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Who dares stand idle? Thomas Tertius Noble: A Life in Church Music 1867-1953

CAUSBY, JOSEPH,CODY (2015) Who dares stand idle? Thomas Tertius Noble: A Life in Church Music 1867-1953. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Thomas Tertius Noble (1867-1953) was a British organist, who,after completing successful tenures at Ely Cathedral and York Minster, uprooted his life and immigrated to America to establish a choir school, in the English cathedral tradition,at New York’s illustrious St Thomas’s Church, Fifth Avenue.Noble’s early training at the Royal College of Music, under Charles Stanford, Frederick Bridge and Walter Parratt, equipped him with extraordinary skills, which coupled with his charismatic persona, made him one of the finest musicians of his generation.Noble’s unique ability for forming lasting relationships and inspiring musicians of all levels and backgrounds,created the ideal situation for achieving the task he undertook during his thirty years in New York.With the support of the rector, the music committee and vestry of St Thomas’s, he formed a choir school for the boy choristers, which served (and still serves) as the epitome of taste and musical quality within the tradition of Anglican choral music in the United States.The convergence of primarily source material and personal accounts of Noble as a man and musician, have brought about a significant contribution to knowledge surrounding the life of this extraordinary individual. Through insight gained in his unpublished autobiographical Memoirs, personal and professional papers, vestry minutes, parish yearbooks and considerable archives of both the church and choir school, an understanding of Noble’s successful career and his unfortunate departure from St Thomas’s, has been brought to light for the first time.The importance of St Thomas’s Church in the international world of cathedral music is profound. Alongside Westminster Abbey, it possesses the only remaining choir school that exists for the sole purpose of training and educating the boy chorister. If not for the vision and expertise of Noble, this tradition in the new world would be merely a legend, rather than a thriving reality.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Music, Department of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:19 May 2015 16:00

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