John Speller's Web Pages O little town of Bethlehem (Whittier)

John Speller's Web Pages - North American Christmas Carols
O little town of Bethlehem (Whittier)
Phillips Brooks wrote "O little town of Bethlehem" at the time when he was Rector of Holy Trinity Church, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, and the best-known American tune for it, "St. Louis," was written by his then organist, Louis Redner. From 1869 to 1891 (when he was elected Bishops of Massachusetts), Phillips Brooks was Rector of Trinity Church, Copley Square, in Boston. Here his assistant organist was Charles Henry Whittier (1850-1929), and Whittier also wrote a tune for "O little town of Bethlehem," in my opinion a better one than Redner's, so I am reprinting it here. Whittier was later organist of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Boston and was also a Professor at the New England Conservatory of Music. He left numerous pieces of choral and organ music.

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Phillips Brooks' altar at Trinity Church, Copley Square. Dr. Brooks had the church laid out with the altar in the center of the chancel and celebrated from behind it facing the congregation. He was probably the first clergyman in North America to adopt this practice. The chancel was reordered along more conventional lines in 1902, but has subsequently been changed back
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