John Henry Hopkins Jr.

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Biography

Born: October 28, 1820; Pittsburgh, PA    Died: August 14, 1891; Hudson, NY  
John Henry Hopkins Jr. may not have a name the average man or woman would recognize, but he was the author of a work virtually everyone knows, the Christmas carol We Three Kings of Orient Are. While he wrote other carols, hymns and songs, it is this Christmastime favorite that will forever afford him a place in music history, while at the same time brand him a one-hit composer. But Hopkins would probably not have objected to that last Read more distinction, since he was a churchman and music teacher primarily, using his work in composition for purposes of worship. Indeed, in the latter part of his career the major area of his focus was as priest and pastor. Hopkins was also a writer and poet, author of a biography of his father (a prominent Episcopal Bishop) and a book of poetry, Poems by the Wayside (1883). He also wrote many pamphlets and edited numerous articles and books. His most important musical publication was his collection, Carols, Hymns and Songs (1863-1887).

John Henry Hopkins Jr. was born in Pittsburgh, PA, on October 28, 1820. His father was an influential and scholarly Bishop who divulged talents as a musician, painter, poet, and author of many books on religion and other subjects. Young John Henry was also intellectually gifted but slower in taking up the cloth. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1839, obtained a master's degree there in 1845, and then began work as a reporter in New York City with a view to eventually obtain a law degree.

Hopkins enrolled at General Theological Seminary in New York City and graduated in 1850. That same year he was ordained a deacon. In 1853 he founded the publication Church Journal and served as its editor until 1868. It was during this period that he wrote "We Three Kings" (1857).

