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Daniel Jay Grimminger

[John B.]

(b Kirchenberg, Switzerland, May 25, 1848; d Milwaukee, May 29, 1924). American teacher, composer, author, editor, and organist, born in Switzerland. Singenberger enrolled at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, to study composition with Carl Geith (cathedral musician at St Gallen). After accepting a teaching position in applied voice at the seminary in Chur, Switzerland, he established a Caecilian Society, an organization committed to historic Catholic music and liturgical practices (e.g., Gregorian chant and the polyphonic works of Palestrina). He completed his academic studies under Franz Xaver Witt at Regensburg. In 1873 he arrived in St. Francis, WI, to teach at the Catholic Normal School of the Holy Family, a position he held until his death. Soon afterward he founded the American Caecilian Society.

He edited the journals of the society and was a faithful promoter of Caecilian ideals. The journal Caecilia (1874–1965) was the society’s German-language publication, and ...


A. Lindsey Kirwan

(b Elbing [now Elbląg], c1630; d Elbing, 1692). German composer, organist and music editor. His name has sometimes been mistakenly spelt ‘Sohr’ and ‘Sohrer’. From 21 April 1654 to 1659 and again from 1661 to 1665 he was organist of the Dreikönigskirche, Elbing. From 1665 until his death he was Kantor and schoolmaster at Heiligleichnam in the suburbs of Elbing; in 1675 he taught at the local Gymnasium, and from no later than 1683 he was Kantor and schoolmaster at nearby Dirschau (Dzierz̊goń) too. He was an assiduous composer and compiler of Protestant hymn tunes. In 1668, five years after Johannes Crüger’s death, there was published in Frankfurt what appeared to be another edition of the latter’s already famous chorale collection, Praxis pietatis melica. In fact the editing had been done by Sohren, who had also himself written more than half of the 888 melodies with continuo that the volume contains; the familiar title may have been retained by the publisher for commercial reasons. Further editions of this book continued to appear, as too did editions of the original ...


Jon Newsom

revised by H. Wiley Hitchcock

(b Lafayette [now part of Jersey City], NJ, Oct 6, 1873; d New York, Oct 30, 1928). American musicologist, librarian, editor and composer. As a boy he was sent to Germany to study; he was a piano pupil of James Kwast (1883–93) and later attended courses at the universities of Heidelberg and Munich, developing his interests in philosophy and, especially, musicology. He studied composition in Munich with Melchior Ernst Sachs, composition and orchestration with Iwan Knorr in Frankfurt, and conducting with Carl Schröder at the Sondershausen Conservatory.

In 1899 Sonneck returned to the USA and for three years travelled from New England to South Carolina, collecting references to American musical life before 1800, primarily from newspapers. He also did much work in the new Library of Congress building, and in 1902 the librarian Herbert Putnam made him head of the newly formed music division, where he organized and developed what was to become one of the most comprehensive collections of music, manuscripts and books on music in the world. He established its unrivalled archive of opera scores and librettos, and in ...


Robert Stevenson

revised by Laura Macy

(b Langa, province of Soria, 1534; d Rome, Sept 25, 1619). Spanish singer, music editor and composer, active in Italy. After making a name for himself as a musical prodigy in Spain, where he perhaps began as a choirboy at Burgo de Osma Cathedral, he joined the papal chapel as a soprano on 8 June 1562. He may have been the first castrato hired by that institution. He remained in the papal chapel until his retirement in 1611, serving as maestro five times. In 1566 he began attending the oratory recently founded by S Filippo Neri and he formally joined the group in 1571. He was involved in early negotiations surrounding the establishment of the Compagnia dei musici di Roma, though the papal singers eventually declined to participate in the group. In the years 1566–7 Soto served as chaplain to the church of S Giacomo degli Spagnoli, and by ...


James Cook

(b Sharon, VT, Feb 4, 1827; d Augusta, GA, Jan 10, 1881). American organist, composer, and editor. After attending Trinity College, Hartford, CT, Southard left a future in medicine for a career in music. He was general supervisor of public schools in Boston (1851–8), then in Norfolk, VA (1858–60). After a year as organist in Hartford, he served in the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War until he was wounded and honorably discharged in 1865. The first director of the Academy of Music (later the Conservatory of the Peabody Institute) in Baltimore, 1868–71, he returned to Boston and devoted his time to composition and the publication of collections of choral music. Described in his obituary as a person of “unusual intellectual power and acumen, with fine artistic taste and natural energy,” Southard composed the first of many operas to be based on Hawthorne’s ...


