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Mason, Lowell  

(Jan. 8, 1792-Aug. 11, 1872). An American educator, composer, and hymnal editor. He was born in Medfield, Massachusetts. Mason was a very gifted and energetic person, and his work as a compiler of hymn books began while he was organist and choirmaster of the First Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Georgia. The Boston Handel & Haydn Society Collection of Church Music (1821) went through twenty-two editions. Mason often based his work on European collections, including pieces from Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and other German composers. He was able to further his goal of reform by improving the standards of church music in America. He transformed the music publishing business, and by 1872 he had produced almost sixty different church music collections. Many of these collections went through multiple editions. Selected Chants, Doxologies etc. Adapted to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (1824) represents his effort to serve the need for chant in the Episcopal Church. Mason also excelled as an educator. Through his work at his Boston Academy of Music, music education became part of the curriculum of Boston public schools, the first public school music program in the United States. Mason was a leader in the teacher-training movement and the first to publish a Sunday School hymnal with music. Many of his hymns remain in use today. The Hymnal 1982 has several hymns that were harmonized or arranged by Mason, including Antioch (Hymn 100) from Handel, Azmon (Hymn 493) by Carl Glaser, Mannheim (Hymn 595), Mendon (Hymns 419, 512), and Truro (Hymns 182, 436). The Hymnal 1982 also includes one original tune by Mason, Olivet (Hymn 691). He died in Orange, New Jersey. 




Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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