Frank Henry Shera Manuscripts

Scope and Content

Manuscript works, including musical scores and lectures, with some correspondence relating to the Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra, of Frank Henry Shera, Professor of Music at the University of Sheffield 1928-1948

Administrative / Biographical History

The collection consists of manuscripts bequeathed to the University Library by Frank Shera, comprising scores, lectures and other writings on the history of music, together with a small collection of correspondence relating to the Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra in the years 1929-33.

Frank Henry Shera (1882-1956), M.A., Mus.M. Cantab, F.R.C.O., Hon. A.R.C.M., held the Chair of Music at the University of Sheffield from 1928 to 1948. Born in Sheffield on May 4th 1882, he was educated at Oakham School, and after reading Classics at Jesus College, Cambridge attended the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Stanford and Walford Davies for composition, and Sharpe and Parratt for piano and organ respectively. After teaching at various schools he went in 1916 to Malvern College as Director of Music. Following the founding in 1927 of a Chair of Music at Sheffield, Shera was appointed there the first full-time James Rossiter Hoyle Professor of Music in 1928 (Percy Carter Buck had been appointed to the new post for two terms of the first session only), a position which he held until his resignation in 1948. During these years he laid the foundations of and built up the Department of Music. Whilst at Sheffield he also served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts (1933-36) and Public Orator (1934-1945). On his retirement he was awarded the title Emeritus Professor.

Beyond his strictly academic work, Shera did much to encourage the development of music both in the City of Sheffield and within the University. In the City, he contributed articles on music to the Sheffield Telegraph during the years 1913-14 and 1923-39. Following the founding of a Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra in late 1929 he served as its Conductor, and he was also Vice-President of the New Sheffield Symphony Orchestra (Conductor, Sydney Phasey), founded shortly before the S.P.O. In 1935 he became Chairman of the Sheffield Philharmonic Society, which position he retained until 1947. In the University, he founded the mid-day concerts in the Students' Union, and developed both the University Choral Society and the University Orchestra. Beyond his native city he also served on several committees relating to music: the B.B.C. North Regional Advisory Committee on Music (1936-39); the North Regional Advisory Council, (from 1947); the Central Music Advisory Committee (1947-50); and the British Council Music Advisory Committee (from 1946). Professor Shera's published works include: Musical Groundwork (1922), Debussy and Ravel (1925); Elgar: Instrumental Works (1931), and The Amateur in Music (1939). He also contributed the article on 'Symphony' to the 5th edition of Grove's Dictionary of Music.

Emeritus Professor Shera died on 21st February 1956.

[Notes based on information from The Times, Who's Who, University of Sheffield records and Sheffield Local Studies Library]


By category

Access Information

Available to all researchers, by appointment

Acquisition Information

Bequeathed in 1948


Description prepared by Lawrence Aspden

Other Finding Aids

Listed, based on a listing of works by Tom McCanna, Music Librarian.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright: Estate of the author

Related Material

Antcliffe Manuscripts; Bach Concordance and Cyclopaedia; The Sir Thomas Beecham Music Library