Natalie Sleeth

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Natalie Sleeth
Natalie Allyn Wakeley

(1930-10-29)October 29, 1930
DiedMarch 21, 1992(1992-03-21) (aged 61)

Natalie Allyn Sleeth (née Wakeley; October 29, 1930 – March 21, 1992) was an American composer.[1]

Sleeth was born in Evanston, Illinois. In 1934, she began to study the piano at the early age of four. In 1952, she received an Academic major in music theory and a BA in music theory at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She married the Rev. Ronald E. Sleeth, a professor of Homiletics.[1]

In her later life she received an honorary doctorate from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1989 and from Nebraska Wesleyan College in 1990. An organist, she wrote over 180 highly successful selections for church and school. One of Sleeth's best-known anthems for choir is entitled "Joy in the Morning" and was written for the West Virginia Wesleyan College concert chorale on the occasion of her husband's inauguration as the president of West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1977.[2]

"In the Bulb There is a Flower", composed as an anthem and dedicated to Rev. Sleeth, who was diagnosed with cancer very soon after its composition, is sung widely in the United Church of Canada. It appears as hymn #703 in the United Church of Canada hymnal, Voices United (Toronto: The United Church Publishing House, 1996) and also appears as #433 in the New Century Hymnal produced by the United Church of Christ in the US (Cleveland, OH: The Pilgrim Press, 1995). It appears as hymn #707 under the title "Hymn of Promise" in the United Methodist Hymnal (Nashville, TN: The United Methodist Publishing House, 1989). It was translated into German by Lothar Pöll in 1999 as part of the "Gesangbuch der Evangelisch-methodistischen Kirche" (Stuttgart / Zürich / Wien: Medienwerk der EmK, 2002, #661).[3]


Natalie Sleeth died of cancer in Denver, Colorado in 1992, aged 61.[1] She was a member of the Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas.


  1. ^ a b c Natalie Sleeth biography at Hope Publishing Co. site; accessed December 9, 2013
  2. ^ Murmurmontis (Yearbook). West Virginia Wesleyan College. 1977. p. 31.
  3. ^ Karl-Heinz Baum: "Aus der Zwiebel wird die Blume",; accessed December 17, 2016.(in German)