1829-1895
portrait

November 27, 1830, Boston, Massachusetts.

September 10, 1895, Boston, Massachusetts.

Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Harrison was the son of Samuel Millard and Maria Ham, and husband of Laura V. Thompson. At age eight, he was admitted into a Boston choir, and at 10 sang in the chorus of the Handel and Haydn society as an alto. His voice changed to a tenor, and on one occasion, around age 15, during the absence of the principal tenor, he sang in the oratorio Samson. In 1851, he went to Europe and spent three years studying under the best masters in Italy. He then spent some time in London, appearing at various musical venues as a tenor, and traveled with Catherine Hayes in Ireland and Scotland. While abroad, he wrote considerable music, and was a frequent contributor to Dwight’s Journal of Music and other American musical publications.

In 1854, Millard returned to America, settling in Boston, giving vocal lessons and singing at concerts. Two years later, he moved to New York. In 1859, he produced his first important song, Viva La America, which was very successful. Upon the outbreak of the American civil war, he entered the army and was commissioned a first lieutenant in the 19th New York Regiment. After four years of service, he was severely wounded in the Battle of Chickamauga, rendered unfit for duty, and sent home. Not long after, he was offered a position in the custom house, which he held until at least 1881. Millard’s works consist of about 300 songs (including the patriotic song Flag of the Free); nearly 400 adaptations of French, German and Italian works; many anthems; 4 church services; 4 Te Deums; a grand mass; a vesper; and Deborah, a four-act Italian opera. His other works include:

  1. In the Lowly Manger Lying
  1. Abide with Me, ’Tis Eventide
  2. List Our Merry Carol
  3. Mist Will Roll Away, The
  4. Savoie
  5. Waco