William Hayes (26 January 1708 (baptised) – 27 July 1777) was an English composer, organist, singer and conductor.
Hayes was born in Gloucester. He trained at Gloucester Cathedral and spent the early part of his working life as organist of St Mary’s, Shrewsbury (1729) and Worcester Cathedral (1731). The majority of his career was spent at Oxford where he was appointed organist of Magdalen College in 1734, and established his credentials with the degrees of B.Mus in 1735 and D.Mus in 1749. (He was painted by John Cornish in his doctoral robes around 1749.) In 1741 he was unanimously elected Professor of Music and organist of the University Church. He presided over the city’s concert life for the next 30 years, and was instrumental i… Go to person page >
Give ear, O earth, attend my songs;
you heavens, hear where praise belongs.
I will proclaim God's holy name
and praise our LORD's majestic reign.
God is the Rock whose ways are just,
the covenant LORD in whom we trust.
William Hayes (b. Gloucester, England, 1708; d. Oxford, England, 1777) first published NEW 113TH in his Sixteen Metrical Psalms . . . for Use in Magdalen College Chapel (1774) as a setting for a versification of Psalm 134. (Any relationship with Psalm 113, as indicated by the tune name, has never been discovered.) NEW 113TH requires solid harmony singing and a sense of one broad beat per bar to support its somewhat meandering melody. The suggested alternate tune, ST. PETERSBURG (50), may be better known and more accessible to some congregations.
As a boy Hayes was a chorister at Gloucester Cathedral. He served as organist of St. Mary Church in Shrewsbury and at Worcester Cathedral but spent most of his career as organist, choirmaster, and professor of music at Magdalen College, Oxford (1734-1777). He received his doctorate at Oxford in 1749, a time when the opening of the Radcliffe Library was being celebrated. That celebration included the first performance of George Frederic Handel's Messiah in Oxford–Hayes introduced Handel's works to many areas of England. Hayes composed mostly choral music, some of which is light-hearted, and his publications include various canons and psalm tunes.