1857-1910

February 13, 1857, Little Sutton, Cheshire, England.

Circa February 1910, Steyning, Sussex, England.

Tozer entered the City of London School in 1870 and, having shown a talent for music, went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM). His particular skill was with the pipe organ and, having applied for membership of the Royal College of Organists was appointed a Fellow at the young age of 19. He subsequently became a Licentiate with the RAM for his organ ability in 1882 and was made an Associate of the Royal College of Music for his music theory and composition work in 1887. After completing a degree in music at Durham University, he undertook further studies at Oxford University until earning his Doctorate in November 1895.

His first formal appointment was as organist and choirmaster was at St. Mary Magdalene, St. Leonards-on-Sea, then an Anglican church, and, for a period, also held the position of choirmaster at the newly built Holy Trinity, Hastings.

In 1890 he was admitted to the Sylvestrine Order by Pope Leo XIII for his services to Roman Catholic church music, having composed at least six full masses and edited or compiled several Catholic hymnals. He also worked with Elgar, whose mother was Catholic, on several of his Catholic compositions, and included them in his collection The Complete Benediction Manual; however, Elgar later recounted to Hubert Leicester that Tozer had changed the harmonies so the published version was absolutely different from, and inferior to, Elgar’s original.

Tozer took posts at several Catholic churches before settling on the south coast and becoming music director for the Church of the Sacred Heart, Hove, in 1888.

  1. Jazer