Walford Davies and the Royal Air Force March


Henry Walford Davies (September 6, 1869 – March 11, 1941) was an English composer, conductor, and educator who held the title Master of the King’s Music from 1934 until 1941.  Davies was born on September 6, 1869, in the Shropshire town of Oswestry close to the border with Wales. He was the seventh of nine children of John Whitridge and Susan, née Gregory, Davies and the youngest of four surviving sons.  It was a musical family.  Davies senior, an accountant by profession was a keen amateur musician, who founded and conducted a choral society at Oswestry and was choirmaster of the local Congregational church. Two of his other sons, Charlie and Harold, later held the post of organist at the church; the latter was professor of music at the University of Adelaide from 1919 to 1947. In 1882 Walford was accepted as a chorister at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, by the organist, Sir George Elvey.

When his voice broke in 1885 Davies left the choir. Later that year he was appointed organist of the royal chapel of All Saints, Windsor Great Park and was secretary to Elvey’s successor, Walter Parratt, and Dean (later Archbishop) Randall Davidson.  At this time British universities, including Cambridge, awarded “non-collegiate” music degrees to any applicant who could pass the necessary examinations. Davies entered for the Cambridge bachelor of music examinations in 1889, but his exercise, a cantata, The Future, to words by Matthew Arnold, failed.  With the encouragement of Charles Villiers Stanford, professor of music at Cambridge, Davies made a second attempt; it was successful, and he graduated in 1891.

In 1890 Davies was awarded a scholarship in composition at the Royal College of Music (RCM), London, where he was a student until 1894.  His teachers there were Hubert Parry and (for a single term) Stanford for composition, and W. S. Rockstro (counterpoint), Herbert Sharpe (piano) and Haydn Inwards (violin). While still at the RCM he was organist of St George’s Church, Campden Hill, for three months, and St Anne’s Church, Soho for a year until 1891, when he resigned for health reasons.  In the following year was appointed organist of Christ Church, Hampstead; he remained there until 1897, holding the post in tandem for the last two years with an appointment from 1895 as teacher of counterpoint at the RCM in succession to Rockstro, a post that he held until 1903.  He considered resigning the post in 1896, when he failed the counterpoint paper in the Cambridge examinations for the degree of doctor of music; he was successful at his second attempt, and the doctorate was conferred in March 1898.

In May 1898 Davies was appointed organist and director of the choir at the Temple Church in the City of London, a post he retained until 1923. As an organist he became well known both as a soloist and as a teacher – the most celebrated of his pupils being Leopold Stokowski. As a conductor he directed the London Church Choir Association (1901–13) and succeeded Stanford at the Bach Choir (1902–07).  As a composer Davies achieved his most substantial success in 1904, with his cantata Everyman, based on the 15th century morality play of the same name.   During the First World War Davies joined the Committee for Music in War Time under Parry’s chairmanship, organized concerts for the troops in France and musical events for the Fight for Right movement.  In 1918 he was appointed director of music of the Royal Air Force, with the rank of major. He established the RAF School of Music and two RAF bands, and composed the “Royal Air Force March Past.”

In 1919 Davies accepted the professorship of music at University College, Aberystwyth, together with the post of director of music for the University of Wales and chairman of the National Council of Music. In 1922 he was knighted in David Lloyd George’s resignation honors.  In 1924 he gave the Cramb lectures at the University of Glasgow, gave his first broadcast talk for the BBC, and was appointed Gresham professor of music at the University of London.   Davies’s BBC broadcast in April 1924 was the first of many he made between then and 1941.  In the same year, at the age of fifty-four, he married (Constance) Margaret Isabel Evans (1898–1984), daughter of the William Evans, Rector of Narberth, Pembrokeshire.  Davies resigned his professorship at Aberystwyth in 1926, but remained as chairman of the National Council of Music for the rest of his life.

In the same year Davies was appointed by the BBC as a musical adviser.   He became well known for his programs such as “Music and the Ordinary Listener” (1926–9), his wartime broadcasts for children (1939–41), and “Everyman’s Music” (1940–41), which brought him great popularity with British radio audiences.  From 1927 to 1932 he was organist and director of the choir of St George’s Chapel, Windsor. This was his last full-time post.  On the death of Sir Edward Elgar in 1934, Davies was appointed to succeed him as Master of the King’s Music.  As musical adviser to the BBC, Davies moved from London to Bristol when the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the corporation’s music administration moved there on the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939.  Davies died at Wrington, near Bristol, on March 11, 1941, and was buried in the graveyard of Bristol Cathedral.

