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 Peter Joseph Wilhousky

Peter Joseph Wilhousky

Birth
Passaic, Passaic County, New Jersey, USA
Death 4 Jan 1978 (aged 75)
Norwalk, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
Burial Hillsborough, Somerset County, New Jersey, USA
Memorial ID 171449902 · View Source
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American composer, educator, and choral conductor. In 1936 he wrote the popular Christmas carol "Carol of the Bells". His emotionally-charged concert arrangement of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", written in 1944, is the one chosen most often by United States military ensembles. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's recording of his "Battle Hymn" won a Grammy award for Best Performance By a Vocal Group or Chorus in 1959. Born in Passaic, New Jersey, Wilhousky's musical talents were nurtured by his parents from a very young age, both at home and at church choir. For five years during his childhood he attended and lived on campus of the prestigious Russian Cathedral Boys' Choir in New York City. He became a soprano soloist and performed in numerous concerts and cathedral services, culminating in a performance at the White House for President Woodrow Wilson. He also learned to play the violin and piano. He continued his musical education in New York City and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from what is now known as the Juilliard School of Music. He went on to become a music teacher at New Ultrecht High School in Brooklyn, at which time he began organizing students into the choruses he would conduct for the next twenty-five years. To much acclaim, his chorus of 1,500 students performed at Madison Square Garden in 1936 for the National Association of Teachers of Music. Wilhousky and his student choruses would go on to annually perform at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. He also trained choral conductors and music educators at Juilliard. He became associated with renowned conductor Arturo Toscanini when he prepared a chorus of 600 to sing Verdi's "Hymn to the Nations" under Toscanini at a Madison Square Garden benefit concert in 1944. He was featured on classical-music broadcasts with Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Wilhousky died on January 4, 1978 in Connecticut at Norwalk Hospital. He was 75 years old. He was interred in the family plot at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Cemetery in Hillsborough, New Jersey.

Cause of death: Cancer


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  • Created by: Debra
  • Added: 17 Oct 2016
  • Find A Grave Memorial 171449902
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Peter Joseph Wilhousky (6 Jul 1902–4 Jan 1978), Find A Grave Memorial no. 171449902, citing Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Cemetery, Hillsborough, Somerset County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by Debra (contributor 47765447) .