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JOHN MURRAY STANDING

Date of Passing: Apr 18, 2013

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JOHN MURRAY STANDING November 21, 1931 - April 18, 2013 It is with sadness that we announce the passing of John Murray Standing. He will be deeply missed by Coralie, his wife of almost 57 years; children Barbara Frame (Craig) of Fredericton, and Kathy Strachan (Keith); grandchildren Christopher Frame (Amanda) of Halifax, Geoffrey Frame of Calgary, Hannah Strachan (Lucas Kingyens), Alexander Strachan, and great-granddaughter Ava Kingyens. He will also be missed by his brothers Ken and Harold (Brenda), and his brother-in-law Gary Cutler (Gerry). John is predeceased by his parents Elsie and Graham Standing, and sister Kathleen Taylor. John began his teaching career at J.B. Mitchell School and then on to Kelvin High School where he taught Music, English and French until his retirement in 1987. After retirement he continued his keen interest in the Winnipeg Music Festival, serving as their Executive Director for two years. From an early age John was a church organist, meeting his future wife, Coralie, at Chalmers United Church in 1952. He was organist and choir director at Regents Park United Church, and choir director at Westworth United Church and St. Andrews River Heights United Church, retiring in 1998. He directed many community choirs throughout his life including the Grad Choir, Manitoba Youth Choir, National Youth Choir, Polish Sokol Choir, Winnipeg Girls Choir, as well as the chorus of the Manitoba Opera and Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Winnipeg. He was an active adjudicator and clinician throughout Canada. He felt strongly about the pursuit of excellence and would not accept anything less than the best. His mark on the life of choral music in Winnipeg will not be forgotten. He loved his wife, children and grandchildren deeply, and more recently found great joy in his new great-granddaughter. John loved to entertain and valued meals with dear friends, and family dinners with good food, wine and laughter. Throughout the years there was nothing he liked better than to invite huge numbers of choir members to parties and serving aptly named punches to mark the occasion. John's family would like to thank their family and friends for their support throughout his illness. There will be a celebration of John's life on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at St. Andrew's River Heights United Church at Oak Street and Kingsway at 7:00 p.m. In the half hour prior to the service there will be recorded music from many of the choirs John has conducted over the years.
Publish Date: Apr 20, 2013

JOHN MURRAY STANDING It is with sadness that we announce the passing of John Murray Standing on April 18, 2013. A longer obituary will follow on Saturday, April 20, 2013.
Publish Date: Apr 19, 2013

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 20, 2013

Condolences & Memories (40 entries)

  • Very sorry to learn of Mr. Standing's passing. He so generously shared his love of music with so many. Thanks to him I am still learning about choral music and joyfully singing in choirs almost 40 years later. What a gift. Thank you. - Posted by: Holly Smith (Kelvin High student in the 70's and member of the Winnipeg Girls Choir) on: Jul 23, 2015

  • I so value my choral training with John Standing at Kelvin. In his classes I learned and developed in ways that were the grounding for years to follow. Thank you, John Standing, for demanding the best from me and from my classmates. My best in return to his family as they grieve and celebrate his life. - Posted by: Ruth McIntosh (Student) on: May 06, 2013

  • I was a student of John Standing's back in 1979 at Kelvin High School. I played the Tuba in the Kelvin Orchestra. We had done a lot of musicals in the 2 years that I attended. I remember Mr. Standing being so supportive of each student and yes accepting nothing more than perfection with the orchestra. I did learn much from him and I am sorry to hear of his death due to cancer. My thoughts prayers and celebration of his life are with you. - Posted by: Anne McIntosh (Student) on: May 05, 2013

  • Mrs. Standing, your husband (or "Uncle John" as we fondly called him without his knowing) was a personal hero of mine. He kept me in school and on the straight road with his rule of "no smoking or you are out of the choir." He influenced an entire generation of children. I remember the choir parties at your home with fondness, especially now that I am getting older. It can't have been easy for you to graciously welcome a gaggle of crazy kids. I remember our performances at the music festival and how tough he was on a group of teens that needed firm guidance, and who loved him for it. Thank you for sharing him with us. Because of him, I became a music teacher, a writer and now, a journalist. This is what I wrote on my Facebook page today: "It's strange. I felt a compulsion today to write a note about John Standing, my music teacher at Kelvin High. When I googled him, I found that he passed away on April 19. Mr. Standing was a major influence on a generation of children: his rules, "keep clean or you can't be in the choir" kept most of us from smoking or "carousing" and in return, we presented him with excellent results in the music festivals. He is one of my personal heroes. Thank you, Mr Standing. You are loved and appreciated". Love to you and your family at this difficult time. I will always remember him conducting us and now he has an entire chorus of angels to conduct in Heaven. God Bless. - Posted by: Sharon (Schellenberg) Damon (former music student 1969-72) on: Apr 27, 2013

