John Sylvester Fearis (1867-1932) was born in Richland, Iowa. His father was a house painter and a successful singing school teacher. He received his early training in his father’s classes and also took lessons on the reed organ. As a youth, he took charge of the church choir and played organ for church and Sunday school. He began holding singing classes. He joined others and travelled the region conducting music conventions. After having an anthem published by Alfred Beirly, he moved to Chicago and worked in that firm. He also was an editor of the “Choir Leader” published by the Lorenz Publishing Company. Along with his publishing work, he continued to compose, teach, and lead conventions and musical societies. He died in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. He wrote many anthems, hymns and Gospel songs. His most famous is probably “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere.”
All are mixed chorus unless noted; some contain divisi.