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date: 17 November 2019

Hiwell, Johnlocked

  • Raoul F. Camus


(d Savannah, GA, March 15, 1788). American bandmaster and teacher. He was appointed a sergeant in Knox’s Regiment of Artillery in the Continental Army in December 1775, and two months later was made fife major. He was promoted to lieutenant in the Third (Crane’s) Regiment of Continental Artillery in January 1777, and in August 1778 was appointed Inspector and Superintendent of Music in the Army, with orders to standardize and improve the army’s music; he trained the regimental fife- and drum-majors so that they in turn could train the company musicians and standardize the interpretation of the regulations throughout the army. Through his efforts some units became sufficiently proficient to play hymns in three- and four-part harmony. In 1783 the Third Artillery Band, which Hiwell had been instrumental in developing, performed under the name Crane’s Massachusetts Band in concerts at Salem, Massachusetts, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire; the latter performance is recognized as the first public concert given in New Hampshire. The excellence of Hiwell’s band and his personal influence probably did much to lay the foundations of the American tradition of military music. After the Continental Army was disbanded, Hiwell moved first to Providence, where he opened a “school of instrumental music,” and in ...

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