Herbert Sanders

Herbert Sanders. Organist, choir conductor, composer, teacher, writer, pianist, b Wolverhampton, England, 20 Sep 1878, d Montreal 18 May 1938; ARCM 1896, FRCO 1900, D MUS (McGill) 1912. A pupil of Charles Swinnerton Heap and Charles W. Perkins (organ) and of Charles H.

Sanders, Herbert

Herbert Sanders. Organist, choir conductor, composer, teacher, writer, pianist, b Wolverhampton, England, 20 Sep 1878, d Montreal 18 May 1938; ARCM 1896, FRCO 1900, D MUS (McGill) 1912. A pupil of Charles Swinnerton Heap and Charles W. Perkins (organ) and of Charles H. Kitson (theory), he held organ posts in England at Camphill Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, and St Mary's Methodist Church, Truro, Cornwall. He was an orchestral violinist as well. He moved to Canada in 1907 and was organist for a year at Chalmers' Presbyterian Church, Guelph, Ont, and 1908-29 at Dominion Methodist Church, Ottawa. He gave organ recitals across Canada and was regarded as an excellent accompanist. He also directed the Ottawa Oratorio Society and served as president of the Ottawa Arts and Letters Club and as music critic for the Ottawa Journal. He taught at the Canadian Conservatory of Music (Ottawa) and privately. His pupils included Kenneth Meek, Charles O'Neill, and Bill Richards.

In 1929 Sanders accepted a unique position as music director of the new Tudor Hall in the J.A. Ogilvy Department Store in Montreal. There, until his death, he gave regular noon-time organ recitals and arranged for appearances by other artists. He was organist in the 1930s at Westmount Park Melville United Church (later Westmount Park United).

Sanders composed many sacred songs, anthems, and organ pieces. Twice he was awarded the Clemson Gold Medal for composition by the American Guild of Organists. His patriotic song 'We Are Coming, Mother Britain' was published by McKechnie in 1916. His other publishers included Anglo-Canadian, Boston Music, Ditson, Weekes, and Josef Williams. He was associate music editor of The Methodist Hymn and Tune Book (Toronto 1917) and contributed several tunes to that publication. He wrote articles for many musical journals (Etude, Musical Quarterly, The American Organist) and was editor of the CCO (RCCO) bulletin, which appeared 1928-ca 1933 in Musical Canada. He was president of the CCO 1932-3. The National Library of Canada has a collection of his manuscripts. Many of his compositions are listed in the Catalogue of Printed Music in the British Library (London 1980). Seven of his hymn tunes and one anthem ('Light's Glittering Morn') have been reprinted in CMH, vols 5 and 9.


Further Reading

  • Palmer, T.J. 'Dr. Herbert Sanders taking over new, important organist post in Montreal,' MCan, vol 10, Jul 1929

    Hamilton, H.C. 'Dr. Herbert Sanders,' MCan, vol 12, May 1931