Peter Wilhousky

Peter J. Wilhousky
Born 13 July 1902
Passaic, New Jersey, USA
Died January 4, 1978
Norwalk, Connecticut, USA
Cause of death Cancer
Citizenship United States
Occupation Director of music in New York City schools and conductor of the New York All-City High School Chorus
Known for English language setting of "Carol of the Bells," arrangement of "Battle Hymn of the Republic"

Peter J. Wilhousky (Ukrainian: Пітер (Петро) Вільховський) (13 July 1902 – 4 January 1978) was an American composer, educator, and choral conductor of Ukrainian ethnic extraction. During his childhood he was part of New York's Rusyn Cathedral Boys Choir and gave a performance at the White House to President Woodrow Wilson.[1] He was featured on several broadcasts of classical music with Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra, including the historic 1947 broadcast of Verdi's opera Otello. In 1936, he wrote the popular Christmas carol "Carol of the Bells"; a song with English lyrics to the popular composition by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych originally known as "Shchedryk". His arrangement of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" for chorus, band, and orchestra[2][3] is probably the most famous arrangement of the hymn before the 1940s in the United States.

Former students

As a choral director in New York City, he influenced the future careers of musicians such as Julius La Rosa and Stephen Jay Gould.[4]


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