Lavern John Wagner

(b New York, May 28, 1852; d Kansas City, MO, Feb 4, 1916). American composer, publisher, and band director. As a band director in 1879, he moved from Muscatine, Iowa to Princeton, Illinois. In 1879 A.E. Squire published Southwell’s Collection of 24 Sextettes for Brass Instruments, intended to be performed in groups of three, with a brief modulation between each piece. Taking a cue from Squire, Southwell established his own music publishing firm in Princeton, printing 21 of his own compositions 1881–4. In 1884–5 his firm published in Wellington, Kansas, then temporarily in Topeka, Kansas, in 1887. The North Western Band Carnival in June 1887 prompted Southwell to move his company permanently to Kansas City. After his early serious band compositions, Southwell became aware of the vast market for town band music, and composed especially for amateur bands. During his life Southwell composed 558 works. After his death the firm was continued by his brother Charles, until sold to Volkwein Brothers in ...


Robert L. Marshall

revised by Dianne M. McMullen

[Scholze, Johann Sigismund]

(b Lobendau bei Liegnitz, Silesia, March 20, 1705; d Leipzig, Sept 28, 1750). German poet and musical anthologist. After receiving his schooling in Liegnitz, Sperontes apparently settled in Leipzig some time during the mid-1720s to take up the study of law. There is, however, no official record of his matriculation at the University of Leipzig. His career as a poet and amateur musician had its roots in his association with university student groups and later with a number of Leipzig’s musical and literary ‘societies’. Sperontes, in fact, may well have written his Singspiel Der Frühling (1749, the music, now lost, by one Johann Gottlieb August Fritzsch) and perhaps also the anonymous Der Winter for one of the collegia musica of Leipzig. Similarly, his pastoral plays, Das Kätzgen (1746), Die Kirms (1746) and Das Strumpfband (1748), could have originated in the circle surrounding the leading Leipzig poet of the time, Johann Christoph Gottsched, to which Sperontes evidently belonged....


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 (...


Harry Eskew and Mel R. Wilhoit

(b East Carlton, NY, Feb 26, 1846; d Catskill, NY, Oct 6, 1945). American evangelistic musician, composer of gospel hymns, and hymnbook compiler. He attended singing-schools and learned to play the piano before moving to Rochester, New York, where he studied singing and joined a church choir as the tenor of its solo quartet. After moving to Chicago he became a charter member of the Apollo Music Club, was associated with the Lyon and Healy Music Company, and traveled to Boston to sing in the massed choir for the 1872 Peace Jubilee. He also became acquainted with those who would become the leading figures in American revivalism during the next decade. In 1874, he moved to Boston and directed music in various churches, including Clarendon Street Baptist Church, pastored by A.J. Gordon, composer of the music for the hymn, “My Jesus, I love thee.” In 1876 he accepted Dwight L. Moody’s invitation to work as an evangelistic singer. He was paired with numerous evangelists under Moody’s general auspices, including George Needham, George Pentecost, and Daniel Whittle (upon the untimely death of musician Philip P. Bliss in a train crash)....


(b Buchau [now Bochov], nr Carlsbad [now Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia], c probably 1530; d Eger [now Cheb, Czechoslovakia], mid-Feb 1592). Bohemian music editor, poet, printer, bookseller and ?composer. He may have attended the Lateinschule at Eger or the one at Joachimsthal (now Jáchymov). In 1554, according to his own testimony, he was a student at Leipzig. From April 1558 for about a year he was Kantor at the Lateinschule at Eger. In 1561 he applied again for this post but was refused. Between 1559 and 1567 he seems to have travelled about a good deal – he is known to have visited Budweis (now Ceské Budějovice), whose choir he praised highly, Ossegg, Prague and Nuremberg – and he also had several private pupils. Title-pages of his prints indicate that from at least 1567 until 1569 he was again living at Eger. In 1569–70 he probably stayed for some time at Nuremberg. From ...