Torrance, Rev. George William



English church musician, who for almost the last half century has been identified with the music of Australia. He was born at Rathmines, near Dublin, and obtained his early musical education as a chorister at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. He was organist successively at Blackrock, Dublin, St. Andrew and St. Anne; then in 1856 he went to Leipsic for further musical study, returning and entering the University of Dublin to study theology in 1859. He was made deacon in 1865, priest in 1866 and was graduated in 1867 with the degree of Master of Arts. It was not until 1879, ten years after he had gone out to settle at Melbourne, Australia, that he received the degrees of Bachelor of Music and Doctor of Music from the University of Dublin. He also received the degree of Doctor of Music from Melbourne University. He was elected president of the Fine Arts Section of the Social Science Congress which was held at Melbourne in 1880, and in 1883 the Government of Victoria made him an examiner for the Clarke Scholarship at the Royal College of Music. He is Incumbent of the Holy Trinity Church at Balaclava, near Melbourne, where he plays the organ at services. He has written three fine oratorios, Abraham, The Captivity, and the Revelation, of which the first composition was written when he was only nineteen, and was given very successfully with him as conductor at the Ancient Concert Rooms at Dublin, in 1855. The Revelation, composed in 1882, was perfected at Melbourne. Other compositions are the opera, William of Normandy, written after his return from Leipsic; a Te Deum and a Jubilate, and several essays on music, notably Cathedrals, their constitutions and functions.