Alfred Hollins (11 September 1865 – 17 May 1942) was an English organist, composer and teacher, who was noted as a recitalist in Scotland. He was born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, and was blind from birth. His mother died while he was young, and little is known about his father. After his mother's death, Hollins was sent to live with his "Aunt Mary", who gave him his first piano lesson.
In 1878, he enrolled at the Royal Normal College for the Blind at Upper Norwood. He impressed the Principal of his potential as a musician such that he was given the opportunity to study with Frits Hartvigson on the piano and Dr E.J. Hopkins on the organ. Hollins then presented several successful concerts, and the opportunity arose for Hollins to study in Berlin under Hans von Bülow.
In the ensuing eleven years, he was organist at Upper Norwood Presbyterian Church, at the People's Palace (Crystal Palace) and teaching piano and organ at the Royal Normal College for the Blind. For many years, until the end of his life, he was organist at the Free St. George's Church in Edinburgh.
In 1922, Hollins was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Edinburgh University. This was in addition to being made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Organists in 1904.
In 1925/26 Hollins gave a major tour of the United States, during which he visited sixty-five cities. It has been estimated that he traveled some 600,000 miles on his concert tours.
"In Springtime" was published by Novello in 1909, and is very appropriate to its name! The delightful tunes and harmonies skip and scamper along, demonstrating the wonderful and varied solo stops of the big Hill.
Stops heard include: from the Solo - Orchestral Oboe, Concert Flute, Clarinet, and from the Swell - Hautboy, Contra Oboe (played an octave higher) and the fine strings. The Pedal supports perfectly without being heavy.
Like all Hollins pieces, it's tricky!
The score and photos of Alfred Hollins are attached below.