Born: De­cem­ber 25, 1859, Bucks­port, Maine.

Died: Jan­u­a­ry 24, 1940, Or­ange, New Jer­sey.

Buried: Ev­er­green Cem­e­tery, Port­land, Maine.

In 1878 Coombs moved to Stutt­gart, Ger­ma­ny. He spent five years stu­dy­ing com­po­si­tion with Max Sei­frig, con­duct­or of the Roy­al Op­e­ra, pi­a­no with Wil­helm Spei­del, and lit­er­a­ture and lan­guag­es with Fer­di­nand Lowe. He re­lo­cat­ed to Dres­den in the fall of 1884 to stu­dy or­gan with Jans­sen and com­po­si­tion with Drae­se­ke. In 1886 he went to Par­is, then on to Lon­don in 1887. He moved back to Dres­den to ac­cept a po­si­tion as or­gan­ist and choir­mas­ter at the Amer­i­can Church.

In 1891 he re­turned to Amer­i­ca to be­come or­gan­ist and choir­master at the Church of the Ho­ly Com­mun­ion in New York, where he re­mained un­til 1908. He then ac­cept­ed a sim­i­lar po­si­tion at St. Luke’s Church in New York. He re­tired in 1928, spend­ing much of his re­tire­ment liv­ing on a house­boat in Kash­mir and tra­vel­ing in Eu­rope and Asia. He lived his last two years with his ne­phew, Fred­er­ick A. Coombs, in Or­ange, New Jer­sey.

Coombs was a found­er of the Amer­i­can Guild of Or­gan­ists, a mem­ber of its Coun­cil, and for three years its Gen­er­al Trea­sur­er. He was al­so a mem­ber of St. Wil­fred’s Club, the Amer­i­can Club, and the Clef Club.



  1. Whitney (© 1925)