He graduated from Crane School of in 1930, and led a dance band during the 1930s.
He taught for ten years at Franklin Academy in Malone, New York and was a professor of music at Kean University in New Jersey for most of his career. In addition to The Falcon, Gerrish"s better-known works include Variations on a Burgundian Carol for 3 Recorders, based on the carol Patapan, published in New York by Associated Publishers in 1957. The Educators Journal published a detailed article and interview "A Family Program for Voices, Recorders, and Viols: The Gerrish Family" in 1962.
The New York State Teachers Association, Northern Zone, lists John Gerrish as Chairman of Section in Malone, New York, September 29, 1939.