David Williams Thornton
David Thornton was born in 1911 in the United States into a missionary
family but spent many of his early years in Japan before returning to
the United States in 1926 at the age of 15.
That was when David’s father brought the family to St. Louis. It was here that David completed public school before later extending his education in the field of music.
David was an accomplished organist, director and composer, and he had a long, professional career in music. He served as minister of music in several St. Louis churches, one of which was Hope Congregational Church, where his father was pastor, and it was during this period that father and son collaborated on the writing of My Heart is Glad. Later he took the position of Minister of Music at the Trinity Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, following the untimely death of C. Albert Scholin, whose publishing company had published the cantata. David also married, had a family, and served in World War II.
In thinking about those earlier
years, David’s niece, Alice, recalls that her grandfather, David’s
father, prepared a room on the lower level of the parsonage for David
to study and compose music. It is not unreasonable to believe that it
was in this room that the idea for My Heart is Glad was born.
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David Thornton's talent and accomplishments received acclaim during his
lifetime in his home town press - not only because of My Heart Is Glad
but due to the numerous works he composed.