March 20, 1833, Stockbridge, Vermont.

January 20, 1914, Chicago, Illinois.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois.

Son of Orson Perkins and brother of William Perkins, Henry inherited musical talent from his parents: his father was a noted singing teacher, and his mother an excellent vocalist. He received his first musical training from his father, and attended some of the best literary schools in his youth. His formal music education began in 1857, when he entered the Boston Music School, where he graduated in 1861.

For over 20 years, Perkins devoted considerable time to conducting music festivals and conventions throughout America, from Maine to California, and in teaching in normal music schools in New York, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, and Texas. He also served as Professor of Music at the University of Iowa (1867–69); principal of the Iowa Academy of Music, Iowa City, for five years; and principal at the Kansas Normal Music School for five consecutive summers. He also composed vocal music for choirs, Sunday school, public schools, choral societies, conventions and festivals. He helped organize the Music Teachers’ National Association in 1876, and served in nearly every official capacity in that organization between 1887 and 1897. He also organized the Illinois Music Teachers’ Association in 1886, and served as its president for 10 years. He settled in Chicago, Illinois, in 1872, and was a noted music critic for the papers there. In 1891, he established the Chicago National College of Music. His works include:

  1. All Hail, Thou Prince of Peace
  2. Always a River to Cross
  3. And There Shall Be No Night
  4. Beautiful River, The
  5. Beautiful Vale of Rest
  6. Christ Arose
  7. Christ the Lord Is Risen
  8. Come to the House of Prayer
  9. Flow on, Thou Shining River
  10. Gate and the Way, The
  11. Gird on the Armor
  12. Go Preach
  13. Happy Christmas Time
  14. Happy New Year, A
  15. Hark, Listen to the Chiming
  16. Ho! Every One That Thirstest
  17. I Want to Be Like Jesus
  18. In the Cleft of Rock
  19. Jesus Loves the Little Ones
  20. Present Help, A
  21. Ring Out, Christmas Bells
  22. Spirit and the Bride Say, Come, The
  23. Suffer Little Children
  24. Victory over Sin
  25. Wandering Through This Vale
  26. We Will Chant in Psalms of Glory
  27. We Will Join in Glad Thanksgiving
  28. We Will Sing of the Savior’s
  29. Why Should the Children Go Hungry?
  30. With Heartfelt Adoration
  1. Blessed Be the Fountain
  2. Delft