|Birth: ||Dec. 17, 1862|
Greater London, England
|Death: ||Jul. 31, 1929|
Dr. Harriss came to Ottawa from England in 1882, at the instigation of Lady Macdonald, to become organist at St. Alban's Church. He quickly attracted, by his outstanding talents, a large number of music pupils. Within a year, however, he went to Montreal to be organist first at Christ Church Cathedral and then at the Church of St. James the Apostle. Dr. Harriss built up a musical reputation by composing and by conducting concerts before large audiences in Montreal, and by his skill as a teacher.
After his marriage and return to Ottawa he launched out into ambitious musical enterprises while continuing to compose Masses and other works. In particular, he successfully promoted exchanges of choirs and musicians between the various countries of the Empire. His idea was to strengthen the ties between the mother country and the emergent nations of the Empire by 'musical reciprocity'.
He organized Canada's first Festivals of Music. In 1908 he arranged for the Sheffield Choir, numbering two hundred, to come out from England and tour Canada and the United States. After travelling to Vienna and Cape Town as a guest conductor, he organized in London in 1910 the Imperial Choir of 4,000 voices which distinguished itself at several Empire Music Festivals.
In 1911 he took the Sheffield Choir on a tour round the Empire. On Empire Day, 1919, he conducted a choir of 10,000 voices, with an audience estimated at 800,000, in Hyde Park in the presence of the Royal Family. In 1923 he resuscitated the Imperial Choir for the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley and showed such energy that he broke his arm in the cause.
Ella Frances Beatty Harriss (1845 - 1924)*
Cobourg Union Cemetery
Created by: Glen E. Carter
Record added: Sep 08, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 41739698