Fonds 35 - Ron Collier fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Ron Collier fonds


  • 1929-2004 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

7.5 m of textual records and other materials (34 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

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.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records created during Ron Collier's career as a performer, composer, arranger, teacher, and band leader. The fonds includes manuscripts of Collier's arrangements and original compositions; correspondence with musicians; photographs; lecture notes from his career at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario; and records from his collaborations with Duke Ellington. Fonds also contains audio and video recordings of performances and lectures.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

File-level records were added from a DB Text inventory and grouped into two series: Compositions and arrangements (A); Performance, teaching, and personal records (B); and Audio and video recordings (C). Files were inventoried in their original order.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

The Ron Collier fonds is stored offsite at Downsview. To access these materials, please contact the Music Library at least two weeks in advance of your visit.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright is maintained by the creator.

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Uploaded finding aid

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Added to Discover Archives from DB Text, August 21, 2019.




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