William T Giffe

March 13, 2008

William T Giffe was a musician, composer, born June 28, 1848, in Portland, Indiana, of Irish parents, and served with the Union forces in the Civil War. Married to Nannie J Booth on October 9th, 1889, he was the author of Giffe’s Practical Course in Harmony and Musical Composition, and a number of popular and religious music books for singers. He was the president of the Home Music company of Logansport, Indiana. He died some time between 1910 and 1927.

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John Hyatt Brewer

January 18, 2008

John Hyatt Brewer was an organist and composer; born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 18th 1856. For 7 years he was boy-soprano in various churches; and he was a vocal pupil of Walter, Cutler, and Wilder. He learned pianoforte and harmony from R. Navarro, and organ-playing under Diller, Caulfield, Whitely, and Dudley Buck (he was pupil of the latter for 5 years, in organ and composition). In 1871 Brewer began his career as organist at the City Park Chapel, passing to the Church of the Messiah (for 4 years), Clinton Avenue Congregational Church (for 4 years), and finally (in 1881) to the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church as organist and director, which office he held at least until 1899. He was an active member of the New York Musical Society, the New York State Music Teachers Association, the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences (he served as Secretary of the music department), Brooklyn Apollo Club (charter member and accompanist); co-founder of the American Guild of Organists. He conducted the Brooklyn Hill, Orpheus, Damrosch, and Boylston Glee Clubs, the Caecilia Ladies’ Vocal Society, and the Hoadley Amateur Orchestra. He was an instructor in voice, pianoforte, organ, and theory. His main works include: some 30 songs (sacred and secular), duets, quartets, anthems, glees, choruses and cantatas; also pieces for organ, pianoforte and strings; duos for organ and pianoforte; and a Suite for orchestra.

Raymond Huntingdon Woodman

November 26, 2007

Raymond Huntingdon Woodman, was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., January 18, 1861. A pupil of his father from a young age, he then studied harmony, counterpoint and orchestration with Dudley Buck, 1881-85, and with César Franck at Paris, 1888. From 1875-79 he was assistant organist to his father at St. George’s Church in Flushing, Long Island. He was organist of Christ Church, Norwich, Conn., 1879-80, and musical editor for the “New York Evangelist,” 1894-7; organist and choirmaster at the First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn. He was also a professor of music at Packer Collegiate Institute and head of the organ department at the Metropolitan College of Music, N. Y. His church-choir of mixed voices was noted for excellent performances. Woodman’s published works include Romance, The Brook, Spring Song, and Three Album-leaves, for pianoforte; Prayer and Cradle-song, and Cantiléne, for organ; plus numerous popular part-songs, anthems, and songs.