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Memorable Manitobans: Benjamin Horch (1907-1992)


Born in Russia, he moved with his family to Canada in 1909. He served as choir director of the Winnipeg Bible Institute from 1932 to 1938, studied music in Los Angeles, and returned to become music director of Mennonite Brethren Bible College from 1943 to 1955. Horch is regarded as one of the founders of Mennonite music in Manitoba, being a founder of the Mennonite Symphony Orchestra, the Mennonite Brethren College Choir, and the Mennonite Community Choir. He helped edit the Mennonite Gesangbuch, published in 1952. He was director of serious music programming for CBC Radio in Winnipeg from 1959 to 1973, and he served on Board of Directors for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He retired in 1972 and was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Winnipeg in 1974. He received a Manitoba Prix Award in 1987 for his work in media and communications. He died on 2 July 1992.


“University to honour five Manitobans”, Winnipeg Tribune, 4 October 1974.

“A crusade to produce excellent music”, Winnipeg Free Press, 24 January 1988, page 51.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Ben Horch (1907-1992), Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 16 September 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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