1875 - 1947 Person Name: Sydney Hugo Nicholson, 1875-1947 Composer of "[Arise, shine] (Nicholson)" in The Hymn Book of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada Sir Sydney Hugo Nicholson MVO (9 February 1875 – 30 May 1947) was an English choir director, organist and composer, now chiefly remembered as the founder of the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM). He was born in London (the son of Charles Nicholson) and educated at Rugby School, New College, Oxford and the Royal College of Music. He was organist at Barnet Parish Church, Lower Chapel, Eton College, Carlisle Cathedral, Manchester Cathedral, and Westminster Abbey. Combined with his organist posts he edited the 'Hymns Ancient and Modern' supplement that was published in 1916, a task in which he was still engaged when the 1950 revised edition was on the stocks. Something momentous would have to occur to persuade most away from playing the organ at the prestigious Westminster Abbey but such was the case with Nicholson who was concerned at the sad state of choral music in the parish churches throughout the country that in 1927 Nicholson founded the School of English Church Music (now the RSCM), initially meeting at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate. One of his most successful pieces of writing for Parish choirs was his Communion Service in G which was widely sung, especially in Anglo-Catholic churches, until recent times. He was editor of Hymns Ancient and Modern, still the standard hymn book in many Anglican churches today, and also wrote the hymn tune CRUCIFER for the popular processional hymn "Lift High the Cross." He received the Lambeth DMus in 1928 and a decade later was knighted for his services to Church music.
He died at Ashford, Kent at the age of 73. He was buried at Westminster Abbey.
Books on Church Music: Church Music A Practical Handbook (1927) London The Faith Press
Sydney H. Nicholson