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Arthur Sullivan

1842 - 1900 Person Name: Arthur S. Sullivan Hymnal Number: 28 Composer of "[Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war]" in Yes, Lord! Arthur Seymour Sullivan (b Lambeth, London. England. 1842; d. Westminster, London, 1900) was born of an Italian mother and an Irish father who was an army band­master and a professor of music. Sullivan entered the Chapel Royal as a chorister in 1854. He was elected as the first Mendelssohn scholar in 1856, when he began his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He also studied at the Leipzig Conservatory (1858-1861) and in 1866 was appointed professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music. Early in his career Sullivan composed oratorios and music for some Shakespeare plays. However, he is best known for writing the music for lyrics by William S. Gilbert, which produced popular operettas such as H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), The Pirates of Penzance (1879), The Mikado (1884), and Yeomen of the Guard (1888). These operettas satirized the court and everyday life in Victorian times. Although he com­posed some anthems, in the area of church music Sullivan is best remembered for his hymn tunes, written between 1867 and 1874 and published in The Hymnary (1872) and Church Hymns (1874), both of which he edited. He contributed hymns to A Hymnal Chiefly from The Book of Praise (1867) and to the Presbyterian collection Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship (1867). A complete collection of his hymns and arrangements was published posthumously as Hymn Tunes by Arthur Sullivan (1902). Sullivan steadfastly refused to grant permission to those who wished to make hymn tunes from the popular melodies in his operettas. Bert Polman