  • From Brigadoon to Amahl and the Night Visitors and Old Jonah, John could bring out the best from an unruly mob of teens. I know he appreciated how his students appreciated the abundant creative opportunities provided for so many years! All the best to friends and family. Jeff - Posted by: Sandy the Candy man (Student, class of 1972) on: Apr 25, 2013

  • I wish you comfort and peace as you celebrate John's life today. He was a marvelous teacher and musician who nurtured my lifelong joy of choral singing. It was so special to sing again under his always precise and exuberant direction at Kelvin's 100th anniversary. God bless you John, Kathy and Keith, Coralie and family. - Posted by: Lisa Grewar (Former student, Kelvin High School) on: Apr 25, 2013

  • Working with John Standing at Manitoba Opera was always a great pleasure, especially when I was able to see him working with the chorus. One of my biggest thrills was when John invited me (not much of a singer!) to join the Manitoba Opera Chorus to sing at the opening ceremonies of the World Curling Championships in 1991. The Winnipeg Arena was full, and we sang "Va, pensiero" and "The Anvil Chorus". He was a kind, warm and generous man, and will be greatly missed. - Posted by: Jeanie Dubberley (with Manitoba Opera) on: Apr 25, 2013

  • John was an invaluable member of the MCA and FCMM Boards. I cherished his wisdom and generosity of spirit. - Posted by: Donna Phillips (Executive Director, Manitoba Choral Association and Foundation For Choral Music in Manitoba, 1998 - ) on: Apr 25, 2013

  • John Standing taught me so much about choral music. I think of him and St. Andrew's UCC every time I sing with my choir. His direction also helped with my instrumental performance. We lost one of the best. Heaven’s music will be just that much better with John there. My deepest sympathies for his family and the many musicians he inspired. - Posted by: Toni Brown (St. Andrew's Choir (late '80's to mid 90's)) on: Apr 24, 2013

  • John Standing was an exceptional music teacher and choral conductor. I have worked with various conductors over the decades, but none has matched his artistry. There was an elegance to his style that begat extraordinary results. He didn't just conduct - he instilled in us a musical aesthetic that is with me every day; I cannot thank him enough. His gentlemanly, diplomatic manner, his wonderful sense of humour, and his delight in the creation of music were great gifts to us. As many have said, we wouldn't be who we are without the influence of Mr. Standing. He will always be a part of my life. To John, with love and thanks. - Posted by: Mariam Bernstein () on: Apr 24, 2013

  • Thank you, John, for your legacy of musicianship, guidance, and wit! Condolences to the family at this difficult time. - Posted by: Art Zuke () on: Apr 24, 2013

  • We can only add to the wonderful things people have already expressed! John was a wonderful choir director. So many times when we are singing pieces today that we sang under his direction, flashes of memory return as to phrasing or pronunciation. Such good memories and so much learned, never to be forgotten! He insisted on the best and got the best we could give - he was the best for sure! We are so sorry we cannot be there for the service. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all and will continue to be with you as you adjust to John's not being a part of your lives. - Posted by: Margaret & Robert Smith (friends and former choir members at Regents Park United Church) on: Apr 24, 2013

  • John Standing was simply the best. Not only was he the cream of the crop as a chorus master but because of him relationships among choristers have lasted a life time. My deepest sympathy goes out to his entire family. Mr. Standing...if you can hear me, I have you to thank for providing the love and passion I have for writing and singing harmony, Thank you!!! - Posted by: Carla Lother (Former student, Kelvin High School Class of '81) on: Apr 24, 2013

  • Having read the previous posts I can only add my own admiration for the man. I treasure the memories of my time in the Kelvin choirs and the musicals and would not be the person I am today without those experiences. Mr. Standing made a difference in my life and clearly to the lives of so many others. I send my deepest sympathies to his family and closest friends. - Posted by: Martine Friesen (Former Kelvin student ) on: Apr 24, 2013

