Pond, Sylvanus Billings

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Pond, Sylvanus Billings

Pond, Sylvanus Billings , American music publisher and composer; b. Milford, Vt., April 5, 1792; d. Brooklyn, March 12, 1871. He was a prominent musician of his time. He conducted the N.Y. Sacred Musical Society and the N.Y. Academy of Sacred Music, wrote songs for Sunday school, and ed. and publ. Union Melodies (1838), The U.S. Psalmody (N.Y., 1841), and The Book of Praise, for the Reformed Dutch Church in America (N.Y., 1866). He also composed the hymn tunes Armenia (1835) and Franklin Square (1850). Early in life, he went to Albany, where he established a piano workshop. From 1820 he was partner of the publ. house of Meacham and Pond there, and in 1832 he joined Firth & Hall of N.Y. The firm’s name became Firth, Hall & Pond, and in 1848 was reorganized as Firth, Pond & Co.; it was one of the principal publishers of Stephen Foster’s songs. In 1850 Pond retired, and his son, William A. Pond, became the owner. Upon the withdrawal of Firth in 1863, the firm became known as William A. Pond & Co. W.A. Pond’s eldest son, William A. Pond Jr., was taken into partnership, but died in 1884; William A. Pond Sr. died the following year, and his 2 other sons, Albert Edward and George Warren Pond, succeeded him. In 1934 Joseph Fletcher acquired the catalogue; in 1946 it was purchased by Carl Fischer, Inc. For the dealings of Firth, Pond & Co. with Stephen Foster, see J.T. Howard, Stephen Foster, America’s Troubadour (N.Y., 1931; 4th ed., 1965); consult also H. Dichter and E. Shapiro, Early American Sheet Music, Its Lure and Its Lore, 1768–1889 (N.Y., 1941).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Pond, Sylvanus Billings

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