Stewart M. Thomson Trophy

Trophies

Stewart M. Thomson Trophy

Transient
Awarded for the most outstanding performance in a competition of boys with unchanged voices, 8 and 10 years of age & under

Family members donated the Stewart M. Thomson trophy to the Winnipeg Music Festival in 2004. This trophy is awarded for the most outstanding performance in a competition of boys with unchanged voices, 8 and 10 years of age & under. Stewart MacMillan Thomson was born into a musical Winnipeg family in 1930. At the age of eight, he began his piano studies with Glen Pierce, later with Leonard Heaton and organ tutelage with Walter MacNutt.  At age 12, Stewart began accompanying his father W. Davidson Thomson in recitals and concerts.  During his high school years, he accompanied choirs, and appeared as solo pianist with The Winnipeg Schools Orchestra. 

While he was an architect by profession, music and the church were Stewart's greatest joy.  In 1951, encouraged by Richard W. Cooke, his future father-in-law, he assumed the position of organist at St. James Anglican Church.  In 1954, he became deputy organist of St. George's Anglican Church, Crescentwood, directed by Donald Leggat, whom he succeeded as organist and choirmaster in January, 1956.  For the next 50 years until his retirement in July, 2005, Stewart developed and maintained a tradition of choral excellence with the Men and Boys' choir, the last of its kind in Western Canada. In training the treble voice, he developed hundreds of singers, many of whom have become accomplished musicians in their own right.  Stewart was the first church choir director in Winnipeg to use brass and percussion instruments in worship services, and introduced countless contemporary choral compositions by English composers. 

Outside the church, Stewart was also extremely active in music, both locally and nationally for over 60 years as a chorus master, vocal coach and especially as accompanist.  He was heard on the CBC Distinguished Artists Series as collaborator with singers and instrumentalists, and was an accompanist of the Winnipeg Male Voice Choir, accompanist, and then Chorus Master of the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir from 1967 to 1975, and accompanist for the Manitoba Youth Choir for 17 years.  He prepared children's choruses for performances with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Manitoba Theatre Centre, and for 30 years, the Manitoba Opera Association.

Stewart was also a fixture at the Winnipeg Music Festival for over 50 years, as a much sought-after accompanist for singers at all voice levels, including those from his church choir, known as “Stewart’s boys”.

Winners

2004 Alexander Owen
2005 John Christian Lewis
2006 Jonathan Van Dyck
2007 Andrew Mayba
2008 Samuel Anthony
2009 Fletcher Bryce Davis
2010 Kieran Cucina
2011 Fletcher Bryce Davis
2012 Anton Sokalski
2013 Alexander Mayba
2014 Alexander Paches
2015 Alexander Paches
2016 Michael Brown
2017 Andrew Kilfoyle