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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Torrance, Rev. George Williams

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Torrance, Rev. George Williams, M.A., Mus. Doc., was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated B.A. in  1864, M.A. in 1867, and Mus. Bac. and Mus. Doc. in 1879. He was ordained by the Bishop of Lichfield in 1865 for the curacy of St. Mary's, Shrewsbury, and remained there till 1867, when he became curate of St. Ann's, Dublin. He went to Victoria in Dec.; 1869, and in the following February accepted the curacy of Christ Church, South Yarra, being from 1871 to 1876 in charge of St. John's, Melbourne. He was appointed acting head of Trinity College (affiliated to the Melbourne University) on the opening of that institution in 1872, but resigned on his nomination to the incumbency of All Saints', Geelong, in 1877. In January of the next year he was appointed to his present incumbency, at Holy Trinity, Balaclava. In 1879 the degrees of Mus. Bac. and Mus. Doc. were conferred on him by the University of Dublin, and he was subsequently admitted Mus. Doc. ad eundem by the University of Melbourne. At the Social Science Congress, in 1880, Dr. Torrance was elected President of the Fine Arts section, and delivered the opening address. In addition to his ministerial work he has given much time and attention to the study and practice of music, which he began as a chorister in Christ Church, Dublin, afterwards pursuing his studies in Germany. Among other works, he produced in 1882 a new oratorio entitled the "Revelation," which was performed at the Melbourne Town Hall, under his direction. In 1883 Dr. Torrance was appointed one of the examiners for the Clarke scholarship at the Royal College of Music, London, and by the Commissioners of the Centennial Exhibition of 1880 one of the judges in the competition for the opening cantata. In 1886 he visited Europe, and was present, with his protégé, Ernest Hutcheson, a rising young Australian musician, at the famous "Wagner Festival" at Bayreuth. He returned to Victoria in the following year. Dr. Torrance was married, in 1872, to the eldest surviving daughter of the late S. B. Vaughan, solicitor, of Melbourne.