Birthdays on August 12
Joseph Barnby was born at York, England. As a boy he was a precocious chorister at York Minster, becoming an organist at twelve and a choirmaster at fourteen. He received the Fellowship degree at the Royal Academy of Music, served two churches as organist and choirmaster, and was appointed musical advisor to Novello and Company in 1861. He wrote 246 hymn tunes. Outstanding among them are those to which we sing "When Morning Gilds the Skies," "Just As I Am, Thine Own to Be," "Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart," and "We Give Thee but Thine Own."
In Falmouth Massachusetts Katherine Lee Bates was born this day. The daughter and granddaughter of Congregational ministers, she taught English in high school for six years then taught at Wellesley College, where she was made head of the music department. She was the author of more than twenty works, but it is one that we sing that we remember her for, the patriotic hymn "O Beautiful for Spacious Skies."