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Archer Gibson (Organ, Arranger)

Born: 1875 - Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Died: 1952

The American organist and arranger, Archer Gibson, was a son of A, Clarke Gibson, who was an amateur musician of ability. He received his entire musical training in Baltimore. He played the organ in public since the age of 8 years. When only 14 years old he was the organist of Bethany Methodist Episcopal Church, and played in nearly all the principal churches of Baltimore.

Archer Gibson was instructor in organ and composition at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and served as organist and choir-master of the First Presbyterian Church of Baltimore. He was also well-known as a composer. As a lecturer in a new field he also won distinction; his course of reviews of the Boston Symphony Orchestra programmes, delivered before the Arundell Club, in advance in advance of the concerts were very popular.

In May 1901, Archer Gibson was appointed as choir-master and organist of the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City, and served in this post for eight years, preceding Clarence Dickinson. He was also one of the first Guild members to pass the FAGO exam. He was also chairman of the Guild's first committee on console standardization.

In his time Archer Gibson ranked as one of the leading organists in the USA. During the first decades of the 20th century, when it was fashionable for millionaires to have organs in their homes, Gibson's unique talent made him indispensable to the Sloanes, Schwabs, Fricks, Tiffanys, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, and other "captains of industry" (or Robber Barons, depending on who your friends were or were not). Though some of the men, and many of their wives, attended the Metropolitan Opera, their musical sophistication ran more in the line of everybody's favorites than classical organ literature. Trained in the latter, Gibson provided the former by the hour and was paid in the tens of thousands.

Source: Arts Publications Website (Author: Rollin Smith, March 2009); New York Times (January 1901)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (October 2009)

Archer Gibson: Short Biography | Orchestral Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Archer Gibson Residence (NYC AGO)
Complete Disc Recordings of Archer Gibson: 30 Works Played on Two Aeolian Residence Organs (Arts Publications)

Brick Church's New Organist; 8. Archer Gibson Has Earned a Great Reputation in Baltimore (NY Times)

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