Arthur Benjamin and Jamaican Rumba.


Arthur Leslie Benjamin (September 18, 1893–April 10, 1960) was an Australian composer, pianist, conductor and teacher one of the first Australian musicians to forge an international reputation, who is best known as the composer of Jamaican Rumba, composed in 1938.  Benjamin was born in Sydney, Australia, on September 18, 1893, but when he was three his parents moved to Brisbane in Queensland, and he was educated there. Taught piano by his mother, he became a progeny on the piano.  At the age of six he made his first public appearance as a pianist and his formal musical training began three years later with George Sampson, the Organist of St John’s Cathedral and Brisbane City Organist. In 1911, after a period playing in a piano store to prospective customers, at the suggestion of Thomas Dunhill he entered and won an open scholarship from Brisbane Grammar School that took him to London at the age of eighteen to study at the Royal College of Music (RCM), where he studied composition with Charles Villiers Stanford, harmony and counterpoint with Dunhill, and piano with Frederic Cliffe.  Almost immediately Benjamin made his mark as a star pupil, and he became a leading figure in a circle of close friends that included Herbert Howells, Arthur Bliss, Ivor Gurney, and Leon Goossens.

In 1914 Benjamin joined the Officer Training Corps, receiving a temporary commission in April 1915. He served initially in the infantry as 2nd Lieutenant with the 32nd Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers and in November 1917 he was attached to the Royal Flying Corps. On July 31, 1918, his aircraft was shot down over Germany by the young Hermann Göring, and he spent the remainder of the war as a German prisoner of war writing music at Ruhleben internment camp near Berlin. There he met the composers Edgar Bainton, who had been interned since 1914, and who was later to become director of the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music, and Benjamin Dale.  The manuscript of the unpublished Violin Sonata in E minor bears the date 1918, the only surviving work of that year and one of very few to be written by Benjamin during the war.

Benjamin returned to Australia in 1919 at the invitation of Henri Verbrugghen and became piano professor at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music, Sydney. He remained in Australia for only two years and returned to England in 1921 to become piano professor at the RCM. Following his appointment in 1926 to a professorship which he held for the next thirteen years at the RCM, Benjamin developed a distinguished career as a piano teacher. His better-known students from that era include Muir Mathieson, Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Miriam Hyde, Joan Trimble, Stanley Bate, Bernard Stevens, Lamar Crowson, Alun Hoddinott, Dorian Le Gallienne, Natasha Litvin (later Stephen Spender’s wife and a prominent concert pianist), William Blezard, and Benjamin Britten, whose Holiday Diary suite for solo piano is dedicated to Benjamin and mimics many of his teacher’s mannerisms.

Benjamin continued writing chamber works for the next few years, such as Three Pieces for violin and piano (1919–24); Three Impressions for voice and string quartet (1919); Five Pieces for Cello (1923); Pastoral Fantasy string quartet (1924), which won a Carnegie Award that year; Sonatina for violin and piano (1924); and the Suite of 1926 for piano solo influenced by his lasting admiration for Maurice Ravel.  Orchestral works of this period include Rhapsody on Negro Themes (1919); Concertino for piano and orchestra (1926/7); Light Music Suite (1928); Overture to an Italian Comedy (1937); and Cotillon Suite (1938). There also appeared over twenty meticulously crafted songs and choral settings.

Benjamin wrote four operas. The one-act opera The Devil Take Her, to a libretto by Alan Collard and John B. Gordon, was first produced at the RCM on December 1, 1931, and was followed by another one-acter, Prima Donna in1932 with libretto was by Cedric Cliffe, son of Benjamin’s piano teacher at the RCM, Frederic Cliffe.  The Violin Concerto of 1932 was premiered by Antonio Brosa with Benjamin conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In 1935 he accompanied the 10-year-old Canadian cellist Lorne Munroe on a concert tour of Europe. Three years later he wrote a Sonatina for Munroe, who later became the principal cellist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.

Benjamin was equally active as a writer of music for films, beginning in 1934 with The Scarlet Pimpernel, an adaptation of music from the Napoleonic era, and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) for which Benjamin composed the extended Storm Clouds Cantata.   Benjamin was also an adjudicator and examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, which led him to places such as Australia, Canada, and the West Indies. It was in the West Indies that he discovered the native tune (Mango Walk) on which he based his best-known piece, Jamaican Rumba, one of Two Jamaican Pieces, composed in 1938.  His Romantic Fantasy for Violin, Viola and Orchestra was premiered by Eda Kersey and Bernard Shore in 1938, under the composer.

