Harry Crane Perrin

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Harry Crane Perrin (19 August 1865 – 6 November 1953)[1] was a cathedral organist, who served at Canterbury Cathedral, England,[2] and an academic who served as the first dean of music at McGill University, Canada.


Harry Crane Perrin was born in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.[1][3][4][5] He attended Wellingborough Grammar School,[3][4][5][6] and studied music under Sir Robert Prescott Stewart at Trinity College, Dublin,[1][3][4][6] graduating with a Bachelor of Music in 1890,[4] as a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists in 1892,[4] and as a Doctor of Music in 1901.[4][5][6]

He composed cantatas "Abode of Worship" and "Pan's Pipes" (both published by Breitkopf),[1] Song of War (published by Weekes),[1] morning and evening services, anthems, hymn tunes and songs (some of which were published by Novello & Co).[1][4][6][7]

He served as organist at St Columba's College, Dublin,[1][6] at Lowestoft,[1][6] and, following a competition on the organ at Westminster Abbey,[3][5] at Coventry Cathedral.[1][6] He was organist and choirmaster at Canterbury Cathedral for ten years.[1][6][8] In 1908, he moved to Canada to take up an appointment as professor of music at McGill University in Montreal and director of the Conservatorium;[1][6][8][9][10] he was presented to King Edward VII prior to his departure.[9] Perrin restructured the curriculum at the Conservatorium so that instead of simply learning an instrument or singing, students also studied the history and theory of music.[11] In 1920 a Faculty of Music was established at the university,[10] and Perrin served as its first dean until his retirement in 1930.[4][5] He also established an orchestra[1][8] and a choir at the university,[1] and developed a Canada-wide system of musical examinations.[1][8]

He married Enid Hilda Pridmore in Coventry in 1896;[5][12] they had one son and one daughter.[5] Perrin died at his home in Exeter, Devon, in 1953.[5]


Organist of:

Cultural offices
Preceded by
William Henry Longhurst
Organist and Master of the Choristers of Canterbury Cathedral
Succeeded by
Clement Charlton Palmer


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Mclean, Eric (16 December 2013). "Harry Crane Perrin". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  2. ^ The Succession of Organists. Watkins Shaw
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Master Musicians". The Musical Journal. 20 (234): 87–88. June 1907. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Venn, John (1953). Alumni Cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students, Graduates and Holders of Office at the University of Cambridge, from the Earliest Times to 1900, Volume 2 (2011 ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 96. ISBN 9781108036153. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "McGill's First Dean of Music Dies in England". The Gazette. Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 17 November 1953. p. 29. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Portraits and World's News". The Illustrated London News. London, England: 6. 19 October 1907. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  7. ^ Memorials of the Cathedral & Priory of Christ in Canterbury, by Woodru C. Eveleigh (Charles Eveleigh)
  8. ^ a b c d Keillor, Elaine (2008). Music in Canada: Capturing Landscape and Diversity. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. p. 126. ISBN 9780773533912. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Canterbury". Canterbury Journal and Farmers' Gazette. Canterbury, England. 29 February 1908. p. 2. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  10. ^ a b Elliott, Robin; Smith, Gordon Ernest (2001). Istvan Anhalt: Pathways and Memory. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. p. 36. ISBN 9780773521025. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Changes In Music. McGill Conservatorium Adopts Curriculum More In Accord University Idea". The Gazette. Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 26 March 1909. p. 14. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Marriage of Miss E.H. Pridmore and Mr. H.C. Perrin". Coventry Herald. Coventry, England. 7 August 1896. p. 8. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  13. ^ "St Michael's Musicians". Coventry Evening Telegraph. Coventry, England. 1 February 1932. p. 3. Retrieved 26 September 2019.