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Lewis Redner

Lewis Redner falls right into a course of composers known for an individual work connected with Christmas, an individual work thus popular concerning eclipse the popularity of its inventor. Like Katherine K. Davis and John Henry Hopkins, Jr., composers of, respectively, “THE TINY Drummer Boy” and We Three Kings of Orient Are,” Redner can be regarded as a mainly marginal number in American music, regardless of the recognition of his Xmas carol “O Small City of Bethlehem.” Many will assert, obviously, that although Redner published additional music — mainly overlooked fare — he was certainly not an exceptional composer and therefore deserves his reduced status. Perhaps therefore. The apparently moderate Redner himself may possibly not need objected to this evaluation, as he was an organist 1st and composer second. Redner’s lone strike, however, will certainly maintain his name from dropping into total obscurity, aswell as continue steadily to provide as motivation to other minimal composers. Lewis Henry Redner was created in Philadelphia on Dec 15, 1831. Fairly little is well known about his lifestyle: it appears he was a talented key pad participant in his youngsters, and eventually started playing the body organ for solutions in the Episcopal Chapel. Redner’s primary profession in his adult years, nevertheless, had not been musician but agent. Privately, he was main organist at four churches during his profession. The most long lasting and important of the posts was in the Church from the Holy Trinity in Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, where he offered for 19 years. It had been during his stint there, in 1868, that Redner had written his popular tune, which ended up being the product of the last-minute scramble. The rector of Holy Trinity, Rev. Phillips Brooks, wrote a poem for kids about his then-recent Middle Eastern visit to Bethlehem and asked Redner to compose a melody for it for your year’s Christmas services. Redner evidently stumbled in his preliminary attempts, but finally penned the popular melody on Xmas Eve. Incidentally, the tune towards the popular carol is normally referred to as St. Louis. (“O Small City of Bethlehem” is definitely sung in the U.K. towards the tune Forest Green within an version by Ralph Vaughan Williams.) Redner also caused the church’s Weekend school system and appears to have dedicated a lot of his existence to spiritual worship generally. He was hardly ever married. Redner passed away in Atlantic Town, NJ, on August 29, 1908.

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