Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Celebrating Raymond Simpson's legacy

We're grateful to Raymond Simpson's family for establishing and sustaining this fantastic and generous special award since 1999.

The Raymond Simpson Award, named in memory of Raymond Simpson, long-time Secretary for the NSTT who contributed years of service to its management, will be awarded, if merited, to a recipient who shows exceptional commitment and potential in music as an instrumentalist. The award is $1,000. 

Note from his daughter Joan Bears and sons David and Eric Simpson:

As Secretary of the Talent Trust our father, Raymond Simpson, found a quiet and deep fulfillment for his love of music, education, young people and the province of Nova Scotia. The Simpson family is delighted that the Talent Trust founded a special award in his name, to celebrate the joy he found in helping to establish and encourage the careers of young Nova Scotian musicians and artists.

More about Raymond:

Raymond Simpson was widely known for his enrichment of the musical culture of Nova Scotia. His vocation was education but his avocation was music. He served as Secretary of the Talent Trust for 24 years and worked for the NS Department of Education from 1944 to 1978.  

In these dual roles, he was an important liaison between the Talent Trust and the provincial government, the Talent Trust’s primary supporter in its formative years. 

He was a member of the Acadian Male Quartet on the CBC national radio broadcast Harmony Harbour for over 15 years. He was a frequent soloist in Halifax concerts and on CBC radio and television. He was bass soloist in the Andrews United Church choir and  a member of many other Halifax choral groups. 

He sang leading roles in productions of the Nova Scotia Opera Association between 1949 and 1955, including Don Giovanni, Tales of Hoffmann, and the Nova Scotia folk opera The Broken Ring. He was active in the early years-of the Halifax Symphony, the Halifax Music Festival and the Nova Scotia Festival of the Arts.

Listen to Raymond Simpson at

Past Raymond Simpson Award recipients:

  • India Gailey (cello) 2020
  • Amelia Bruce (flute) 2019
  • Mimisu Lee (French horn) 2018
  • Ross Macintosh (euphonium) 2017
  • Heemin Choi (violin) 2016
  • Emery Van de Wiel 2015
  • Claire Ahern (flute) 2014
  • Darren Hicks 2013
  • Jocelyn (Lan-Fen) Yang (piano) 2012
  • Evan Mounce 2011
  • Heemin Choi (violin) 2010
  • Ian Hopkin (bassoon) 2009
  • Lucas Porter (piano) 2008
  • Lauren DeRoller 2007
  • Dorothy Ro (violin) 2006
  • Celeste Williams 2005
  • Dorothy Ro (violin) 2004
  • Lucas Pearse (bass) 2003
  • Marc Djokic (violin) 2002
  • Denise Ro (violin) 2001
  • Graeme Gillis 2000
  • Denise Djokic (cello) 1999

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