Lowell Mason

1792 - 1872 Hymnal Number: 34 Arranger of "[Blest be the tie that binds]" in Yes, Lord! Dr. Lowell Mason (the degree was conferred by the University of New York) is justly called the father of American church music; and by his labors were founded the germinating principles of national musical intelligence and knowledge, which afforded a soil upon which all higher musical culture has been founded. To him we owe some of our best ideas in religious church music, elementary musical education, music in the schools, the popularization of classical chorus singing, and the art of teaching music upon the Inductive or Pestalozzian plan. More than that, we owe him no small share of the respect which the profession of music enjoys at the present time as contrasted with the contempt in which it was held a century or more ago. In fact, the entire art of music, as now understood and practiced in America, has derived advantage from the work of this great man. Lowell Mason was born in Medfield, Mass., January 8, 1792. From childhood he had manifested an intense love for music, and had devoted all his spare time and effort to improving himself according to such opportunities as were available to him. At the age of twenty he found himself filling a clerkship in a banking house in Savannah, Ga. Here he lost no opportunity of gratifying his passion for musical advancement, and was fortunate to meet for the first time a thoroughly qualified instructor, in the person of F. L. Abel. Applying his spare hours assiduously to the cultivation of the pursuit to which his passion inclined him, he soon acquired a proficiency that enabled him to enter the field of original composition, and his first work of this kind was embodied in the compilation of a collection of church music, which contained many of his own compositions. The manuscript was offered unavailingly to publishers in Philadelphia and in Boston. Fortunately for our musical advancement it finally secured the attention of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, and by its committee was submitted to Dr. G. K. Jackson, the severest critic in Boston. Dr. Jackson approved most heartily of the work, and added a few of his own compositions to it. Thus enlarged, it was finally published in 1822 as The Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music. Mason's name was omitted from the publication at his own request, which he thus explains, "I was then a bank officer in Savannah, and did not wish to be known as a musical man, as I had not the least thought of ever making music a profession." President Winchester, of the Handel and Haydn Society, sold the copyright for the young man. Mr. Mason went back to Savannah with probably $500 in his pocket as the preliminary result of his Boston visit. The book soon sprang into universal popularity, being at once adopted by the singing schools of New England, and through this means entering into the church choirs, to whom it opened up a higher field of harmonic beauty. Its career of success ran through some seventeen editions. On realizing this success, Mason determined to accept an invitation to come to Boston and enter upon a musical career. This was in 1826. He was made an honorary member of the Handel and Haydn Society, but declined to accept this, and entered the ranks as an active member. He had been invited to come to Boston by President Winchester and other musical friends and was guaranteed an income of $2,000 a year. He was also appointed, by the influence of these friends, director of music at the Hanover, Green, and Park Street churches, to alternate six months with each congregation. Finally he made a permanent arrangement with the Bowdoin Street Church, and gave up the guarantee, but again friendly influence stepped in and procured for him the position of teller at the American Bank. In 1827 Lowell Mason became president and conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society. It was the beginning of a career that was to win for him as has been already stated the title of "The Father of American Church Music." Although this may seem rather a bold claim it is not too much under the circumstances. Mr. Mason might have been in the average ranks of musicianship had he lived in Europe; in America he was well in advance of his surroundings. It was not too high praise (in spite of Mason's very simple style) when Dr. Jackson wrote of his song collection: "It is much the best book I have seen published in this country, and I do not hesitate to give it my most decided approbation," or that the great contrapuntist, Hauptmann, should say the harmonies of the tunes were dignified and churchlike and that the counterpoint was good, plain, singable and melodious. Charles C. Perkins gives a few of the reasons why Lowell Mason was the very man to lead American music as it then existed. He says, "First and foremost, he was not so very much superior to the members as to be unreasonably impatient at their shortcomings. Second, he was a born teacher, who, by hard work, had fitted himself to give instruction in singing. Third, he was one of themselves, a plain, self-made man, who could understand them and be understood of them." The personality of Dr. Mason was of great use to the art and appreciation of music in this country. He was of strong mind, dignified manners, sensitive, yet sweet and engaging. Prof. Horace Mann, one of the great educators of that day, said he would walk fifty miles to see and hear Mr. Mason teach if he could not otherwise have that advantage. Dr. Mason visited a number of the music schools in Europe, studied their methods, and incorporated the best things in his own work. He founded the Boston Academy of Music. The aim of this institution was to reach the masses and introduce music into the public schools. Dr. Mason resided in Boston from 1826 to 1851, when he removed to New York. Not only Boston benefited directly by this enthusiastic teacher's instruction, but he was constantly traveling to other societies in distant cities and helping their work. He had a notable class at North Reading, Mass., and he went in his later years as far as Rochester, where he trained a chorus of five hundred voices, many of them teachers, and some of them coming long distances to study under him. Before 1810 he had developed his idea of "Teachers' Conventions," and, as in these he had representatives from different states, he made musical missionaries for almost the entire country. He left behind him no less than fifty volumes of musical collections, instruction books, and manuals. As a composer of solid, enduring church music. Dr. Mason was one of the most successful this country has introduced. He was a deeply pious man, and was a communicant of the Presbyterian Church. Dr. Mason in 1817 married Miss Abigail Gregory, of Leesborough, Mass. The family consisted of four sons, Daniel Gregory, Lowell, William and Henry. The two former founded the publishing house of Mason Bros., dissolved by the death of the former in 19G9. Lowell and Henry were the founders of the great organ manufacturer of Mason & Hamlin. Dr. William Mason was one of the most eminent musicians that America has yet produced. Dr. Lowell Mason died at "Silverspring," a beautiful residence on the side of Orange Mountain, New Jersey, August 11, 1872, bequeathing his great musical library, much of which had been collected abroad, to Yale College. --Hall, J. H. (c1914). Biographies of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers. New York: Fleming H. Revell Company.

E. O. Excell

1851 - 1921 Person Name: Edwin O. Excell Hymnal Number: 35 Composer of "[When upon life's billows you are tempest-tossed]" in Yes, Lord! Edwin Othello Excel USA 1851-1921. Born at Uniontown, OH, he started working as a bricklayer and plasterer. He loved music and went to Chicago to study it under George Root. He married Eliza Jane “Jennie” Bell in 1871. They had a son, William, in 1874. A member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he became a prominent publisher, composer, song leader, and singer of music for church, Sunday school, and evangelistic meetings. He founded singing schools at various locations in the country and worked with evangelist, Sam Jones, as his song leader for two decades. He established a music publishing house in Chicago and authored or composed over 2,000 gospel songs. While assisting Gypsy Smith in an evangelistic campaign in Louisville, KY, he became ill, and died in Chicago, IL. He published 15 gospel music books between 1882-1925. He left an estate valued at $300,000. John Perry

