Born: May 28, 1917 - West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: July 24, 2001 - Bronx, New York, USA
The American conductor, organist and harpsichordist, Charles N. Henderson, studied music at Bucknell University, the Juilliard School, Syracuse University and the Fontainebleau School in France. His teachers included Ernest White, Arthur Poister and Nadia Boulanger.
From 1939 to 1952, Charles Henderson was the organist and choir director at the First Presbyterian Church and a member of the faculty of Wilkes College, both in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He was also minister of music at the Church of the Covenant in Erie, Pennsylvania. In 1955 he moved to Manhattan to become the organist and choirmaster at St. George's Church in Stuyvesant Square. During his 18-year tenure, he oversaw the installation of an M. P. Moller organ, built a choir of more than 200 singers and presented ambitious concerts that included major works from the oratorio literature, with orchestral accompaniment, as well as the premieres of several works, including Alan Hovhaness's Magnificat and Daniel Pinkham's St. Mark Passion. A production of Benjamin Britten's Noye's Fludde' conducted by Henderson was broadcast nationally on CBS television in 1964.
Charles Henderson left St. George's in 1973 to become editor of the American Guild of Organists' journal, then called Music (now called The American Organist). He held the position until he retired in 1982, when he became editor emeritus of the magazine, for which he continued to write a column.
Charles Henderson was on the faculty of the Union Theological Seminary's School of Sacred Music, and from 1976 to 1983 was the organist at the First Presbyterian Church in Milford, New Jersey.
Charles N. Henderson died on July 24, 2001 at his daughter's home in the Bronx. He was 84 and lived in Erwinna, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He was survived by two daughters, Ann Henderson of the Bronx and Sarah Henderson of Toronto, and a grandson.