Webster, Donald

Composer

b Leeds 1926, d York 2002. A boy chorister at the notable Parish Church of Leeds, he trained as a teacher and after some years as a schoolmaster he went on to become a polytechnic lecturer. Musical education was the centre of his professional work, as a staunch northern traditionalist who criticised what he saw as the downgrade in much which the church was increasingly offering. He was chorus-master and conductor for many choral societies in Yorkshire, travelling in the UK, America, Asia and Australasia as examiner and adjudicator, and in his ‘retirement’ years as an extra-mural university lecturer. He wrote Our Hymn Tunes, their choice and performance (1983), based on his doctoral dissertation and highly critical of ‘pop’ styles; Parish Past and Present, a history of Leeds Parish Ch; The Hymn Explosion and its Aftermath, for the Church Music Society; and A Hymn-Book Survey 1980–93, for the Hymn Society. His pungent and witty comments enlivened his writing, lecturing, and the annual conferences of the Hymn Society, and also appeared in Musical Opinion, The Yorkshire Post and other periodicals. He composed the music for a hymn by Derek Hodgson for the Wakefield Diocesan Centenary, and several tunes for texts by Christopher Idle, the first of which to be published is included in Praise! No.954.

Tunes and arrangements by Webster, Donald

Tune Name
Chelwood