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School Profile

Garth Worthington (March 5, 1939–February 15, 2014) 

Garth Worthington was an Edmonton Public Schools music teacher who conducted thousands of Edmonton students in school bands and choirs during his 30-year career. 

Born in Edmonton, Worthington was a talented musician and singer in his own right. He sang baritone and played piano, guitar, clarinet and sousaphone. He studied education at the University of Alberta and sang in its male chorus. 

Worthington started teaching music at Eastglen High School and Highlands Junior High School in the early ’60s. He worked as an assistant supervisor of music with Edmonton Public Schools before teaching at Jasper Place High School in the ’70s. He retired from teaching in 1994. 

He was one of the creators of 'Night of Music', an annual showcase of students from Edmonton Public Schools, now in its 55th year. For over 20 years, Worthington also worked with the Edmonton Centennial Singers, a choir of students from across the city. 

Worthington’s former students share the profound influence he had as an educator and mentor who impacted their lives in ways that reached beyond the classroom. 

The F. Garth Worthington Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to support vocal or choral music students attending District high schools.

Musical Notation - Did you know?:

The seemingly random pattern of window placement in the main and second story elevations of Garth Worthington School is, in fact, a homage to the school’s namesake, Garth Worthington. The facad is the foundation of transposed sheet music wherein the windows represent notes from the Joni Mitchell song “Big Yellow Taxi”. The song figured in a former student’s memories of Worthington, a music teacher, who spoke of his connections to Mitchell and early exposure to the song before it became a hit. Hints of the lyrics are created via uniquely colored frames (yellow, pink and green) which align with particular phrases (yellow taxi, pink hotel, tree museum). Horizontal trim in a contrasting color within the metal siding indicates the staff lines of music. The school entry is further articulated with black and white vertical metal that emulates piano keys. The subtlety of the treatment allows the story to be revealed to students and visitors as an educational component which might be incorporated within pedagogy or a guided visitor experience.