Philip Charles Plaisted
Born in England on 1 October 1844, Philip Charles Plaisted was six when the family migrated to Victoria in 1850.
At the age of 12, while still at school, Plaisted was studying the organ under W.S. Boswell, the Organist at St Peter's Church, Eastern Hill. When G.R.G. Pringle succeeded to the post in 1859, the young Plaisted studied under him.
Plaisted's appointment as assistant to Pringle at the age of about 15 was only the prelude to his triumph two years later when he was appointed Organist at St Stephen's Church, Richmond, Melbourne where he remained for 20 years except for a period overseas and during illness. At the time, St Stephen's was one of the leading churches in Melbourne, less than two miles from the city centre, in a select residential area where many people of influence lived.
In 1864, Plaisted had 12 months leave of absence and went to London where he was appointed Organist at St Andrew's Church, Lambeth. During this time, he studied under three eminent men: George Cooper of St Sepulchre's; E.J. Hopkins at the Temple Church, concentrating principally on the Preludes and Fugues of Bach; and Dr W.H. Monk at King's College. With Dr Monk he studied church music, including Gregorian Chant.
Philip Plaisted arrived back in Melbourne on 29 July 1865 and resumed at St Stephen's Church, Richmond where he introduced a new method of singing Psalms, and training the choirboys to sing Gregorian Chant "which they seemed to appreciate."
Plaisted's importance lies in the new ideas he brought back from England, and for his influence on pipe organs built in Victoria in the 19th century. He acted as advisor to churches, and gave the opening recitals on many instruments.
Plaisted became seriously ill in 1889, and after a lingering illness, died at East Melbourne in 1920.