Music at Bishop's University

Bishop's University. Founded in 1843 in Lennoxville, near Sherbrooke, Que, by George Jehoshaphat Mountain, the third Anglican bishop of Quebec, as a liberal arts college. Its foundation was ratified by an act of the Quebec Legislative Assembly.

Music at Bishop's University

Bishop's University. Founded in 1843 in Lennoxville, near Sherbrooke, Que, by George Jehoshaphat Mountain, the third Anglican bishop of Quebec, as a liberal arts college. Its foundation was ratified by an act of the Quebec Legislative Assembly. Established as a university by royal charter in 1853 and affiliated to Oxford and Cambridge universities, it first bore the name University of Bishop's College. By its charter it was empowered to grant degrees in theology, law, medicine, and fine arts, including music. The university was under the control of the Church of England until 1947, after which time its business affairs have been tended by a corporation made up of Anglican bishops from the dioceses of Quebec and appointed trustees, and academic matters have been dealt with by a senate. Instruction began in 1845, and the first degrees were granted in 1854. Bishop's was one of the first universities to offer the B MUS and D MUS degrees; the first graduate was Percival J. Illsley (B MUS 1894, D MUS 1913). In 1895 the Dominion College of Music became affiliated to Bishop's University, which ceased to grant university degrees in music in the 1950s.

When Howard Brown arrived in 1967, no music courses were given. A BA with a minor in music was introduced then. In 1978 when the Dept of Music was established, a BA with a major in music was initiated, concentrating primarily on the history and literature of music. Starting in 1988, the university has offered music specialization with concentration in various fields: music history and literature, theory and composition, or performance. Summer training sessions have also been organized; intensive advanced courses in singing given as master classes with Carmen Mehta beginning in 1988 and the Camp musical de l'Estrie founded in 1990. Brown was replaced by Tom Gordon (1983-6, 1989-), and by John D. Eby (1986-9). In 1990-1, the teaching staff was made up of a professor emeritus, Howard Brown, three full-time teachers, John Eby, Tom Gordon, and Andrew MacDonald, three part-time teachers and thirteen lecturers. Among the examiners at different periods were John Bearder, G.F. Garrett, Albert Ham, and Healey Willan. Graham Godfrey and Herbert Sanders were among the teachers and occasional lecturers. In 1933 Ham received an honorary DCL from Bishop's. The University Singers, founded in 1977, were still active in 1991, as was a chamber choir founded in 1987. Also in 1977 the university sponsored a series of musical and other cultural events at the Centennial Theatre. In the spring of 1991, the department moved into new quarters in the Norton building (erected in 1898), which had been completely renovated and include a concert hall, four studios, classes, and an electroacoustic lab.

See also College Songs.


Further Reading

  • Gordon, T. 'Music in absentia: Bishop's faculty of music, 1886-1947,' Canadian University Music Review, vol 11:2, 1991