John Warrington Hatton

1710 - 1793 Person Name: John Hatton Hymnal Number: 52 Composer of "[Praise God from whom all blessings flow]" in Yes, Lord! John Warrington Hatton (b. Warrington, England, c. 1710; d, St. Helen's, Lancaster, England, 1793) was christened in Warrington, Lancashire, England. He supposedly lived on Duke Street in Lancashire, from where his famous tune name comes. Very little is known about Hatton, but he was most likely a Presbyterian, and the story goes that he was killed in a stagecoach accident. Bert Polman

Louis Bourgeois

1510 - 1561 Person Name: Louis Bourgeois Hymnal Number: 58 Composer (attributed to) of "[Praise God, from whom all blessings flow]" in Yes, Lord! Louis Bourgeois (b. Paris, France, c. 1510; d. Paris, 1561). In both his early and later years Bourgeois wrote French songs to entertain the rich, but in the history of church music he is known especially for his contribution to the Genevan Psalter. Apparently moving to Geneva in 1541, the same year John Calvin returned to Geneva from Strasbourg, Bourgeois served as cantor and master of the choristers at both St. Pierre and St. Gervais, which is to say he was music director there under the pastoral leadership of Calvin. Bourgeois used the choristers to teach the new psalm tunes to the congregation. The extent of Bourgeois's involvement in the Genevan Psalter is a matter of scholar­ly debate. Calvin had published several partial psalters, including one in Strasbourg in 1539 and another in Geneva in 1542, with melodies by unknown composers. In 1551 another French psalter appeared in Geneva, Eighty-three Psalms of David, with texts by Marot and de Beze, and with most of the melodies by Bourgeois, who supplied thirty­ four original tunes and thirty-six revisions of older tunes. This edition was republished repeatedly, and later Bourgeois's tunes were incorporated into the complete Genevan Psalter (1562). However, his revision of some older tunes was not uniformly appreciat­ed by those who were familiar with the original versions; he was actually imprisoned overnight for some of his musical arrangements but freed after Calvin's intervention. In addition to his contribution to the 1551 Psalter, Bourgeois produced a four-part harmonization of fifty psalms, published in Lyons (1547, enlarged 1554), and wrote a textbook on singing and sight-reading, La Droit Chemin de Musique (1550). He left Geneva in 1552 and lived in Lyons and Paris for the remainder of his life. Bert Polman

William F. Sherwin

1826 - 1888 Hymnal Number: 62 Composer of "[Break Thou the bread of life]" in Yes, Lord! Sherwin, William Fisk, an American Baptist, was born at Buckland, Massachusetts, March 14,1826. His educational opportunities, so far as schools were concerned, were few, but he made excellent use of his time and surroundings. At fifteen he went to Boston and studied music under Dr. Mason: In due course he became a teacher of vocal music, and held several important appointments in Massachusetts; in Hudson and Albany, New York County, and then in New York City. Taking special interest in Sunday Schools, he composed carols and hymn-tunes largely for their use, and was associated with the Rev. R. Lowry and others in preparing Bright Jewels, and other popular Sunday School hymn and tune books. A few of his melodies are known in Great Britain through I. D. Sankey's Sacred Songs and Solos, where they are given with his signature. His hymnwriting was limited. The following pieces are in common use:— 1. Grander than ocean's story (1871). The Love of God. 2. Hark, bark, the merry Christmas bells. Christmas Carol. 3. Lo, the day of God is breaking. The Spiritual Warfare. 4. Wake the song of joy and gladness. Sunday School or Temperance Anniversary. 5. Why is thy faith, 0 Child of God, so small. Safety in Jesus. Mr. Sherwin died at Boston, Massachusetts, April 14, 1888. -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) ================== Sherwin, W. F., p. 1055, i. Another hymn from his Bright Jewels, 1869, p. 68, is "Sound the battle cry" (Christian Courage), in the Sunday School Hymnary, 1905, and several other collections. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)

