After receiving his ARCT in piano during high school, Brian went on to study organ at the University of Toronto.
His mentors were Douglas Bodle, Healey Willan and Dr. Charles Peaker. His choral studies were with Dr. Elmer Iseler and Lloyd Bradshaw. Travelling to Cambridge England, Turnbull studied choral technique with Stephen Cleobury of King's College, George Guest of St. John's College and John Rutter of Clare College. On the same course, Turnbull studied both organ and choral skills with John Scott at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
Recently Brian was asked to be a 'Founding Fellow' of the Honourable Company of Organists, an international organization (Toronto) recognizing talented church musicians.
On the occasion of the Proclamation of the Constitution Act, 1982, Brian had the honour of being chosen as a young achiever for the Halton Riding and was privileged to dine with other young achievers from each electoral riding in the presence of The Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau as well as Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
Brian received his music degree in 1971 with honours from the University of Toronto, followed by his Bachelor of Education in1972 from the same University.
Turnbull recently retired from the Halton District School Board and is on the occasional teaching list. He is involved in the summer organ recital series given at St. James Anglican Church in Orillia and is summer organist at Brechin United Church.
Brian is currently Director of Music at Centenary United Church in Hamilton where he directs the Chancel Choir, TruNotes (youth choir) and enjoys playing the magnificent 5 manual Casavant Organ.
Brian directs the main choir of the Tempus Choral Society.