Hopkins was active in the 1865 establishment of the Episcopal diocese in Pittsburgh. It was not until 1872 that he was ordained a priest. That same year he was appointed rector of Trinity Church in Plattsburgh, NY. In 1876 he became rector of Christ Church in Williamsport, PA. Hopkins remained active as a composer in his later years. Among other hymns and carols of note by him are "The Lord Is My Light and Salvation" and "Gather Around the Christmas Tree." Hopkins died in Hudson, NY, on August 14, 1891. Read less
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  • 1.
    O Holy Night / Waldron, London Choral Sinfonia
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: 100110 Release Date: 11/15/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  William Mathias,  Gustav Holst,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Performer:  Max Pappenheim,  Katherine Watson,  Charlotte Ashley,  Zoe Brookshaw  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Waldron
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Choral Sinfonia
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  • 2.
    My Playlist for the Christmas Season
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578349 Release Date: 11/09/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Chilcott,  Felix Bernard  ... 
    Performer:  Ilya Rashkovsky,  Tanya Houghton,  Joseph Lin,  Benjamin Loeb  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Breiner,  Matthew Berry,  Richard Hayman,  Gavin Sutherland  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia,  Commotio,  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    My Playlist for the Nativity
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578348 Release Date: 11/09/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Rutter,  Traditional,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Joaquin Rodrigo  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Ford,  Bo Westman,  Artur Pizarro,  Tobias Sjogren  ... 
    Conductor:  Jeremy Backhouse,  Antoni Wit,  Jerker Johansson,  Peter Breiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vasari Singers,  Leif Strands Ladies Choir,  Jönköping Sinfonietta  ... 
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  • 4.
    Seasons of Grace, Vol. 7 / Tate
    Label: Gia Publication   Catalog: 1028 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Haas,  Traditional,  Marty Haugen,  Michael Joncas  ... 
    Performer:  Paul A. Tate
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  • 5.
    Kathleen Battle: The Complete Sony Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985381362 Release Date: 01/06/2017   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  George Frideric Handel,  Alessandro Scarlatti,  Luca Antonio Predieri  ... 
    Performer:  Kathleen Battle,  John Feeney,  Anthony Newman,  Daire Fitzgerald  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  John Nelson,  André Previn,  Wynton Marsalis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestra of St. Luke's,  American Boychoir  ... 
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  • 6.
    Christmas Saxophones: Saxmas
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 52130 Release Date: 11/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lowell Mason,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jay Johnson,  Jule Styne  ... 
    Performer:  Ian Cruz,  Jonathan Barrett
    Conductor:  Lisa Osland,  Miles Osland
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Uk Saxcats,  Raleigh Dailey Trio,  The Osland Saxophone Quartet  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 7.
    My First Christmas Album
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578340 Release Date: 11/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry John Gauntlett,  John Carmichael,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Stringer,  Raymond Johnston,  Mats Norrefalk,  Mats-Erik Björklund  ... 
    Conductor:  Donald Hunt,  Barry Wordsworth,  Antony Pitts,  Andrew Sackett  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Worcester Cathedral Choir,  BBC Concert Orchestra,  Tonus Peregrinus  ... 
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  • 8.
    Ultimate Christmas Collection / Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 535958 Release Date: 10/21/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lowell Mason,  Mykola Leontovych,  Traditional,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Alexander Schreiner,  Frank Asper,  Marilyn Horne  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard P. Condie,  Jerold D. Ottley,  Leonard Bernstein,  Jerold Ottley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Brass & Percussion Ensemble,  Columbia Brass Ensemble
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  • 9.
    Silent Night: Traditional Carols for Christmas
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1284 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Traditional,  Anonymous,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  Giles Lewin,  Jon Boden,  Ian Giles,  John Spiers  ... 
    Conductor:  James Weeks,  Michael Stoddart,  Richard Vendome,  Grayston Ives
    CD: $17.99
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  • 10.
    Christmas 101
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002507302 Release Date: 09/23/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Traditional,  John Francis Wade,  William James Kirkpatrick  ... 
    Performer:  Sir Andrew Davis,  Simon Preston,  Harvey Alan,  David Corkhill  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  John Rutter,  Sir Neville Marriner,  John Eliot Gardiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $46.99
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  • 11.
    4 Girls 4 Harps At Christmas
    Label: Discovery Music & Vision   Catalog: 107 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Elisabeth Poston,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Helen [Soprano Vocal] Winter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  4 Girls 4 Harps
    CD: $18.99
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  • 12.
    Christmas In Oxford / John Harper, Choir Of Magdalen College Oxford
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1290 Release Date: 11/03/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Anonymous,  Anthony Milner,  Thomas Ravenscroft  ... 
    Conductor:  John Harper
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magdalen College Choir Oxford
    CD: $11.99
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  • 13.
    A Harp for Christmas Vol 2 / Emily Mitchell
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1521 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  St. Jean de Brébeuf,  Traditional,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.,  William James Kirkpatrick  ... 
    Performer:  Emily Mitchell
    CD: $16.99
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  • 14.
    Label: Queen Of Sheeba   Catalog: 9 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.,  Katherine Blake,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Nick Marsh,  Mediaeval Baebes,  Rebecca Dutton,  Maxine Fone  ... 
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  • 15.
    Label: Dynamic Nostalgia   Catalog: 4930 Release Date: 10/07/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Traditional,  Richard Storrs Willis,  Felix Bernard,  Adolphe Adam  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mitch Miller & the Gang
    CD: $23.99
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  • 16.
    Christmas Star & A Christmas Festival / Rutter, Cambridge Singers
    Label: Collegium Records   Catalog: 306 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Traditional,  Lowell Mason,  William James Kirkpatrick,  Mel Torme  ... 
    Performer:  Andrew Williams,  Andrew Williams,  Melanie Marshall,  Clara Sanabras  ... 
    Conductor:  John Rutter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Singers,  Cambridge Symphony Orchestra,  Farnham Youth Choir  ... 
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    CD: $24.99
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  • 17.
    The Christmas Story
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 7681 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Richard Storrs Willis,  Lowell Mason,  James R. Murray  ... 
    Performer:  Bin Huang,  Hyun-Sun Kim
    CD: $11.99
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  • 18.
    A Family Christmas / The Piano Guys
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 374479 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  James Horner,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.,  William James Kirkpatrick  ... 
    Performer:  The Piano Guys,  Steven Sharp Nelson,  Jon Schmidt,  Sarah Schmidt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Piano Guys
    CD: $14.99
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  • 19.
    Starring Christmas / Neary, Winchester Cathedral Choir
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186198 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry John Gauntlett,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Felix Mendelssohn,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Conductor:  Martin Neary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winchester Cathedral Choir
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 20.
    I Wonder As I Wander Out Under The Sky / Jones, The Copley Singers
    Label: Gothic Records   Catalog: 49283 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  Carl Rütti,  Hugh Martin,  Richard Storrs Willis  ... 
    Conductor:  Brian Jones
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Copley Singers
    CD: $18.99
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  • 21.
    Home For The Holidays / Russell, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
    Label: Fanfare Cincinnati   Catalog: 1 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Adolphe Adam,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.,  Wesley Whatley  ... 
    Performer:  Rodrick Dixon,  Timothy Lees,  Gabriel Pegis,  Julie Spangler
    Conductor:  John Morris Russell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winton Woods Varsity Ensemble
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Yuletide Glow: Serenity On Harp And Piano
    Label: Harp Music To Go   Catalog: 28907 Release Date: 11/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Johann Pachelbel  ... 
    Performer:  Merry Miller,  Reuel Meditz
    CD: $13.99
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  • 23.
    Christmas With The Westminster Choir
    Label: Westminster Choir   Catalog: 691 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  Traditional,  Benjamin Britten,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Beckwith,  Peter Gillis,  Jeffrey Martin,  Nancy Tenore
    Conductor:  Joseph Flummerfelt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Choir,  Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia
    CD: $17.99
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  • 24.
    Label: Motema Music   Catalog: 69 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Thaddeus Jones,  Ethiopian Traditional,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Geri Allen,  Carolyn Brewer,  Connaitre Miller,  Farah Jasmine Griffin
    CD: $14.99
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  • 25.
    Home For The Holidays / Sean Harkness, Mike Herriott
    Label: Opening Day   Catalog: 7414 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Vince Guaraldi,  Robert Allen,  Michael Praetorius  ... 
    Performer:  Sean Harkness,  Mike Herriott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  H2
    CD: $17.98
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