Benjamin resigned from his post at the RCM and left to settle in Vancouver, Canada, where he remained for the duration of the war. In 1941 he was appointed conductor of the newly formed CBC Symphony Orchestra, holding the post until 1946. During this time he gave “literally hundreds” of Canadian first performances. The Elegiac Mazurka of 1941 was commissioned as part of the memorial volume ‘Homage to Paderewski’ in honor of the Polish pianist who had died that year. After a series of radio talks and concerts in addition to music teaching, conducting and composing, he became a major figure in Canadian musical life. He frequently visited the United States, broadcasting and arranging many performances of contemporary British music. He was also Resident Lecturer at Reed College, Portland, Oregon between 1944 and 1945. Notable students include composer Pamela Harrison.  Returning to Britain in 1946, Benjamin resumed his position at the RCM, where he remained until his retirement in 1953.

Other film scores included those for Alexander Korda’s 1947 film An Ideal Husband, The Conquest of Everest, The Cumberland Story (1947), Steps of the Ballet (1948), Master of Bankdam (1947), Above Us the Waves (1955) and Fire Down Below (1957). A Tale of Two Cities (1950) and Mañana, commissioned in 1955 and produced by BBC television on February 1, 1956, were full-length operas.  The other major original works written during the 1950s were the Harmonica Concerto (1953), written for Larry Adler, who performed it many times and recorded it at least twice; the ballet Orlando’s Silver Wedding (1951), Tombeau de Ravel for clarinet and piano, a second string quartet (1959), and the Wind Quintet (1960).   He was honoured by the Worshipful Company of Musicians by the award of the Cobbett Medal later that year (1957).  His private students included John Carmichael.

Continuing to compose and teach privately, Benjamin stayed interested and quietly influential in contemporary music, but his health was failing. Cancer was first detected in 1957, and though he had a remission long enough to see his opera A Tale of Two Cities put in production by San Francisco Opera.  He died on April 10, 1960, at the age of 66, at the Middlesex Hospital, London, England, from a re-occurrence of the cancer that had first attacked him three years earlier compounded by hepatitis, contracted while Benjamin and some friends were holidaying in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).  A fifth opera, Tartuffe, with a libretto by Cedric Cliffe based on Molière, was unfinished at Benjamin’s death. The scoring was completed by the composer Alan Boustead and the work produced by the New Opera Company at Sadler’s Wells on November 30, 1964, conducted by Boustead.

Benjamin’s creative output, which encompasses about eighty works altogether, thus manifests a great variety of idioms and genres. It includes many light-music miniatures, many of them infused with a jazz or Afro-Caribbean flavor, the most famous of which is the Jamaican Rumba that brought him popular acclaim, making him something of a household name. But there are also some impressive pieces of chamber music and several concertos.  And there is the magnificent Symphony, first performed at the Cheltenham Festival in 1948.  Among Benjamin’s other notable scores are the oboe concerto, arranged in 1942 from keyboard sonatas of Domenico Cimarosa, which has succeeded in maintaining a place in the repertoire; Elegy, Waltz and Toccata for viola and orchestra, also a Cheltenham premiere (in 1949); a Concerto quasi una Fantasia for piano and orchestra (1950)

My collection includes the following work by Arthur Benjamin:

Jamaican Rumba.

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources

Aimé Maillart and his Les Dragons de Villars Overture


Louis-Aimé Maillart (March 24, 1817 – May 26, 1871) was a French composer, best known for his operas, particularly Les Dragons de Villars and Lara.  Maillart was born on Mar. 24, 1817, in Montpellier, Departement de l’Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon, France.   He studied at the Paris Conservatory from 1833, learning composition from Aimé-Ambroise-Simon Leborne and Fromental Halévy, harmony from Antoine Elwart, and violin from Paul Guérin and Andre Gretry, and winning the Prix de Rome in 1841 for his cantata Lionel Foscara. He traveled to Italy for three years, before returning to France and composing six operas, all first performed in Paris.

