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Theodore E. Perkins
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Short Name: Theodore E. Perkins
Full Name: Perkins, Theodore E., 1831-1912
Birth Year: 1831
Death Year: 1912

Theodore E. Perkins was born at Poughkeepsie, on the Hudson, N.Y., July 21, 1831. His father was a Baptist clergyman. The family of ten brothers and sisters sang and played various instruments, forming among themselves both choir and orchestra. His musical education began at the early age of three years. During his father's pastorate at Hamilton, N. Y., the choir rehearsals were often held at the parsonage, and the leader used to place the three-year-old on a small stool, on the table around which the choir was assembled, giving him a chance to both see and hear. Later on he played the violincello in church, standing on a stool in order to finger the instrument.

The home gatherings — especially on Thanksgiving Day, are the recollections among the happiest of his childhood. His father became pastor of the Berean Baptist Church in New York City, in 1839, giving him the opportunity of studying the pianoforte, of which he became a proficient player. His fine alto voice soon gave him notoriety. At the age of nineteen while filling a position as clerk in New York, all his spare time was given to the study of voice and piano. In 1851 he went to Hamilton, N. Y., taught music in Madison University (now Colgate), and in the Female Seminary.

In 1854 he went to Port Jervis, N. Y., where he taught singing school, and April 30, 1855, married Mary Frances Caskey, who was for years his soprano soloist in many musical Festivals and Conventions. Soon after marriage he removed to Salem, N. J., where his lifework as singing school teacher really began, including Bridgeton and prominent towns in southern New Jersey. During the summer of 1856 he and his wife were pupils of the Normal Academy of Music at North Reading, Mass., conducted by Drs. Lowell Mason and Geo. F. Root. During 1856-1858 he was given the position of assistant teacher and manager. His association with these two great men gave an inspiration to all his future work.

In 1859 he was co-principal with Wm. B. Bradbury at the Normal Academy of Music, Geneseo, N. Y. He remained at Geneseo until 1863. Professor Perkins also held very successful schools in North Pelham Province of Ontario, Canada, and in 1864-1868 was principal in schools at Tunkhannock and Meadville, Pa.

In 1860, The Olive Branch, his first book of church music, was published by F. J. Huntington, New York City, the sales reaching 100,000. Next was Oriental, which sold over 30,000. The Union, Glees and Anthems, and Sabbath Anthems followed ; then The Sacred Lute, which sold over 300,000. His Sunday-school books commenced with The Evergreen, followed by the Shining Star and New Shining Star. Then came Psalm King, which was the last of the books published by Mr. Huntington. Hallowed Songs was published by Philip Phillips; The Sunday School Banner was published by Wm. B. Bradbury. The Royal Standard was published in Toronto, Canada. The Golden Promise, Sabbath Carols, The Mount Zion Collection were published under his own supervision.

His Free Sunday School Songs several times numbered over 500,000 a month. Coronation Songs with Rev. Dr. Deems as hymn editor was published by A. S. Barnes Co., who also published Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs, in which Dr. C. S. Robinson was hymn editor, who with Professor Perkins edited Calvary Songs, published by the American S. S. Union. Gospel Tent Songs was evangelical. The Safe-Guard Singer was his temperance book.

Mr. Perkins was musical director in the following churches in Brooklyn: The Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, Rev. Dr. Cuyler; Strong Place Baptist Church, Rev. E. E. L. Taylor, D. D.; Madison Avenue Baptist Church, Rev. H. G. Weston, D. D., L. L. D.; Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, Rev. Dr. Rice, followed by Dr. John Hall; The Memorial Presbyterian Church, Rev. Dr. C. S. Robinson, who was his close friend; The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rev. Dr. Tyng, Jr. ; Trinity Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. J. B. Simmons, and Washington Square M. E. Church.

In Philadelphia: The Fifth Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Chase; The Eleventh Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Colman; The Tabernacle M. E. Church, Rev. George Gaul, D. D. He was leader and singer in Evangelistic Services, at the Rink, The Old Madison Square Garden and Cooper Union, all of New York City. The music of the first great meeting of the world's Evangelical Alliance, held for ten days in New York City, was under his direction, as was the first National Sunday School convention, held in Newark, N. J. He was also conductor at the Golden Anniversary of the Female Guardian Society, leading a chorus of forty-two hundred children. In the opening chorus, Great is the Lord, by Dr. Calcott, the word "Great" was given with so much decision and power that the clergymen on the platform sprang to their feet and remained standing until the chorus was finished.

