My father was a German Lutheran minister, Rev. Adolph Spaeth, born in Esslingen, near Stuttgart, and coming to Philadelphia in 1864, where one of his first public speeches was at a memorial service following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, whom he greatly admired.
While a student at Tübingen University, young Adolph had been a pupil of the great Friedrich Silcher, who wrote the famous Lorelei melody and many other successful songs. My father studied piano, organ, and clarinet, as well as vocal music, conducting, and composition. He became known in time as a practical conductor of both choral and orchestral music, and was a member of the original Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
At St. John's (St. Johannis) Lutheran Church, where he served as Pastor for many years, my father always led the congregational singing in a strong, true tenor voice, as he did also in our home. He composed several hymn tunes