Maillart’s early operas include Gastilbelza, l’homme à la carbine (1847) in three acts based on Hugo at the initiative of Adolphe Adam to open the National Theatre (later the Theatre Lyrique)., and the one-act Le moulin des Tilleuls (1849) at the Opéra-Comique.  Les dragons de Villars (1856), an opéra-comique in three acts, is the best known.  The libretto by Lockroy and Eugène Cormon was said to have been borrowed from La Petite Fadette by Georges Sand, updated by the librettists to the time of Louis XIV.  The piece was first offered to the director of the Opéra-Comique, Émile Perrin, who found the piece too dark. . It was next offered to one of the Seveste brothers at the Théâtre-Lyrique, who also rejected.  Finally, it was premiered at the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris on September 19, 1856, was also popular in Germany (under the title Das Glöckchen des Eremiten), and received a performance in New York City.

The premiere of Les dragons de Villars was very successful.   The opera, which had notched up 153 performances at the Théâtre Lyrique by 1863, was to become popular throughout Europe, as well as being staged in New Orleans (1859) and New York (1868). It reached Mauritius in 1872.   Revived at the Opéra-Comique in 1868, it achieved 377 performances at that theatre.  He was awarded the Legion of Honor in 1860.  After Les pêcheurs de Catane (1860) came Maillart’s second most famous work, Lara (1864), based on a poem of the same name by Lord Byron.  Maillart retired from Paris in 1870 with the arrival of German troops, fell ill while fleeing the Siege of Paris, and died the following year on May 26, 1871, in Moulins, Departement de l’Allier in the Auvergne region of France at age 54. He is buried in Montmartre Cemetery in Paris.

Louis-Aimé Maillart is known for his talent for melody, and strength to inspire a wide audience beyond the French borders.   He left behind six operas, three cantatas and masses.   “Les Dragons de Villars” (1856) was for many years a warhorse of the Paris Opera repertory Mahler conducted the piece in Budapest in 1888, and Furtwängler conducted it in Strasbourg in 1910.  A production was also mounted at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin in Paris on June 3, 1935. The opera was in the repertory of the Opéra de la Monnaie in Brussels from 1942 to 1953. More recently, it was staged in 1986 in Montpellier. Its overture and the vocal numbers “Espoir charmant” and “Ne parle pas, Rose” are occasionally performed today.

The following work by Aime Maillart is contained in my collection:

Les Dragons de Villars: Overture.

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources

Charles Lecocq and his Le Fille de Madame Angot Overture


Alexandre Charles Lecocq (June 3, 1832–October 24, 1918) was a French composer, one of the principal French composers of operettas after Offenbach, especially known for his La Fille de Madame Angot.  Lecocq, was born in Paris, France, on June 3, 1832.  A lifelong bachelor who lived with his mother, and physically handicapped from birth, he had a more serious side to his nature than the levity of his more famous works might suggest.  He was admitted into the Conservatoire in 1849, being already an accomplished pianist. He studied under François Bazin, François Benoist, and Fromental Halévy, winning the first prize for harmony in 1850, and the second prize for fugue in 1852.  His first operetta or opéra comique, Le Docteur Miracle, written for an operetta competition organized by Jacques Offenbach and sharing the prize with a setting of the same libretto by Georges Bizet, was performed at the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens in 1857 and gained him his first notice.

After that Lecocq wrote constantly for theatres, composing six one-act operettas, but produced nothing especially successful until the three-act Fleur-de-thé (1868), which ran for more than a hundred nights. Eleven operettas followed, and Les cent vierges (1872) was also favorably received.  However, all his previous successes were cast into the shade by La fille de Madame Angot (Brussels, 1872), which in Paris in 1873 was performed for more than 400 nights consecutively, toured throughout Europe and the U.S., and has since gained and retained enormous popularity.  After 1873, Lecocq produced a large number of operettas, though he never equalled his early triumph in La fille de Madame Angot.

Lecocq’s opéra bouffe Giroflé-Girofla is in three acts with libretto by Albert Vanloo and Eugène Leterrier.   It was first presented at the Théâtre des Fantaisies Parisiennes in Brussels, Belgium, on March 21, 1874. It opened at the Théâtre de la Renaissance in Paris, on November 11, 1874, with Jeanne Granier in the title role.  The first production at the Renaissance ran for over 200 performances up to the following October.  The Brussels company took Giroflé-Girofla to London, England, where it had its first performance on 6 June 1874.   Its popularity soon spread to Berlin, Germany, in 1874, then to Sydney, Australia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Prague, Czechoslovakia; Vienna, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; and New York, New York (USA) in 1875.

