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Article

Robert Stevenson

(b El Espinar, nr Segovia, c1530; d Mexico City, between 17 March and May 19, 1570). Spanish composer, active in Mexico. He served as a choirboy at Segovia Cathedral from 1542 to 1549, where he was taught by Gerónimo de Espinar (who later taught Victoria at Avila) and from 1544 by the maestro de capilla there, Bartolomé de Olaso (d 1567). He was employed at Salamanca University by Matheo Arévalo Sedeño, a rich nobleman, who later acted as his sponsor at Mexico City; he became a cathedral singer there on 16 October 1554 and, after being ordained, was appointed maestro de capilla on 2 January 1556. For the commemoration services for Charles V held in Mexico City on 29 November 1559 he composed an alternatim psalm setting in four parts. His several ‘motetes, villancicos y chanzonetas’ composed for Corpus Christi and Christmas (many to texts by Juan Bautista Corvera) earned the approval of the Archbishop Alonso de Montúfar, who had him promoted from prebendary to canon on ...

Article

(b Meadow, TN, Oct 24, 1867; d Birmingham, England, Oct 13, 1920). American revivalist and publisher. He attended Maryville College, Tennessee, and the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago; in 1893 he assisted Moody in his revival at the World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago. From 1908 he toured with J. Wilbur Champman through the USA, Great Britain, Australia and missionary areas of East Asia. He was noted for his skill in inspiring a congregation to sing enthusiastically and in conducting large choirs. He published a number of revival songbooks and owned the copyrights of several popular gospel hymns, such as Charles H. Gabriel’s ...

Article

Margaret Cayward

(b Cubo de Bureba, Burgos, Spain, Apr 29, 1780; d Mission Santa Inés, CA, Sept 20, 1840). Spanish musician and Franciscan missionary to Alta California. He entered the Franciscan order in Burgos in 1796, and in 1804 was ordained to the priesthood. He sailed for New Spain in September 1804, and, from 1804 to 1807, was assigned to the Colegio de San Fernando in Mexico City, the Franciscan missionary college that supplied priests for Alta California. In 1807, Arroyo de la Cuesta departed for Alta California, arriving in Monterey in 1808. He managed temporal, spiritual, and musical matters at Mission San Juan Bautista (about 30 miles from Monterey) from 1808 to 1833, when ill health forced him to retire from active missionary life. His superiors lauded his merit, ability, and zeal as a missionary, as well as his skill in teaching music to native musicians. His contemporaries noted his linguistic abilities, as a master of California Indian languages. To his detailed ...

Article

Paul C. Echols

(b Detroit, MI, Feb 19, 1803; d New Haven, CT, Dec 23, 1881). American author of hymn texts and hymnbook compiler. The son of a missionary to the Native Americans, he was educated at Yale University and Andover Theological Seminary. While at Andover he compiled a small pamphlet containing 101 missionary hymns, three of them his own: entitled Hymns and Sacred Songs; for the Monthly Concert (Andover, MA, 1823), it was intended for use at missionary prayer meetings and was the first such collection to be published in the United States. In 1825 Bacon was ordained and became pastor of the Center Church, New Haven, where he served until he joined the faculty of the Yale Divinity School in 1866. In 1833 he published in New Haven a revision of Timothy Dwight’s edition of Isaac Watts’s Psalms and Hymns, to which he appended the collection Additional Hymns, Designed as a Supplement to Dwight’s Psalms & Hymns...

Article

Vernon Gotwals

(b Westcliff, Essex, March 29, 1906; d Boston, March 10, 1977). American organist of English birth. He studied at the RAM in London. After touring the USA in 1929 as the soloist in an ensemble, he took up residence there in 1930 and became an American citizen in 1937, initially holding church and teaching positions before embracing a career as a recitalist, broadcaster and recording artist that did much to popularize the concert organ and organ music as well as the artist. From 1942 to 1958 he broadcast weekly solo programmes over a nationwide radio network. Originating in the Germanic (now Busch-Reisinger) Museum at Harvard University, these recitals on an Aeolian-Skinner ‘classic style’ organ brought the sound of organ mixtures, mutations and Baroque reeds, as well as the music itself, to many listeners for the first time. Biggs was meanwhile an indefatigable public performer. A product of both activities was the extensive series of recordings, made in the USA and in many European cities, including the ‘Historic Organs of England’, the ‘Mozart Organ Tour’ and the award-winning ‘The Glory of Gabrieli’, the Handel organ concertos (recorded at Great Packington), various Bach projects, and others with instrumental ensembles. Biggs published editions of early music and performed new works (by Hanson, Piston, Quincy Porter, Sowerby and others, with particular emphasis on those for organ and orchestra). His career was marked, then, by interest in organ music of all eras and in many kinds of organs most suitable to its interpretation, and by unfailing energy in performance. He played with most major American orchestras, and in ...