My collection includes the following work by Walford Davies:

Royal Air Force March.

Teaching Multiple Grade Levels

Teaching Multiple Grade Levels
by Gena Suarez
from Crosswalk Homeschool Life newsletter (Tuesday, October 11, 2011)

Teaching multiple grades. Yeah, that’s a doozy for a lot of moms. I mean, seriously, how do you work with a high schooler while you have the 4–year–old pulling everything out of your underwear drawer and building a tent (don’t ask). Sometimes I feel like I’m all mixed up; one of these days I’m really going to lose my marbles. I can just see myself telling my oldest one to make sure he uses the potty (properly) while barking out orders to my youngest to go thaw something out for dinner. Err … scratch—reverse that. It’s just funny because you have to be all things to all (they expect you to be … The Mama), and sometimes you wonder if you can even BE you that day. Where’s the coffee? Forget the coffee; where’s my bed?

read more:


Copyright, 2011. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Homeschool Minute, September 7, 2011. Visit The Old Schoolhouse® at http://www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com to view a full–length sample copy of the magazine especially for homeschoolers. Click the graphic of the moving computer monitor on the left. Email the Publisher at Publisher@TheHomeschoolMagazine.com.

Michael Daugherty and Niagara Falls


Michael Kevin Daugherty (born April 28, 1954) is an American composer, pianist, and teacher who has been influenced by popular culture, Romanticism, and Postmodernism, and is one of the most widely performed American concert music composers of his generation.   Daugherty was born into a musical family on April 28, 1954 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His father Willis Daugherty (1929–2011) was a jazz and country and western drummer, his mother Evelyn Daugherty (1927–1974) was an amateur singer, and his grandmother Josephine Daugherty (1907–1991) was a pianist for silent film. Daugherty’s four younger brothers are all professional musicians: Pat Daugherty (b. 1956), Tim Daugherty (b. 1958), Matt Daugherty (b. 1960), and Tommy D. Daugherty (b. 1961).

During his developmental years, Daugherty’s mother encouraged him to paint, draw cartoons, tap dance, and play basketball and his father and uncle, Danny Nicol, taught him how to play rock and jazz drums. From 1963-67 Daugherty played bass drum in the Emerald Knights and tom-toms in the Grenadier Drum and Bugle Corps where he competed against other Drum and Bugle Corps throughout small Midwestern towns. From 1968-72, Daugherty was the leader, arranger, and organist for his high school rock, soul, and funk band, The Soul Company. This band performed a variety of Motown charts and music by James Brown, Blood Sweat & Tears, and Sly and the Family Stone. Because accessing sheet music was almost impossible, Daugherty learned to hand-transcribe the music by listening to vinyl recordings. With the help of his father, who drove the band across the state, The Soul Company became a locally popular group that performed at high school proms, dances, and other events.

During the same years, Daugherty was a piano accompanist for the Washington High School Concert Choir and a solo jazz piano performer in nightclubs and lounges, and he appeared on local television as the pianist for the country and western Dale Thomas Show.  During the summers of 1972-77, Daugherty played Hammond organ at county fairs across the Midwest for various popular music stars such as Bobby Vinton, Boots Randolph, Pee Wee King, and members of The Lawrence Welk Show.  Daugherty studied music composition and jazz at the University of North Texas College of Music from 1972-76. His teachers of composition included Martin Mailman and James Sellars. Daugherty also played jazz piano in the Two O’Clock Lab Band.  It was after hearing the Dallas Symphony Orchestra perform the Piano Concerto by Samuel Barber that Daugherty decided to devote his full energies into composing music for the concert stage.   In 1974, conductor Anshel Brusilow programmed a new work with the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra when Daugherty was 20 years of age. After his premiere of Movements for Orchestra, the composition faculty awarded Daugherty a fellowship, which allowed him to continue his musical studies at the university. Daugherty received a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from North Texas State University in 1976.

