The English choral conductor and teacher, Jean (formerly Gam)Ashworth Bartle, naturalized Canadian 1968; ARCT (performance) 1970, ARCT (teaching) 1973, BA Honours (Toronto) 1977. She won the 1977 Leslie Bell Scholarship (Prize), and the 1982 Sir Ernest MacMillan Scholarship, which enabled her to study with Sir David Willcocks and Margaret Hillis at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ.
Jean Ashworth Bartle founded the Toronto Children's Chorus in 1978 in order to provide a children's choir for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Since then, under her direction, the Toronto Children's Chorus has received international acclaim and won many prestigious choral prizes. She has brought the music of Canadian composers to many audiences and expanded the choral repertoire by commissioning and promoting Canadian compositions.
Jean Ashworth Bartle was a teacher for the Toronto Board of Education 1966-1998, including a period as director of the music program at Howard Public School in Toronto from 1970 to 1989, and of the junior choirs at Kingsway Lambton United Church. She was also a member of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. She is highly active as a choral clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor throughout North America, Europe, Israel, South Africa, the Far East, and the Pacific Rim. She holds an annual choral conductors' symposium that attracts choir directors from around the world.
In 1986 Jean Ashworth Bartle was awarded the Roy Thomson Hall Award for her outstanding contribution to musical life in Toronto. In 1998 she was invested in the Order of Ontario, and also received the Order of Canada. In 2002 she received the Queen's Jubilee Medal in London, England, and in November 2003 she was awarded an honorary life membership in the Ontario Music Educators' Association. In 2004, an award named in her honour, the Jean Ashworth Bartle Music Education Award, was established at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto.
Jean Ashworth Bartle is the editor of three treble-voice music series: The Toronto Children's Choral Series (Gordon V. Thompson/Warner/Chappell); The Jean Ashworth Bartle Choral Series for Treble Voices (Hinshaw Music); and the Jean Ashworth Bartle Choral Series (earthsongs). She is also the author of two books: Lifeline for Children's Choir Directors (Gordon V. Thompson/Warner/Chappell, 2nd edition 1993) and Sound Advice (Oxford University Press 2003).