Spencer Lane

Spencer Lane
Short Name: Spencer Lane
Full Name: Lane, Spencer, 1843-1903
Birth Year: 1843
Death Year: 1903

Born: April 7, 1843, Tilton, New Hampshire.
Died: August 10, 1903, Readville, Virginia.

Lane served in the 8th New Hampshire Infantry during the American civil war. After the war, he studied at the New England Conservatory and taught in Oneida and Utica, New York. He later moved to Woonsocket, Rhode Island, where he ran a music store, and served as organist and directed the choir at St. James’ Episcopal Church for 13 years. He also lived for a while in Monson, Massachusetts; Richmond, Virginia; and (from 1896) Baltimore, Maryland. In Baltimore, he worked for the music firm of Sanders and Stayman, and was music director at the All Saints Protestant Episcopal Church.

After a Sunday morning service at Saint James Church in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, Lane’s pastor gave him the hymns for the evening service. Lane didn’t care for one hymn’s tune, so while his wife cooked dinner, he composed PENITENCE to be used instead; it was first published in The Church Hymnal, by Charles L. Hutchins, 1874. This tune is Lane’s sole contribution to our hymnals.

The Choir Herald, June 1947, p. 222
Hustad, pp. 270-71
Nutter, p. 460
Stulken, p. 206


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