That same year, Daugherty moved to New York City to experience the exploding new music scene. While there, he studied serialism with Charles Wuorinen at the Manhattan School of Music for two years, and received a Master of Music in Composition degree in 1978.  To earn money for his studies, Daugherty was employed as an usher at Carnegie Hall and a rehearsal pianist for dance classes directed by the New York City Ballet dancer Jacques d’Amboise.  Daugherty frequently attended “uptown” and “downtown” new music concerts in New York City; this is where he became acquainted with composers such as Milton Babbitt, Morton Feldman, and Pierre Boulez.  In 1978, Boulez, then the Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, invited Daugherty to apply to his recently opened computer music institute in Paris: IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique). A Fulbright Fellowship enabled Daugherty to move to Paris to study computer music at IRCAM from 1979-80. During his time at IRCAM, he met many composers such as Luciano Berio, Gérard Grisey, Tod Machover, and Frank Zappa. In Paris, Daugherty had the opportunity to hear contemporary music by the leading European composers of the time performed by the Ensemble l’Itinéraire and Boulez’s Ensemble InterContemporain. He also attended analysis classes given by Betsy Jolas at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris.

In the fall of 1980, Daugherty returned to America to pursue doctoral studies in composition at the Yale School of Music. During that time, Jacob Druckman (who was one of America’s most influential composers) was chair of the composition department at Yale and composer in residence with the New York Philharmonic. Daugherty studied with Druckman and other Pulitzer Prize winning composers at Yale, including Bernard Rands and Roger Reynolds. He also studied improvisational notation systems and open form with experimental music composer Earle Brown.  Daugherty’s composition class at Yale included student composers who would later become unique and important voices in contemporary music: Bang on a Can composers Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe; along with Robert Beaser, Aaron Jay Kernis, Scott Lindroth, and Betty Olivero.

At Yale, Daugherty wrote his dissertation on the relationship between the music of Charles Ives and Gustav Mahler and the writings of Goethe and Ralph Waldo Emerson.   He also continued his interest in jazz where he worked with Willie Ruff and directed the Yale Jazz Ensemble. It was Ruff who introduced Daugherty to jazz arranger Gil Evans, who, at that time, was looking for an assistant. For the next several years, Daugherty traveled by train from New Haven to Evans’ private studio in Manhattan. Daugherty helped Evans organize his music manuscripts and complete projects. The most notable project was the reconstruction of the lost arrangements of Porgy and Bess, which was originally used for the 1958 recording with Miles Davis.  During the summer of 1981, Daugherty studied composition with Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Mario Davidovsky as a composition fellow at Tanglewood, which, at that time, was renowned as a bastion of abstract and atonal music. It was at Tanglewood that Daugherty met the composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein. After hearing Daugherty’s music at Tanglewood, Bernstein encouraged Daugherty to seriously consider integrating American popular music with concert music.

One year later, in the summer of 1982, Daugherty traveled to Germany to attend the Darmstädter Ferienkurse (Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik – Darmstadt International Summer Courses in New Music).  Darmstadt was one of the leading centers for new music in Europe, where the musical aesthetics of Theodor W. Adorno were still of great influence. Daugherty attended lectures given by composers, including Brian Ferneyhough and Karlheinz Stockhausen, and performances by the Arditti String Quartet. At Darmstadt, Daugherty became friends with Karlheinz’s son, the trumpet player Markus Stockhausen. Together they formed an experimental improvisation ensemble (Markus Stockhausen on trumpet and electronics and Daugherty on synthesizers) that, over several years, performed in concert halls and clubs across Europe.

In the fall of 1982, Daugherty was invited by composer György Ligeti to study composition with him at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg. In addition to attending Ligeti’s composition seminar (which took place at his apartment in Hamburg), Daugherty traveled with Ligeti to attend concerts and festivals of his music throughout Europe.   At the time, Ligeti was interested in the music of Conlon Nancarrow, who lived in isolation in Mexico City and composed complex polyrhythmic music for player pianos. The player piano (by now an antique) was a familiar and nostalgic musical instrument to Daugherty. Daugherty met Nancarrow in Graz, Austria, when Ligeti introduced Nancarrow and his music to the European intelligentsia at the 1982 ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music) World Music Days.[14] During the following two years (1983–84), Daugherty continued to study with Ligeti while employed as a solo jazz pianist in night clubs in Cambridge, England and Amsterdam. To create “original” music, Ligeti encouraged and inspired Daugherty to find new ways to integrate computer music, jazz, rock, and American popular music with concert music. In the fall of 1984, Daugherty returned to America and devoted his career to doing just that.

