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Arthur H. Messiter

Arthur H. Messiter
Short Name: Arthur H. Messiter
Full Name: Messiter, Arthur Henry, 1834-1916
Birth Year: 1834
Death Year: 1916

Arthur H. Messiter (b. Frome, Somersetshire, England, 1834; d. New York, NY, 1916) composed MARION for this text in 1883 and named it after his wife. The tune was published in the Hymnal with Music as Used in Trinity Church (1893), a hymnal compiled by Messiter during his long term of service as organist/ choirmaster at Trinity Church (Episcopal) in New York City (1866-1897).

Educated by private tutors in England, Messiter immigrated to the United States in 1863 and had an active musical career in Philadelphia, which included an organist position at St. James the Less. At Trinity Church in New York City, he modeled with distinction the British cathedral tradition of music. Messiter was an editor of the Episcopal Hymnal (1893), compiled the Psalter (1889) and Choir Office Book (1891), and wrote a musical history of Trinity Episcopal Church, New York (1906).

A short-meter tune, MARION is distinguished by an appealing melodic contour and an effective refrain line. Sing stanzas 1-4 in harmony and the final, doxological stanza in unison. The refrain would benefit from the use of a descant. Do not rush! Though MARION is the preferred tune for congregational singing of this text, choir directors may want to consider using Richard Dirksen's anthem on his VINEYARD HAVEN tune (163) for choral festivals.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook