William H. Harris

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Born: 28 March 1883

Died: 6 September 1973

Biography: Sir William Henry Harris (March 28, 1883 - September 6, 1973) was an English organist and composer, affectionately nicknamed 'Doc H' by his choristers.

Harris was born in Fulham, London and died in Petersfield. He was a chorister of Holy Trinity, Tulse Hill. At the age of 14, he took up a "flexible" position as Assistant Organist at St David's Cathedral in Wales, followed at 16 by a scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he was Professor of Organ and Harmony from 1921 to 1955. He was sometime organist at St Augustine's Church, Edgbaston. In 1911 he took up the position of Assistant Organist at Lichfield Cathedral followed in 1919 by becoming Organist successively at New College and in 1929 Christ Church, Oxford, moving to St. George's Chapel, Windsor in 1933.

As Organist at Windsor, Harris was at his most productive. He produced music for the Three Choirs Festival, was a conductor at both the 1937 and 1953 coronations, and had music premiered at the Proms, all of which led to being awarded his KCVO in 1954.

Harris is best remembered for his Anglican church music, though his main achievements were as a choir-trainer. His most famous works are the anthems Faire is the heaven (1925) and to a lesser extent Bring us, O Lord God (1959), both for unaccompanied double choir, and Strengthen ye the weak hands (1949) for choir and organ. His very accessible Communion Service in F was frequently sung in a great many Anglican parish churches up until the 1970s. The canticles Harris in A and Harris in A minor are still sung at Evensong in a number of Anglican cathedrals. He also composed cantatas and organ pieces, as well as the hymn tune Alberta (often used for the words "Lead, Kindly Light"), and various Anglican psalm chants.

View the Wikipedia article on William H. Harris

List of choral works

  • Almighty And Most Merciful Father
  • Ascribe Unto The Lord
  • Behold Now Praise The Lord
  • Benedicte Omnia Opera
  • Bring Us O Lord God
  • Come My Way My Truth My Life
  • Eternal God
  • Faire is the Heav'n
  • Holy Is The True Light
  • In The Heavenly Kingdom
  • Let My Prayer Come Up
  • Lord My Pasture
  • Lord Of The Worlds Above
  • Lord Pasture Shall Prepare
  • Magnificat & Nunc Dimitis in D
  • Most Glorious Lord of Life
  • O Sing Unto The Lord
  • Praise Lord
  • Prelude To A Solemn Music
  • Prevent Us O Lord
  • Sing A Song Of Joy
  • Strengthen Ye The Weak Hands
  • Supreme Sacrifice
  • Te Deum in A-flat
  • The Beatitudes
  • Thou Hast Made Me
  • Come Down O Love Divine
  • Song of May-Day
  • This Joyful Eastertide


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External links