January 8, 1792: Lowell Mason is born in the family home on North Street in Medfield, Massachusetts, USA, the first of five children born to Johnson Mason, co-owner of a dry goods store, and Catherine Hartshorn.
September 16, 1812: Lowell Mason’s (20) first musical composition, the anthem Ordination, is performed for the first time, at the ordination of Dr. Ralph Sanger as pastor of the Unitarian Church in Dover, Massachusetts.
November 27, 1812: Lowell Mason (20) leaves his home in Medfield, Massachusetts to move to Savannah, Georgia.
January 21, 1813: After a trip of 55 days, Lowell Mason (21) arrives in Savannah, Georgia from his home in Medfield, Massachusetts.
February 8, 1813: Less than three weeks after his arrival in town, Lowell Mason (21) begins organizing a singing school in Savannah.
January 1, 1815: Lowell Mason (22) enters upon duties as choir director at the Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Georgia.
January 21, 1817: The first advertisement for the new firm of Stebbins and Mason dry goods store appears in the Savannah Gazette. Edward Stebbins has made Lowell Mason (25) a partner.
September 3, 1817: Lowell Mason (25) marries Abigail Gregory, daughter of an innkeeper, in Westborough, Massachusetts.
May 9, 1819: President James Monroe, in town to inspect the new steamship Savannah about to depart on its transatlantic voyage, attends the dedication of the new Independent Presbyterian Church of Savannah, Georgia. The musical portions of the ceremony are conducted by the church’s choir director Lowell Mason (27). Unfortunately, the new organ planned for the church will not be ready until next year.
February 2, 1820: Lowell Mason (28) is officially appointed organist at the Independent Presbyterian Church of Savannah, Georgia, although he has been performing that function for five years.
September 29, 1821: The Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music, compiled by Lowell Mason (29), is announced in the leading American music journal, The Euterpeiad.
October 10, 1821: A contract is signed between Lowell Mason (29) and George K. Jackson of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society. Mason’s tune book will be issued under the name of the society.
October 7, 1826: Lowell Mason (34) speaks at the Hanover Street Church in Boston and outlines his goals for the singing and teaching of church music.
September 3, 1827: Having moved back to Boston from Savannah last month, Lowell Mason (35) is elected President of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society.
October 28, 1827: Lowell Mason (35) conducts a performance of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society for the first time.
July 4, 1829: Lowell Mason (37) directs the music at Boston’s Independence Day celebrations. William L. Garrison gives his first important anti-slavery speech. Also in attendance is John Greenleaf Whittier.
July 4, 1830: Suffer the Little Children to Come Unto Me, an anthem by Lowell Mason (38), is performed for the first time, by a children’s choir in Park Street Church, Boston.
June 15, 1831: Lyman Beecher and Lowell Mason (39) participate together in the dedication of the new Bowdoin Street Church in Boston.
July 4, 1831: For Independence Day observances at the Park Street Church in Boston, an arrangement by Lowell Mason (39) is heard for the first time. Not long ago, Mason loaned a collection of European tunes to a local minister, Samuel Francis Smith. Smith chose one tune he liked and wrote a poem to it called “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” Mason’s arrangement of the tune is heard today.
April 4, 1832: Lowell Mason (40) reaches agreement with the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, allowing him to publish whatever he wants independent of the society.
January 8, 1833: The Boston Academy of Music is organized on the 41st birthday of its inspiration, Lowell Mason.
October 1, 1836: Lowell Mason (44) signs a new contract with the Boston Handel and Haydn Society. Mason will receive all profits from the church music collection after $2,000 for two years. For the next two years he will receive one-third of the profits, the society two-thirds.
April 25, 1837: Lowell Mason (45) sails from New York aboard the Virginian for a six month tour of Europe.
May 15, 1837: Lowell Mason (45) arrives in Liverpool for a six month tour that will take him to Germany, Switzerland, and France.
June 3, 1837: In London, Lowell Mason (45) writes in his travel diary, “Heard this day of the failure of the great American Houses Wilson & Co., Wild & Co. and Wiggins & Co. of London, and which must produce great distress in America.” (Mason, 40)
June 20, 1837: Lowell Mason (45) happens to meet Sir George Smart in London who invites him to the Chapel Royal on Sunday the 25th to hear the funeral anthem for the king. Mason will attend.
September 5, 1837: In London, Lowell Mason (45) writes in his travel journal, “At 8 went to rehearsal of St. Paul at Exeter Hall—the Author Mendelssohn (28) was present. I did not much enjoy it, and left before it was over…” (Mason, 122)
September 14, 1837: Lowell Mason (45) arrives in Oxford. On the way from London, his coach was passed by a procession carrying Queen Victoria.
September 16, 1837: Lowell Mason (45) arrives in Birmingham for Oxford. On the way he visited Shakespeare’s house in Stratford-upon-Avon.
October 1, 1837: After five months in Europe, Lowell Mason (45) sails from Liverpool making for New York.
November 1, 1837: Lowell Mason (45) arrives back in Boston on a steamboat from New York after a six-month tour that took him to Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, and France.
November 14, 1837: The Boston School Committee accepts the offer of Lowell Mason (45) to teach music in the Hawes Grammar School in South Boston, without payment. Although the School Committee authorized music at their 19 September meeting, the City Council refused to fund the measure.
August 14, 1838: A final music program is given by students at the Hawes Grammar School in South Boston. The experiment of music in the public schools by Lowell Mason (46) is judged a success.
August 16, 1838: A group of teachers organized two years ago in Boston called the Musical Convention adopts three resolutions on the teaching of music, all directly from the ideas of Lowell Mason (46).
August 28, 1838: Largely through the efforts of Lowell Mason (46), the Boston School Committee orders that music become a regular part of the curriculum. This decision will come to be known as the “Magna Carta of Music Education in the United States.” Mason is hired to teach and is authorized to hire whatever assistants and buy whatever materials he needs.
August 21, 1842: I was glad when they said unto me, an anthem by Lowell Mason (50) to words of the Psalms, is performed for the first time, in the Bowdoin Street Church, Boston, directed by the composer.
January 7, 1844: Lowell Mason (52) becomes music director at the Central Church on Winter Street in Boston.
October 25, 1848: Lowell Mason (56) conducts a choir of 3,000 children at festivities celebrating the installation of Boston’s large-scale water supply from Lake Cochituate.
July 8, 1851: At a farewell party for Lowell Mason (59) and his wife at Winter Street Church in Boston, Mason gives a speech on his work in church music. The Masons are moving to New York.
December 21, 1851: Lowell Mason (59) and his wife sail for Liverpool and their second European trip.
April 15, 1853: Lowell Mason (61) and his wife arrive home in Boston after a European tour of 16 months. Their trip took them to Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, and France.
April 25, 1853: The new Normal Musical Institute opens in New York. An introductory address is given by its director, Lowell Mason (61).
May 15, 1853: Lowell Mason (61) becomes music director of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York.
August 11, 1872: Evening. Lowell Mason dies at his home, Silver Spring Estate, in Orange, New Jersey, USA, aged 80 years, seven months, and three days.
August 15, 1872: After a funeral service in Orange Valley Congregational Church, the earthly remains of Lowell Mason are laid to rest in Rosedale Cemetery, Orange, New Jersey.