Whitney, Samuel Brenton



Celebrated American organist; born in Woodstock, Vermont. After studying music in his native town he went to New York, where he placed himself under Carl Wells. Returning to Vermont, he became organist and director of music in Christ Church, Montpelier. After four years there he held a similar position at St. Peter's, Albany N. Y., then at St. Paul's Church, Burlington, Vermont. In 1870 he again took up his studies, this time under Professor John K. Paine, of Harvard University, studying organ, and piano composition and instrumentation. In 1871 he became organist and choirmaster of the Church of the Advent, Boston, which position he still holds. Here he introduced the English Cathedral serv- ice and the choir has become celebrated under his direction. He has also been conductor of many choral societies, in and around Boston, and has become identified with liturgical music, vested choirs, and a reverent performance of church-music. He was for a time a teacher of organ and lecturer in the New England Conservatory of Music, where he established for the first time a churchmusic class, in which not only the vocal pupils were taught how properly to interpret sacred music but the organ pupils as well were instructed as to the management of the organ in church-music. He has written much church-music, also piano and miscellaneous works. Among his compositions are a trio for piano and strings, many solos, and arrangement for both piano and organ. A processional has become famous in London, as in this country, and it and others have been republished there. His hymn, The Son of God Goes Forth to War, has become worldfamous. Mr. Whitney is first vicepresident and one of the organ examiners of the American College of Musicians, a founder of the American Guild of Organists, as well as one of the executive committee of the New England Chapter of the same.