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Rare Books / Special Collections

The Tatyana V. Popović Archives and Special Collections houses rare books, manuscripts, and the archives of Le Moyne College.

Joseph J. McGrath, 1899 - 1968

Renown church music composer, organist, and choir master, Joseph McGrath was born in Oswego, NY. First a student of August Wiegand in Oswego, and then Charles Courboin, organist at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, followed by Gaston Dethier, organist at St. Francis Xavier in New York. McGrath extend his studies of chant and liturgical music with Rev. Leo P. Manzetti at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore. From Syracuse University he earned a degree in composition in 1919 having studied with William H. Berwald.

Prof. McGrath taught in the school of fine arts at Syracuse University and at Catholic University in the summers, and served for decades as the organist and choir master of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Syracuse, NY.  He was a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists.

Le Moyne College awarded him an honorary degree  in 1956.

Truly a giant in his field, McGrath has over 500 compositions including 58 masses, 63 piano and 75 organ compositions, and over 200 choral works.

View the cataloged items of musical score manuscripts  of Joseph J. McGrath in the library catalog.



"Laborer in the Vineyard," Caecilia, 78(5): 188.

Usher, Mary Anne. Biography of Joseph J. McGrath (1889-1968). Syracuse, NY: [Typescript]. n.d.


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