1859-1940

December 25, 1859, Bucksport, Maine.

January 24, 1940, Orange, New Jersey.

Evergreen Cemetery, Portland, Maine.

portrait

In 1878 Coombs moved to Stuttgart, Germany. He spent five years studying composition with Max Seifrig, conductor of the Royal Opera, piano with Wilhelm Speidel, and literature and languages with Ferdinand Lowe. He moved to Dresden in the fall of 1884 to study organ with Janssen and composition with Draeseke. In 1886 he went to Paris, then to London in 1887. He moved back to Dresden to accept a position as organist and choirmaster at the American Church.

In 1891 he returned to America to become organist and choirmaster at the Church of the Holy Communion in New York, where he remained until 1908. He then accepted a similar position at St. Luke’s Church in New York. He retired in 1928, spending much of his retirement living on a houseboat in Kashmir and traveling in Europe and Asia. He lived his last two years with his nephew, Frederick A. Coombs, in Orange, New Jersey.

Coombs was a founder of the American Guild of Organists, a member of its Council, and for three years its General Treasurer. He was also a member of St. Wilfred’s Club, the American Club, and the Clef Club.

  1. Whitney

where to get a better photo of Coombs