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Samuel Adams Holyoke

Boxford, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 7 Feb 1820 (aged 57)
Concord, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, USA
Burial Boxford, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 157940188 · View Source
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was an American composer and teacher of vocal and instrumental music, was the son of Rev. Elizur Holyoke and Hannah Peabody. He was born October 15, 1762 in Boxford, Massachusetts, and died February 7, 1820 in Concord, New Hampshire. He was a Congregationalist and a Mason, and never married.

After preparatory training at Phillips Academy, Andover, Holyoke matriculated at Harvard College in 1786. The source of his musical training is unknown, but he was composing music before he graduated from Harvard in 1789. 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."

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  • Created by: Cindy Massi
  • Added: 8 Feb 2016
  • Find A Grave Memorial 157940188
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Samuel Adams Holyoke (15 Oct 1762–7 Feb 1820), Find A Grave Memorial no. 157940188, citing Village Cemetery, Boxford, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Cindy Massi (contributor 47665455) .