A 200-year old hymn written by one of the founders of the Huddersfield Choral Society will make its inaugural performance during Huddersfield Parish Church’s Choral Evensong this month in its new arrangement after being edited by one of the musician’s distant relatives.
Rockley Battye, an amateur church musician living near Wolverhampton, has re-arranged and edited ‘My soul truly waiteth still upon God’ after discovering he is a distant relative to James Battye, one of the Choral Society’s founders.
James Battye wrote the hymn in the 1800s and was presented with the prestigious Gresham Prize Medal, which was awarded for ‘the best composition in sacred vocal music’, in 1845 for his creation.
Rockley says, “I'm not a descendant of James - his only (legitimate) child died young - but his line and mine do go back to a common ancestor, Richard of Upperthong (c1515-1578).
“I've edited the piece from the Novello publication, modernising the notation and rewriting the accompaniment on three staves to separate out the pedal part.”
Rockley mentions, “I produced a book (This Gentle Man of Music) and included a performing edition of [James’] prize-winning anthem.”
James Battye (1802-1858) held the position of parish clerk at St Peter’s Church in Huddersfield from 1833 and was the Huddersfield Choral Society’s conductor between 1852 and 1858 after helping to found the Society in 1836.
The hymn will make its inaugural performance during Huddersfield Parish Church’s Choral Evensong which will take place on Sunday 31st January at 3pm.
Article link image taken from Huddersfield Examiner.