Camille Saint-Saëns was a friend of Lecocq’s, and never ceased to admire the latter’s music. Lecocq died in his home city of Paris, aged 85, on October 24, 1918.  One of the most famous of all operetta composers, considered in his time as Offenbach’s natural successor, Lecocq, who had a remarkably self-revealing correspondence with Emmanuel Chabrier, also wrote polkas, mazurkas, schottisches, other dances, and five volumes of songs, most of which never reached print.  He kept alive the spirit of Offenbach in the French operetta, adapting it to the more sober style of light opera prevalent after the Franco-German war.  La fille de Madame Angot has remained in the opéra comique repertoire in France and in 1947 some of the music was arranged by Gordon Jacob as a ballet, Mam’zelle Angot.  Also, one sometimes hears Giroflé-Girofla.

My collection includes the following work by Charles Lecocq:

Le Fille de Madame Angot: Overture.

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources

Marko Tajčević and Seven Balkan Dances


Marko Tajčević (January 29, 1900–July 19, 1984) was a Croatian-Serbian composer and musician.  Born on January 29, 1900, in Osijek, Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Tajčević began his music education with violin studies at the Croatian Music Institution with Blagoje Bersa, Franjo Dugan, and Fran Lhotka in Zagreb at the time the First World War broke out in Europe. In 1920 he went to Prague, Czechoslovakia, for further music studies where studied composition with Vaclav Stepan. Prague, an important cultural center, made a big impact on young Tajčević. Unfortunately, because of his poor financial situation, he was forced to leave Prague after a year. For a short period of time, Vienna, Austria, seemed like a good place where Tajčević could continue his music studies. After spending some time in Vienna, where he took lessons with Joseph Marx and Max Springer, he returned to his country to complete his studies.

In Zagreb together with three other composers (Z. Grgošević, J. Gotovac, and A. Novak) Tajčević prepared a concert in the series “Naša pucka lirika” (Our Folklore), which started in 1923. For this concert each of the composers wrote new songs for voice and piano based on folk music. Tajčević composed six songs for this occasion and the performance of one of them was so successful that the audience asked for encores four times during that same evening. This was a great accomplishment for young Tajčević.  During the period 1924-40, Tajčević worked in Zagreb as a teacher. Teaching was Tajčević’s life career, intermingled with composing, conducting, and writing articles and music critiques. With other colleagues from Zagreb, he helped form the Lisinski Music School.

Apart from teaching in school and composing, Tajcevic was very active as a choral conductor, leading numerous choirs including “Balkan”, “Srpsko pevacko društvo”, and “Sloga” before moving to Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1940, where he continued his conducting activity. His last concert as a choir conductor was in 1945 with the Central Choir of Belgrade, which had just been freed from the Germans. Moving to Belgrade did not stop Tajčević in his teaching career, for in 1945 he became a professor of theory and composition at the Belgrade Academy of Music. Tajčević wrote music critiques from 1922 (while he was still in Zagreb), until 1955. They were published in magazines and newspapers such as Obzor, Rijec, Pokret, Vijenac, Jutarnji list, Zvuk, and Politika.

Tajčević’s complete output totals fifty-four compositions, comprising works for solo voice, choir, chamber orchestra, strings, woodwinds, and piano. He also published books on theory and harmony. His book The Elements of Music Theory has been extensively used in music schools in the former Yugoslavia. Tajčević’s output is not large, but it is well crafted. He liked to work slowly and was aware of the responsibilities of signing the completed work. The authentic style of Tajčević is expressed through small forms—mostly miniatures, solo songs, and similar short pieces. For many critics, he was a “superb master of the miniature.”  Once he mentioned that he was amazed by the power and depth of some miniatures such as Chopin’s Prelude in C minor, Op. 28 No. 20, or Bach’s minuets. This type of piece was probably an important inspiration for his own compositions.

Piano works were the main compositional focus of Tajčević before the Second World War. After the war he began composing more often for strings, recalling his first musical steps with violin as his instrument. He wrote six works for strings, four of them titled divertimentos for three violins or string orchestra. Chaconne is his only piece for violin solo, and his only work for a wind instrument is Prelidijum i igra (Prelude and Dance) for flute solo. Vocal pieces (solo and choir) occupied his creativity throughout his life. He wrote songs for solo voice with piano and for female, male, children’s, and mixed choruses. His last piece is Zagorska rapsodija from 1979 for mixed choir. Tajčević’s works are not only recognized in Yugoslavia, but also internationally. Articles about him have appeared in dictionaries and encyclopedias such as the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.  Some famous pianists – such as Rubinstein, Friedmann, Borovski, and Orlov — have included his most popular work, Seven Balkan Dances, in their repertoire.  After a considerably long and productive life Marko Tajčević died on July 19, 1984 at the age of 84, and was buried in Belgrade.