Daugherty is an active educator of young composers and advocate for contemporary music. As an Assistant Professor of Composition at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (1986–91), Daugherty organized guest residencies of composers with performances of their music; these included Luciano Berio, John Harbison, Christopher Rouse, Roger Reynolds, Kenneth Gaburo, Morton Subotnick, Herbert Brun, and Salvatore Martirano. Daugherty also organized the 1988 Electronic Festival Plus Festival, which took place at Oberlin and featured music from over 50 composers. At Oberlin, Daugherty (playing synthesizer) also performed and recorded with jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd who taught there from 1987-89.  In 1991, Daugherty was invited to join the composition faculty at the University of Michigan School of Music (Ann Arbor).  He replaced Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Leslie Bassett, who retired after 40 years of service to the university. Daugherty was co-chair of the composition department with composer William Bolcom from 1998–2001, and chair of the department from 2002-06. As a Professor of Composition at the University of Michigan, Daugherty has been and continues to be a mentor to many of today’s most talented young composers.  At the University of Michigan, Daugherty has organized residencies of guest composers with performances of their music; these include Henryk Górecki, Louis Andriessen, Michael Colgrass, David Lang, Tania Leone, Michael Torke, Joan Tower, Betsy Jolas and György Ligeti.

Daugherty is active as an advocate of new music with numerous orchestras throughout America. He has been Composer-in-Residence with the Louisville Symphony Orchestra (2000), Detroit Symphony Orchestra (1999-2003), Colorado Symphony Orchestra (2001–02), Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (2001, 2006, 2011), Westshore Symphony Orchestra (2005–06), Eugene Symphony (2006), the Henry Mancini Summer Institute (2006), the Music from Angel Fire Chamber Music Festival (2006), the Pacific Symphony (2010), Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra (2012), New Century Orchestra (2014), and the Albany Symphony (2015).  He is a frequent guest composer at American universities and schools of music, where he gives master classes on his music and works with young composers and student ensembles.  In 2001, Daugherty was invited to present his music with performances by the United States Air Force Band at the Midwest Clinic “The Midnight Special” in Chicago. Also in the Chicago area, Daugherty has frequently participated in the Ravinia Festival Community Outreach program which is designed to promote and encourage new music by student ensembles in the Chicago Public Schools. Daugherty continues to work with many youth orchestras, wind ensembles, and bands across the country.

Daugherty’s notable works include his Superman comic book-inspired Metropolis Symphony for Orchestra (1988–93), Dead Elvis for Solo Bassoon and Chamber Ensemble (1993), Jackie O (1997), UFO for Solo Percussion and Orchestra (1999) and for Symphonic Band (2000), Bells for Stokowski from Philadelphia Stories for Orchestra (2001), Fire and Blood for Solo Violin and Orchestra (2003) inspired by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Time Machine for Three Conductors and Orchestra (2003), Ghost Ranch for Orchestra (2005), and Deus ex Machina for Piano and Orchestra (2007). Daugherty has been described by The Times (London) as “a master icon maker” with a “maverick imagination, fearless structural sense and meticulous ear.”  He has also composed many new works, including Niagara Falls (1997) and Bells for Stokowski (2002), for the University of Michigan Symphony Band and its two most recent conductors, H. Robert Reynolds (directorship 1975-2001) and Michael Haithcock (directorship 2001–present). Daugherty’s music is published by Peermusic Classical, Boosey & Hawkes, and since 2010, Michael Daugherty Music/Bill Holab Music.

The following work by Michael Daugherty is contained in my collection:

Niagara Falls.

Lake School, Creve Coeur, MO


Lake School, Coeur de Ville Park

581 Coeur de Ville Dr.

Creve Coeur, MO

Originally located on the south side of Olive Street road, just west of the intersection with Hog Hollow Road, in the crossroads settlement called Lake, Missouri, after the not-too-distant Creve Coeur Lake, Lake School was built in 1897.  The Lake area is now part of the city of Chesterfield. The school was typical of the one-room buildings that were sufficient to meet the educational needs of many communities in the county until well into the twentieth century. After this frame building was replaced by a two-room brick one in 1925, it was moved nearby and used as a storehouse.  Then in 1966 it was moved to Coeur de Ville Park, also called Lake School Park, Creve Coeur, MO, where, after restoration in 1967, it has become a museum of local school history. The School house is authentically furnished with old books, a pot-bellied stove, and 45 star flag.



