Holy Week 1883: What was St. Paul’s Choir Rehearsing?

We are now half-way through Holy Week, and St. Paul’s choir met last night  for our Easter Sunday dress rehearsal. I thought it might be interesting to take a peak at what Easter repertoire the choir would have been rehearsing more than one hundred years ago.  From the church archives, here is the card showing the Order of Easter Services for March 25, 1883.

Easter 1873_0001Easter 1873_0002

Among composers who can be identified:

  • The processional “Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem” is by George William Warren, born in Albany and organist/choirmaster at St. Paul’s (with a few breaks) from 1848 until 1860.
  • The Te Deum and one hymn are by Dudley Buck (1839 — 1909), a prolific and very popular American composer.
  • The Jubilate was by Wolfgang Josef Emmerig  (1772-1839).
  • The Ascription is the chorus “All Glory to the Lamb that died” from the oratorio “Last Judgment” by German composer Louis Spohr (1784 — 1859).
  • The Offertory is the Gloria from an unnamed Mozart mass.
  • The Evening Service anthem “Hosanna to the Son of David” is probably by the English composer and musicologist Sir George Alexander Macfarren (1813 — 1887).

We do not know the identify of the paid soloists in the quartet choir, or the names of the members of  the larger amateur chorus that would have performed this music. It is certain, however,  that the organist/choirmaster was Thomas Spencer Lloyd, who had served in the role at St. Paul’s since 1865. Unfortunately, this was Lloyd’s last Easter. A week later he fell ill, and he died on April 10, 1883, his 53rd birthday.

T Spencer Lloyd Miniature from AIHA

Thomas Spencer Lloyd Unknown photographer Ambrotype, ht. 3 3/4" x w. 6 1/4" Albany Institute of History & Art Library, HO 81_02, 376

One thought on “Holy Week 1883: What was St. Paul’s Choir Rehearsing?

  1. Pingback: Easter 1883 at St. Paul’s — The Children’s Service | Grain, Once Scattered

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