Bandmaster Benjamin Herbert Barrow was born September 22, 1875 in Clerkenwell, Middlesex, England, (now London borough of Islington) to Benjamin and Cecilia Barrow and baptized at Clerkenwell St. Phillip Parish on the following October 31. His father was a professor of music, composer and arranger with many titles to his credit.
Herbert studied horn and viola at the Guildhall School of Music, London, from 1895 to 1898, winning the prize for viola in 1898. In 1901 he joined His Majesty’s Band of the Scots Guards performing as principal horn from 1901 to 1913. In the summer of 1912 the Scots Guards toured Canada for three weeks. Apparently finding it to his liking, Mr. Barrow emigrated to Canada the following year, arriving with his wife, Maud, and their young son, Reginald, on June 24, 1913. His destination was Toronto to play viola in the Royal Alexandra Theatre. He also served as bandmaster of The Queens Own Rifles, from 1914 to 1918, and played horn (with George Stimm) in Frank Welsman’s Toronto Symphony Orchestra, until its demise in 1918. In 1922 he was assistant conductor to Herbert L. Clarke of the Anglo-Canadian Leather Company Band in Huntsville, Ontario. Later he joined the re-formed Toronto Symphony Orchestra where he served as principal horn from 1927 to 1932. In addition he owned and operated Barrow Music Supplies in Toronto, and among his horn students were his son, Reginald.
Benjamin Herbert Barrow died in Toronto on December 31, 1955, at the age of eighty.
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By Richard J. Martz