Martin G. Dumler (1868-1958)
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,713
    Another thread here led me to look up something in The Caecilia, where I discovered the name of Martin G. Dumler of Cincinnati on the list of (regular) contributors. I don't think I had seen or heard that name in over half a century. But I immediately recalled that at about age eleven or twelve (which is even more than half a century past), I sang, in the junior choir at the Bedford, Indiana, Methodist Church, in an anthem by Dumler, arranged (I think) for Adult, High School, and Junior Choirs by the choir director, Donald D. Dawson (who was on the Indiana University Music School faculty). The anthem had the text of the hymn "O God, our help in ages past" (but not the tune) - I even recall the opening melody after this long time has elapsed. As a child raised in the Methodist church, I had no idea that Dumler was actually a Roman Catholic whose main choral compositional output was for the Catholic church (he composed several Masses). I found a list of his published compositions, but the anthem I sang as a child was not on the list, and I recall that we sang from some sort of manuscript copy, so I assume the work was never published.

    Does anyone else have any other information about Dumler other than what is available in old issues of The Caecilia or by Googling "Martin G. Dumler"? ... if so, I would be interested to learn what else is known about him and his music.

    Thanked by 1R J Stove
  • I grew up in the 1940s and 1950s at St. Francis de Sales Church in Cincinnati Ohio where Martin G. Dumler attended and many of his Catholic works (Masses and motets) were performed. At the age of 13, I met him after a piano recital (he was in his upper 80s), and my family lived across the street from him and his wife Pearl for about a year, although we didn't socialize. I sang in the church choir under his direction for two Christmas Midnight Masses, performing a lot of his compositions, probably 1956 and 1957. Also, I have in my file a number of his motets and Masses ("Missa Latreutica," "Missa Coelestis," etc.), some of which I heard performed under his direction. Also have a copy of his "Stabat Mater" which was once performed by the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus. His music was nicely constructed and tuneful, a lot of it composed for the Catholic liturgy. Parts of his "Christmas Prelude" for orchestra still ring in my memory, and his "Cradle Song" for strings was available in an organ arrangement which I have.
    Paul Welch
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CGM
    Posts: 525
    I wonder if he is related to Donald Dumler (perhaps his grandfather or great-uncle?), who is one of the organists at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC:
  • R J StoveR J Stove
    Posts: 302
    Never heard of Dumler at all before this, so thank you for the tip-off; I shall try to seek out his liturgical music.
  • Singing his Mass tomorrow in Akron.