Francisco M. daSilva and the Brazilian National Anth


Francisco Manuel daSilva (February 21, 1795 – December 18, 1865) was a Brazilian conductor, songwriter, and music professor. He was born on February 21, 1795, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  He began studying music as a boy with José Maurício Nunes Garcia, perhaps the biggest name of Brazilian colonial music.  At age 10 he studied cello, and was also taught most probably by Sigismund von Neukomm, learning violin, organ, piano, and composition.  He was a boy soprano singer in the Capela Real choir from 1809, and he joined the orchestra of the same institution as timpanist in 1823.  Later he was a second cello player (1825) in the court of King John VI.  Also he played the violin, piano and organ, in addition to organizing and leading musical ensembles, and stood out as a conductor and organized music education promoter in the country.  DaSilva had great prominence in the musical life of Rio de Janeiro in the period between the death of Garcia and the rise of Antônio Carlos Gomes  Also, he was one of the founders of the Imperial Academia de Música e Ópera Nacional (National Imperial Music and Opera Academy), and of the Sociedade Beneficência Musical e Conservatório Imperial de Música, which became Instituto Nacional de Música (Nacional Music Institute) and is now called Escola de Música da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro University Music School).

In 1833 DaSilva founded and was president of the Society of Musical Beneficence, which operated until 1890, and was regent of the Theater Lírico Fluminense, later transformed into the National Opera.   He was directly responsible for the Capela Imperial’s reinstatement and being restored to its old beauty. He left a handful of works, spread around Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and São Paulo archives, covering gospel music, modinhas. and lundus.  Also he composed one opera, O prestigio da lei.   As a partisan of April 7 Revolution (1831), he wrote the melody for what became the Brazilian National Anthem, first as a patriotic march after Dom Pedro I’s resignation.  Later, in 1889, the lyrics were written by Joaquim Osório Duque Estrada, and the song, named Patrono da Cadeira, was officially adopted as the anthem of the Brazilian Republic.   Relying on the sympathy of the new emperor Dom Pedro II, he was appointed to the Imperial Chamber composer station in 1841 and the following year took over as master of chapel.  DaSilva died in Rio de Janeiro on December 18, 1865, at age 70.  His work of composition is not considered of great originality, although Ferial Mass and the Mass in E minor are interesting. Also he published several music textbooks

My collection includes the following work by Francisco M. daSilva:

Patria Amada, Brasil!

Sayed Darwish and the Egyptian National Anthem


Sayed Darwish (March 17, 1892 – September 15, 1923) was an Egyptian singer and composer who was considered the father of Egyptian popular music , one of Egypt’s greatest musicians, and its single greatest composer, who is still regarded as a noble and adored figure in Egyptian history.   Darwish was born in Kôm el-Dikka, Alexandria, Egypt, on March 17, 1892. During his childhood his family could not afford to pay for his education, so he was sent to a religious school where he mastered the cantillating of the Quran. After graduating from the religious school and gaining the title Sheikh Sayyed Darwish, he studied for two years at al-Azhar, one of the most renowned religious universities in the world. He left his studies to devote his life to music composition and singing, then entered a music school where his music teacher, Sami Efendi, admired his talents and encouraged Darwish to press onward in the music field.

Darwish at that time was also trained to be a munshid (cantor). He worked as a bricklayer in order to support his family, and it so happened that the managers of a theatrical troupe, the Syrian Attalah Brothers, overheard him singing for his fellows and hired him on the spot. While touring in Syria, he had the opportunity to gain a musical education, short of finding success. He returned to Egypt before the start of the Great War, and won limited recognition by singing in the cafés and on various stages while he learned repertoire of the great composers of the 19th century, to which he added musical modes and Arabic poetic-form compositions of his own. In spite of the cleverness of his compositions, he wasn’t to find public acclaim, disadvantaged by his mediocre stage presence in comparison with such stars of his time as Sâlih ‘Abd al-Hayy or Zakî Murâd.

After too many failures in singing cafés, in 1918 he decided to follow the path of Shaykh Salama Higâzî, the pioneer of Arabic lyric theater, and launched into an operatic career. He settled in Cairo and got acquainted with the main companies, particularly Nagîb al-Rîhanî’s (1891–1949), for whom he composed seven operettas. This gifted comedian had invented, with the playwright and poet Badî’ Khayrî, the laughable character of Kish Kish Bey, a rich provincial mayor squandering his fortune in Cairo with ill-reputed women. The apparition of social matters and the allusions to the political situation of colonial Egypt (the 1919 “revolution”) were to boost the success of the trio’s operettas, such as “al-‘Ashara al-Tayyiba” (The Ten of Diamonds, 1920), a nationalistic adaptation of ‘Blubeard”.

