The remarkable work of Clara Lichtenstein at the Royal Victoria College (RVC), along with financial support from Lord Strathcona, helped establish the McGill Conservatorium in 1904, located in the Workman Mansion at 799 Sherbrooke Street. Composer Charles A.E. Harriss became the first director of the Conservatorium with the first session in September 1904 attended by 462 students from Quebec, Eastern Canada, and New York.
New instructors were hired and the Licentiate diploma (LMus), Bachelor’s in Music degree (BMus) and Doctor in Music degree (DMus) were offered at this time.
In 1909, Canterbury Cathedral organist Henry Crane Perrin, who was to become director of the Conservatorium and later the Faculty’s first Dean, established a uniquely Canadian system of examinations, reinforcing McGill’s autonomy from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in London. Charles Henry Mills received the first DMus degree for composition in 1911.