T. Tertius Noble

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Thomas Tertius Noble

Thomas Tertius Noble (May 5, 1867 – May 4, 1953) was an English-born organist and composer, resident in the United States for the latter part of his career. After studying at the Royal College of Music he served as Organist and Choirmaster at Ely Cathedral from 1892 to 1898, then at York Minster from 1898 to 1913, during which time he also conducted the York Symphony Orchestra, and composed pieces for them. His last appointment was at St Thomas Episcopal Church in New York City from 1913 to 1943, where he was responsible for establishing a choral tradition along Anglican cathedral lines. Dr Noble also founded the Saint Thomas Choir School for boys in 1919.

Noble composed orchestral and chamber music, but is now remembered for his music for the Anglican church, particularly his Evening services in a A major, B minor and A minor, and his anthems Go to dark Gethsemane, Souls of the Righteous, and Grieve not the Holy Spirit. His tunes were used for seven hymns in The Hymnal of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, 1940.[1] His tune Ora labora for the hymn Come, labour on is well known in the United States, as is his edition of Handel's Messiah, published by G. Schirmer in 1912.

Preceded by
Will C. MacFarlane
Organist & Choirmaster,
Saint Thomas Church, New York

Succeeded by
T. Frederick Candlyn


  1. ^ The Hymnal of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, 1940, "Index of Composers, Sources, Arrangers", p. 813.


  • J.A. Fuller-Maitland, H.C. Colles, rev. Duncan J. Barker: "Noble (Thomas) Tertius", Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed 15 September 2005), http://www.grovemusic.com
  • Frank A. McConnell, F.A.G.O.: "Memories of T. Tertius Noble", lecture delivered to the Lancaster, PA, Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, March 13, 1989, http://www.bluzeandmuse.com/oldMarkGeocities/music/fam_memNoble.txt (McConnell was a student of Noble and was his assistant during Noble's last years at St. Thomas.)

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