Seth Bingham (b. Bloomfield, NJ, April 16, 1882; d. New York, NY, June 21, 1972) prolifically composed orchestral, choral, chamber music, organ works, and songs throughout a distinguished career in and near New York City as professor of music at Columbia University 1920-54 and lecturer at the School of Sacred Music of Union Theological Seminary 1953-1965.
A student of Horatio Parker (composition) and Harry Benjamin Jepson (organ) at Yale University (B.A., 1904, B. Mus., 1908), he taught theory and composition there 1908-1919 and received the Heald Prize with poet Brian Hooker in 1907 for creating the Yale song, “Mother of Men.” Bingham had been home-taught and largely self-taught prior to his matriculation at Yale.
In Paris and Berlin 1906-07, Bingham studied with Vincent d’Indy, Alexandre Guilmant, and Charles-Marie Widor. While in Paris, he met Blanche Guy, a musician and singer who lived with her family in a wealthy suburb of Paris, and they married in Geneva, Switzerland, on August 3, 1907. Bingham returned to France frequently and maintained an active acquaintance with French composers of the time, including Widor, Vierne, Dupré, Duruflé, Langlais, etc. In 1945-46, he served on the faculty of the United States Army's American University in Biarritz where he taught theory and composition.
Bingham was organist at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church 1913-1951, and had been organist and choirmaster at the Rye Presbyterian Church in Rye, New York, 1909-1910, and Temple Beth Israel in New York City, 1910-1913. His sacred choral works are well known and orchestral works and secular choral works were performed in his lifetime in New York and elsewhere. He received an honorary doctorate from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1952. Much of Seth Bingham's music (published and in manuscript) and his memoir are collected at the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts of Lincoln Center, New York.