Jeremy Lubbock and “Grace”

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Jeremy Lubbock  (b. ?) is a British-born composer, arranger, pianist, and singer, who is known for his work on The Color Purple (1985), Rocky IV (1985) and Twister (1996).  Lubbock was born in the United Kingdom.  A gifted and largely self-taught pianist, Lubbock displayed an extraordinary gift for music in early childhood. He gained his first exposure to music at age three, when his father, a fine classical musician himself, began ear-training exercises for his son that soon developed into a wide appreciation of and a consuming passion for musical exploration and composition. Although the first sixteen years of his musical life was devoted almost entirely to classical music, in his late teens he discovered jazz and the great American song writers.

Lubbock launched his professional career as a pianist and vocalist performing in such venues as Les Ambassadeurs Club in London and The Blue Note in Paris while working his way through school at Oxford University and the London Architectural Association.   At one stage it was uncertain whether his profession would be architecture or music. In 1953, an agent landed Lubbock a single recording deal to sing “Catch a Falling Star,” produced by Beatles producer George Martin. The song served to help Lubbock “get his foot in the door.”  In the 50’s and 60’s, he traveled throughout the world playing clubs, soaking up various musical influences, and honing his skills, in particular his talent for arranging. By the early 70’s, Lubbock’s flair for arranging landed him freelance work for the two major television companies in London – the BBC and ITV. In this capacity, he utilized his classical background while working with big band and radio orchestras. But as Lubbock’s reputation for quality work began to grow, he began to realize that only in America would he find the scope and range of work he wanted.

Impressed by Lubbock’s versatility and talent, noted composer and arranger Don Specht invited him to move to the States, where there were more opportunities to utilize his gifts. In 1977 Lubbock took the plunge and moved to Los Angeles with his family. The move to America proved to be auspicious. Specht introduced him to Joni Mitchell’s then producer Henry Lewy, who invited the newcomer to work on Mitchell’s “Mingus” album (1979) and to arrange Minnie Riperton’s final album “Minnie.”  His fresh approach to these projects caught the attention of producers Quincy Jones and David Foster, who enlisted his help on a number of prestigious releases. These included, for Foster, “Chicago 16,” “17,” and “18,” and for Jones the “ET” album narrated by Michael Jackson.

In addition to working with the biggest stars in the music business, Lubbock has also received many accolades from his peers. In 1984, Lubbock won arranging Grammys for Chicago’s “Hard Habit to Break” and for the Olympic Gymnastics Theme “Grace,” and in 1994 for “When I Fall in Love” from “Sleepless in Seattle”. During the course of his career, he has received eleven additional nominations: a co-nomination with Harvey Mason for “Wave” in 1979; a co-nomination with Jay Graydon and David Foster for Al Jarreau’s “Mornin’ ” in 1983; a nomination for  his vocal arrangement for Manhattan Transfer’s “The Night that Monk Returned to Heaven” in 1983; for Diane Schuur’s “A Time for Love” in 1986: as producer for CBS Masterworks’ “South Pacific” in 1987;for Patti Austin’s “Alone in the World” in 1991; for Diane Schuur’s “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry” 1992.

1994 was exceptional for Lubbock, in that he received three Grammy nominations out of a possible five in his category; for Barbra Streisand’s “Luck Be a Lady Tonight,” Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” and “When I Fall In Love” from “Sleepless in Seattle,” which won him his third Grammy.  He has also received a 1999 nomination for Barbra Streisand’s “I Believe” / “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the “Higher Ground” album.  Songwriting – both music and lyrics – has also played an important role in Lubbock’s career. His song “The Best of Me,” written in collaboration with David Foster and Richard Marx, and recorded by longtime British pop sensation Cliff Richard, debuted at #2 on the British charts in the summer of 1989. It was also recorded by Barry Manilow for his box-set album. His most recent success has been “With Your Hand Upon My Heart” for Patti Labelle and Michael Crawford and “Ayer” for Luis Miguel, which in its English incarnation (“All That My Heart Can Hold”) is being recorded by Wendy Moten. He also wrote “Not Like This” for Al Jarreau, “Healing” for Deniece Williams, as well as songs for Jennifer Holliday, Manhattan Transfer, Neil Diamond and James Ingram.

My collection includes the following work by Jeremy Lubbock:

Grace (arr. Quincy Jones; 1984).

Godwin’s School, Millsboro, DE

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

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Godwin’s School – District #190

23220 Godwin School Rd

Millsboro, DE  19966

On March 10, 1896, the Delaware State Board of Education approved a resolution recommending the creation of a new school district to serve the needs of local residents. The recommendation was forwarded to the Sussex County Levy Court with a petition from fifteen property owners stating that the neighborhood possessed more than the 35 “scholars” required to consider their request. The creation of District #190 was formally approved the following June.  A subscription was circulated to raise funds to construct a school on land provided by local store owner Jacob Reese Godwin. The new school was named in his honor. At that time, there were something like 420 individual school districts in the state of Delaware. Every little place — and the Godwin School is a typical example — had its own local school district with its own local school board.  Godwin’s is an example of a type of school that developed following the Civil War with a standardized appearance. Previous schools used existing buildings or had random designs. Schools like this offered education through eighth grade and were common across Delmarva at the time.  In Godwin’s first decades, girls and boys were seated apart from each other and had separate entrances to the classroom. Discipline could be strict for infractions such as fighting, gambling, lying. or arriving with dirty hands.  One person — a neighbor, student, or the teacher — would arrive an hour before classes to shovel coal, light the stove and lanterns, and draw water for washing faces and hands. The sole teacher would teach different subjects to different grades.  For many rural dwellers, that was all the formal education they would get.

The era of the one-room school ended when Gov. John G. Townsend and Pierre S. DuPont began modernizing the education system and consolidating the schools in the 1920s.  Classes were held at Godwin’s until 1936, when the district was consolidated with Millsboro School #23.  Ownership of the land reverted to Godwin’s heirs, the White family, who dismantled the school room and the vestibule and used the building as a corn crib. More recently it stood empty and fell into disrepair.  Tone-room schoolhouse has been the focus of an extended restoration effort by the Millsboro Historical Society since 1988. Mitchell, Carter, Linda and Bill Pusey and Elsie Mitchell formed the Millsboro Historical Society in 1987 to restore the school. The Whites granted them a free 99-year lease of the property. They obtained state and local grants to get the project started.  Members of various Sussex County Councils helped them get additional funding. The white building with green trim has been restored to its original appearance, including authentic period blackboard, a cast iron stove and school bell, kerosene lanterns, desks and chairs, and textbooks.  Plaques have been added to honor the school’s history and the students and teachers who attended. The school even has an outhouse in back that is being restored.  The school now has electricity, but it never had running water. A hand pump and sink in the vestibule have also been restored. A ceremony marking completion of major restoration on Sept. 11, 1999, was attended by then-Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and other state and local officials. Godwin’s School is open by appointment only. The society is hoping to get more people coming and asking questions about a way of life that is now only a memory. The school is at the intersection of Godwin School Road (Delaware Road 410) and Hardscrabble Road (Route 20).

Fred Changundega and “Simudzai Mureza wedu WeZimbabwe”

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Fred Lecture Changundega (b. 1954) is a Zimbabwean composer, who composed the music for the national anthem of Zimbabwe.  Changundega was born in 1954 in Zimbabwe,  then Southern Rhodesia.  In March of 1994, there was a nationwide competition to replace the South African-derived “Ishe Komborera Africa” with a distinctly Zimbabwean song. The winning entry was a Shona language song “Simudzai Mureza wedu WeZimbabwe” (lit. ”Lift High Zimbabwe’s Banner”); written by Professor Solomon Mutswairo.

Solomon Mangwiro Mutswairo also spelled Mutsvairo, (April 26, 1924 – November 2005) was a Zimbabwean novelist and poet. A member of the Zezuru people of central Zimbabwe, Mutswairo wrote the first novel in the Shona language, Feso.  In his later years, Mutswairo was a central figure in Zimbabwean academic and cultural circles. He was the first person to be named Writer-in-Residence at the University of Zimbabwe, and was the Chairman of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe during the late 1990s.

The music for the anthem was composed by Changundega.  It has been translated into English (“Blessed be the Land of Zimbabwe”), and Northern Ndebele (Kalibusiswe Ilizwe leZimbabwe), the two other main languages of Zimbabwe.  The Ndebele version is mainly sung in the Matebeleland regions of Zimbabwe, while the English version is not commonly sung. Some schools in Matabeleland South have introduced the Sotho/Tswana version (Phakamisani iflag yethu yeZimbabwe).

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

Simudzai Mureza wedu WeZimbabwe (Zimbabwe)

Deer Creek Schoolhouse, Littleton, CO

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

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Deer Creek Schoolhouse

8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Rd.

Littleton, CO 80128

Denver Botanic Gardens-Chatfield Farms is a picturesque nature preserve among the grasslands, ponds and cottonwood banks of Deer Creek. Facilities include nature trails, a wildlife observation area, display gardens, educational exhibits, a historical farm, a 19th century one-room schoolhouse, working beehives and picnic areas. Visitors who walk along the scenic trails any time of year will find that the landscape is always changing.  The Deer Creek Schoolhouse was built in 1874 and served fifteen to twenty students in first through third grades.  Students from area farms and ranches attended the school until it closed in 1948 after World War II.  After closing as a school, the building was remodeled as an apartment building.  When the Denver Botanic Gardens acquired the lease to the property, it was in a shambles.  It was originally located about a half a mile from its current site and was moved by Denver Botanic Garden volunteers in the 1980s. Since restoration, the structure has been used as a visitors center, a meeting facility, and a classroom for educational purposes.  This charming one-room schoolhouse can also be rented for use as a shower, rehearsal dinner, or wedding and reception site.  From Memorial Day to Labor Day the schoolhouse is furnished as bridal suite.

Nguyễn Văn-Cao and “Tiến Quân Ca”

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Nguyễn Văn-Cao (November 15, 1923 –July 10, 1995) was a noted Vietnamese composer, poet, and painter whose works include “Tiến Quân Ca,” which became the national anthem of Vietnam.  Van Cao was born on November 15, 1923, at Hai Phong, Vietnam, then in French Indochina.  In 1944, he both wrote and composed “Tiến Quân Ca” (“Marching Song”), also known as the “Army March” and the “Song of Advancing Soldiers.” Its lyrics and title were based on Văn Cao’s previous work, “Thăng Long.”   Some of the lyrics were also different during its early stages, as it went through numerous changes starting in the early 1940s shortly after it was composed.

For instance, the first sentence “Đoàn quân Việt Nam đi” was originally “Đoàn quân Việt Minh đi.” The sixth part of the lyrics was also originally “Thề phanh thây uống máu quân thù”, expressing the brutality of French colonial and pre-famine actions. After many suggestions, Văn Cao changed it to “Đường vinh quang xây xác quân thù.”   The last sentence “Tiến lên! Cùng tiến lên! Chí trai là nơi đây ước nguyền!” was changed to “(…)Núi sông Việt Nam ta vững bền,” but when it was published it was changed to “(…)Nước non Việt Nam ta vững bền!”, on which Văn Cao commented, “With a song that requires solemn, ‘nước non’ seemed too weak while being sung with ‘núi sông’ would be more reasonable.”

After completion of the work, Văn Cao met with Vũ Quý and let him try the song.  Vũ Quý was very happy at his work, and “Tiến Quân Ca” was published in papers in November of 1944 with lithographs by Văn Cao.  On August 13, 1945, Hồ Chí Minh approved Tiến Quân Ca to be officially recognized as the national anthem of the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam.  On August 17, 1945, the song was sung for the first time at a rally of civil servants in Hanoi by a Ph.D under the flag of the Việt Minh, and “robbed the loudspeakers”. Văn Cao quoted, “That quiet man was an attraction to thousands of people listening that day.”  The poet and musician Nguyễn Đình Thi was touched after hearing Văn Cao sing the song and asked each person to write another song for “The Viet Minh Frontline”. He posted his own “Diệt Phát Xít,” meaning “Killing Fascists”. Văn Cao wrote “Chiến Sĩ Việt Nam,” meaning “Vietnam Soldiers.”  Both songs are still popular and sung to the public today.

On September 2, 1945, the “Marching Song” was officially performed on the day of the Proclamation of Independence at Ba Đình Square by the Liberation Army band commanded by Đinh Ngọc Liên. At the day before the performance, musicians Dinh Ngoc Lien, Nguyen Huu Hieu, and Văn Cao discussed the need for changing  two words in “Tiến Quân Ca” in order to shorten the song by shortening the length of the first E pitches in the word “đoàn” and the F in the middle of the word “xác” to make the song more “snappy.”  In 1946, the 1st National Assembly officially recognized “Tiến Quân Ca” as the national anthem. In the first Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in Article 3, it states directly about the national anthem. In 1955, the 5th session of the first National Assembly decided to invite authors to participate in another editing of the song.  Văn Cao had regrets after this because the “heroic spirit” of the song had been lost after being edited.

In 1956, after the Nhân Văn–Giai Phẩm affair, a movement for political and cultural freedom, Van Cao had to stop composing.  Most of his songs, except “Tiến Quân Ca,” “Làng Tôi,” “Tiến Về Hà Nội,” and “Trường Ca Sông Lô” were prohibited in North Vietnam. He, along with Phạm Duy and Trịnh Công Sơn, is widely considered one of the three most salient figures of modern (non-classical) Vietnamese music.

After 1975, the government of South Vietnam fell, and on July 2, 1976, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam (in most common situation, the phrase “Viet Cong” actually refers to it) and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam agreed to be reunified into the new Socialist Republic of Vietnam at the end of the Vietnam War. “Tiến Quân Ca” was chosen as the national anthem. In 1981, a contest was opened for a new national anthem but after more a year, it was never mentioned again and there has been no official statement about the results. Thus, “Tiến Quân Ca” remains today as the national anthem of Vietnam.

In 1987, Van Cao’s songs were once again authorized in Vietnam.  In 1991 the American composer Robert Ashley composed the solo piano piece Văn Cao’s Meditation, which is based on the image of Văn Cao playing his piano.  Văn Cao died on July 10, 1995, aged 71, at Hanoi, Vietnam.   On July 8, 2016, painter Văn Thao, the eldest son of Văn Cao, confirmed that he and his family were going to donate the song to their country and people as his father’s last wish. A letter, signed by all the legal inheritors in the family, stated that the family would donate the song for free use.  On July 15, 2016, The National Assembly Office held a ceremony in Hanoi to receive the national anthem, donated by Văn Cao’s family members.

Shortly after the “donation,” the Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyright stated that the national anthem would be under copyright protection regardless of the offer to “gift it” by Văn Cao’s family. It states that only at certain situations like ceremonies and school could the song be sung and that otherwise the anthem will “from now on be subject to royalty”. Veteran composers objected to the idea, saying that “people should be allowed to sing this song without worrying about royalty”. However, Văn Thao said that his family “never reached consensus on ‘gifting’ the song, so they authorized the center to collect royalties on his father’s songs.”

My collection includes the following work by Nguyễn Văn-Cao:

Tiến Quân Ca (Vietnam)

Sound School House and Museum, Mt. Desert, ME

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

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Sound School House and Museum

373 Sound Dr.

Mt. Desert, ME 04660

The Sound School House was opened in 1892 for the children of the quarrying and farming village of Somes Sound, ME. The building was used as a school for 34 years, closing in 1926. Until it was restored by the Mount Desert Island Historical Society in 1999, it had served as a community center and thus a place for parties, suppers, and tag sales. When the historical society restored the building, a curatorial wing was added. The Ralph W. Stanley Library and the society’s collection of historic objects, preserved in a temperature and humidity-controlled room, are located in this wing.  A visit to the Sound School House offers people of all ages an opportunity to step back in time and think about how education in a one-room school would differ from today’s schooling.  The Sound School House serves as a center for scholarship and educational programs, and the society’s archives are kept in a fire-protected and climate-controlled vault.

Juan José Landaeta and “Gloria al Bravo Pueblo”

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Juan José Landaeta-Arévalo (Mar. 10, 1780-Mar. 26, 1812, or Dec. 10, 1814) was a famous Venezuelan musician, instrumentalist, composer, and conductor of the nineteenth century, to whom  is formally attributed the authorship of the music of the National Anthem of Venezuela.  Landaeta was born on March 10, 1780, in Caracas, Venezuela, and  belonged to a family that excelled musicians, painters, gilders and silversmiths.  His parents, Juan José Landaeta and María Candelaria Arévalo were free pardos or mulatos. He studied music with Juan Manuel Olivares in Padre Sojo’s school, composing several patriotic songs as well as religious works.  As a musician, in 1805 he suggested the creation of a school of first letters for the teaching of pardos that obtained the support of the City Council but it is not believed that it was carried out.  Later, he worked at various churches of Caracas as a violinist and music director.  Among Landaeta’s well-known compositions are Hail to four voices (1780); Tantum ergo (1798), composed with his son Francisco José Velásquez; Benedictus to duo (1799); Salve regina (1800); Benedictus y pésame a la Virgen (Condolence to the virgin); and Ave Maris Stella.

From the beginning of the Venezuelan revolution, Landaeta had sympathies for the independence cause. Thus, he was numbered among the conspirators of the April 19, 1810, Venezuelan War of Independence.   This same revolutionary passion led him to compose several patriotic songs.  The Patriotic Society was formed in Caracas as a result of The Revolution.  At one of its meetings, the success of its Patriotic Song, Caraqueños, Otra Época Inicia, composed by Cayetano Carreño with lyrics by Andrés Bello, brought about the proposal that the Society should also launch a Patriotic March that would stimulate the mood for the undecided.  It was thus that one of the members of the Patriotic Society, the physician, journalist, and poet Vicente Salias, improvised there the first verses of a song, “Gloria al Bravo Pueblo” (Glory to the Brave People; lit. Glory to the Bravo Town), which began with the phrase “Gloria, americanos.” The music was later composed by Landaeta, already a noted writer of religious songs.

The song was used on the occasion of the installation of the first congress of Venezuela in 1811. Also in 1811 Landaeta founded the Concert Society Certamen de Música vocal e instrumental.  After the demise of the First Republic, he was persecuted and imprisoned by the royalists.  The Mayor Vicente Basadre and Captain Emparan in a report to the Spanish authorities said of him that most scandalous were the allegorical songs that he composed and printed for independence According to historian Jose Domingo Diaz, Landaeta died in Caracas following the earthquake of March 26, 1812, but other sources say that he managed to leave the dungeon in 1813 with the arrival of the Liberator Simon Bolivar in Caracas, having to flee with the painful emigration to the East in 1814, but with bad fortune, since  he was captured by Jose Tomas Boves in October of that same year and was shot on December 10, 1814, in Cumana, Venezuela.

Gloria al Bravo Pueblo has been known since 1840 as La Marsellesa Venezolana (Venezuelan Marseillaise), in reference to its subtle similarity to the French national anthem.  Then President General Antonio Guzmán Blanco decreed on May 25, 1881, that it was the National Anthem of Venezuela, composed by the patriots Juan José Landaeta and Vicente Salias. However, its authorship is disputed, and no document has appeared to validate the source.  There is only the oral tradition, since not even Guzman Blanco when declaring the “Glory to the Brave People” as National Anthem, mentioned in the decree the authors.  Some recent investigations have suggested that the real author of the anthem was Andrés Bello, and not Salias, to whom it was originally credited, and the music was composed by another musician called Lino Gallardo.  However, this theory has yet to be proven, and lacks any real recognition among the general Venezuelan population, historians, or otherwise.

The law on the National Flag, Shield and Anthem, established in article 12 that the National Anthem of the Republic of Venezuela is the patriotic song known as “Gloria al Bravo Pueblo”, and that must be played to pay honors to the national flag, pay homage to the President of the Republic, in the official acts of solemnity, and in all those commemorative of historical dates of homeland.  The Venezuelan national anthem is played every day on all radio stations, national and regional television networks broadcast at 12:00 am, and at 6:00 am (sometimes on 12:00 pm during National Holidays) either the full version or the chorus, first stanza, and chorus. On radio broadcasts in some of the Regional Radio stations, the state anthem is played after the national anthem, which is also the case in state TV stations.

On most occasions, only the chorus, first stanza and the chorus are played or even the chorus itself. Sometimes the chorus is played twice in the beginning, and once in the rest of the anthem. In formal events, if the anthem will be played by either a military band, concert band or orchestra, the format is: Chorus twice, First verse, and Chorus twice, with the optional introduction. If played in full the chorus is sung twice, with or without the introductory notes. Today one of the first, oldest and most important institutions dedicated to the training of professional musicians in Venezuela is named after him, as the Venezuelan Juan José Landaeta National Conservatory of Music.

The following work by Juan José Landaeta is contained in my collection:

Gloria al Bravo Pueblo (Venezuela)

Himno Nacional