  • "He felt strongly about the pursuit of excellence and would not accept anything less than the best" - so true! I was in the Winnipeg Girls' Senior choir in 1973 when we won a national choral trophy. I was so proud to be a part of it. That choir under his direction was the inspiration that has kept me in choral singing to this day - 40 years later. Winnipeg has lost a truly great teacher and mentor. - Posted by: Dorothy (Lamprell) Stephens (choir member) on: Apr 23, 2013

  • I first heard about John Standing while a junior high student attending metal shop class. One of his former students had done a metal sculpture of Mr. Standing which was held up as an example. It bore a remarkable resemblance to him. I then sang in the Kelvin operettas and later as a chorister in the Manitoba Opera and at St. Andrews United Church choir. He was a true role model. - Posted by: Charles Crossin (Student) on: Apr 23, 2013

  • John. I will never forget your infectious smile and words of encouragement. In 1991 at the winnipeg music festival, after having won in two singing categories, you politely encouraged me and that I could do better. I have never forgotten and have done better. Thank You. You made me a better person and I am thankful to have known you. - Posted by: Bruce D. McDonald (Cousin (Coralie)) on: Apr 23, 2013

  • I had two major musical influences in my life, my mom (Frances Seaton) and John Standing. Without Mr. Standing, I would never have had the chance to experience music through his eyes. He gave me the opportunity to be Phoebe Meryll, Amahl's mother and a chorister in the first National Youth Choir. It was his demand for excellence that made us all become the singers/musicians that he knew we could be. - Posted by: Marjorie Seaton Mark (former student/chorister) on: Apr 22, 2013

  • My most recent memory of John was when he phoned me while I was in a hospital bed in Toronto and asked if I would like the DVD version of his video "My Last Piano Recital". He mailed it to me a little later, and I treasure it. Thank you, John. - Posted by: Doris Standing (Cousin) on: Apr 22, 2013

  • I would like to offer condolences to the Standing family. My mother, Frances Seaton knew and talked about John in the highest regards. John was not only a colleague but also a dear friend. We all lost so much in this past year, but I do know that my mom is waiting with her beautiful smile and laugh that we all know and love to welcome him as the newest member of Heaven's choir. - Posted by: Jennifer De Torres (Seaton) (Daughter of colleague and friend, Frances Seaton) on: Apr 22, 2013

  • Jeff and I are sad to read of Mr. Standing's passing. He was a wonderful teacher who provided important, memorable, musical memories in both of our lives. Our sincerest condolences to the family. - Posted by: Sherri and Jeff Ramsay (Former Kelvin students- early/mid 80's) on: Apr 22, 2013

  • John Standing was a unique and inspirational man. He instilled in me love of music which remains to this day. As a result of his guidance, I greatly enjoyed singing in the Kelvin Choir and participating in the Kelvin musicals each year. He enhanced my life greatly with his kindness, generosity, and dedication to music. John left both a musical and personal legacy that will never be forgotten. We will not see his like again. Bless you, John. Rest in peace. - Posted by: Valerie Cox (Kelvin Student Class of 1974) on: Apr 21, 2013

  • Uncle John was one of my favorite uncles. He always had a smile. Always provided me and my friends food and shelter on our cross country motorcycle trips in the 1970's. I still remember when he and Aunt Coralie took us to Rainbow Stage to see the Wizard of Oz when I was 6 (1959). My sincere condolences to Aunt Coralie, Barbara, Kathy and your families. He was a great guy, will be fondly remembered and will truly be missed. - Posted by: David Taylor (Nephew) on: Apr 21, 2013

  • A great music teacher/choir director. Kelvin was lucky to employ him--- we were blessed by him! - Posted by: Pam Grimson (Teacher/ student) on: Apr 21, 2013

  • I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I had to sing for Mr. Standing one last time at the Kelvin reunion. His teaching lives on every time I remember to enunciate the final consonant while singing. He touched so many in his work. Deepest sympathy to his family. - Posted by: Paul Badertscher (Student) on: Apr 21, 2013

  • Our condolences to Coralie and her family and to Ken and Jon and their families at this time of sorrow. We had the pleasure of visiting with Coralie and John on a couple of occasions when we were in Winnipeg in 2010 and remember them with fondness. He will be missed. - Posted by: Bob and Fay Jackson (Our son-in-law (Jon) is John's nephew.) on: Apr 20, 2013

  • Our sincere sympathies to all the family, our thoughts are with you at this time. - Posted by: Greg and Trudy McMillan (Cousin) on: Apr 20, 2013

