John Laing is a distinguished conductor, composer, and organist. Born in London, England, he received his early training as a chorister in the choir of King’s College, Cambridge, under Sir David Willcocks. Later, as Organ Scholar of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, he obtained his Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts degrees.
Mr. Laing has had a distinguished career in several musical fields. He has directed excellent choirs in Montreal, Ottawa, Oakville and Hamilton, where Musicata have maintained a widespread reputation for their exquisite sound, vibrant performances and recordings. He has had a long and successful career as a church musician, which has included Directorships of Music at Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal, Christ’s Church Cathedral in Hamilton, and St. Jude’s Church in Oakville, where he was Founder and Director of the renowned Celebration of the Arts concert series during its inaugural decade. In recent years, Mr. Laing has also devoted much time and energy to musical composition. His works have received several acclaimed premiere performances, and have been presented by top-class artists both in concerts and on CD recordings.
For his services to music and the community, Mr. Laing has been the recipient of an Above and Beyond Award from the Oakville Arts Council; the Order of Niagara from the Anglican Church of Canada; Honorary Citizenship of Sarasota, Florida; the 2008 Musician of the Year Award from the City of Hamilton; and the Freedom of the City of London, UK.
John Laing announced his retirement as artistic directer towards the end of 2010 and conducted the singers in his farewell concert,, “The Call of Spring” in May of 2012. John hopes to spend his retirement years composing and traveling. His works will, no doubt, continue to be performed by the JLS and other major choirs. John maintains a website of his own, www.johnlaing.ca, where you can stay up to date on his works and purchase the choir’s first CDs.