He taught voice culture in Princeton and Lafayette Universities, The Union Theological Seminary, New York City; Crozer Seminary, Chester, Pa., and organized the music department of Temple University, Philadelphia, continuing in charge four years. He had charge of the children's choir of Howard Mission, New York City, for twenty-five years, and thinks that some of the happiest and most restful of the working hours were spent in teaching the poor children of the fourth and sixth wards to sing the Gospel. Mr. Sankey said to Mr. Perkins that " Jesus of Nazareth was my banner song for eight years." Jesus is Mine has been sung at the Christian's death-bed, the grave, and once as the convict was going to the scaffold.

His Christmas Carol Sweetly Carol had a very large sale in this country, and was republished in England, France, Italy, and Germany.

For a period of forty years he has made the study of the voice special work. The most thorough investigations of the voice and its possibilities were made with the assistance of the late John Howard, extending over a period of twenty-five years, during which he has had the care of over two thousand voices. He published a work entitled, Physiological Yoice Culture, edited by his son, the late T. Edward Perkins, M. D., physician and throat specialist of Philadelphia. Mr. Perkins also completed a method of voice culture based on the principles of John Howard's Physiology of Artistic Singing."

During these years of work he has found time to edit thirty-four books of church, Sunday-school, day-school, and glee music, the larger portion having been previously mentioned. Also songs and ballads in sheet form, and a cantata entitled, The Excursion, libretto by Fanny Crosby, with whom there has existed an unbroken friendship for over forty years.

