Music Centre 1975-7, and a vice-president of the Canadian Music Council.
Composed in:1967
Text/libretto:Robert L. Stevenson
Requiem (1967), a piece for SSA chorus. Words by Robert L. Stevenson.
The text of "Requiem" by Stevenson:


Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

R.L. Stevenson