Donald Coakley

From Wind Repertory Project
Donald Coakley


Donald Coakley (b. 1934, Cambridge-Preston, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian composer. As a teenager he began the study of trombone, piano, and organ. He attended the Royal Conservatory of Music, studying theory and harmony. He completed his undergraduate studies in 1960 at the State University of New York, in Potsdam, New York, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. He also studied at the School of Music at Temple University, and the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music. While studying at the Conservatory, he was a composition student of Vincent Persichetti and studied trombone with Henry Charles Smith, principal trombone of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Following graduate school, he taught at Cardinal Daugherty High School in Philadelphia, and also served as conductor of the Camden Choral Arts Society in Camden, New Jersey. After a successful tenure at Cardinal Daugherty, Coakley joined the faculty of the School of Arts of the School of Music at Temple University.

In the early 1970s, Coakley was invited to join the Music Department of the Scarborough School System, becoming Assistant Coordinator of Music shortly thereafter. As, he was responsible for the elementary instrumental music program in the school system. He also headed the instrumental wing at the Scarborough Music Camps. in 1970 he founded the Scarborough Schools Symphony Orchestra and subsequently oversaw the incept of four other all-city instrumental ensembles.

Donald Coakley has written successfully for school, university and professional groups. He is a member of the Canadian League of Composers as well as an Associate Conductor with the Canadian Music Centre. In 1977, Coakley received the Distinguished Service to Education Award from the State University of New York; and in 1994 he received the Anson Taylor Award for excellent in teaching from the Scarborough Board of Education.

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