Walter Greatorex (30 March 1877 – 29 December 1949) was an English composer and musician. He is probably best remembered for his hymn tune Woodlands which has been used with hymns such as Henry Montagu Butler's "Lift Up Your Hearts!" and Timothy Dudley-Smith's "Tell Out, my Soul."
Born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, the son of a bank manager, from 1888 to 1893 Greatorex was a boy chorister at King's College, Cambridge. He was then educated at Derby School and St John's College, Cambridge. Lift up your hearts to his music became the school hymn of Derby School.
In 1900, he was appointed an assistant music master at Uppingham School. In 1911, he became Director of Music at Gresham's School, Holt, succeeding his fellow Old Derbeian Geo… Go to person page >
WOODLANDS is a perfect match for the bold text. Walter Greatorex (b. Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England, 1877; d. Bournemouth, Hampshire, England, 1949) composed this tune in 1916, and it was published in the Public School Hymn Book in 1919. The tune's title refers to one of the schoolhouses at Gresham's School, Holt, Norfolk, where Greatorex was director of music from 1911-1936. Before that he served as assistant music master at Uppingham School in Rutland (1900-1910). Greatorex's musical education began as a chorister at King's College, Cambridge, England, and he received his university music training at St. John's College, Cambridge.
A dramatic tune, WOODLANDS is marked by irresistible melodic gestures and by the "breathless" cadence of line 2, which propels us forward into line 3. The alternate harmonization provided is his original; use that for stanza 4. Sing in strong unison throughout with a full organ and brass for festive services. Try having the full choir sing up an octave for the final two measures of stanzas 3 and 4.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987