James Merrylees and the Jubilee Singers

In the biographical essay on Rachel Bates Merrylees, in Modern Scottish Poets,  Fifth Series, 1883, is the following, on pages 115 to 116:


“In 1864 she (Rachel Bates) was married to Mr James Merrylees, whose many beautiful and

successful musical compositions, with their unmistakable gift of melody, and truly original

harmonic arrangements – whether these be considered scientifically, or judged of by their

effectiveness – certainly stand very high. As an efficient trainer and leader of a choir, Mr

Merrylees has few equals.



“A graduate, and gold-medalist in musical composition, at the urgent request of the leader

of the Jubilee Singers, he composed the Anthem or Sacred Cantata, which was performed

at the opening of the Jubilee Hall in Fisk University, U. S. A. This fine Anthem has, since

then, been repeatedly rendered in this country to delighted audiences by the Jubilee Singers.”



George Fairfull-Smith, August 2021.