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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]

Mr. John Hill Fray

page 348

Mr. John Hill Fray, F.M.I.C., London, who was appointed organist and choir-master of the Napier Cathedral on the 8th of August, 1905, was born at Bristol in January, 1859, and is a son of Mr. George Fray, a well-known coach-builder there. He was educated at Bristol, and at the Pulteny Street School, Adelaide, South Australia, under the Rev. W. S. Moore. Mr. Fray then returned to the Old Country to study music. He was trained in the practical knowledge of the organ at Westminster Abbey, under Doctor (now Sir Frederick) Bridge, the celebrated organist, and in the theory of music under Professor Prout, B.A., who now (1906) occupies the chair of music at the Dublin University. He subsequently returned to South Australia, and was appointed organist of St. Peter's, Glenelg, and for two years was an under-graduate of the Adelaide University, where he studied under Professor Ives, Bachelor of Music (Oxford), and Professor Bragg, M.A. In the year 1898, he was appointed organist of St. John's Pro-Cathedral, in Launceston, Tasmania, which post he held until September, 1905. During those seven years he did excellent work as organist of his church, and as choir-master of the Launceston Church Choir Association, and on his departure for New Zealand, was publicly entertained and presented with a purse of sovereigns. Mr. Fray is the local secretary to Trinity College, London, and has been appointed visiting music master of the Napier Boys' and Girls' High Schools. At the request of the Cathedral Vestry, Mr. Fray prepared the specifications of the new organ at the Napier Cathedral.