Sayyid also worked for Rihânî’s rival troupe, ‘Alî al-Kassâr’s, and eventually collaborated with the Queen of Stages, singer and actress Munîra al-Mahdiyya (1884–1965), for whom he composed comic operettas such as “kullaha yawmayn” (“All of two days”, 1920) and started an opera, “Cleopatra and Mark Anthony”, which was to be played in 1927 with Muhammad ‘Abd al-Wahhâb in the leading role. In the early twenties, all the companies sought his help. He decided to start his own company, acting at last on stage in a lead part. His two creations (“Shahrazâd’ and “al-Barûka”, 1921) weren’t as successful as planned, and he was again forced to compose for other companies from 1922 until his premature death on September 15, 1923 in Alexandria, aged 31.  The cause of his death is still unknown. Some say he died from cardiac arrest.

At the age of 30, Darwish was hailed as the father of the new Egyptian music and the hero of the renaissance of Arab music. Darwish believed that genuine art must be derived from people’s aspirations and feelings. In his music and songs, he truly expressed the yearnings and moods of the masses, as well as recording the events that took place during his lifetime.   Darwîsh’s stage production is often clearly westernized: the traditional takht is replaced by a European ensemble, conducted by il Signore Casio, Darwish’s maestro. Most of his operetta tunes use musical modes compatible with the piano, even if some vocal sections use other intervals, and the singing techniques employed in those compositions reveal a fascination for Italian opera, naively imitated in a cascade of oriental melismas.

Even though Darwish became a master of the new theater music, he remained an authority on the old forms. He composed 10 dawr and 21 muwashshat which became classics in the world of Arab music. Darwish was personally recorded by three companies: Mechian, a small local record company founded by an Armenian immigrant, which engraved the Shaykh’s voice between 1914 and 1920; Odeon, the German company, which recorded extensively his light theatrical repertoire in 1922; Baidaphon, which recorded three adwâr around 1922.   His works, blending Western instruments and harmony with classical Arab forms and Egyptian folklore, gained immense popularity due to their social and patriotic subjects.  Besides composing 260 songs, he wrote 26 operettas, replacing the slow, repetitive, and ornamented old style of classical Arab music with a new light and expressive flair. Some of Darwish’s most popular works in this field were El Ashara’l Tayyiba, Shahrazad, and El-Barooka . These operettas, like Darwish’s other compositions, were strongly reminiscent of Egyptian folk music and gained great popularity due to their social and patriotic themes.

Darwish’s composition “Bilaadi! Bilaadi!” (My Country! My Country!), that became Egypt’s national anthem, and many of his other works are as popular today as when he was alive.  Egypt’s first national anthem, Walla Zaman Ya Selahy, dated back to 1869 when a royal anthem was composed to honor the monarch. It is unclear how long this anthem was in use.  Although the monarchy was deposed in 1952, the old anthem was used as part of the anthem of the United Arab Republic with Syria in 1958.  For the new anthem, beginning Bilady, laki hubbi wa fu’adi (“My homeland, you have my love and my heart”), Darwish, in 1923, put music to words by Mohammad Younis-al Qadi which were adapted in 1892 from a famous speech by Mustafa Kamil.   It was adopted unofficially in 1952 and officially in 1979.  It is also sometimes known by the title “Hail, Gallant Troops.”

The following work by Sayed Darwish is contained in my collection:

Hail, Gallant Troops.

Calvin Custer and A Fresh Aire Christmas


Calvin H. “Bud” Custer (July 15, 1939- Apr. 21, 1998) was an American composer and arranger.  Born on July 15, 1939, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Calvin H. Custer Sr. and Florence Helen Peterson Custer, he attended Carnegie Mellon University and Syracuse University. His composition teachers included Nikolai Lopatnikoff, Ernst Bacon, and Earl George. He also studied conducting with Karl Kritz, first music director of the Syracuse Symphony. Custer was associated with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra during the majority of his musical career serving in the keyboard, horn, and string bass sections; holding various conducting positions; and serving as staff arranger. He helped to implement the orchestra’s chamber music program which continues to perform in local schools and libraries to this day.

