Three more hymn tunes by the Australian composer and organist Dr A. E. Floyd. Vermont, Keston and A Child’s Prayer.
KESTON. I am not skilled to understand words by Dora Greenwell (1821-1882). Born in Durham and died in Clifton she wrote poems and the words to six hymns.
The organ used is St Anne’s Moseley which is only four miles south of Aston, Floyd’s birthplace and the tune might be named after the village of Keston near Bromley in Kent (UK), 156 miles to the south. One verse introduction then verses 1,2,4 and 6.
Alfred Ernest Floyd was born in Aston, Birmingham in 1877 and after education and work in the UK came to Australia in 1915 to take up the position of organist and Choir Director at St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne. He is an inheritor of the English Cathedral Tradition as he was for a number of years assistant at Winchester to Dr G. B. Arnold a pupil of S. S. Wesley. He was at St Pauls for 32 years resigning in 1947. He wrote a number of anthems, hymns and voluntaries. In 1948 he was the first musician to be awarded an OBE for services to music. As well as being a music critic for the Argus, he presented Music Lovers Hour on ABC radio for 24 years. He died in Melbourne in 1974.
Quote from “Goodbye ’til next time”: A critical biography of A.E. Floyd by Dr Ian Burk
‘A.E. Floyd had the ability to make music interesting and accessible to the musical public. By the 1940s, he was a household name in Australia particularly as a result of his music broadcasts, which always ended with the words ‘and now I’ll say goodbye ’til next time’. Under his direction, music at St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne, enjoyed an international reputation for excellence.’