The following work by Marko Tajčević is contained in my collection:

Seven Balkan Dances (1926)

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources

New Testament Stories My Daddy Told Me–January, 2016

January, 2016

New Testament Stories My Daddy Told Me


By Wayne S. Walker

     By way of quick review, when the apostle Paul had ended his third preaching trip, he went to Jerusalem.  While he was in the temple, a group of Jews from Asia erroneously thought that he was defiling the temple by bringing a Gentile into it, and a riot broke out during which some of them tried to kill him.  The Roman commander rescued Paul and allowed him to speak to the people, hoping to find the reason for the uproar.  After Paul recounted his conversion and said that he was sent to preach to the Gentiles, the people once again started mobbing the apostle so that the commander had to rescue him once more.  Still not knowing why this man, whom he now learned was a Roman citizen and thus protected by law from beating or even imprisonment without a trial, was accused by the Jews, the commander brought him to the Jewish council.

The Jewish council or Sanhedrin was a group of seventy men made up of the chief priests and the leaders of various Jewish religious-political sects such as the Pharisees and the Sadducees, patterned after the seventy elders selected to assist Moses during the Israelites’ wanderings in the wilderness.  When given the opportunity to speak, Paul said that he had lived in all good conscience before God until that day.  The High Priest Ananias ordered the guards to strike Paul on the mouth.  Paul responded by calling him a whitewashed sepulcher, but when he was told that it was the High Priest whom he was reviling, he apologized for his outburst which he evidently felt showed disrespect.

However, Paul knew that he would not receive any justice from this group of prejudiced men, and perceiving that part of the council were Sadducees and part were Pharisees, Paul cried out that the reason he was on trial was because of his hope for the resurrection from the dead.  The Sadducees taught that there are no angels, spirits, or resurrection from the dead, while the Pharisees believed in these things.  So a division arose among the council members, and the scribes from the Pharisees’ party said that they could find no evil in Paul’s teaching.  In fact, the dissension became so great that the commander feared that there would be still another riot, so he sent his soldiers to wrench Paul from their hands and take him back to the barracks.


  1. When he ended his third preaching trip, to what city did Paul go?
  2. What happened when some Jews from Asia saw Paul in the temple?
  3. Who had to come and rescue Paul?
  4. Before what group was Paul taken to find out why he was accused by the Jews?
  5. Who ordered the guards to strike Paul on the mouth?
  6. What did Paul call this man?
  7. What did the Sadducees teach?
  8. What did the Pharisees believe?
  9. Why did Paul say he was on trial?
  10. What happened when Paul said this?

Schoenbrunn Village schoolhouse


Schoenbrunn Village

1984 E. High Avenue

New Philadelphia, OH 44663

Schoenbrunn Village, located on the Tuscarawas River near present-day New Philadelphia and founded in 1772 as a Moravian mission among the Delaware Indians, is the site of several Ohio firsts – the first Christian settlement, church, schoolhouse, and code of laws. The village, now restored to appear as it did more than two centuries ago, includes the original cemetery and 16 reconstructed log structures, as well as the church and gardens. A visitor’s center with museum and introduction video helps orientate the visitors to experience the village as if they were in the past.

The Village was established by David Zeisberger, who in 1772 found a rare pocket of neutrality in a region that was tense as the American Revolution approached. The word Schoenbrunn means “beautiful spring” in German. Five Indian families and Zeisberger came to the Tuscarawas River area to find a suitable site for a mission, upon an invitation of the Delaware or Lenape Indian leader Netawatwes to establish a mission in the Ohio country. The village established the state’s first civil code, and built the first schoolhouse. Towards the end of its short five year history, the villagers were harassed from both sides; the Indians, who were under the influence of the British, and the American frontiersmen who were pushing their way farther into the Ohio country.  By 1777, shortly after the start of the Revolutionary War, the villagers, pressured by the opposing forces chose to abandon Schoenbrunn.  Upon leaving, they ruined the meeting house so it could not be used again.

