Michael's Music Service

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Alec Wyton (1921–2007)

General Back

Alec Wyton served for 20 years as organist-choirmaster of the Cathedral of St John the Divine, New York City, president of the American Guild of Organists, and Coordinator of the Standing Commission on Church Music for the Episcopal Church (producing the The Hymnal 1982). He composed over 100 published works.


Crown Him with Many Crowns Back

His setting of the tune Diademata uses the rhythm of the opening line as the basis for the piece.


Elegy Back

Elegy was composed in memory of Gilson Blake and published in 1972.


Lotus Listen & Purchase Back

While Wyton was organist at St John the Divine, he was asked to play Billy Strayhorn's Lotus during the Duke Ellington funeral, and this is that arrangement. Billy Strayhorn is best known for his long collaboration with Duke Ellington (1899-1974) and as a composer of songs, such as “Take the A Train.” Lotus (or Lotus Blossom) was composed in the 1940s, and especially after Strayhorn’s death, Ellington frequently performed it as a piano solo. This piece had such meaning that when Ellington died, his daughter requested that Alec Wyton improvise on it during the funeral. In response to requests, in 1987 Wyton transcribed from a tape recording his improvisation from the funeral and it was published. It is pure and simple, a perfect arrangement in form and in spirit.