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Lowell Mason

1792 - 1872 Composer of "LABAN" in Glorious Things in Sacred Song 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 1869. 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). Biography of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers. New York: Fleming H. Revell Company.

Hans G. Nägeli

1773 - 1836 Person Name: Hans G. Naegeli Composer of "DENNIS" in Hymns, Psalms and Gospel Songs Johann G. Nageli (b. Wetzikon, near Zurich, Switzerland, 1773; d. Wetzikon, 1836) was an influential music educator who lectured throughout Germany and France. Influenced by Johann Pestalozzi, he published his theories of music education in Gangbildungslehre (1810), a book that made a strong impact on Lowell Mason. Nageli composed mainly" choral works, including settings of Goethe's poetry. He received his early instruction from his father, then in Zurich, where he concentrated on the music of. S. Bach. In Zurich, he also established a lending library and a publishing house, which published first editions of Beethoven’s piano sonatas and music by Bach, Handel, and Frescobaldi. Bert Polman

W. H. Havergal

1793 - 1870 Person Name: William Henry Havergal, 1793-1870 Adapter of "FRANCONIA" in The Irish Presbyterian Hymnbook Havergal, William Henry, M.A, son of William Havergal, was born at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, 1793, and was educated at St. Edmund's Hall, Oxford (B.A. 1815, M.A. 1819). On taking Holy Orders he became in 1829 Rector of Astley, Worcestershire; in 1842, Rector of St. Nicholas, Worcester; and in 1860, Rector of Shareshill, near Wolverhampton. He was also Hon. Canon in Worcester Cathedral from 1845. He died April 18, 1870. His hymns, about 100 in all, were in many instances written for special services in his own church, and printed as leaflets. Several were included in W. Carus Wilson's Book of General Psalmody, 1840 (2nd ed., 1842); and in Metrical Psalms & Hymns for Singing in Churches, Worcester, Deighton, 1849, commonly known as the Worcester Diocesan Hymn Book, and of which he was the Editor. In Life Echoes, 1883, his hymns are given with those of Miss Havergal. Of those in common use the greater part are in Mercer, and Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory. Although his hymns are all good, and two or three are excellent, it is not as a hymnwriter but as a musician that Canon Havergal is best known. His musical works and compositions included, in addition to numerous individual hymn tunes and chants, the Gresham Prize Service, 1836; the Gresham Prize Anthem, 1845; Old Church Psalmody, 1849; History of the Old 100th Psalm tune, 1854, &c. He also reprinted Ravenscroft’s Psalter of 1611. His hymns in common use include:— 1. Blessed Jesus, lord and Brother. School Festivals, 1833. Published in Life Echoes, 1883. 2. Brighter than meridian splendour. Christ the glory of His Church. 1830. Published in W. C. Wilson's Book of General Psalms, 1840; the Worcester Psalms & Hymns, 1849, &c. 3. Christians, awake to joy and praise. Christmas Carol, c. 1860. Printed on broadsheet, with music by the author, and sold on behalf of the Lancashire Cotton Distress Fund. 4. Come, Shepherds, come, 'tis just a year. Christmas Carol. 1860. Published in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 5. For ever and for ever, Lord. Missions, 1866, for the Church Mission Society. Published in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, and the Life Echoes, 1883. 6. Hallelujah, Lord, our voices. Sunday. 1828. Published in W. C. Wilson's Book of General Psalms, 1840; the Worcester Psalms & Hymns, 1849; Life Echoes, 1883, &c. 7. Heralds of the Lord of glory. Missions. First sung in Astley Church, Sep. 23, 1827. Published in Miss Havergal's Starlight through the Shadows, 1880; Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, &c. 8. Hosanna, raise the pealing hymn. Praise to Christ, 1833, and first sung in Astley Church, June 9, 1833. Published in W. C. Wilson's Book of General Psalmody, 1840; the Worcester Psalms & Hymns, 1849; Life Echoes 1883, &c. 9. How vast the field of souls. Missions. 1858. Printed for Shareshill Church Miss. Anniversary, 1863, and published in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, and the Life Echoes, 1883. 10. In doubt and dread dismay. Missions. Written in 1837, and published in W. C. Wilson's Book of General Psalmody, 1840; the Worcester Psalms & Hymns, 1849, &c. 11. Jerusalem the golden, The home of saints shall be. Heaven. Published in Life Echoes, 1883. 12. My times are in Thy hand, Their best, &c. 1860. Published in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, the Records of the author's life and work, and Life Echoes, 1883. The editor of the Records says (p. 159) "this hymn has been much appreciated, and well illustrates the devotional and cheerful spirit of the writer." 13. No dawn of holy light. Sunday. 1825. Printed in 1831 on a leaflet, and published in W. C. Wilson's Book of General Psalmody, 1840; the Worcester Psalms & Hymns, 1849; Life Echoes, 1883, &c. 14. Our faithful God hath sent us. Harvest. Written at Shareshill in 1863, for a Harvest Festival. Published in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory 1872, and Life Echoes, 1883. 15. Shout, 0 earth! from silence waking. Praise to Jesus for Redemption. 1841. Published in the Worcester Psalms & Hymns, 1849; Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, &c. 16. So happy all the day. Christmas Carol, c. 1834. Published in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872. 17. Soon the trumpet of salvation. Missions. 1826. Published in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872. 18. To praise our Shepherd's [Saviour's] care. The Good Shepherd. Written after witnessing the death of Elizabeth Edwards, aged 12, of St. Nicholas, Worcester, and printed as a leaflet. Published in W. C. Wilson's Book of General Psalmody, 1840; the Worcester Psalms & Hymns, 1849; Life Echoes, &c, 1883. The author also published a Memoir of the child. 19. Widely 'midst the slumbering nations. Missions. 1828. Published in the Worcester Psalms & Hymns, 1849; Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, &c. In addition to these hymns, his carols, "How grand, and how bright," "Our festal morn is come," and others are annotated under their respective first lines. Most of these carols and hymns were reprinted in Christmas Carols & Sacred Songs, Chiefly by the Rev. W. H. Havergal, London, Nisbet, 1869. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) ===================== Havergal, W. H., p. 498, i. Other hymns are: — 1. Lord, if judgments now are waking. Second Advent. Published in W. Carus Wilson's Book of General Psalmody, 1840; in Kennedy, 1863, &c. 2. Remember, Lord, Thy word of old displayed. Missions. "Composed for a special prayer-meeting for missionary labourers, held in the author's schoolroom, in the parish of St. Nicholas's, Worcester." (W. F. Stevenson's Hymns for Church and Home, 1873, where the original text is also given.) It must be noted that No. 17, at p. 498, ii., "Soon the trumpet of salvation," was first published in A Collection of Original Airs adapted to Hymns, &c, 1826. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)

