Smith, Gerrit



American concert-organist and composer, who was born at Hagerstown, Md. He studied music at Hobart College, at Geneva, N. Y., graduating with the degree of Doctor of Music in 1891. His career as an organist began when he assumed the direction of the choir and became organist at St. Paul's Church, Buffalo, N. Y., while studying organ with Eugene Thayer and piano with W. H. Sherwood. Mr. Smith studied later at Berlin for a year with Haupt and Rohde, and then was engaged as organist at St. Peter's Church, Albany, N. Y. His first position in New York was that of organist and choirmaster of the Old South Church, and while there he gave two hundred and seventy-five free organ recitals. He has also given organ recitals abroad. Mr. Smith is professor of music at Union Theological Seminary, New York; is president of the Manuscript Society, and is honorary president of the American Guild of Organists. He has composed a number of works that have been highly praised, among them a cantata, entitled King David; a Te Deum; anthems; male and female choruses; carols; twenty-five songvignettes; part-songs; many pieces for the piano; and over fifty songs. Mrs. Gerrit Smith has for several years devoted herself to the treatment of vocal defects, and has a studio in New York City, where she trains her pupils.