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Ron (Ronald William) Collier was a composer, arranger, conductor, trombonist, and teacher. Born near Lethbridge, Alberta on July 3, 1930, he received his early musical training in the Kitsilano Boys' Band in Vancouver, British Columbia (1943-1950). He then studied composition in Toronto with Gordon Delamont (1951-1954) and in New York with George Russell and Hall Overton (orchestration) (1961-1962).
In the 1950s, Collier played trombone in various Toronto dance bands, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Ballet, the Canadian Opera Company orchestras, and for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio and television groups. He was also a member of Norman Symonds' jazz octet, and formed his own jazz group in 1954, which started as a quartet (1954-1957), then a quintet (1957), dixtuor (1960), and, for Expo '67 and other special occasions, a big band.
In 1972, Collier became the composer-in-residence at Humber College in Toronto, and continued to teach there from 1974 until 1979. His students included Pete Coulman, Scott MacMillan, Jim McGrath, John Roby, Ilmars Sermulis, and Doug Wilde. Collier composed several works within the Third-Stream idiom, wrote scores for the plays, various films, and the ballet Aurora Borealis, and many works for big band.
Collier was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2003. He passed away in Toronto, Ontario on October 22, 2003.
Vancouver, British Columbia