- Bruce Degen
(b Middleborough, MA, March 13, 1779; d Providence, RI, Dec 31, 1848). American composer, compiler, teacher, singer, organist and publisher. After accidental eye damage leading to blindness, he undertook musical studies with John L. Berkenhead, Gottlieb Graupner and Thomas Granger about 1800. In 1805 he established himself as a teacher of the piano and organ in Dedham, Massachusetts, where he began to issue his music in collaboration with Herman Mann. Moving to Providence in 1807, Shaw became a central figure in the city’s musical life as organist, organizer of bands and composer of songs, odes, anthems and marches for patriotic and civic occasions. His ‘Military Divertimento’, Welcome the Nation’s Guest, celebrated the visit of Lafayette to Providence in 1824.
Shaw sought to improve the quality of local sacred music, co-founding the Psallonian Society, and provided inspiration to the founding of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society in 1815...