Article

William F. Coscarelli

(Joyce)

(b Wichita, KS, May 1941). American concert organist. At age five she started piano lessons and at age eleven, after hearing Alexander Schreiner play the Mormon Tabernacle organ, she began organ studies. Bish studied organ with Dorothy Addy, Era Wilder Peniston, Mildred Andrews, and Marie-Claire Alain, studied harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt, and attended classes with Nadia Boulanger. In 1982 she began her own television series The Joy of Music, which continues to reach a vast worldwide audience every week. She also served as organist at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for 20 years.

Bish has won several performance competitions and has been the recipient of prestigious awards. In 1963, while a student at the University of Oklahoma, she won the Mu Phi Epsilon student performance competition and later went on to be a national Mu Phi composition winner. In 1989 she was awarded the National Citation by the National Federation of Music Clubs of America. In ...

Article

Vernon Gotwals

revised by Judi Caldwell

(b Bloomfield, NJ, March 2, 1865; d New York, Dec 8, 1936). American organist. A pupil of Samuel P. Warren, he became organist of First Presbyterian Church in Newark, New Jersey, in 1882. Later (c1890) he studied in Paris with Alexandre Guilmant, and in 1892 he became organist of Old First Presbyterian Church in New York. In 1899 he founded the Guilmant Organ School, apparently the first institution of its kind in the USA. As a teacher Carl advocated, in place of the older, rhythmically slack tradition, the “clean-cut playing of Guilmant.” As a recitalist throughout the USA and abroad and as a teacher of organists, Carl introduced an expanded repertory, a more brilliant technique, and a broader view of church music. The Guilmant Organ School trained hundreds of professional church musicians, many of whom became well known. Although not himself a composer, Carl edited at least ten volumes of organ music between ...

Article

Vernon Gotwals

(b Kankakee, IL, May 3, 1885; d Ann Arbor, MI, Feb 19, 1947). American organist. In Chicago he studied with Clarence Dickinson and was organist and music director of Hyde Park Presbyterian Church (1906–9). He studied abroad with Karl Straube in Leipzig (1909–10) and with Alexandre Guilmant in Paris (1910–11) and then returned to Chicago to become organist of Kenwood Church (1911–18). After a lengthy illness, probably tuberculosis, he served for two years (1920–21) as municipal organist in Denver. From 1924 until his death he was university organist and professor at the University of Michigan.

Christian toured extensively as a solo recitalist and a performer with leading American orchestras. At Michigan he taught many pupils who were later prominent. He gave frequent recitals on the large Skinner organ in Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor and also arranged performances by visiting recitalists who enriched the musical scene and widened his students’ horizons. A reviewer in ...

Article

Vernon Gotwals

revised by Judi Caldwell

(b New Orleans, LA, March 15, 1912; d New Jersey, Sept 30, 1978). American organist. She began to study piano at the age of five and organ at ten, and at fourteen she became an organist at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in her native city. Her first public organ recital was at Christ Church there in 1933. Her early training was with William C. Webb. She studied in the summers of 1935 and 1936 and during the academic year 1937–8 with Palmer Christian at the University of Michigan and then in New York with Charles Courboin and in Paris with Marcel Dupré. She made her New York début in Calvary Church in 1938. In 1939 she became the first woman to give an organ recital in Cadet Chapel at West Point, where she later made a recording. In addition to making extensive concert tours, she taught at Oberlin Conservatory, at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and in New York at Mannes College, the Dalcroze School, and the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary; she also taught at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. From ...

Article

Helmut Kallmann

(b Norwich, c1796; d Quebec, Oct 6, 1852). Canadian organist of English birth. A pupil of Beckwith and Crotch, Codman went to Quebec in 1816 to become organist at the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, a position he occupied until 1852. He also taught music. On ...

Article

Mel R. Wilhoit

(b Preston, CT, Feb 3, 1832; d South Orange, NJ, Dec 24, 1915). American composer and compiler of Sunday school and gospel hymnbooks. He was also a successful manufacturer of woodworking machinery as well as an inventor, receiving over 70 patents. He was well trained in music, and conducted the Norwich (CT) Harmonic Society from 1852 to 1854. In c1862 Doane began to compose melodies for Sunday school hymns, producing over 1000 tunes to texts by Fanny Crosby, and as many more to other authors’ texts. He also collaborated with Robert Lowry in compiling many popular Sunday school collections such as Silver Spray (1867), Songs of Devotion (1868), Pure Gold (1871), and Brightest and Best (1875). He was musical editor for The Baptist Hymnal (1883) and composed popular Christmas (“Santa Claus”) cantatas. His best-known tunes include those of the hymns “Jesus, keep me near the cross” (...