In the early twentieth century, residents of the Tuscarawas Valley of Ohio began to discuss ways to honor the missionaries and converts who had once lived there. Because the mission village of Schoenbrunn had included the first church and school buildings west of the Allegheny Mountains, reconstructing these and other village buildings seemed an appropriate monument to their memory. At that time, Joseph E. Weinland was minister of the Dover First Moravian Church and also president of the Tuscarawas County Historical Association. He was instrumental in research, planning, and raising money for the project. Although Schoenbrunn mission once contained over 60 buildings, by the 1920s, its location had been lost; the passage of more than 140 years and extensive farming had erased all signs that it had ever existed. Finally, after archeological excavations, the sites of the church, school, and graveyard were located and the first reconstructed cabin was completed in June of 1927.

Schoenbrunn, on State Route 259 just outside New Philadelphia, OH, has since been rebuilt and is administered as an historic site by the Ohio History Connection. There are 17 reconstructed buildings on their original village site. The village contains the school, meeting house, 4 native round log cabins and 14 square log cabins.  The original school was built ca. 1772. The older photograph was taken ca. 1940-1949.

schoenbrunn First_Schoolhouse_in_Ohio

Monthly meditation, 1/2016

January, 2016

Monthly Meditation


by Wayne S. Walker

     “Revive me, O LORD, for Your name’s sake!  For your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble” (Psalm 143:11).  The word “revive” comes from a Latin word made up of the prefix “re” meaning again, and the verb “vivo” meaning to make alive.  Hence, it means to “make alive again.”  Although we do not know the exact circumstances, David was in trouble, being persecuted by an enemy (v. 5), and felt as though he were almost dead.  Therefore, he asked the Lord to revive him.

Through the years, I have heard brethren debate whether gospel meetings should be called “revivals” or not.  Some oppose the term because it is used by denominational churches to refer to extended religious services of a highly emotionalistic nature.  Others suggest that the phrase “gospel meeting” means nothing to the average person, whereas “revival” conveys the idea of extended religious services conducted by a local church, which is what a gospel meeting is.  One might also argue that gospel meetings can serve the purpose of “reviving” an interest in saving souls on the part of Christians and even “reviving” an interest in spiritual things on the part of those outside of Christ.

One of our familiar gospel songs is entitled “Revive Us Again.”  I have heard objections to this hymn based on the claim that if we are asking God to “Revive us again,” it must means that we are already cold and dead, which is something that is not, or should not be, true of faithful Christians.  However, it is not necessary to think of the idea of being revived in this way.  All of us, as faithful as we may strive to be, find ourselves at times in situations where we are discouraged, downhearted, and even distraught.  At such times, our spirits need to be revived so that we may continue to press on.  It seems that if David asked God to revive him, we can ask the Lord to revive us when we need it.

Sequoyah School, Siloam Springs, Arkansas


Sequoyah School, Siloam Springs, Arkansas

The Sequoyah School, District 39, was constructed in 1935, during the midst of the Great Depression, on prairie land near Siloam Springs, AR.  Many schools of this era were built under a variety of federal work relief programs.  Created from resources available at the time, the school was built of limestone, a commonly used material in that area.  Siloam Springs is a city in Benton County, AR, sharing a border on the Arkansas-Oklahoma state line with the city of West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma, which is within the Cherokee Nation territory. The town was founded in 1882 and was characterized by the purported healing powers of the spring water feeding Sager Creek and trading with nearby Native American tribes.

Cruz Gets Nod From Homeschoolers

I know that not all homeschoolers will agree or like this news, but…

Cruz Loads More Iowa Ammunition, Gets Nod From Homeschoolers
Steve Berman (January 15, 2016)

It doesn’t get media coverage, but the homeschooling community has a passionate and committed lobby, which has thrown its support behind Ted Cruz.

Republican presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announced Monday the launch of the Homeschoolers for Cruz coalition, an alliance of over 6,000 members of America’s homeschool community and prominent homeschooling lobbyists who have united to endorse him for president.

Read more:

Cruz Loads More Iowa Ammunition, Gets Nod From Homeschoolers

Constant Lambert and Les Patineurs

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

Leonard Constant Lambert (August 23, 1905–August 21, 1951) was a British composer, conductor, arranger, and author.  The son of Russian-born Australian painter George Washington Thomas Lambert, Constant Lambert was born on August 23, 1905, at Fulham, London, England.  Lambert’s childhood experiences, which included a near-fatal bout of septicaemia, gave him a lifelong detestation and fear of the medical profession.  Isolated in infirmaries for long spells as a child due to poor health, Lambert used this time to read voraciously and intensively study music.  Educated first at Christ’s Hospital, he was a prodigy, and while still a boy demonstrated formidable musical gifts by writing orchestral works from the age of 13. In 1922, Lambert won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London, where his teachers were Ralph Vaughan Williams, R. O. Morris, and Sir George Dyson (composition), Malcolm Sargent (conducting) and Herbert Fryer (piano).   Early on, Lambert made friends with composers William Walton and Philip Heseltine (aka Peter Warlock), and made some arrangements from Walton’s Façade.

