The Epiphany Season
William Crotch has a funny name. I know this because choristers laugh when you say it. Also, on a few copies of the choristers' music, his last name is circled.
So, ha ha. Very funny. But who is this William Crotch exactly? Well, turns out his name may be funny, but Crotch was a serious musician.
The son of a carpenter (like Jesus?), Crotch was a musical child prodigy. At 18 months, he was already picking out tunes on the family house organ (also like Jesus?)
Now, back in the time of Crotch (is that a good name for a band, or what?), the circus was a popular form of entertainment. Unlike today, however, circuses (pronounced: SIR-cuh-sees) consisted not of animal entertainment, but mostly child entertainment. It is for this reason that persons with Dwarfism were often employed by later circuses: they were the new "children" in an era of oppressive child-labor laws.
HIDDEN (a Crotch size clarification): There's nothing small about our Crotch. He eventually reaches full size.
In the circus, William Crotch resided in a tent that contained an organ, whereupon he would bedazzle his listeners with his improvisations. These were probably not great musical feats, but for a two year old to improvise chords to a melody learned by ear is certainly something. Also, he got free cotton candy.
HIDDEN (inappropriate remark): One wonders if this tent had a fly, and whether it was open or closed.
Today's "soccer moms" descend from a league of overbearing "circus moms" who enlisted their young children in these precocious presentations of prodigy. Crotch's mother, Isabella, accompanied Crotch and the circus on a grand world tour.
HIDDEN (another one): It was in this way that her young Crotch gained much exposure.
Anyway, long story short. Crotch the freak-show boy-wonder grew up to be Crotch the mildly adequate composer. Though he did play the organ at Kings College, Cambridge, which is pretty cool.
Incidentally, when I program my own concerts, I want to end up with a poster that looks like this:
selections from Palestine
also, music by Bach, including his
Air on the G String
Crotch also may have provided the basis for Louis Vierne's Carillon de Westminster if he did indeed design the Westminster Chime.
Crotch the painter: Crotch's talent didn't limit itself to music. He was also a painter.
Alma mater tangent: It is with not a small amount of pride and a tinge of nostalgia that I note that an image search for crotch brings up a number of unflattering pictures of Paris Hilton and photo taken in an Oberlin music theory classroom.
The page you're reading is part of Sinden.org
©MMXVII Sinden.org: a site for fun and prophet
Looking for Carol Spreadsheets?
Hungry? Try the Liturgical Guide to Altoids Consumption
Thirsty? Try the Tibia Liquida
The Eric Harding Thiman Fan Page: The greatest composer you've never even heard of.
Questions? Problems? email the sexton.
Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise
Book of Common Prayer
The Daily Office
The Lectionary Page
Ship of Fools
The Sub-Dean's Stall
Vested Interest - Trinity Church in the City of Boston
Andrew Kotylo - Concert Organist
Bonnie Whiting, percussion
conjectural navel gazing: jesus in lint form
Friday Night Organ Pump
Halbert Gober Organs, Inc.
in time of daffodils
Joby Bell, organist
Musings of a Synesthete
My Life as Style, Condition, Commodity.
Nathan Medley, Countertenor
Notes on Music & Liturgy
The Parker Quartet
Roof Crashers & Hem Grabbers
That Which We Have Heard & Known
This Side of Lost
Zachary Wadsworth | composer
Advent (Medfield MA)
All Saints, Ashmont (Boston MA)
All Saints (Indianapolis IN)
Atonement (Bronx NY)
Broadway UMC (Indianapolis IN)
Cathedral of All Saints (Albany NY)
Christ Church (Bronxville NY)
Christ Church (Madison IN)
Christ Church (New Haven CT)
Christ Church Cathedral (Indianapolis IN)
Christ's Church (Rye NY)
Church of St. Stephen (Hamden CT)
Congregational (Belmont CA)
Coventry Cathedral (UK)
First UMC (Lancaster SC)
Gloria Dei ELCA (Iowa City IA)
Immanuel Lutheran (St Paul MN)
Immanuel Lutheran (Webster NY)
John Knox PCUSA (Houston TX)
St Andrew (Marblehead MA)
St Andrew's, Oregon Hill (Richmond VA)
St Bartholomew the Great, (London, England)
St James's (Lake Delaware NY)
St James's (Richmond VA)
St James Cathedral (Chicago IL)
St Mary's Cathedral (Memphis TN)
St Matthew and St Timothy (NYC)
St Paul's (Cleveland Heights OH)
St Paul's (Indianapolis IN)
St Paul's Cathedral (Buffalo NY)
St Paul's, K Street (Washington DC)
St Peter's (Lakewood OH)
St Peter's ELCA (NYC)
St Stephen's (Richmond VA
St Thomas (New Haven CT)
St Thomas ELCA (Bloomington IN)
Second PCUSA (Indianapolis IN)
Towson Presbyterian Church (MD)
Tremont Temple Baptist (Boston MA)
Trinity (Indianapolis IN)
Trinity on the green (New Haven CT)
Yes, but they're not the kind you buy on Wheel of Fortune.
the owner of a bower at Bucklesfordberry?
Full daintily it is dight.
interested in touch lamps?
And fountain pens.