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Classicsonline Home » Artists » » Thomas, John Charles

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John Charles Thomas (1891 - 1960)


William Henry Harris was born in Fulham on 28th March 1883 and was named after his father. His mother was Alice Mary (neé) Clapp. Theirs was a musical family, and at fourteen the boy’s exceptional gifts had attracted enough local attention to generate sufficient financial help to send him to St David’s Cathedral, South Wales, to assist its somewhat easy-going organist, Herbert Morris. He was soon quite content to let Harris take over at times, certainly when he preferred to sleep in during a weekday matins. A scholarship at sixteen to the Royal College of Music, not to mention an FRCO, soon drew Harris to the attention of its Director, Sir Hubert Parry. His long association with St George’s Chapel, Windsor, dates back to this time, since its organist Sir Walter Parratt became his organ teacher. Composition was encouraged by Stanford and Charles Wood, and by Walford Davies, whom Harris would sometimes help out at the console of the organ in the Temple church.

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