The influence of Walton’s approach can be seen in very early Constant Lambert works such as the children’s fable Mr. Bear Squash-you-all-flat (1924).   At 20 Lambert received a commission to write a ballet for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes (Romeo and Juliet, 1925).   Pomona, composed for Nizhinska, followed in 1927.  Lambert’s first marriage was to Florence Kaye; their son was Kit Lambert, one of the managers of The Who.  For a few years Lambert enjoyed a meteoric celebrity, including participating in a recording of William Walton’s Façade with Edith Sitwell. Lambert’s best-known composition is The Rio Grande (1927) for piano and alto soloists, chorus, and orchestra of brass, strings and percussion. It achieved instant success, and Lambert made two recordings of the piece as conductor (1930 and 1949). In the meantime, Lambert became conductor of the Carmargo Society for the presentation of ballet productions (1930).

For the first performance of his Piano Concerto (1931), rather than select a British-born pianist, Lambert chose the Sydney-born, Brisbane-trained Arthur Benjamin to play the solo part.  After his more serious subsequent efforts failed to gain a foothold with the public, Lambert turned to music criticism. He contributed articles on music to the Nation and Anthem (from 1930) and to the Sunday Referee (from 1931). Lambert differed from most of his fellow English composers of the time in his acute and prophetic perception of the importance of jazz. He responded positively to the music of Duke Ellington. His embrace of music outside the ‘serious’ repertoire is illustrated by his book Music Ho! (1934), subtitled “a study of music in decline.”  During the 1930s, Lambert’s career as a conductor took off with his appointment with the Vic-Wells ballet (later the Sadler’s Wells Ballet and The Royal Ballet) in 1931, remaining in that capacity until resigning in 1947, but his career as a composer stagnated. His major choral work Summer’s Last Will and Testament after the play of the same name by Thomas Nashe, one of his most emotionally dark works, proved unfashionable in the mood following the death of King George V.

Lambert himself considered he had failed as a composer, and completed only two major works in the remaining sixteen years of his life. Instead he concentrated on conducting, and sometimes appeared at Covent Garden (1937; 1939; 1946-1947).  He was the greatest ballet conductor and advisor his country ever had, arranging music by Giacomo Meyerbeer for the ballet Les Patineurs  in 1937.  But the Second World War took its toll of his vitality and creativity. He was ruled unfit for active service in the armed forces; decades of hard drinking had impaired his health, which declined further with the development of diabetes that remained undiagnosed and untreated until very late in his life. As a conductor Lambert had an instinctive appreciation of Liszt, Chabrier, Émile Waldteufel, and romantic Russian composers, most of whom were seldom heard in Britain before he championed them; he made fine recordings of some of their works. However, it was only from the late 1940s that the development of the BBC Third Programme and the Philharmonia Orchestra gave him the directorial opportunities with first-rank players which he craved.

By the late 1940’s, Lambert was one of the most prominent conductors in England and well known internationally through recordings and his popular ballet Horoscope (1937). He also was associate conductor of the London Promenade Concerts (1945-1946), conducted at ISCM concerts in England, and frequently conducted broadcast performances over the BBC. In 1947 Lambert married the artist Isabel Delmer.  He was made one of The Royal Ballet’s artistic directors in 1948, and subsequently conducted it on its first visit to the USA (1949).  He entrusted another Australian musician, Gordon Watson, with the task of playing the virtuoso piano part at the première of his last ballet, Tiresias (1950).  Lambert died on August 21, 1951, in London, England, two days short of his forty-sixth birthday, of pneumonia and undiagnosed diabetes complicated by acute alcoholism, and was buried in Brompton Cemetery, London. His son Kit was buried in the same grave in 1981. Constant Lambert was one of the most gifted musicians of his generation. His music is inspired, original, and well worth rediscovering.

The following work by Constant Lambert is contained in my collection:

Les Patineurs Ballet Music after Meyerbeer: Section 1

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources