Concert Pianist, Conductor, Theatre Manager…

CVA 1184-2290 - [View of Granville Street looking north from Smithe showing the Orpheum Theatre, Commodore, and Capitol Theatre] 1946 Jack Lindsay photo.

CVA 1184-2290 – [View of Granville Street looking north from Smithe showing the Orpheum Theatre, Commodore, and Capitol Theatre] 1946 Jack Lindsay photo. (The exterior of the Orpheum around the time Maynard Joiner was manager).

Maynard Joiner lived a long and fruitful life. He was born on one coast of North America (in Boston) in 1894 and died on another (in Vancouver) in 1990.

By the time he was 10, he was considered a child prodigy. His forté was as a piano accompanist and his abilities took him to the concert stage to perform with several outstanding American and European artists. One of these, the violinst to the court of Spain, who was on a world tour, after his performance invited Maynard (then 16 years old) to be his personal accompanist for the remainder of his tour. Another artist, an English soprano, upon seeing that a mere boy was to be her accompanist, stalked off the stage in high dudgeon. Cooler heads prevailed, however, and she reluctantly agreed to sing. When the concert was over, she was given a large bouquet of flowers and amidst the applause, walked over to young Maynard, kissed him on the cheek and handed the bouquet to him.

From Boston, Maynard’s family moved to Calgary. While the musical opportunities were more limited there, he became the leader of his own band that played the Banff Springs Hotel, the Chateau Lake Louise and other local resorts.

In his mid-20s, Maynard was the conductor of the symphony orchestra that played during vists of the Prince of Wales of the day (later to become, briefly, King Edward VIII). The Prince had a ranch near Calgary, so he visited the city nearly annually. Apparently the Prince repeatedly asked Maynard’s band to play When Johnny Comes Marching Home. Maynard developed such a strong disliking for the tune that, after leaving the symphony, he refused ever to play it again.

In his middle years, Maynard became a manager with Famous Players Theatres – managing first The Globe Theatre in Calgary and later The Orpheum in Vancouver. Ultimately, he became a district manager with the company. He finally retired at the age of 75 in Vancouver.

Maynard was happily married to Lottie Ethridge for 72 of his 96 years and they had two boys, 7 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandkids.

When he came to Vancouver, Maynard joined First Baptist Church and was a longtime and active member of the church’s managing board. And he was a natural choice for the board’s Music Committee.

Much of this mini-bio is based upon notes prepared by Rev. James Willox Duncan which, today, reside in the archives of First Baptist Church, Vancouver. The text was written originally for First Baptist Church’s 125th Anniversary (2011), as part of my series of brief biographies of former FBC members, titled ‘Who Was Who in the Pews.’ It is reproduced here with minor editorial changes.


From Peel’s Prairie Provinces: Peel 10106. Cover of sheet music composed by Maynard Joiner, lyrics by Harry Hutchcroft, for the Calgary Rotary Club. c 1926.

This entry was posted in biography, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, Jack Lindsay, music, theatre/vaudeville/cinemas and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s