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Bradbury, William Batchelder

Bradbury, William Batchelder

Bradbury, William Batchelder, American composer, teacher, piano manufacturer, and music publisher; b. York County, Maine, Oct. 6, 1815; d. Montclair, N.J., Jan. 7, 1868. He studied in Boston with Sumner Hill and at Lowell Mason’s Academy of Music. After teaching music in Machias, Maine (1836–38) and at St. John’s, New Brunswick (1838–40), he went to Brooklyn as choirmaster of the first Baptist Church. In 1841 he became organist at N.Y.’s Baptist Tabernacle. He also was instrumental in organizing music instruction in the N.Y. public schools. He then pursued training in piano with E. Wenzel, harmony with Hauptmann, and composition with Moscheles in Leipzig (1847–49). He subsequently was active as a teacher, choirmaster, music ed., and composer in N.J. and N.Y. With his brother, Edward Bradbury, and EC. Lighte, he founded a piano manufacturing business in N.Y. in 1854. In 1861 he also founded his own music publishing concern in N.Y., where he brought out various sacred and secular collections which sold into the millions. He composed 2 cantatas, 30 anthems, 79 other sacred choral pieces, and 921 hymn tunes. Among his most successful hymns were He Leadeth Me, Jesus Loves Me, Just as I Am without One Plea, Saviour, Like a Shepherd Lead Us, and Sweet Hour of Prayer.


A. Wingard, The Life and Works of W.B. B. (1816–1868) (diss., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1973).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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