Article

Laurie J. Sampsel

(b Cheshire, CT, Aug 29, 1772; d Argyle, NY, April 1850). American psalmodist and singing master, brother to the engraver Amos Doolittle. Eliakim moved to Hampton, New York, around 1800. There he married Hasadiah Fuller in 1811, and the couple had six children. He also lived in Poultney and Pawlet, Vermont, where he taught singing schools. A Congregationalist, Doolittle is remembered primarily for his 45 sacred vocal works. He composed in every genre common during the period, with the exception of the set piece. His most frequently reprinted pieces were his fuging tunes, and his “Exhortation” appeared in print over 40 times by 1820. Doolittle was talented at musically depicting the meaning and mood of the texts he set. Most of his music was published in his own tunebook, The Psalm Singer’s Companion (New Haven, CT, 1806). He also composed a secular tune, “The Hornet Stung the Peacock,” about a naval battle during the War of ...

Article

Jonas Westover

(b Washington, DC, Nov 21, 1947). American hymn writer and seminary professor. She grew up studying piano, then focused on religious studies as an undergraduate at Southwestern at Memphis University, later called Rhodes College (BA 1969). She earned advanced degrees from Chicago Theological Seminary (MDiv 1973, DD 1983), the University of Notre Dame (MA 1987), and Boston University (DD 1989). She was ordained by the United Church of Christ in 1974 and served at various churches until accepting the position of professor of worship at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1989. Having written songs as a child, she became interested in writing hymn texts in the mid-1970s. She has written nearly 200 poem-texts, including “Arise, your Light Has Come,” “O Loving Maker of the Earth,” and “When we are Tested,” most of which have appeared in various hymnals and edited collections. Some of her texts have been designed for special occasions, such as “Send us your Spirit” for the ...

Article

William Osborne

(b Greenfield, MA, June 23, 1851; d Chicago, Jan 10, 1937). American organist. He studied with Dudley Buck in Hartford during 1867 and, after serving as organist of Bethany Congregational Church in Montpelier, Vermont, for several years, studied with Karl-August Haupt in Berlin. Following an extended European tour (including a recital at the Vienna Exposition of 1873), he returned in 1874 and worked as an organist in Chicago at the First Congregational Church and then in 1879 at the First Presbyterian Church, where he remained for 17 years; at the Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church in Brooklyn and Temple Beth El, New York; and later at the First Presbyterian Church of Oakland, California, while living in San Francisco (1915–19). Between 1895 and 1906 he lived in Paris. As the leading concert organist of his era he gave hundreds of recitals across the United States, Canada, and Europe, specializing in dedicating new instruments. He established his reputation during ...

Article

Ruth M. Wilson

revised by Stephen L. Pinel

(b Philadelphia, PA, Aug 16, 1771; d Brooklyn, NY, Apr 30, 1861). American organist, church musician, teacher, instrument-maker, tunebook compiler, and composer. In addition to serving as the organist of Trinity Church, Peter Erben was a prominent church musician, organ builder, and music teacher in antebellum New York.

Peter was the son of Johann Adam Erben (d c1781), a Philadelphia distiller. By 1791 he was in New York working as a tanner, but turned his attention to music after a bankruptcy in 1796. He was successively the organist of Christ Church (1800), the Middle Dutch Reformed Church (1806), St. George’s Chapel (1808), St. John’s Chapel (1813), and ultimately Trinity Church (1820–39). From about 1800 he was also the founder and director of the Society for Cultivating Church Music and frequently presented public concerts with the charity children. Between ...

Article

Kathleen Sewright

(b Peoria, IL, July 14, 1939). American jesuit priest, educator, and composer. Best known for the post–Vatican II Catholic liturgical congregational music he composed as one of the “St. Louis Jesuits” in the 1960s and 70s, Foley is nevertheless primarily an educator in the field of liturgy. He earned a PhD in Theology (specialty in Liturgy and Aesthetics) from Graduate Theological Union (1993); studied music at the University of Wichita and St. Louis University; and pursued further composition studies with Samuel Dolin, Reginald Smith Brindle, Paul Fetler, and Dominick Argento.

