Arthur William Foote (March 5, 1853 in Salem, Massachusetts – April 8, 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts) was an American classical composer, and a member of the "Boston Six." The other five were George Whitefield Chadwick, Amy Beach, Edward MacDowell, John Knowles Paine, and Horatio Parker.
Foote was appointed organist of the First Church in Boston (Unitarian) in 1878, remaining there 32 years. A founder of the American Guild of Organists, he was one of the examiners at the first Guild Fellowship examination. He helped organize the New England chapter of the AGO, and was one of the editors of Hymns of the Church Universal, a Unitarian hymnal published in 1890.
The modern tendency is to view Foote's music as "Romantic" and "European" in light of the later generation of American composers, all of whom helped to develop a recognizably American sound in classical music. A Harvard graduate and the first noted American classical composer to be trained entirely in the U.S., in some sense he is to music what American poets were to literature before Walt Whitman.
A good part of Foote's compositions consists of chamber music and these works are generally among his best. He wrote a relatively small number of organ works, but they are fine and solid pieces, showing creativity and skill. These include some small works as well as some large virtuoso pieces.
"Six Pieces for Organ, Op. 50" were published by Arthur P. Schmidt in 1902. Each work is highly individualistic, but since the dynamics are all similar, these are best heard individually, as I will upload them.
I'm hoping to do his big pieces next, including the "Suite" and the "Seven Pieces."
When I went to school, Foote was thought of as a joke, not even worth mentioning his name. This is FAR from the case, and I urge my American colleagues to explore his work as output from one of our own!
The score is attached below, plus photos of Arthur Foote, of the First Unitarian Church, Boston, where Foote served as organist.