Dominion College of Music/Collège de musique Dominion

Dominion College of Music/Collège de musique Dominion. Founded in Montreal in 1894 by J. Edgar Birch, Percival J. Illsley, and Horace Reyner, among others, it was incorporated in 1895 and became affiliated the same year with Bishop's University.

Dominion College of Music/Collège de musique Dominion

Dominion College of Music/Collège de musique Dominion. Founded in Montreal in 1894 by J. Edgar Birch, Percival J. Illsley, and Horace Reyner, among others, it was incorporated in 1895 and became affiliated the same year with Bishop's University. Initially its purpose was to set and administer practical and theoretical examinations. Its first president was W. H. Benyon. Teaching began at Karn Hall in 1896 but was discontinued in 1899 owing to financial difficulties. The college subsequently confined itself to holding examinations and granting diplomas.

Through its affiliation with Bishop's University, the college awarded the L MUS, Associate diploma, B MUS, and later the D MUS, according to requirements set by the TCL. Gold and silver medals were awarded as well. Six candidates sat for the examinations of 1895. In 1905 more than 350 students presented themselves for examinations, and a branch was set up in Quebec City by Napoléon Crépault and his son Léonce along with Ernest and Gustave Gagnon. The examinations of this bilingual college at first took place in private schools and convents in Ontario and Quebec, but later spread to the Maritime provinces, certain areas of the western provinces, and the USA. In 1917-18, 200 diplomas were granted in the Montreal district alone.

Among the college's diploma-holders or pupils were Max Bohrer, Claude Champagne, Ernest Gagnon, Caroline Racicot and Rose MacMillan. The teaching staff and examiners over the years included John W. Bearder, Max and William Bohrer, George M. Brewer (also secretary), Dominique Ducharme, Septimus Fraser, Percival J. Illsley, Romain-Octave Pelletier, William Reed, Horace Reyner, and Marguerite Sym among others. For some years Charles O'Neill was the college's vice-president. The Dominion College of Music appears to have ceased its activities during the 1940s.


Further Reading

  • Montreal Musical Year Book 1931 (Montreal 1931)

    Musical Red Book