-Biography of Gospel Song and hymn Writers


Tunes by Theodore E. Perkins (95)sort descendingAsInstancesIncipit
[After the Christian's tears]T. E. Perkins (Composer)154517 66562 17
[Agobiado sin descanso] (Perkins)T. E. Perkins (Composer)233321 23565 65321
BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORSTheodore Edson Perkins (Composer)232132 16151 1172
[Beneath our best we may not live] (Perkins)Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)255671 56712 88
[Beyond the smiling and the weeping] (Perkins)T. E. Perkins (Composer)211234 56532 232
[Blessed Redeemer, graciously hear us] (Perkins)Theodore E. Perkins (Composer)251321 14653 3235
[Breast the wave Christian]T. E. Perkins (Composer)117651 21231 44432
[By thy blessed Spirit, Saviour]Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)217121 53113 2
CANAAN (Perkins)T. E. Perkins (Composer)234565 32121
[Carol, sweetly carol] (Perkins)T. E. Perkins (Composer)1133432 15171 23542
CASKEYTheodore E. Perkins (Composer)1053216 51122 123
[Cast thy bread upon the waters] (Perkins)T. E. Perkins (Composer)251321 21767 655
[Come, O thou mighty Savior]Theodore Edson Perkins (Composer)232121 76511 71323
[Cling close to the Rock]T. E. Perkins (Composer)217121 55621 7
MAGILL (Perkins)T. E. Perkins (Composer)712316 51121 23
[Come, let us all together sing] (Perkins)Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)213213 56516 5332
[Come, needy sinners, Jesus is waiting]T. E. Perkins (Composer)655653 11216 55653
TIRYUST. E. Perkins (Composer)435343 26271 1253
[Dark is the night, and cold the wind is blowing]Theodore Edson Perkins (Composer)532151 22123 53216
[Dear Redeemer, loving Saviour]T. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Dear Savior, all I think or do]Theodore Edson Perkins (Composer)455565 35656 53555
[Earth has nothing sweet or fair]T. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Father, when shall all the weary earth]Theodore Edson Perkins (Composer)235671 23213 56713
[Who will join our Junior Band]Theodore Edson Perkins (Composer)235556 55111 33235
[For the fruits of the earth] (Perkins)Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)2
FREELY GIVETheo. E. Perkins (Composer)433345 65176 543
BRIDAL CHORUST. E. Perkins (Arranger)151115 271
[Grateful songs we raise to Thee] (Perkins)Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Hark! the mighty tones sublime]Theodore Edson Perkins (Composer)411556 63456 71222
[Hear the battle cry resounding]Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Hear us from thy throne above]T. E. Perkins (Composer)3
[How bright that blessed hope]T. E. Perkins (Composer)2
HUNTINGTON (Perkins)Theodore E. Perkins (Composer)112355 32234 25435
LORETTO (Hemy)T. E. Perkins (Arranger)151171 25221 23533
[I'm kneeling, Lord, at mercy's gate]T. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[In the house of my Father above]T. E. Perkins (Composer)1
[Jesus I long for Thee]Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Jesus, lover of my soul] (Perkins)Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Keep Thou my way, O Lord, be Thou ever nigh]Theodore Edson Perkins (Composer)613211 65671 32132
[Let us brighten all life's pathway] (Perkins)Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)3
[Long my spirit pined in sorrow]T. E. Perkins (Composer)1
[Lord, at Thy mercy-seat]T. E. Perkins (Arranger)556712 35161
[Lord, hear me in distress]Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Lord, I hear of show'rs of blessings] (Perkins)T. E. Perkins (Composer)3
[Love surpassing highest thought] (Perkins)Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Fade, fade, each earthly joy] (Perkins)Theodore E. Perkins, 1831- (Composer)10856532 12123 55651
[More love to thee, O Christ] (Perkins)T. E. Perkins (Composer)12
[Weary not, my brother, cheerful be thy song]Theodore Edson Perkins (Composer)533321 52343 23332
[My Father, God, to thee]T. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[My heavenly home is bright and fair] (Perkins)T. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[We wait for thee, all glorious One]Theodore Edson Perkins (Composer)251111 71223 14332
[What means this eager, anxious throng] (Perkins)Theodore E. Perkins, b.1831 (Composer)4355112 34565 3
[Nearer the fount of Jesus' love]T. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[No tramp of marching armies] (Perkins)Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)4
[O hear the trump of joy]Theodore E. Perkins (Composer)2
[O, how my spirit longs for thee]T. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[O let your tongues with glad acclaim]Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[O Lord, my prayer hear]Thos. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Oh, shall I wear a starless crown]T. E. Perkins (Composer)3
[One by one we cross the river] (Perkins)T. E. Perkins (Composer)655543 45166 1716
[One there is above all others] (Perkins)T. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Only one thing my soul desires]Theodore E. Perkins (Composer)5
[Out in the highways, wherever you go]T. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Praise the Lord with hearts and voices]Theodore Edson Perkins (Composer)251311 21756 71321
[Praise ye Jehovah, praise the Lord most holy]Theodore Perkins, 1831-1912 (Composer)555653 11121 76556
[Quit you like men, be strong] (Perkins)Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)4
MINE THE CROSSTheodore Edson Perkins (Composer)211123 21566 51712
REPENTANCE (Perkins)Theodore E. Perkins, b. 1831 (Composer)911231 2171
[Rest in the shadow of the Rock]T. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Ringing, sweetly ringing] (Perkins)Theodore E. Perkins (Composer)255556 55113 21555
SABBATH EVENING (Perkins)Theodore E. Perkins (Composer)235116 51335 42223
[Sing the good tidings of mercy]Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Sitting at the feet of Jesus] (Perkins)T. E. Perkins (Composer)3
[Softly, on the breath of evening]T. E. Perkins (Composer)432115 65671 22213
[Soul that trusteth in Jehovah]Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)4
GOD SPEED (Perkins)Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)6
[The Lord of Light shall give His peace]Theodore E. Perkins (Composer)4
[There is a green hill far away] (Perkins)T. E. Perkins (Composer)3
[There is a path where pilgrims fare]Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[There is joy among the angels] (Perkins)T. E. Perkins (Composer)2
LOVE OF JESUSTheodore E. Perkins (Composer)1953332 34321 22221
THORNTONT. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Those golden gates are opwning wide]Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Thou that once on mother's knee]T. E. Perkins (Composer)5
[Thy hands have made and fashioned me]Thos. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Thy sins I bore on Calvary's tree]Theo. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[Take my heart, O loving Savior]Theodore Edson Perkins (Composer)235671 23122 12321
[Watchman on the walls of Zion] (Perkins)Theodore E. Perkins (Composer)232315 65171 23543
[Weary wanderer over the main]T. E. Perkins (Composer)4
[We've listed in a holy war]T. E. Perkins (Composer)5
[Whatever be our earthly lot]T. E. Perkins (Composer)2
[When my sins as mountains rise]T. E. Perkins (Composer)3
[When my soul within]T. E. Perkins (Composer)3
[When saints gather round thee, dear Savior, above]T. E. Perkins (Composer)1
WYOMINGTheodore E. Perkins (Composer)311111 77114 44321

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