|Composer:||G. W. Martin (1862)|
|Incipit:||33333 43222 32233|
George William Martin (b. London, England, 1825; d. London, 1881) composed LEOMINSTER, named for a town in the county of Hereford and Worcester (formerly Herefordshire), England. The tune was first published in The Journal of Part Music (vol. 2, 1862), in which it was titled THE PILGRIM'S SONG. Martin was editor of that publica¬tion from 1861 to 1862. As a boy Martin was a chorister in St. Patrick's Cathedral. He taught music at the Normal College for Army Schoolmasters in Chelsea and at St. John's Training College in Battersea. In 1849 he became organist at Christ Church, Battersea. Well-known for his skill in training children's choirs, Martin also conducted mass choirs, such as the Metropolitan Schools Choral Society. He composed glees, madrigals, and part-songs, and edited oratorios of Handel and Haydn.
Arthur S. Sullivan (PHH 46) later arranged and harmonized the tune and labeled it as an "Old Melody" in his Church Hymns with Tunes (1874). LEOMINSTER's many repeated tones in lines 1 and 3 give way to the more dramatic shape oflines 2 and 4. The tune's simplicity allows for bringing in harmony, perhaps with stanza 2 unaccompanied. Accompany stanza 3 with a bright and strong organ registration.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988