Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Warren Herbert “Herb” Belyea (1917-2001)

Choir conductor, composer, poet, educator.

Born at Winnipeg on 22 December 1917, son of Walter Leslie Belyea (1872-1957) and Gwyneth Alberta Welling (1875-1945), he received a Bachelor of Arts from St. John’s College, and a Bachelor of Education and Master of Education from the University of Manitoba. During the Second World War, he served as a Captain in the Royal Canadian Artillery, and participated in the D-Day landings and the Canadian Army’s advance through Holland and into Germany.

He began his musical career as a choirboy, then became a music teacher in the Winnipeg School Division, serving at King Edward School (1948-1954), General Wolfe School (1954-1959), Sisler High School (1959-1962), and Kelvin High School (1962-1967). He also worked in the Faculties of Education and Music at the University of Manitoba. He was choirmaster at St. Jude’s Anglican Church (1952-1966) and was choirmaster at St. Andrew’s United Church (1970s). From 1969 to 1974, he was conductor of the CBC Choristers and lead them in several national broadcasts. He travelled across Canada as a music festival adjudicator and supported the Winnipeg Music Festival. He was also a painter, receiving commissions from the Winnipeg Arts Council and the Winnipeg Centennial Committee to compose musical works and published a book of poetry, A Crocus Sings, under the pseudonym D. C. Darke.

He died at Winnipeg on 4 August 2001, survived by a wife and three children.

Sources:

Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 9 August 2001, page C6.

“We will not forget them,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2001, page B3.

Herbert Belyea, The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Herbert Belyea, Wikipedia.

This page was prepared by Ian Stewart.

Page revised: 14 December 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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