Henry J. Gauntlett

1805 - 1876 Person Name: Henry John Gauntlett, 1805-1876 Composer of "BREDON" in The Irish Presbyterian Hymnbook Henry J. Gauntlett (b. Wellington, Shropshire, July 9, 1805; d. London, England, February 21, 1876) When he was nine years old, Henry John Gauntlett (b. Wellington, Shropshire, England, 1805; d. Kensington, London, England, 1876) became organist at his father's church in Olney, Buckinghamshire. At his father's insistence he studied law, practicing it until 1844, after which he chose to devote the rest of his life to music. He was an organist in various churches in the London area and became an important figure in the history of British pipe organs. A designer of organs for William Hill's company, Gauntlett extend­ed the organ pedal range and in 1851 took out a patent on electric action for organs. Felix Mendelssohn chose him to play the organ part at the first performance of Elijah in Birmingham, England, in 1846. Gauntlett is said to have composed some ten thousand hymn tunes, most of which have been forgotten. Also a supporter of the use of plainchant in the church, Gauntlett published the Gregorian Hymnal of Matins and Evensong (1844). Bert Polman

J. B. Herbert

1852 - 1927 Person Name: Dr. J. B. Herbert Composer of "MY TRUST IS IN THE LORD" in Bible Songs

Charles Edward Pollock

1853 - 1928 Person Name: C. E. Pollock Composer of "REMEMBER ME" in Bible Songs Charles Edward Pollock USA 1853-1928. Born at Newcastle, PA, he moved to Jefferson City, MO, when age 17. He was a cane maker for C W Allen. He also worked 20 years for the MO Pacific Railroad, as a depot clerk and later as Assistant Roadmaster. He was a musician and prolific songwriter, composing 5000+ songs, mostly used in Sunday school settings and church settings. He took little remuneration for his compositions, preferring they be freely used. He produced three songbooks: “Praises”, “Beauty of praise”, and “Waves of melody”. In 1886 he married Martha (Mattie) Jane Harris, and they had three children: Robert, Edward, and a daughter. He died in Merriam, KS. John Perry ================= Pollock, Charles Edward. (Jefferson City, Missouri, 1853-1924). Records of Jefferson City indicate the following: 1897 clerk at depot; residence at 106 Broadway (with Mildred Pollock) 1904-1905 cane maker for C. W. Allen 1908-1909 musician; residence at 106 Broadway (with wife Matty) 1912-1913 residence at St. Louis Road, east city limits --Wilmer Swope, DNAH Archives Note: not to be confused with Charles Edward Pollock (c.1871-1924).

Cornelius Bryan

1775 - 1840 Person Name: Cornelius Bryan (c. 1775-1840) Author of "Psalm 25" in Christadelphian Hymn Book

Henry K. Oliver

1800 - 1885 Person Name: H. K. Oliver Composer of "WALNUT GROVE" in The African Methodist Episcopal Hymn and Tune Book Henry Kemble Oliver (b. Beverly, MA, 1800; d. Salem, MA, 1885) was educated at Harvard and Dartmouth. He taught in the public schools of Salem (1818-1842) and was superintendent of the Atlantic Cotton Mills in Lawrence, Massachusetts (1848-1858). His civic service included being mayor of Lawrence (1859­1861) and Salem (1877-1880), state treasurer (1861-1865), and organizer of the Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics and Labor (1867-1873). Oliver was organist at several churches, including Park Street Congregational Church in Boston, North Church in Salem, and the Unitarian Church in Lawrence. A founder of the Mozart Association and several choral societies in Salem, he published his hymn tunes in Hymn and Psalm Tunes (1860) and Original Hymn Tunes (1875). Bert Polman

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