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Samuel Holyoke Edit Profile

composer , educator

Samuel Holyoke was an American composer and teacher of vocal and instrumental music, was the son of Rev. Elizur Holyoke and Hannah Peabody.


Holyoke, Samuel was born on October 15, 1762 in Boxford, Massachusetts, United States. Son of Review Elizur and Hannah (Peabody) Holyoke.


The source of his musical training is unknown, but he was composing music before he graduated from Harvard in 1789.


After preparatory training at Phillips Academy, Andover, Holyoke matriculated at Harvard College in 1786. In 1789–1790, he contributed four secular compositions to Isaiah Thomas’s Massachusetts Magazine. A prolific composer, he composed some 700 pieces, including psalm tunes and anthems and occasional pieces, some with instrumental accompaniment.

In 1793, Holyoke helped to found Groton Academy in Groton, Massachusetts, where he served as the first headmaster. In 1809–1810 Holyoke served as music instructor at Phillips Academy. After his death, his music was largely forgotten.

His importance to American music was summed up by music historian George Hood: "There was no man of his day that did more for the cause of music than Samuel Holyoke.".



Review Elizur Holyoke

Hannah (Peabody) Holyoke