In addition to founding and serving as the director of the St. Louis University Center for Liturgy, Foley has taught liturgy among other courses at the university. His diverse publications include a book, Creativity and the Roots of Liturgy (Pastoral Press, 1994). His dedication to writing prayerful, scripture-based, and accessible vernacular liturgical music for assemblies led naturally to his founding of the National Liturgical Composers Forum....

Article

Carrie Allen Tipton

(b Hogansville, GA, July 14, 1884; d Atlanta, GA, Aug 18, 1945). American Minister and recording artist. He achieved national popularity through his recordings of sermons and sacred song, beginning in 1926 when he recorded “Death’s Black Train is Coming” for a Columbia Records field unit. Until 1941 he made more than 200 recordings for at least 20 different labels; they constituted some of the best-selling race records of the era. His sermons, roughly three minutes in length, employed the mixture of exhortation, scripture and hymn quotation, chanting, and singing that characterizes traditional black Baptist preaching. Contemporary advertisements for his recordings, illustrated with sensationalist iconography, highlighted Gates’s “stirring” and “powerful” oratory, promising buyers a “thrill that will set you tingling.” Gates occasionally recorded with male and female singers whose spoken and sung interjections simulated congregational response. Sometimes the singers sang functional harmony homorhythmically, but more often their collaborative texture was heterophonic with modal harmonies. Typical sermon topics included the afterlife, judgment, current events, and contemporary social vices. Some recordings simulated typical Baptist church events such as deacons’ meetings, occasionally incorporating what appears to be deliberate efforts at comedy or satire. Gates’s sung repertory included spirituals, Baptist long-meter hymns, 19th-century Sunday school songs, and his own songs. According to Paul Oliver, he was the only preacher that recorded extensively in the 1930s, and he possessed a higher, clearer voice relative to contemporary recorded ministers. Throughout his career, Gates pastored several black Baptist churches in Atlanta, was active in local and national Baptist organizations, and occasionally traveled to preach in other states....

Article

J. Bryan Burton

[Goyaałé, Goyathlay, Goyahkla ]

(b New Mexico, 1829; d Fort Sill, OK, Feb 17, 1909). Native American instrument maker, singer, medicine man, prophet, and military leader. He is better known in Western history for his military leadership of Western Apache resistance to reservation life during the 1880s. Goyaałé (“One who yawns”) was given the name Geronimo after an attack on a Mexican village on St. Jerome’s day when terrified Mexican soldiers cried out “Jeronimo” appealing for help from St. Jerome. After his surrender he was held as a prisoner of war, first in St. Augustine, Florida, then in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, until his death. His celebrity was such that he often made public appearances, including at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, rode in Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade in 1904, and wrote an autobiography with S.M. Barrett, the Oklahoma superintendent of education.

As a medicine man (Apache: diyan), Goyaałé performed Apache sacred ceremonies and rituals that required the knowledge of a vast repertoire of traditional songs sung during the ceremonies. A number of the songs he created were collected for Natalie Curtis’s ...

Article

Richard Crawford

revised by David W. Music

(b Washington, Litchfield Co., CT, Oct 15, 1784; d New York, NY, May 15, 1872). American composer, tunebook compiler, hymn writer, and writer on music. His early musical education came largely from independent study and family encouragement. In 1797 the family moved from New England to Clinton, New York, where Thomas led a village choir and began teaching singing schools. He became active in the Oneida County Musical Society (later named the Handel and Burney Society), formed around 1814. In 1815 he began his career as a tune book compiler. He taught singing schools in Utica and the surrounding area, and from 1819 to 1823 in the region of Troy and Albany.

In 1823 Hastings settled in Utica, where he edited the Western Recorder, a religious weekly. His regular column on church music helped to establish his reputation, and he made occasional trips from Utica to lecture and advise religious groups on the subject. In ...

Article

William Osborne

(b Brookfield, MA, Feb 14, 1858; d Eatontown, NJ, Dec 29, 1915). American composer and church musician. The young Hawley attended the Cheshire Military Academy. In 1875 he went to New York, where he studied voice and composition with several teachers, principally Dudley Buck. The following year he was appointed bass soloist at Calvary Episcopal Church and later became assistant organist to George W. Warren at St. Thomas Church. From 1883 until 1900 he was bass soloist and choir director at the Broadway Tabernacle. He also directed the summer music program at St. James Chapel in Elberton, a fashionable New Jersey seaside resort. Hawley later served as organist of the West End Presbyterian Church and for four years as organist and choirmaster of the Madison Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a co-founder and for a decade director of the Metropolitan College of Music, and maintained a private voice studio in New York for twenty-five years. He was a founding member of both the Mendelssohn Glee Club and the New York Manuscript Society....