Lester H. Groom (1929–2000) was born in Chicago and received his early keyboard training from both his mother and father. His father later became his major professor in organ and composition at Wheaton College (Illinois), where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in 1951. He earned the Master of Music degree in organ performance from Northwestern University in 1952. Groom held teaching positions at Moody Bible Institute (Chicago), Blue Mountain College (Mississippi), and Baker University (Kansas). He joined the faculty of Seattle Pacific University in 1969, where he taught organ, harpsichord, music theory, and composition. He retired from SPU in 1991 and was named Professor Emeritus the following year. Throughout his career, he held positions as church organist and choir director. He served as organist of First Presbyterian Church, Seattle from 1979 until his retirement in 1996.
His published works include organ and choral compositions, articles, and music reviews. He was a specialist in the art of organ improvisation and was a frequent lecturer at church music workshops and for thirteen summers he served on the faculty of the Evergreen Conference School of Church Music (Colorado).
I think most of us associate this tune ("Come, ye thankful people, come") with something joyful and grandiose. Well, if THAT is what you are expecting, you are in for a surprise - and a very nice one at that!
Groom's version sets the tune in a light-hearted, almost dance-like manner, with a delightful syncopated accompaniment. The way in which the tune itself is interwoven with the interludes is both clever and effective. The result is indeed a joyful one, but the feel is relaxed and pleasant.
The work is dedicated "to Emil Malick."
This upload completes the soon to be published volume by Lorenz.
There is also an excellent transcription of a Mozart "Church Sonata" as part of the collection, but I have not recorded this.
A photo of Lester Groom is attached below.