Edmonton flautist Harlan Green meets Queen Elizabeth in Edmonton in 1978. During a royal visit here during the 1978 Commonwealth Games, Prince Philip was impressed by a local musical group called the Plumbers Union. After a performance, the Prince asked the band’s founder, Harlan Green, if his group had produced any albums. “Yes,” Mr. Green said, pulling out a pencil and scrap of paper. “I’ll send you one. What’s your address?” Edith Stacey says fellow musicians still get a laugh out of the story. If Mr. Green broke any royal protocols, it probably wouldn’t have bothered him. A colourful man who, his friends and family say, had a profound impact on the city. Harlan Fleming Green died of cancer recently. He was 78. “There were no pretences with Harlan,” said Stacey, a musician with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. “He was a bit like Lois Hole — he was very warm and he’d hug people.” John Mann of the Edmonton Arts Council said that even after leaving the ESO after decades as first flute, Mr. Green remained “one of the most active and lovable musicians this city has ever had the privilege of calling its own.” “He’s legendary,” Mann said. “In many ways, Harlan was the heart and soul of this musical community.” A farmer and musician, Mr. Green commuted to Edmonton from his farm in Dewberry near Vermilion, about 200 kilometres east of the city. For about 20 years, Mr. Green led the Plumbers Union, a recorder quartet that performed on TV shows, toured North America, and produced recordings like the one he sent to Prince Philip. Mr. Green also played sax with the Trocadero Orchestra for decades.
Former CBC-TV producer Armand Baril said Mr. Green was a master of many musical styles, playing dance gigs, variety shows, musical theatre light opera and Grand Opera. “This was one great guy who graced the musical stages of the community,” Baril said of his friend. For Mara Green, meeting her future husband for the first time on Oct. 21, 1999, was the happiest day of her life. She was older than he was, still single and never expected to marry. She recalled that Mr. Green actually came to see her ailing father the day he rang the doorbell. The two men had played together in the Edmonton Civic Opera. Mara and Mr. Green quickly discovered they were very much in tune with one another and had common friends and interests. They married about a year later, on Mara’s birthday. “I guess it was close to a miracle, because I’d given up,” she said. “I’d never been married before and I didn’t think I would ever find the right man. And then he found me.” A frugal man and an environmentalist, Mr. Green, who was married three times before, wrote a letter to his children that his spirit would be “highly offended” if they were to disregard his wishes for a no-frills burial. “With all the money saved ... you could maybe throw a lively upbeat party or two — lots of drinks and music and hilarity,” he wrote in 2005. In keeping with those wishes, his wife said there will be a party once everybody has a little time to heal from his passing. “He was wonderful,” she said. “He loved everybody and everybody loved him.” Mr. Green is also survived by his children: Virginia Martel, Miranda Sparks, Eliza Carter, Louisa Green and Harlan Green, and stepson Robert Everett Green.
Lovable Harlan Green ‘heart and soul’ of the musical community Unpretentious man was also a farmer and environmentalist Edmonton Journal - 23 Feb 2008 - Don Retson
Schon Rosmarin Fritz Kriesler adapted by Harlan Green
Harlan Green flute Janet Scott Hoyt piano from Harlan Green In His Field HG980001