In Memoriam: Lois Birkenshaw
In Memoriam: Lois Birkenshaw-Fleming (1928-2015)
It is with great sadness that we learned of the recent passing our dear friend and colleague, Lois on March 11, 2015. She contributed so much to Carl Orff Canada over the course of her lifetime. From her early studies of the Orff approach at the Royal Conservatory and Salzburg, Austria, it was evident that this would become a large part of the fabric of who she was. She was known internationally as an inspirational educator, author and avid supporter of work in the area of early childhood as well as special education.
Lois published many wonderful books over the years but the one that will always be a legacy of her work for the membership of Carl Orff Canada is the book – an Orff Mosaic of Canada – Orff au Canada: Une mosaїque. This collection of music, accompaniments, poems, dances, essays and teaching suggestions contributed by teachers from across Canada and edited by Lois, has become a staple resource of Orff educators from coast to coast. Indeed, a portion of the sale from each of these books, goes directly to the Orff Mosaic Children’s Travel Fund which helps financially support children’s performing groups that are a part of the Carl Orff Canada National Conference.
Lois’ incredible dedication to the Orff schulwerk in Canada was evident when she was honoured with a lifetime achievement award by Carl Orff Canada in 1996. She will be greatly missed by all of us who had the privilege of knowing her. Her musical spirit will continue to live on in classrooms throughout the country where children will be singing and performing her pieces with great joy and love in their hearts. Thank you Lois…
The obituary for Lois can be found here.