The First Dean of the Faculty of Music, founder of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Augustus Vogt #tbt

Born before Canadian Confederation, Augustus Vogt grew up in Elmira, Ontario where his father was a hotel-keeper and built organs.

Vogt became a church organist at age 12 (performing on an organ built by his father) and continued his education in Hamilton, Ontario. He then went to the New England Conservatory in 1881 and Leipzig Conservatory in Germany in 1885.

In 1894 he established the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the country’s longest running mixed voice amateur choir. Their first performance was at Massey Hall on January 15, 1895. He led the choir on numerous tours, establishing partnerships with many US orchestras.

Vogt continued to work as a conductor, organist, and educator while adding administrator to his many duties when he became principal of the Toronto Conservatory of Music in 1913 (later known as the Royal Conservatory of Music).

He helped establish the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto becoming its first Dean in 1918, a position he held until his death in September 1926.

The Mendelssohn Choir honored him with a stained glass memorial window in St. Paul’s Andglican Church in Toronto.

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir singing Bach’s solemn Mass in B Minor in memory of Dr. Augustus Stephen Vogt, at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Bloor St. Service concluded with the unveiling of a stained glass window to his memory, April 17, 1929

Choral Music remains a vital part of the Faculty of Music. The final choral concert of the year is Sunday, March 31st 2:30 pm in MacMillan Theatre led by conductors Dr. Elaine Choi and Dr. Mark Ramsey.

More information on Dr. Augustus Vogt:

The Canadian Encyclopedia

The Musical Times Vol. 53, No. 838 (Dec. 1, 1912), pp. 773-776 (5 pages)