  • John Standing was without question the most influential teacher that ever came into my life. To be greeted by him a year ago, 31 years after my graduation, with his genuine warmth and caring, is a memory I will treasure. He will be missed. My condolences to his family. - Posted by: Betsy (Badertscher) Woolner (Former student, Kelvin High School) on: Apr 20, 2013

  • John was a caring and a highly professional colleague. He was generous with his time and skills, and made a prodigious contribution to the life of Kelvin and to the experience of the thousands of young people with whom he worked. We are all better for having known him. - Posted by: Clay Bottrell (Kelvin Administrator) on: Apr 20, 2013

  • John was the patriarch to a wonderful family. My condolensences to all of you. - Posted by: Craig Ritchie (friend) on: Apr 20, 2013

  • My deepest sympathy to the family.I remember the family from way back when I used to babysit the girls when John and Coralea went to choir practise. And later when John graced us by playing at our wedding. He was truly a great man and will be missed. - Posted by: Wanda Buchko (Schellenberg) (Friend) on: Apr 20, 2013

  • John was without a doubt one of the finest teachers I ever had, a most gracious host and mentor. It was a pleasure to know him and work with him as an adult long after high school. His impact on music in the community was deep and abiding. May he be greeted by a thousand angels singing an alleluia at the right tempo, on pitch and in absolute harmony. RIP - Posted by: Jane Sellers Anema (student, chorister) on: Apr 20, 2013

  • My deep sympathy to the family. John was one of the finest choral conductors that Manitoba has ever produced. What he could do with a choir was nothing short of miraculous. My time at Kelvin was enormously enhanced by the musical community he fostered, by the choirs and orchestra, and by the musicals. Thanks again for everything, John. Rest in peace. - Posted by: Jane (Holt) Ferch (Former Kelvin student and Winnipeg Girls Choir member) on: Apr 20, 2013

  • My sympathies and prayers to John's family. I have many fond memories of the Playhouse Theatre productions that Kelvin HS would put on -- Gilbert and Sullivan never sounded so good! The angel chorus has added another voice. Godspeed, John. - Posted by: Myra Banman Wynne (Former student) on: Apr 20, 2013

  • John Standing was a true gentleman. And he was a gifted conductor: I watched him at the Kelvin reunion in May 2012, and was struck by the precision, the grace, and the seeming effortlessness of his work. Age had not dimmed him in the least. When I visited him two weeks ago, he greeted me with warmth and humor, as if I had just dropped into the music-room at Kelvin -- yet this was in his hospital room. We reminisced a bit, had a laugh, and were even able to rack our two brains to recall the words to Sir Despard's first song in RUDDIGORE. My boy, you may take it from me: John was a great teacher, a rare artist, and a fine man. - Posted by: Nicholas Rice (student -- Kelvin 1969) on: Apr 20, 2013

  • Many memories of competing in the Music Festival - Posted by: Patti Humphreys Duncan (Former Student at J.B. and Kelvin (1966-1972)) on: Apr 19, 2013

  • From professional performances with various groups and to the last number of years with G & S, it was always a pleasure to work with John. RIP old friend. Owen. - Posted by: Owen Clark (Musical Colleague) on: Apr 19, 2013

  • I remember Mr. Standing so very well as I attended Kelvin High School. I was involved in the choir as well as all the operettas. Mr. Standing was a hardworking and very proud teacher. He encouraged students to strive to their potential. I enjoyed participating in the musical activities; much because Mr. Standing was a truly 'stand-up' kind of person. He influenced many students from Kelvin High School. He will be thought of and missed. - Posted by: Kelvin Student 1975 (student choir member) on: Apr 19, 2013

  • My sincere sympathy to the family. Although I moved to California in 1954 when Terry & I went to Winnipeg at Christmas I can still laugh at John delivering his wine to M-J. - Posted by: Eunice Morrow () on: Apr 19, 2013

  • John was probably the most influential figure of the last 60 years on the classical and vocal music scene here in Winnipeg. Without John, it's likely that countless performers, audience members, donors and supporters would simply not be, and many of our beloved Winnipeg institutions would be the worse. He was a great teacher and a key inspiration in my life, both at Kelvin and at Manitoba Opera. It was great to see him last year at the Kelvin 100th, where he was in fine form with his quick wit, great smile and cherry red Kelvin tie, just like he used to wear when he conducted our choir concerts. Farewell, JS. - Posted by: Peter George (Former student, Manitoba Opera chorus member) on: Apr 19, 2013

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