Elaine Pudwell, organist and choir director at Holy Trinity, Thornhill for 34 years, retired in June 2016. As a tribute to her ministry, the church’s garden committee donated a pergola for the lawn.
Under Ms. Pudwell’s leadership, worship hymns, chosen with care to fit the lectionary, ranged from traditional to contemporary to spirituals. Anthems ranged from Bach to jazz.
Many tributes were offered at her final service. “Her ability to keep her cool, to inspire the choir, to ensure harmony in the choir and to make our singing fun, enjoyable and an act of worship, were all touched on,” said a chorister. “She expected the best and the choir tried to live up to her expectations.”
A music teacher at Holy Trinity School in Richmond Hill for 22 years, she influenced many young people. “Elaine was a gift from God,” said the school’s chaplain. “She spoke her mind freely but was kind and considerate.” She was able to keep the students interested with a blend of old Anglican hymns and upbeat religious songs.
In addition to playing at Holy Trinity, Thornhill, Ms. Pudwell appeared regularly as concert recitalist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Buffalo, St. Paul, Bloor Street and Yorkminster Park Baptist Church in Toronto.