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The Church Burgesses, on Wednesday last, unanimously decided to appoint Thomas William Hanforth, organist of St. Martin's, Coney-street, York, music master at the Yorkshire School for the Blind, and sub organist of York Minister, as organist and choirmaster of Sheffield Parish Church. Mr Hanforth presented very high credentials, including testimonials from Dr Naylor, organist of York Minster, in whose absence for six months last year he conducted the cathedral services with general approval; and from the late Archbishop Thomson and the Dean of York. No date yet settled for commencing his duties in Sheffield, the time of Mr Lemare's departure not being definitely fixed.
Mr Hanfortyh's career as a musician may be said to have commenced at the age seven-and-a-half, when he entered the choir of St. Mary's Parish Church, Hunslet, where his parents then resided. A change of residence found him next in the the church of Bishopthorpe, the residence of the Archbishop of York.
At 13 years of age, when the vocalism of most treble singers is on the wane, the fine quality of his voice obtained him admission to the choir of York Minster, where for some time was leading chorister.
The indications which he showed during this period of an aptitude for music ultimately led to his being articled with W. H. Garland, Mus. Bac, the then acting organist of York Minster (now of Halifax), and when Dr Naylor was appointed to the vacancy caused by the retirement of Monk, he continued his studies under that eminent musician, with whom he remained for the rest of the period over which his articles extended.
Shortly afterwards he returned to the scene of much of his youthful training, at Bishopthorpe, organist of the church in which he had been formerly a chorister.
Two or three years ago he received from the Rev H. Lowther Clarke (now vicar of Dewsbury), the appointment of organist at the Church of St. Martin, Coney-street, York, succession to Mr Thomas Tuke, who had rendered long and valuble service there, and whose work was much appreciated.
During this time Hanforth never completely severed his connection with the Minster, inasmuch as he assisted Naylor in the discharge of his arduous duties, and practically was the assistant organist of the Metropolitan Church. Indeed, during the protracted absence abroad of that gentleman last year he performed the whole his duties with conspicuous ability. His undoubted talents some time ago received a deserved recognition, when he was appointed music master of York School for the Blind, in succession to W. Barnby, brother of Mr Joseph Barnby, the recently-elected chief of the Guildhall School of Music, London.
Although a young man, Mr Hanforth has achieved more than ordinary success as teacher of music, his departure from York will (says a Sheffield contemporary) leave gap in the musical life of the city.
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Extract british newspaper archive
Yorkshire Gazette - Saturday 16 April 1892