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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...

Article

Jeannette Fresne

(b Upshur County, TX, Sept 18, 1892; d Dallas, TX, Aug 19, 1940). American music publisher, singer, teacher, and composer. Known for his success in gospel music education, publishing, and composing gospel music quartets, Stamps founded the V.O. Stamps School of Music in Jacksonville, Texas (1924). Two years later he and Jesse Randall Baxter, Jr., founded the Stamps-baxter music and printing company , followed by the establishment in Dallas of a company headquarters (1929) and printing plant (1934). The company became one of the largest publishers of gospel music and most successful organizers of singing-schools in the 20th century. In addition to convention books and special collections for radio, television, and quartet performances, the company published three periodicals with subscriptions from all states and several foreign countries, and 24 songbooks with four-part harmonies in seven-shape notation. By mid-century annual company sales were in excess of $300,000. The company offered two types of schools: traditional singing-schools, and normal schools for training singing-school teachers. Stamps negotiated with the Texas superintendent of education for a provision for students to earn up to two high school credits for passing a state examination upon completion of either of the schools. After the war (...

Article

Herman Trotter

(Philip)

(b Washington DC, Dec 6, 1946). American composer, performer, writer and publisher. He studied at SUNY, Buffalo (MA 1972, PhD 1976), where his teachers included Lejaren Hiller and Morton Feldman. He has been a member of Lukas Foss's Center of the Creative and Performing Arts and has held faculty positions at Empire State College, Buffalo (1974–86), and SUNY, Buffalo (1979–86). He has served as a critic and writer for Musical America/Opus Magazine, the Buffalo News and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is the author of Handbook of Instrumentation (Berkeley, California, 1985). Kallisti Music Press, of which he is the founder, has published the complete works of Anthony Philip Heinrich and 40 previously unpublished compositions by Hiller, as well as Stiller’s own works.

Stiller's music is eclectic and original, but makes no attempt to establish new sonic frontiers. His works are often scored for unusual combinations of instruments and many of his titles reveal a propensity towards the fanciful and whimsical. The chamber opera ...