Home » Bios » John Laing with Roger Flock (Percussion)

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John Laing with Roger Flock (Percussion)

John Laing, conductor, composer, organist and pianist, was born in London, U.K. He began to play the piano and compose at a very young age, and he became a treble chorister in the choir of King’s College, Cambridge under Sir David Willcocks. At the age of twenty he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. He returned to Cambridge to be Organ Scholar of Corpus Christi College, where he obtained a Bachelor of Music Degree in Organ Performance and Musicology, and a Master of Arts Degree. At the age of twenty seven he came to live in Canada. 

Mr. Laing has had a distinguished career in several fields of music. An accomplished organist, harpsichordist and pianist he has given many performances in North America and Europe. He has also conducted excellent choirs in Montreal, Ottawa, Oakville, Hamilton and Toronto, including the nationally renowned John Laing Singers, which he founded, and conducted for three decades. As a church musician, his long and successful career has included the directorships of music at Cathedrals in Montreal and Hamilton, at St. Jude’s Church, Oakville, where he was Founder and Director of the Celebration of the Arts concert series during its inaugural decade, and currently at The Church of the Ascension, Hamilton. During the past decade John has devoted much time and energy to composition, and his works have been widely performed to warm appreciation and recorded on acclaimed CDs by top class artists. Recently his new composition Revival, commissioned by the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, was premiered at its annual contemporary music festival, and he has completed several works which are due to be premiered in 2017.

For his services to music and the community, Mr. Laing has received the “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 Musician of the Year Award from the City of Hamilton, the Freedom of the City of London, U.K., and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (Canada). 

Roger Flock has toured extensively with the Royal Winnepeg Ballet, the National Ballet, and the Bolshoi ballet companies. His orchestral experience includes forty-five seasons with the Hamilton Philharmonic, numerous seasons with the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Ontario/Hamilton, Toronto Philharmonia, Stratford Festival, Hanniford Street Silver Band as well as hundreds of theatre productions in Toronto, Hamilton and throughout south and central Ontario. Choral associations include the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, The Elora Singers, The Elmer Iseler Singers, The John Laing Singers, The Bach Elgar Choir, The Achill Choral Society and many others. He has accompanied countless headliners including Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Hope, Mel Torme, Dizzy Gillespie, Liberace, Bobby McFerrin, Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin and Diana Krall and has been recorded on numerous film scores, theatre sound tracks, albums and commercial jingles. In education, Mr. Flock was percussion Instructor at McMaster University for over thirty years and was one of the founding faculty of the Humber College Jazz Music Program. He designed and headed their percussion department for thirty-five years, retiring in 2005.