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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]



Mrs Alice Gower Burns, the wellknown and popular soprano, is a daughter of E. H. M. Gower, C.E., who was for many years in the service of the Japanese Government. She received her musical training under distinguished musicians in Italy and England—namely, Herr Kreuser, Theo. Goebbels, Melchior, Vela, and others. Mrs Burns' voice is a very pure and flexible soprano, and her reputation in the East was that of a most talented singer. Since her arrival in New Zealand she has been admired and honoured as a vocalist of the first order. At the reception concert, in Christchurch, to the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, her singing was highly appreciated, and she was favoured with a special introduction by command of the Duchess, who warmly expressed her appreciation of her singing. On the occasion of the opening of the Christchurch Exhibition, at the Canterbury Jubilee, Mrs Burns was soprano soloist. She has taken a prominent part in oratorio, and has sung in concert with Madame Belle Cole. Chevalier de Konski, Jean Gerardy, and others. For many years she rendered valuable assistance to the Christchurch Musical Union, and she was the first lady vocalist to sing at a full choral service at the Christchurch Cathedral, by special request of Bishop Julius, at the commemoration service
Standish and Preece, photo.Mrs A. G. Burns.

Standish and Preece, photo.
Mrs A. G. Burns.

page 235 for the Queen's death. Her generous assistance to charities of all descriptions is well known.

Mr. Alexander Millar, who is well known as a bass singer, was born in London in 1859, and received his musical education from Dr. Lemaire, of that city. Mr. Millar came to Lyttelton per ship “Euterpe,” in 1880, after having gained considerable experience in mercantile life before leaving England. He was for about ten years employed with the firm of Harper and Co., barristers and solicitors. In 1894 Mr. Millar entered the Public Trust and Advances to Settlers office, and on the separation of the latter department, continued on the staff. Mr. Millar took part in the services at the opening of the Cathedral, and has since been a member of the Cathedral choir. At public concerts of all kinds he is popular as a leading bass soloist, and has been a prominent member of the Christchurch Amateur Operatic Company, taking leading characters in the performances. He has been an active member of the Liedertafel, and taken part in many concerts given by the Christchurch Musical Union. Mr. Millar is a member of the Masonic Order, attached to Lodge St. Augustine, E.C., of which he was worshipful master in 1893, and has also taken the Royal Arch Degree. He was married in 1886, to a daughter of Mr. Wade, and has two sons and two daughters.