Maurice Whitney — Collaborating with Christ Church pastors

This is the latest in an occasional series of posts about Maurice Whitney, head of music at Glens Falls School District for 25 years.

Seventy-five years ago Christ Church Methodist organist Maurice Whitney and the Rev. Walter J. Benedict, pastor, collaborated on a new anthem, “More Than a King,” which J. Fisher and Brothers music company published.

Whitney composed the music and Benedict wrote the lyrics.

“If copies come off the press in time the composition will be sung at a Palm Sunday service,” The Post-Star reported on Feb. 22, 1946.

It would not be the last time Whitney collaborated with a Christ Church pastor.

Twenty-five years later Whitney composed a song setting to “A Sonnet for Christmas,” a poem by former Christ Church pastor the Rev. Charles Noble.

After Noble died, Whitney asked the family if one of the pastor’s poems might be suitable for a new composition.

Warner Brothers Music published the four-part setting with accompaniment and optional flute or recorder decant, The Post-Star reported on April 2, 1971.

“A little early for Christmas, but such a poem knows no season,” Whitney said. “I hope the setting catches something of the message of its text.”

Noble was Christ Church pastor 1934–41, and Benedict 1942–57.

Click here to read the most recent previous post in this series.

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY