Albrightsville Schoolhouse, Albrightsville, Pennsylvania

albrightsville, pa

Albrightsville Schoolhouse

2454 Route 534

Albrightsville, Pennsylvania 18210

The interior of the Albrightsville, PA, schoolhouse looks similar to when it was in use 75 years ago. Built in 1855, the school served the small community of Albrightsville for many years. In 2014, Nancy Schields and Raelene Eckley decided that they were tired of looking at the old Albrightsville Schoolhouse sitting empty and in need of care. The schoolhouse, located along Route 534, shares the property with the Albrightsville Volunteer Fire Company.  The two opened the schoolhouse up to the public, officially kicking off Schoolhouse Central Inc., a 501(3)(c) charitable organization under the Federal Code. As such, it will operate tax free and will be required to serve the public.  They want to make the schoolhouse a hub for cultural enrichment and learning.  Schields is originally from Doylestown and is a teacher by trade.  Eckley is a native of the area and can trace her ancestors back to 1744.  The building belongs to Kidder Township and had sat unused for many years. The township spent $10,000 renovating the building and will charge Schoolhouse Central $1 per year rent. The group plans on having a monthly Senior Saints luncheon for local senior citizens.   A number of other groups interested in using the facilities include a Bible study, art classes, and other similar projects.”  The school is still furnished with some of the original school items, but the group plans on moving the furnishings to storage to open up the space for its use. Under the terms of the lease, the group will be responsible for returning all items removed at the end of their lease.

The mission statement for Schoolhouse Central is: “To have a community based, cultural arts learning center. Its purpose is to serve as an enrichment hub for the community. It is a place that encourages and engages children, youth and adults to pursue education, the arts and history of the area. We are a service-oriented organization and welcome other charitable and community organizations to associate with and get involved in our events and activities. Part of our mission is to preserve and restore artifacts for the purpose of documenting and interpreting the history of the Schoolhouse building and the village of Albrightsville, Pa.”  For example, in September of 2015, Schoolhouse Central Inc. presented the Simcoe Gallery at the Albrightsville one-room schoolhouse.  Gerald Simcoe displayed his art and musical talents.  His work featured his grandmother, Mary U. “Nana” Hahn (née Green), who enrolled in the Albrightsville School in 1921 along with her three siblings.  She worked in the fields harvesting crops and also as a domestic. Hahn met her husband, Alvin, while he was working for the WPA and building a road from Jonas to Albrightsville.  He asked her to accompany him to Palmerton, where she milked 21 cows each morning by 3 a.m. then drove a school bus at 6 a.m. for the Palmerton Area School District for 42 years before retiring.  She founded Hahn’s Cloverleaf Dairy in 1969, which is still selling jug milk today.  Hahn was awarded the Golden Book of Deeds by the Palmerton Exchange Club in 1976.

Fred K. Huffer and his “Black Jack” March


Fred K. Huffer (January 1, 1879 – August 28, 1943) was a notable early twentith century composer and conductor.  Huffer was born on January 1, 1879, at Stewardson, Illinois, into a musical family.  His father was an accomplished violinist and orchestra conductor. Huffer’s music education was begun early in his life. The Huffer family moved to Helena, Montana, in 1889. At age sixteen, Fred played E-flat alto horn in the local band. Moving back to Chicago, Illinois in 1899, Fred played in various bands in the city. In 1901, the Ringling Brothers Circus came to Chicago. Finding out they were auditioning for a baritone player, he tried out and got the job, and went on the road with the circus, catching the “circus fever.” For the next eight years, he played with various shows. Along the way, he met Kate Jeronimus and they were married. No children were born from their union.

During his circus years, Huffer was influenced to write a few works.  After eight years, the Huffers were back in Chicago where he was conducting several bands in the Chicago area and devoting his time to composing.  Fred took a job with a large plumbing equipment manufacturer, Crane Company, as the leader of the company band.  During his two years at Crane, Fred also worked and advised Chicago suburban bands.  Upon leaving Crane Company in 1911, he formed his own band, “Huffer and His Band.” He was successful for several years. After the First World War broke out, he wrote many songs and marches, his most famous being “Black Jack March” in honor of General Pershing in 1917.