Calvin was a member of the both the rock and percussion ensembles in which he played numerous instruments including keyboard and guitar. Custer was prolific in his creations of arrangements for orchestra, many of which were performed by orchestras across the country including the Boston Pops Orchestra. His many arrangements for band include Adagio for Strings (Barber), Ashokan Farewell (Ungar), Rolling Thunder (Fillmore), and Star Wars Main Theme (Williams).  He died on Apr. 21, 1998, in Syracuse, New York.   In 2006, the Syracuse Symphony released a CD of Custer’s arrangements on the disc Big Band Bash.

My collection includes the following work by Calvin Custer:

A Fresh Aire Christmas.



Robert M. Crawford and the Air Force Song


Robert MacArthur Crawford (July 27, 1899 – March 12, 1961) is known for writing The U.S. Air Force song. He was born in Dawson City, Yukon, Canada, July 27, 1899, to Ronald Marcus and Mabel MacArthur Crawford and spent his childhood in Fairbanks, Alaska.  During World War I he attempted to become a pilot in the United States Army Air Service but was dismissed when he was discovered to be underage. He attended the Case Scientific Institute, where he joined the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.  Crawford then enrolled in Princeton University, and graduated in 1925.  He later studied and taught at the Juilliard School of Music. Crawford learned how to fly an airplane in 1923.  He flew himself around the United States in a small plane to concerts, where he was introduced as “The Flying Baritone.”  Crawford married Hester Morgan Keen and had 3 children.

Liberty magazine sponsored a contest in 1938 for a musical composition that would become the official song of the U.S. Army Air Corps.  Out of 757 submissions, Crawford’s was chosen as the winner.  Originally, the song was titled “Army Air Corps.”   Crawford wrote both the lyrics and music.  During World War II, the service was renamed “Army Air Force,” and the song title changed to agree. During the war, Crawford flew for the Air Transport Command of the U.S. Army Air Forces. In 1947, when the Air Force became a separate service, the song became the “Air Force Song,” and is the official song of the United States Air Force.   That same year, Crawford joined the University of Miami’s music faculty. He remained there for ten years, until he left to focus on composing. He passed away on Mar. 12, 1961, in New York City, NY, at the age of 61.

The following work by Robert M. Crawford is contained in my collection:

(Off We Go into the) Wild Blue Yonder (“Air Force Song,” the official song of the United States Air Force).

Francesco Corteccia and Guardana almo pastor


Francesco Corteccia (July 27, 1502 – June 7, 1571) was an Italian composer, organist, and teacher of the Renaissance, who was only one of the best known of the early composers of madrigals, and an important native Italian composer during a period of domination by composers from the Low Countries, but also the most prominent musician in Florence for several decades during the reign of Cosimo I de’ Medici.  Corteccia was born on July 27, 1502,  in Florence, Italy. By 1515 he was a choirboy and was enrolled in the cathedral school; around this time he probably studied organ with Bartolomeo degli Organi, and composition with Bernardo Pisano. On October 22, 1527, he became chaplain at the baptistry, and in 1531 entered indirectly into the employ of the Medici as both chaplain and organist at the church of San Lorenzo, the Medici family church. From 1535 to 1539 he was organist at San Lorenzo, and from 1540 until his death was maestro di cappella to the court of the Duke of Florence, Cosimo I de’ Medici.

During his long tenure as maestro di cappella to the Medici, he gradually rose in position and prominence in Florence. In the chapel, he was successively chaplain, supernumerary canon, and canon; and in addition he held auxiliary positions such as chamberlain and archivist. In the 1560s he was replaced by Alessandro Striggio as the composer for most of the sumptuous musical productions of the Medici court, but he retained the position of maestro di cappella. The court of the Medici was one of the most opulent in Europe, and the Florentine family was keenly aware of their status and prestige, as shown by the artistic creations they inspired, ordered, or bought. Corteccia served the Medici for most of his life, and helped create some of the Medici’s most elaborate entertainments. Later composers for the Medici, such as Alessandro Striggio, continued in the same vein, creating some of the largest and most extravagant polyphonic compositions of the entire era.

Corteccia wrote most of his music relatively early in his career; his production peaked in the early 1540s. His music is both sacred and secular, and much of it, unusually for a composer prior to the birth of opera, is specifically for the stage. He was also atypical among the first generation of madrigal composers in that he had a complete published collection of his music dedicated only to him: his First Book of Madrigals for Four Voices, published in Venice in 1544. Some of his madrigals differ from the usual vocal music of the time in having specifically indicated instrumental accompaniment, a result of being composed for theatrical occasions.

