1816 - 1868 Person Name: Wm. B. Bradbury Hymnal Title: Gems of Song Composer of "[Dare to do right! Dare to be true!]" in Gems of Song William Bachelder Bradbury USA 1816-1868. Born at York, ME, he was raised on his father's farm, with rainy days spent in a shoe-shop, the custom in those days. He loved music and spent spare hours practicing any music he could find. In 1830 the family moved to Boston, where he first saw and heard an organ and piano, and other instruments. He became an organist at 15. He attended Dr. Lowell Mason's singing classes, and later sang in the Bowdoin Street church choir. Dr. Mason became a good friend. He made $100/yr playing the organ, and was still in Dr. Mason's choir. Dr. Mason gave him a chance to teach singing in Machias, ME, which he accepted. He returned to Boston the following year to marry Adra Esther Fessenden in 1838, then relocated to St. Johns, New Bruswick. Where his efforts were not much appreciated, so he returned to Boston. He was offered charge of music and organ at the First Baptist Church of Brooklyn. That led to similar work at the Baptist Tabernacle, New York City, where he also started a singing class. That started singing schools in various parts of the city, and eventually resulted in music festivals, held at the Broadway Tabernacle, a prominent city event. He conducted a 1000 children choir there, which resulted in music being taught as regular study in public schools of the city. He began writing music and publishing it. In 1847 he went with his wife to Europe to study with some of the music masters in London and also Germany. He attended Mendelssohn funeral while there. He went to Switzerland before returning to the states, and upon returning, commenced teaching, conducting conventions, composing, and editing music books. In 1851, with his brother, Edward, he began manufacturring Bradbury pianos, which became popular. Also, he had a small office in one of his warehouses in New York and often went there to spend time in private devotions. As a professor, he edited 59 books of sacred and secular music, much of which he wrote. He attended the Presbyterian church in Bloomfield, NJ, for many years later in life. He contracted tuberculosis the last two years of his life.
William B. Bradbury