Biography of Allen W. Swan
Bristol County, MA Biographies

Swan, Allen Webster, music teacher, was born in Dorchester, Mass., June 20, 1852, and is the son of William Henry Swan and Mary Elizabeth Bronsdon. He is descended from John Swan, who came from England to Massachusetts in the seventeenth century, settled in the vicinity of Cambridge and is buried in the old cemetery opposite Harvard College. Mr. Swan's grandfather, Reuben Swan, a grain dealer, was born and died in Dorchester. William Henry Swan was long a prominent Boston schoolmaster, being connected with the Wells school for twenty three years; later he held a position in the New England National Bank. He died in January, 1896, and his wife in September, 1897. Allen Webster Swan attended the Dorchester public schools, and at the age of twelve began his musical education. He studied at both the New England Conservatory of Music and the College of Music of Boston University under such eminent instructors as George E. Ehiting and John K. Paine, organists, and Carlyle Petersilea and J. C. D. Parker, pianists, and S. A. Emery, harmony teacher, and was graduated from the College of Music June 21, 1876. He also took a course of piano instruction under Mme. Madeleine Schiller of Boston. His studies were thorough, and being possessed of rare musical talents he rose rapidly to a foremost rank in his profession. While a student he gained much practice as a teacher, and on receiving his diploma in 1876 he was appointed an instructor of the piano and organ at the New England Conservatory of Music, which position he filled seventeen years. In 1878 he also established a studio in New Bedford, where he has been the leading music teacher and the organist at the First Congregational (Unitarian) Church. He continues to give private lessons in harmony and on the piano and organ in Boston, and in January, 1898, was elected a trustee of the New England Conservatory of Music. In 1878 he spent two months in Cincinnati, Ohio, as substitute for Mr. Whiting in the College of Music and as official organist of the Cincinnati Music Hall, and since October, 1894, he has held the position of teacher of harmony in the Swain Free School of New Bedford. He was musical conductor of the New Bedford Choral Association from 1879 to 1890, was director of the Schubert Club of New Bedford for several years, and is a member and one of the founders of the American Guild of Organists. Mr. Swan has conducted a large number of organ recitals, concerts, etc., and is recognized as one of the most eminent music teachers in the State.

Our county and its people
A descriptive and biographical history of
Bristol County, Massachusetts
Prepaired and published under the auspices of
The Fall River News and The Taunton Gasette
With assistance of Hon. Alanson Borden
The Boston History Company, Publishers, 1899.

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