Born and raised in Parry Sound, Ontario, Eleanor Daley (b. 1955) received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Organ Performance from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and holds diplomas in piano and organ from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto and Trinity College, England. She has been the Director of Music at Fairlawn Heights United Church in Toronto, Ontario since 1982. During this time, she has established a thriving choral program for which much of her music has been composed, thanks to the continuing support and talent of her choirs.
A prolific composer, Eleanor has a remarkable gift for melody. Her works are most notable for their sensitive interweaving of text and music. She has well over eighty published choral compositions and is commissioned extensively throughout North America. Included in her unpublished choral works are dozens of anthems, nine Missae Breves, three pageants, and hundreds of descants, introits, and psalm settings. Her compositions have been widely performed, recorded, and aired throughout North America, Great Britain, Europe, South Africa, and the Far East.
Eleanor Daley's compositional style is tonal, sometimes modal, which typically fits comfortably in traditional western classical style. She writes with great attention and respect towards comfortable voice leading and setting lines within comfortable ranges, as well as serving the text in the most beautiful way, often with piano accompaniment as vital as the vocal writing. Her compositions originally started out in a pragmatic style, as she primarily wrote pieces for the choral forces she had at hand in her church choirs at the time.
Requiem - SATB divisi, a capella. A 24 minute, 8 movement work for an advanced ensemble with Latin mass and English texts.
The Lake Isle of Innisfree* - SSA with piano. An accessible, but sublimely beautiful setting of a W.B. Yeats poem with an expressive piano accompaniment
An Irish Blessing* - Two-part with piano. A relatively simple piece with a unison melody that grows into two-part harmony as well as counter melodies that is filled with lush harmony and text painting.
grandmother moon* - SATB divisi, a capella. Based on an Anishinawbe A delicate, flowing, and moderate to challenging secular piece for mixed choir with text by a Canadian Mi'kmaq poet.
grandmother moon, performed by the BCMEA Honour Choir, 2017. Conducted and introduced by Scott Leithead
Eleanor currently works as a full-time composer, as well as the music and choir director at Fairlawn Avenue United Church in Toronto, as accompanist for the Bach Children's Chorus, and otherwise as a freelance accompanist.