William B. Bradbury

1816 - 1868 Hymnal Number: 64 Composer of "[Holy Bible, book divine]" in Yes, Lord! William Bachelder Bradbury USA 1816-1868. Born at York, ME, he was raised on his father's farm, with rainy days spent in a shoe-shop, the custom in those days. He loved music and spent spare hours practicing any music he could find. In 1830 the family moved to Boston, where he first saw and heard an organ and piano, and other instruments. He became an organist at 15. He attended Dr. Lowell Mason's singing classes, and later sang in the Bowdoin Street church choir. Dr. Mason became a good friend. He made $100/yr playing the organ, and was still in Dr. Mason's choir. Dr. Mason gave him a chance to teach singing in Machias, ME, which he accepted. He returned to Boston the following year to marry Adra Esther Fessenden in 1838, then relocated to Saint John, New Brunswick. Where his efforts were not much appreciated, so he returned to Boston. He was offered charge of music and organ at the First Baptist Church of Brooklyn. That led to similar work at the Baptist Tabernacle, New York City, where he also started a singing class. That started singing schools in various parts of the city, and eventually resulted in music festivals, held at the Broadway Tabernacle, a prominent city event. He conducted a 1000 children choir there, which resulted in music being taught as regular study in public schools of the city. He began writing music and publishing it. In 1847 he went with his wife to Europe to study with some of the music masters in London and also Germany. He attended Mendelssohn funeral while there. He went to Switzerland before returning to the states, and upon returning, commenced teaching, conducting conventions, composing, and editing music books. In 1851, with his brother, Edward, he began manufacturring Bradbury pianos, which became popular. Also, he had a small office in one of his warehouses in New York and often went there to spend time in private devotions. As a professor, he edited 59 books of sacred and secular music, much of which he wrote. He attended the Presbyterian church in Bloomfield, NJ, for many years later in life. He contracted tuberculosis the last two years of his life. John Perry

Rowland Hugh Prichard

1811 - 1887 Person Name: Rowland H. Prichard Hymnal Number: 69 Composer of "[Praise the Lord! ye haven's adore Him]" in Yes, Lord! Rowland H. Prichard (sometimes spelled Pritchard) (b. Graienyn, near Bala, Merionetshire, Wales, 1811; d. Holywell, Flintshire, Wales, 1887) was a textile worker and an amateur musician. He had a good singing voice and was appointed precentor in Graienyn. Many of his tunes were published in Welsh periodicals. In 1880 Prichard became a loom tender's assistant at the Welsh Flannel Manufacturing Company in Holywell. Bert Polman

Samuel Sebastian Wesley

1810 - 1876 Person Name: Samuel S. Wesley Hymnal Number: 88 Composer of "[The Church's one foundation]" in Yes, Lord! Samuel Sebastian Wesley (b. London, England, 1810; d. Gloucester, England, 1876) was an English organist and composer. The grandson of Charles Wesley, he was born in London, and sang in the choir of the Chapel Royal as a boy. He learned composition and organ from his father, Samuel, completed a doctorate in music at Oxford, and composed for piano, organ, and choir. He was organist at Hereford Cathedral (1832-1835), Exeter Cathedral (1835-1842), Leeds Parish Church (1842­-1849), Winchester Cathedral (1849-1865), and Gloucester Cathedral (1865-1876). Wesley strove to improve the standards of church music and the status of church musicians; his observations and plans for reform were published as A Few Words on Cathedral Music and the Music System of the Church (1849). He was the musical editor of Charles Kemble's A Selection of Psalms and Hymns (1864) and of the Wellburn Appendix of Original Hymns and Tunes (1875) but is best known as the compiler of The European Psalmist (1872), in which some 130 of the 733 hymn tunes were written by him. Bert Polman

Phoebe Palmer Knapp

1839 - 1908 Person Name: Phoebe P. Knapp Hymnal Number: 93 Composer of "[Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine]" in Yes, Lord! As a young girl Phoebe Palmer Knapp (b. New York, NY, 1839; d. Poland Springs, ME, 1908) displayed great musical talent; she composed and sang children’s song at an early age. The daughter of the Methodist evangelist Walter C. Palmer, she was married to John Fairfield Knapp at the age of sixteen. Her husband was a founder of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, and after his death, she shared her considerable inherited wealth with various charitable organizations. She composed over five hundred gospel songs, of which the tunes for “Blessed Assurance” and “Open the Gates of the Temple” are still popular today. Bert Polman

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