Huffer’s most lasting piece is a Slick Slide style subtitled “A Trombone Tone Poem.” It was in the traditional style of Henry Fillmore and was published by Dixie Music Company in 1917.   After the war, he continued his composing and for a period was a staff arranger at Harry L. Afford’s custom arranging house in Chicago. By 1937, he entered the Masonic order and led the band of the St. Bernard’s Commandery. He also was the assistant director of the Medina Shrine Band.  Not as well known as John Philip Sousa, he nonetheless left an indelible mark on American music during the war, with his various works in the National Archives and Library, which includes such titles as: “Salute the Gang” and “If I Should Get a Cross for Bravery.”  Some of his other well-known works include “Short’nin Bread,” “Ten Thousand Cattle” in the movie “My Darling Clementine,” and again the “Black Jack March” in the movie “Taps.”   After a long illness, he died, aged 64, on August 28, 1943. He is buried in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The following work by Fred Huffer is contained in my collection:

Black Jack (1917).

John Hebden and his String Concerti


John Hebden (July 21, 1712–1765) was a Baroque composer and musician in eighteenth century Great Britain.  Little is known of Hebden’s life. He was baptized on July 21, 1712, at Spofforth, near Harrogate in Yorkshire, the son of ‘John Hebdin’ of Plompton. He was orphaned when young but was fortunate enough to receive an excellent education, including musical tuition.  He lived most of his life in York. In 1732, he married Mary Prestland. Their first son, John, born in 1733, survived only a short time. A second son was baptized in 1736, but Mary died shortly afterwards, in 1737. Hebden was left with the responsibility of bringing up his small son and working long hours earning enough to live. When Hebden was dying, he arranged for money to be left in trust for his son, to be released in only small amounts.

Hebden was principally an orchestral player and as such his social status and his income would have been low. He might, had he chosen, have supplemented his income considerably by composing popular songs, as did a number of his fellow musicians. Hebden was a professional bassoonist, gamba (viol) player, and cellist and, in the 1730s, composed music for a small local professional orchestra containing “all the best Hands in Town.” They gave many concerts at the York Assembly Rooms, which were designed by Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington who was a patron to Handel.  Around 1742, Hebden moved to London, and when composer Thomas Arne enlarged the orchestra at Vauxhall Gardens in 1745, he became the principal cellist and bassoonist. It is also known that he played in a performance of Messiah directed by George Frideric Handel himself, to raise money for the Foundling Hospital.

It appears that Hebden had greater aspirations for his talent and channeled his creativity in a highly disciplined manner into more serious works. Only two were published: Six Solos for German Flute and the Six Concertos for Strings.  The latter were probably begun around 1745 and published in about 1749 in an edition of approximately 500. Subscribers included the Earl and Countess of Burlington as well as other aristocracy; a number of academics and organists; taverns such as The Devil and The Globe in Fleet Street where concerts were held; the actor David Garrick (who produced many of Shakespeare’s plays at Drury Lane) and some of the other Vauxhall musicians, including Valentine Snow for whom Handel wrote his famous trumpet solos; several composers including Arne and William Boyce (who both worked for Garrick at Drury Lane, composing music for many of his productions), Giovanni Battista Sammartini, and Francesco Geminiani. Of this edition, only six copies have survived: two in London, one in Brussels and three in the United States. An incomplete set also survives in a private collection at Durham.

Hebden’s Concertos are in the baroque style, and in them he adheres to the eighteenth century convention of writing happy music in sharp keys and sad music in flat keys. They are most influenced by the Italian composer and violinist, Geminiani, a follower of Arcangelo Corelli, who came to England in 1714 and from whom Thomas Arne may have had violin lessons. The concertos are in seven parts, written for four violins, viola, ‘cello and harpsichord. Two (No. 2 in C major and No. 3 in C minor) have three movements (allegro-largo-allegro) and the others are in four movements (an opening adagio followed by alternating fast and slow movements). The fast movements are characterized by lively dance rhythms: while these are Italian in texture, they distinctly echo the English country dances with which Hebden would have been familiar with from his days in Yorkshire.

Hebden died in 1765 at London.   His only surviving works are the 6 concertos for strings (Op. 2).  These six concertos were discovered only fairly recently. In 1980, Ruzena Wood, then repertoire consultant for the group Cantilena, had become interested in Hebden after studying his First Sonata for Flute and Keyboard. She began searching to find if he had written any music for strings. Finally, she discovered in the library of the British Museum, the six forgotten concertos which had lain unplayed for 200 years.

My collection includes the following works by John Hebden:

Concerto for Strings No. 1 in AM.

Concerto for Strings No. 2 in CM.

Concerto for Strings No. 3 in em.

Concerto for Strings No. 4 in EbM.

Concerto for Strings No. 5 in cm.

Concerto for Strings No. 6 in dm.

Dominik Hauser and Four Instrumental Interludes from Leslie Bricusse’s Music for “Scrooge”


Dominik Hauser is a Swiss-American multimedia composer, orchestrator, and arranger. Hauser was born in Switzerland and earned a masters degree in music from the Jazz School in St. Gallen, Switzerland. As a composer, he wrote the Main Theme for the 1988 B.B.C. Series First Born. His talent extends from composition and arrangement to instrumental performance, including bass work with jazz-funkers The Ruleless. He is also performs as an individual. The recipient of the coveted Prix Walo, he has taken the stage at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
Hauser relocated to Los Angeles, CA, in 1996 to focus on film music. He re-entered the education arena. His studies took him to U.C.L.A. where he delved deeply into film scoring. Subsequently he took his skills to the realm of indie cinema and began composing for film. Hauser was a privileged participant in the ASCAP film-scoring workshop in 2000 and elevated to semifinalist status at the Young Film Composer Competition in 2002. Hauser has worked on films featuring such superstars as Vin Diesel (“The Chronicles of Riddick”) and Charlize Theron (“Aeon Flux”). He teaches at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. Hauser has also published 3 books, including his third book, Beginning Jazz Bass.
Dominik is extremely gifted, both as a composer, arranger, and performer. With his musical compositions, he demonstrates a vast breadth of styles, skills and expertise. Hauser’s talent brings cinema to life and can provide a wonderful, lush musical backing for any artistic endeavor. His beautifully evocative instrumental compositions support the mood of every scene for the audience. His work involves him in a variety of projects, including cinema, theater, and video games. He has worked on numerous films, television shows, and commercial for both TV, Cable, and radio. With his musical compositions, Hauser demonstrates a vast breadth of styles, skills and expertise.

Whether writing a commissioned piece to precise specifications or composing with free reign, Hauser’s themes and melodies are delightful, intense, or transporting
Hauser’s secret to effective music is simple –to make contact with the listener and seek an emotional response. He writes music that connects with, and touches everyone. That quest for emotional potency brings terrific focus to his creative process. Hauser’s music invariably elicits powerful reactions. His inspirations range from revered classical composers to modern musical geniuses, though his work is uniquely his own and derivative of none. His beautifully evocative instrumental arrangements and compositions support the mood of every scene.
The following work by Dominik Hauser is contained in my collection:
Four Instrumental Interludes from Leslie Bricusse’s Music for Scrooge.

George Hamilton Green and “Charleston Capers”


George Hamilton Green, Jr. (May 23, 1893 – 1970) was a xylophonist, composer, and cartoonist. He was born at Omaha, Nebraska, on May 23, 1893, into a musical family, both his grandfather and his father being composers, arrangers, and conductors for bands in Omaha. From age four G.H. Green showed a prodigious talent as a pianist; he then took up the xylophone. A child prodigy on piano and violin, he made his first xylophone as a boy in Omaha. At the age of 9 he made his first solo appearance with his father’s concert band. By the age of eleven he was being promoted as the “world’s greatest xylophonist,” and was acclaimed as such wherever he appeared. While still a teenager he was playing for crowds of 7,000-10,000. His repertoire of solos, while still a boy, was well over 300 standard overtures, Hungarian rhapsodies, violin concertos, and concert piano selections.

At 19 Green entered vaudeville. In 1915, when he was 22 years old, a review in the United States Musician, a New York musical publication, stated, “He has begun where every other xylophone player left off. His touch, his attack, his technique, and his powers of interpretation in the rendition of his solos being far different than other performers. To say his work is marvelous and wonderful would not fully express it.” This is typical of the reviews written about Mr. Green when he was appearing on the concert stage, vaudeville, recording and early radio. George Hamilton Green elevated the xylophone to the position where it was recognized as a legitimate concert instrument.

Green was an important ragtime composer who authored many pieces that remain standards for the instrument even today. He wrote several pieces for solo ragtime xylophone with accompaniment, as well as a xylophone method book which continues to be used by percussion pedagogues across the country. Some of his compositions for xylophone include “Ragtime Robin,” “Cross Corners,” “Charleston Capers,” “Rainbow Ripples,” “Log Cabin Blues,” “The Whistler,” and “Jovial Jasper.” He began his recording career as a soloist for the Edison Company in 1916. A popular recording artist, in 1917 he was employed, along with his two brothers, Joe and Lew Green, as the original sound music crew for Walt Disney’s first three cartoons. Considered one of history’s greatest xylophone players, Green was one of the most popular artists in recorded history, acting as soloist, composer, arranger, and as part of various groups including All Star Trio, Green Brothers’ Xylophone Orchestra, and Green Brothers Novelty Band.

Green was also a fine teacher and author of pedagogical materials; his course of 50 lessons retaining importance today. Green was not only a wonderful xylophone artist, but an inventor who designed the vibraphone at Nathaniel Shilkret’s request. He recorded for virtually every label from that time until his retirement in the 1940s to pursue a successful career in cartooning as an artist and illustrator. It is a great blessing that his musical genius has been preserved in those thousands of recordings. Green died in 1970, just a few years before a revival in the popularity of his ragtime xylophone music, and before his induction into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1983. The rebirth of his music was led by members of the NEXUS Percussion Ensemble in the late 1970s. Through their efforts, G.H. Green’s xylophone music has been preserved and remains a relevant part of contemporary percussion pedagogy and performance.

My collection includes the following works by George Hamilton Green:
Charleston Capers.
The Hummingbird.

Donald Grantham and Southern Harmony


Donald Grantham (b. November 9, 1947) is an American composer and music educator.  Grantham was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, on November 9, 1947. After receiving a Bachelor of Music from the University of Oklahoma, he went on to receive his MM and DMA from the University of Southern California. For two summers he studied under famed French composer and pedagogue, Nadia Boulanger at the American Conservatory in France. His music has won many prestigious awards, including the Prix Lili Boulanger, the ASCAP Rudolf Nissim Orchestral Composition Prize, First Prize in the Concordia Chamber Symphony’s Awards to American Composers, three First Prizes in the NBA/William Revelli Competition, two First Prizes in the ABA/Ostwald Competition, and First Prize in the National Opera Association’s Biennial Composition Competition.

Grantham is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and three separate grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. The symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Cleveland, and Dallas are among the ensembles that have commissioned Grantham to write new works. His music has been praised for its “elegance, sensitivity, lucidity of thought, clarity of expression and fine lyricism” in a Citation awarded by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In recent years his works have been performed by the orchestras of Cleveland, Dallas, Atlanta, and the American Composers Orchestra among many others, and he has fulfilled commissions in media from solo instruments to opera.

Grantham also collaborated with fellow composer Kent Kennan to author the textbook The Technique of Orchestration.   Grantham resides in Austin, Texas, and currently teaches music composition at the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music, where he is the Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Professor of Music. His music is published by Piquant Press, Peer-Southern, E. C. Schirmer, G. Schirmer, Warner Bros. and Mark Foster, and a number of his works have been commercially recorded.  Well known pieces include Southern Harmony and Kentucky Harmony for band. His most famous piece is the Baron Cimetiere’s Mambo.

The following work by Donald Grantham is contained in my collection:

Southern Harmony (1998-1999).

Michael Gore and the Theme from Terms of Endearment


Michael Gore (b. March 5, 1951) is an American composer of film scores.  Gore was born as Michael Goldstein on March 5, 1951, in Brooklyn, New York City, NY.  He is the younger brother of the late singer/songwriter Lesley Gore.  Gore, along with lyricist, Dean Pitchford, won the Oscar in 1981 for best original song for “Fame” from the 1980 film of the same title. He also won the award that year for best original score.  He also composed the theme and score for the 1983 hit film Terms of Endearment starring Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger, notching a hit on the Adult Contemporary chart (and briefly the pop charts) under his own name with the “Theme” from this film.  He is also known for his work on Footloose (1984) and Pretty in Pink (1986).  Gore wrote the music for the notorious 1988 Broadway flop Carrie – The Musical which was adapted from Stephen King’s novel Carrie, with a book by Lawrence D. Cohen and lyrics by Pitchford, and focused on an awkward teenage girl with telekinetic powers whose lonely life is dominated by an oppressive religious fanatic mother.  Two of Gores songs, with lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, were featured in the 2003 movie Camp.

My collection includes the following work by Michael Gore:

Terms of Endearment (1984).  Theme.