Thomas Tertius Noble, born today in 1867, in Bath, England, would eventually come to be known as the dean of American organists later in life. He showed an early interest in music, and once begged to be removed from a boarding school that did not have a music program. At age 12 he was appointed to be the organist of All Saints Parish in Colchester, where the rector had provided him with some musical instruction. Many years later, in an address at the General Theological Seminary in New York, he described the conditions there:
I was almost 13, I could not play the organ very well. It was an awful, old organ. It had four stops, and its mechanism rattled so loudly you could hardly hear the music. For three years I worked there. I got up at 6:30 summer and winter, and I was in the church practicing by 7:00. (...) Learning on this organ was difficult, but very good for me.
In 1889 he graduated from the Royal College of Music in London, where his teachers had included Charles Villiers Stanford (for composition) and John Frederick Bridge (for harmony). He was then hired there as a teacher himself, and then in 1892 he was appointed organist at Ely Cathedral. Six years later, he started at York Minster, where he remained for the next thirteen years, until he was recruited to be organist-choirmaster at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York in 1913.
A fair amount about his time in New York has been covered here already (links below). Since unfortunately I have used up the internet sound files of his hymn tunes (only four available at the moment), you can hear one of his settings of the Magnificat from YouTube.
Roman Catholic readers may understand why a Magnificat is always appropriate in May, but Anglicans and Episcopalians like them year-round.
Nine Years Ago: T. Tertius Noble
Eight Years Ago: T. Tertius Noble