William Howard Doane

From Wind Repertory Project
William H. Doane


William Howard Doane (3 February 1832, Preston, Connecticut – 23 December 1915, South Orange, New Jersey) was an industrialist and a prolific composer of Christian hymn tunes.

Doane was interested in music from his early boyhood. When he was 6 years old, he sang frequently in public, and at age 10, he sang in the church choir. He played flute at age 12, bass violin at 13, and at age 15 he could play cabinet organ. At age 15, he began to compose. From 1852-1854, Doane served as conductor of the Norwich Harmonic Society. In 1875 he received his doctorate in music from Denison University, which subsequently named it's library in memory of him.

In his musical career he edited forty-three collections of hymns and composed an estimated 2,300 works, including hundreds of original hymns and hymn settings. He is best known as a longtime collaborator of Fanny Crosby, having written music for an estimated 1,500 of Crosby's poems. As well as hymns, Doane composed secular instrumental, vocal, and choral works, including two cantatas on the legend of Santa Claus.

In religious work he headed the Ohio Baptist Convention Ministers Aid Society for the Midwest. As an industrialist, he held patents on wood-working machinery and in 1861 became President of J. A. Fay and Company.

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