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George Washbourn Morgan.

BY HERVE D. WILKINS. 

One of the pioneer concert organists of America was George Washbourn Morgan, who was born at Gloucester, England, in 1822, played in church in his native town at 8 years of age, and came to America in 1853.

Morgan was possibly the first to introduce into this country the organ works of Mendelssohn, Bach and Hesse. In New York he was for many years organist at St. Thomas’ and at Grace Churches. Later he was organist at St. Ann’s and at St. Stephen’s (R. C.) Churches, and still later at the Tallmage Brooklyn Tabernacle.

Although he was well versed in organ music of the severe school, he was very liberal in his tastes, and took keen enjoyment in listening to orchestral and band music. He arranged several overtures for the organ. Among them William Tell, by Rossini, Martha, by Flotow, Egmont, by Beethoven, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by Mendelssohn. These pieces were especial favorites with Morgan’s audiences, and the mere announcement of his name was sufficient to ensure a full attendance at concerts and recitals.

His daughter, Maud Morgan, became eminent as a performer upon the harp, and often appeared with her father in harp and organ recitals.

His death occurred in 1889 at his Brooklyn home.

 

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