Joan-WatsonMarch 12, 2015, the True North Brass family lost a passionate, fearless, supportive and inspiring musician. Our very own Joan Watson succumbed to cancer, something she kept very private from all but her closest friends for the past two years.

The funeral was March 18, and TNB’s Scott Irvine, recounted so wonderfully the life of his partner, musical and in life, giving everybody a fuller picture of a proud mother, wonderful horn player, and inspiring educator. It was Scott’s opportunity to describe the facets of the gem that is Joan. Max and Joel, Joan’s two sons, and a student of hers spoke to her character – and the rules of the day were: tears are definitely allowed, and laughter is not only permitted – but Joan would have expected it. Scott read one letter from a student of Joan’s from New Zealand, giving one example of how Joan touched so many people, not just musically, but in life, and in a lasting way.

In addition to being a founding member of True North Brass, principal horn with the Canadian Opera Company (and having finished a flawless run not three weeks before), and so many other organizations over the course for life, she was an inspiration, positive force, and friend to so many. Several examples made it clear that the world has been made better by Joan’s having been on it – and happy memories were shared afterward.

There were tears too. Our lives won’t be the same without Joan, but at the same time, the True North Brass family understand how incredibly fortunate we are to have worked and played with our friend, colleague and mentor.

Graham Lindsey
“Website guy” for True North Brass




Memories – Photos of Joan