William Selby

William Selby was an early American composer, organist and choirmaster. Born in England, he emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts. In 1774 he became the organist at Trinity Church, Newport. Three years later, Selby became organist at King's Chapel in Boston where he organized the first colonial music festival.


William Selby was the third known son of Joseph and Mary Selby of London. Beginning at the age of 17 he held several positions in London as organist.


Selby's surviving works include two voluntaries and one Fugue for the organ, a lesson in C for the harpsichord, and an anthem for Thanksgiving Day.
In addition to his musical endeavors, he managed a grocery and liquor shop.