Died: August 11, 1872, Orange, New Jersey, USA
A leading figure in American church music, the composer of over 1600 hymn tunes, many of which are often sung today. His most well-known tunes include his arrangement of Joy to the World and "Bethany", his setting of the hymn Nearer, My God, to Thee.
He was also largely responsible for introducing music into American public schools, and is considered to be the first important music educator in the United States.
In the last part of his career, as music director of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, he radically transformed American church music from a practice of having professional choirs and accompaniment to congregational singing accompanied by organ music.