October 9, 2018
Publicatio Date: 1966
Robert Donnell is another Guelphite who has climbed high in his profession. He was born in Toronto, but came to Guelph when five years old. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Donnell, Waterloo Avenue.
He attended the Torrance School and G.C.I., and was a member of St. George’s Church and Sunday School.
For several years he was employed as a clerk in Macdonald’s large store at the foot of Wyndham Street. During this period he played the carillon at St. George’s Church.
Through real talent and by hard work, he became very proficient, and was later appointed Dominion Carillonneur.
Robert Donnell received his musical training in Canada, the United States, and Europe. He was appointed carillonneur at the Cutten Memorial Carillon in Guelph, Ontario, when it was inaugurated and gave his first recital in Ottawa, as guest carillonneur, during the Imperial Conference.
In 1938 he graduated from the Beiaardschool te Mechelen, Belgium (Mechlin Carillon School), and was appointed Dominion Carillonneur in 1939.
He has given recitals on outstanding carillons in Holland, Belgium and North America, and has been featured on several world broadcasts. He was heard each Christmas on the Commonwealth Broadcast.
During World War II, Mr. Donnell served with the Royal Canadian Air Force for over three years, and was appointed Musical Advisor to the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America from 1946 to 1949 and as President of this musical organization for 1950 to 1952.