Horatio Richmond Palmer

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Aliases: Frank Forest; P. Rankin Hollingsworth; Florence Le Claire; Oraz


Born: 26 April 1834

Died: 15 November 1907


Horatio Richmond Palmer was born in Sherburne, New York. His sister taught him how to read music and he sang in his father’s choir. He studied music on his own then pursued studies in music, metaphysics and the languages in New York, Germany and Italy. He was an organist, conductor and composer by age 18. He studied at the Richmond Academy of Music and, at age 23, he became its Principal. He was organist and choir director at Rushford Baptist Church and started a singing school in Centerville, NY. Its success led to teaching singing classes throughout the region. In 1861 he relocated to Chicago, Illinois, where he was choir director at the Second Baptist Church. In Chicago he published the magazine “Concordia” and two very successful choral collections, “The Song-Queen” and “The Song-King.” He also conducted festivals and associations. His music conventions became the social events of city, town and country districts. His music schools, normal courses in training and conventions extended through the Northern states and into Canada. He returned to New York and travelled to Europe to study in the various musical centers. He became recognized as one of the most expert teachers of music in the U. S. In 1881 he organized the Church Choral Union to elevate the class and quality of music used in churches. In one of their convention performances, he had a choir of 4,000 singers on the stage of Madison Square Gardens. He organized similar groups in New York State, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. He was conductor of the Chautauqua chorus and became Dean of the School of Music. He also directed the choir at the Broome Street Tabernacle in New York City. Other experiences included working in the Madison, Wisconsin, Assembly for 7 years; working in the De Funiack Springs, Florida, Assembly for 6 years; was the first leader of the Georgia Assembly, conducting for a number of years; and worked with the Cortland, NY, Festival 19 times. He died at his home in Park Hill-on-Hudson, NY. He wrote and compiled more than fifty volumes of choral collections and the texts including “Theory of Music” and “Manual for Teachers.” Most of his compositions were for choral education and often tailored to teach a specific concept. Of his many hymns, his best known is probably “Yield not to Temptation.” He also wrote under the pseudonyms Florence Le Claire, Frank Forest, Oraz, and P. Rankin Hollingsworth.

View the Wikipedia article on Horatio Richmond Palmer.

List of choral works

Sacred works

Secular works

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External links

[1] Lyrics for Angry Words A Palmer Hymn