NBYO salutes the late Mount Allison University Music Professor Emeritus Rodney McLeod
Thursday, February 18, 2021
NBYO salutes the late Mount Allison University Music Professor Emeritus Rodney McLeod
Rodney McLeod, courtesy of Mount Allison University Archives

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Rodney McLeod. His tenure as Conductor of the NBYO included a period of remarkable achievements in orchestral development, performance, and recognition.

Following his exciting early career as a violist with the Vancouver Arts Quartet, the Vancouver Symphony, the CBC Chamber Orchestra, the Vancouver International Festival Orchestra, and the Prince Edward Island Symphony…Rodney became a string specialist and eventually Associate Professor of Music at Mount Allison University in 1972.

Shortly after arriving at Mount Allison, Rodney was named Assistant Conductor of the NBYO in 1969; and he later served as Principal Conductor until 1987. Under his guidance NBYO performed six times at the prestigious Canadian Festival of Youth Music in Banff, Alberta, and in concerts throughout Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic Provinces. The orchestra won a PRO Canada Orchestra Award for imaginative programming of contemporary music in 1978.

Today’s New Brunswick Youth Orchestra owes a debt of gratitude to Rodney McLeod. His legacy includes multiple generations of accomplished orchestral music makers and music lovers…some of whom have achieved distinction as professional musicians and artists in their own right.

NBYO Board Chair and former long-time member of the orchestra—Peter Buckley shares these fond memories of Rodney McLeod…

“Rodney had a great balance between high expectations, ‎patience and humour. We all loved playing for him. I remember one concert ‎he entered the stage on a very narrow path and fell off the stage into the orchestra pit. He hopped up on stage and commented with a laugh, ‘that will be a tough act to follow’…then started the concert.”

The NBYO community extends our sincere condolences to Rodney McLeod’s family. We proudly salute his accomplishments as a musician, family man, and community builder.

Rodney McLeod’s family has kindly invited donations to the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, in his honour.