As court composer to Cosimo de’ Medici, Corteccia was required to write music, often intermedii, for various lavish court entertainments and spectacles, which often included weddings. Intermedii were sung interludes between acts of plays, with the most elaborate being those performed for state occasions. Often these interludes consisted of groups of madrigals, related to the subject matter of the play; in that they are staged, sung, and part of a dramatic production, they are seen as one of the predecessors of opera. One such intermedio by Corteccia was the set of seven madrigals he wrote for the wedding in June 1539 of Duke Cosimo to Eleonora di Toledo, descriptions of which survive in some detail. These madrigals, which were written for the play Il commodo by Antonio Landi, were sung in costume, with the singers playing nymphs, shepherds, mermaids, sea nymphs, and sea monsters (the three sea nymphs played flutes; the sea monsters, lutes). The entire performance was elaborately orchestrated, with the singers variously accompanied by harpsichord, nightingale stop on the organ, bass viol, cornett, crumhorns, flutes, violin, violone, and a quartet of trombones; during the finale, 20 bacchantes, mostly drunk and consisting of ladies and satyrs, were to come on stage singing and playing pipe, tabor, violin, harp, cornetts, crumhorns, and tambourine, and the performance closed with entrance and song by the personification of Night, accompanied by four trombones. The madrigals are also notable in that four of them, every alternate one, were the first in note nere rapid style.

The 1539 performance was one of many, but was one for which a detailed description survived. He also wrote, for example, a set of five madrigals in four voices to be performed between the acts of Francesco d’Ambra’s comedy Il furto in 1544. Many of his madrigals are lost, but another surviving set, from 1565, was written in collaboration with Alessandro Striggio. In this set each composer contributed three madrigals; once again it was for a Medici wedding, and like the previous, was designed for performance between the acts of a play by d’Ambra.   Many of his published madrigals, for four to six voices, give no hint in the score of the extravagance of their original premières. They are full of textural contrast, as befits their dramatic origin. His earlier work shows the influence of the frottola, and often his style mimics Arcadelt’s. The madrigals he wrote for the Medici weddings are often in a note nere, i.e. “black note” style: choppy rhythms, quick note values, sudden textural contrasts; in addition, they were usually designed for instrumental accompaniment, and consequently the soprano and bass lines often stand out. In this they foreshadow the development of monody by the Florentine Camerata later in the century.

Corteccia’s sacred music includes settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah (lost), hymns, and many motets. While he wrote most of this music early in his career, the bulk of it was not published until 1570 and 1571, in Venice, possibly due to the lack of publishing capacity in Florence prior to that time.[3] Corteccia wrote a letter for the dedication of the several volumes of motets, and in it indicated that he had been working on them and refining them for 30 years. Many of the modifications he made were in keeping with the liturgical reforms of the Council of Trent.  The hymn settings are mostly in responsory format, i.e. a verse is sung in plainchant, the next in polyphony, and then the formula repeats. Corteccia varies the texture in the polyphonic sections from strict imitation to free counterpoint, with occasional homophonic interludes, providing variety. Corteccia died at Florence on June 7, 1571, at the beginning of a period of musical decline at the Medici court.

My collection includes the following work by Francesco Corteccia:

Guardana almo pastor (Intermezzo for the marriage of Cosmus I).


Growing With an Appreciation of Music

Growing With an Appreciation of Music
Lea Ann Garfias
Crosswalk Home Homeschool Life Newsletter (Tuesday, September 27, 2011)

One of my earliest recollections is of my father singing. I still remember him rocking my younger sister to sleep every night in the creaky maple rocker, singing “Amazing Grace.” That simple melody and uncomplicated text naturally became ingrained on both our hearts. My sister and I can still sing every verse, if tears don’t choke us up.

There was always music in our home. My mother sang constantly. Loud, lusty singing was the soundtrack of housecleaning, cooking, and errands. My infamous bout with chicken pox, during which I infected the entire church kindergarten class and my baby sister before breaking out myself, was also the beginning of my “Patch the Pirate” addiction. I soon wore out many a cassette tape as I loudly sang along with every character.

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LeaAnn Garfiasis a homeschool graduate and classically trained pianist and violinist. She has taught private lessons and classroom music for over 15 years. You can ask her your own music or home education questions at http://www.whateverstate.wordpress.com .

This article was originally published in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of HomeSchoolEnrichment Magazine. To learn more, and to request a FREE sample copy, visit http://www.HomeSchoolEnrichment.com