Woodbury, Isaac Baker


b Beverley, Massachusetts, USA 1819, d Columbia, S Carolina, USA 1858. Growing up to learn the blacksmith’s trade, his growing love of music led him to study at Boston, Mass, where he also became the Organist of Marlborough Chapel (1843–44). Among many more travels in the 1840s and 50s, he crossed the Atlantic two or three times to visit London and Paris. Nearer home he was conductor of the Bay State Glee Club, founded singing schools in New England and established a National Music Convention for teachers. He moved to New York in 1849, directing and teaching music at the Rudgers Street Ch, also editing The Musical Review and The Musical Pioneer. Having produced some 700 compositions and publications, after becoming ill through contracting TB in the 1850s he died at only 39. Among his publications were The New Lute of Zion, in the Preface of which he criticises those ‘whose highest delight and perhaps sole worship is music as an art’, rather than loving to worship God ‘in the simple song of praise’. In that spirit, he is a man of one well-loved tune (MONTGOMERY=NEARER HOME) which has also crossed the ocean, becoming the first one from America to feature in A&M. No.959.

Tunes and arrangements by Woodbury, Isaac Baker

Tune Name
Nearer Home