Peter Wilhousky

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Peter J. Wilhousky
Born13 July 1902
Died4 January 1978(1978-01-04) (aged 75)
CitizenshipUnited States
OccupationDirector of music in New York City schools and conductor of the New York All-City High School Chorus
Known forEnglish language setting of "Carol of the Bells," arrangement of "Battle Hymn of the Republic"

Peter J. Wilhousky (Ukrainian: Пітер (Петро) Вільховський; 13 July 1902 – 4 January 1978) was an American composer, educator, and choral conductor of Rusyn or Ukrainian ethnic extraction. During his childhood he was part of New York's Rusyn Cathedral Boys Choir and gave a performance at the White House to President Woodrow Wilson.[1] He was featured on several broadcasts of classical music with Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra, including the historic 1947 broadcast of Verdi's opera Otello. In 1936, he wrote the popular Christmas carol "Carol of the Bells"; a song with English lyrics to the popular composition by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych originally known as "Shchedryk". His arrangement of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" for chorus, band, and orchestra[2] is probably the most famous arrangement of the hymn before the 1940s in the United States[citation needed].

Former students[edit]

As a choral director in New York City, he influenced the future careers of musician Julius La Rosa and scientist Stephen Jay Gould.[3]


  1. ^ Carol of the Bells Archived 2012-03-28 at the Wayback Machine, Sean Spurr,
  2. ^ Battle Hymn of the Republic - Mormon Tabernacle Choir - YouTube
  3. ^ Stephen Jay Gould (6 November 1988). "Strike Up the Choir!". New York Times. Retrieved 16 February 2011.

External links[edit]