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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth March1750Gloucestershire, England, UK
Date of Death 21 September 1836London, England, UK

Mini Bio (1)

Composer, church organist, and early musicologist John Stafford Smith was born in March in 1750 in Gloucester, England. He was the son of church organist Martin Smith and was baptized in Gloucester Cathedral on March 30. Smith attended the Gloucester Cathedral School, where he was a boy singer. John was a choir boy at the Chapel Royal in London, England and studied under famous composer William Boyce. Smith was elected as a member of the select Anacreontic Society and composed the music for the society's constitutional song "To Anacreon in Heaven" (a.k.a. "The Anacreontic Song)." "To Anacreon in Heaven" was first published by The Vocal Magazine and was later adopted as the melody for the American national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner." John became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1784, an organist for the Chapel Royal in 1802, and a Master of the Children in 1805. Moreover, he was a lay-vicar of Westminster Abbey and the organist at the Three Choirs Festival held at Gloucester in 1790. In addition, Smith was a serious antiquarian and musicologist who collected works that dated back to the 12th century as well as manuscripts by noted composer Johann Sebastian Bach. His work "A Collection of English Song" was published in 1779. This was followed by the publication of "Musica Antiqua" in 1812. John died at age 86 on September 21, 1836 in London, England.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: woodyanders

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