Fray Florencio Ibañez was born at Tarazona, Aragon, Spain,
October 26, 1740, and entered the Franciscan order at the Convento
de Nuestra Senora de Jesus, Zaragosa, February 8, 1757. At the convento
grande in his province as well as at that of Calatayud he was choirmaster...He
came to San Fernando College, Mexico City, May 1, 1770, together
with thirty-nine other Franciscans. Besides holding the office of
preacher, he was attached to the choir of San Fernando until August
16, 1774. A fine artist as well as a musician of no little ability,
he spent considerable time at the college in painting large choir
books, samples of which were brought to the Mission Santa Barbara
in 1882 by Fray Jose Maria de Jesus Romo...In failing health in
1774, he obtained a transfer from the college to the province of
Michoacan where he was again employed as choirmaster and professor
of Latin at San Miguel de Allende until 1781, when he joined the
college of Santa Cruz de Queretaro. There he became an Indian missionary
serving in Sonora...After seventeen years as a missionary, he returned
to Queretaro and once again to San Fernando in 1800...The next year
he was on his way to California. He embarked on the frigate Concepción
and arrived at Monterey, August 9, 1801. At Carmel Mission he administered
baptism on August 16 and 18. He was stationed first at Mission San
Antonio from September 20, 1801, to August 17, 1803. In that same
month he was transferred to Mission Soledad, where he made his first
baptismal entry on October 20. He remained at that mission until
November 26, 1818. Ibañez had spent a short time at Mission
San Juan Bautista, August 17 to September 14, 1806, and baptized
there again, August 22 and 26, 1808...He died at Soledad, November
26, 1818...In 1817, V. F. de Sarria wrote that he considered Ibañez
as a man of only ordinary ability...In matters connected with temporal
management, Ibañez is credited with great capability and
intelligence. In person he had great strength, was tall with broad
shoulders. He was described in records as possessing a good build,
of having a light complexion, a somewhat reddish beard, and a face
large and thin. He was very kind to the poor and lowly and loved
to instruct the neophytes in their work and in music and to teach
the common soldiers to read and write. On Josť Joaquin Arrillaga's
second coming to California, Ibañez welcomed him with music
and songs, the words of which he himself had composed. He is also
remembered as a dramatist of ability: his "Pastorela," a nativity
play, was, it is said, a prime favorite in California.
Source: Maynard Geiger, O.F.M., Franciscan Missionaries
in Hispanic California, 1769-1848, A Biographical Dictionary,
The Huntington Library, San Marino, 1969, pg. 124.
More on Florencio Ibañez
The Mass of St. Dominic. The Choral book [See Note
1] is not the only piece of mission music manuscript left at
Santa Clara. The Mass of St. Dominic [See Note
2], a handwritten Gregorian manuscript in black and white, is
made up of 85 pages of music using square notes. Bound by Father
Viader in brown cowhide with leather thong stitching, this rare
item bears the following handwritten inscription on page 83 [See
Note 3], "8 de Junio de 1812 se acabaxan estos
15 pliegos en Lunes Y Luna 29, visperad de conjunction. Ibañez."
This is very clearly a note by Father Florencia Ibañez, reporting
that they had completed 15 fascicles on that date. Father Da Silva
places Ibañez among the foremost musicians of the day [he
Padres Ibañez entered the Franciscan order in
1757, and was choirmaster there for a number of years. At
the age of twenty-seven years, he set sail for Mexico, where
he was appointed choirmaster at the College of San Fernando
in Mexico City...He volunteered for the Missions of Alta California.
He entered upon his new work in 1801, serving at Mission San
Antonio. Two years later he was transferred to Mission Soledad,
where he remained until his death in 1818 .
How this fine example of mission music came to be housed at Santa
Clara will probably never be known. Since there were others than
Ibañez working on its pages, one of the other Fathers may
have carried it with him to Santa Clara from the College of San
Fernando, or from the Mission Soledad.
Source: Beryl Hoskin, A History of the Santa Clara Mission
Library, Biobooks, Oakland, California, 1961, pg. 44.
 The Choral book is another choir book
at Mission Santa Clara besides the Mass of St. Dominic book.
 The Mass of St. Dominic is the
first entry in the book that is claimed to bear the writing of Father
 Te Deum is on fol. 83 to
84v. Although a note can be seen on fol. 83 (top) and 84v, it may
not correspond with what Hoskin writes. Salve Regina
is on fol. 56v and 57.
 Owen da Silva, O. F. M. Mission Music
of California, Warren F. Lewis, Publisher, Los Angeles, CA,
1954, p. 22.
Description of the Santa Clara Mission Music Book: Leather
Bound, 85 pages, Gregorian manuscript, B&W, square notes. Manuscript
found at Mission Santa Clara and is possibly attributable to Florencio
Ibañez and his contemporaries. Music is described in Beryl
Hoskin's book (pgs. 45-46). The manuscript is also on microfilm
(manuscript 1-4, Mass of St. Dominic and other songs) at Santa Clara
University. Te Deum is on fol. 83 to 84v. Salve
Regina is on fol. 56v and 57.