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J.M. Schlitz

(b Waterloo, NY, Jan 1872; d Los Angeles, CA, 1938). American Whistler and founder of a school of whistling. She grew up in Tecumseh, Michigan, and studied voice at the Detroit Conservatory. She later sang and taught locally until overstraining her voice. At age 30 she, her mother, and her aunts moved to California, where, after modeling certain bird species in the Sierras, Woodward began performing as a whistler. With the earlier successes of alice j. Shaw still fresh in the public’s mind, Woodward attracted many female students, and in 1909 she opened her California School of Artistic Whistling in Los Angeles.

Woodward’s “Bird Method” of whistling combined popular parlor tunes with chirped ornaments, each associated with a specific bird species and musical symbol. Her school was known for its touring Women’s Whistling Chorus of 30–50 members, which Woodward also directed. Noted students included Margaret McKee, who performed and recorded extensively, and Marion Darlington, who provided the whistling talent for early Disney films (...

Article

John Bourgeois

(b London, UK, June 23, 1916). American band director, conductor, and educator of English birth. He immigrated to the US in 1923 and studied at the University of Miami (BA 1937, MEd 1947). He was instrumental in founding many band organizations including the Florida Bandmasters Association and the National Bandmasters Association. He led the Miami Senior High School (1938–54), the Purdue University Marching Band (1954–85), and the Purdue Symphony (1969–85). His Purdue University Marching Band set the standard for American college marching bands and many of his marching innovations are in use today. He developed the McDonald’s All American Marching Band and led many high school concert bands on international tours. He is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the John Philip Sousa Foundation. His many honors include honorary life president of the American Bandmasters Association and an honorary doctorate of laws from Troy State University (...

Article

Edward H. Tarr

[Vurm, Vasily Vasilyevich]

(b Brunswick, Aug 28, 1826; d St Petersburg, 25 May/June 7, 1904). German cornet player, composer and band director. His first musical training was with his father, bandmaster of the Black Hussars of the Grand Duke of Braunschweig. At the age of 21 he moved to St Petersburg, where he was ‘Soloist of the Imperial Theatre Orchestra’ from 1847 to 1878 (from 1862, ‘Cornet Soloist to His Imperial Majesty’) and director of bands of the Imperial Guards from 1869 to 1889, as well as musical adviser to Tsars Aleksandr II and III, the latter an amateur cornet player. In 1866 he reorganized Russian infantry bands, using special instruments he had invented a year earlier together with the St Petersburg maker Anders. From 1867 until his death he taught the cornet and brass chamber music, the latter an innovation, at St Petersburg Conservatory. For 33 years Wurm was chairman of the St Petersburg Philharmonic Society....

Article

David Scott

(b Northwich, Cheshire, May 17, 1912; d York, May 9, 2004). English writer on music and music educationist . He was educated at Christ’s Hospital (1924–30) and read English, music and history as an organ scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge (1930–34; MusB 1933). He was director of music at Stranmillis Teachers Training College, Belfast, from 1934 until 1937, when he took the MusD at Trinity College, Dublin. From 1937 to 1944 he was music adviser to the city of Stoke on Trent. In 1944 he became director of music at Wolverhampton College of Technology; there he also formed a choir which gave many performances, particularly of lesser-known works by Handel. Since 1970 he has been a visiting scholar and lecturer at numerous colleges in the USA.

Young was an exceptionally fluent and prolific writer. His books include short popular biographies and several volumes for younger readers. Many of his more substantial writings are based on a lively, fresh and industrious, if not always highly discriminating, examination of source material; these include original research on Elgar and useful surveys of the British choral tradition and British music generally. As a composer Young was equally prolific: his works include a Fugal Concerto for two pianos and strings (...

Article

Leah G. Weinberg

(b Exeter, NH, Nov 8, 1961). American Musician, songwriter, record company founder, and author. Zanes was raised near Concord, New Hampshire, and after attending Oberlin College for one year, moved to Boston. There, Zanes, his brother Warren, the bass player Tom Lloyd, and the drummer Steve Morrell formed the Del Fuegos. The roots-rock band produced five albums between 1984 and 1989, with singles “Don’t Run Wild,” “I still want you,” “Name Names,” and “Move with me Sister.” After the Del Fuegos disbanded and Zanes’s solo album Cool Down Time failed to sell, he began to listen to banjo songs, cowboy tunes, and traditional songs that he remembered from childhood. After his daughter Anna was born, Zanes’s dissatisfaction with the American children’s music market led him to form a family-oriented band that merged folk and rock styles and instrumentation. Initially known as the Wonderland String Band, the New York based-group underwent changes in title and personnel, first to the Rocket Ship Revue, and then to Dan Zanes & Friends. The seven-member band has produced nine albums on Zanes’s label, Festival Five Records, which include original songs as well as folk, traditional, and gospel songs from the United States, Jamaica, Africa, and Mexico. ...

Article

Claude Conyers

(b Kansas City, MO, Dec 21, 1950). American modern dancer, choreographer, and company director. She was trained in various styles of show dancing by Joseph Stevenson, who had been a student of the famed dance anthropologist Katherine Dunham. Zollar followed in Dunham’s scholarly footsteps, eventually earning a master’s degree in fine arts at Florida State University, where she also studied ballet and modern dance. In 1980 she relocated to New York and continued her studies with Dianne McIntyre. Following her childhood bent for making up dances, she founded her own company, Urban Bush Women, in 1984, and began choreographic explorations of the history and culture of African American women in an urban, multi-ethnic environment. Blending modern and jazz dance, her works range in subject matter from Shelter (1988), a piercing study of homelessness, to Batty Moves (1995), a saucy celebration of the buttocks of black women. Some of Zollar’s dances are evening-length works performed to percussive sounds, a capella vocalizations, music by contemporary composers, and the spoken word, arising from librettos written by poets and novelists. Notable among these is ...

Article

Geoffrey Norris

(b Venice, c1715; d ?Venice, after 1781). Italian musician. In 1739 his opera Lucio Papirio dittatore was performed in Graz by Pietro Mingotti’s Italian opera company. On 21 November 1745 he was appointed deputy Kapellmeister to the Bonn court of Archbishop Clemens August of Cologne. He held this post until 1752, and then, probably working with Locatelli’s touring opera company, went to Prague, where in 1753 his opera Il Vologeso was performed. In 1757 he arrived in St Petersburg, producing his opera Didone abbandonata in 1758 and La Galatea two years later. He was appointed deputy conductor of the Italian opera under Raupach, and was subsequently promoted to conductor. He is thought to have succeeded to the directorship of the imperial chapel choir after Galuppi left Russia in 1768. In 1781 Zoppis himself left St Petersburg and probably returned to Italy. Among his other works are a setting of Metastasio’s oratorio ...

Article

John Brackett

(b New York City, NY, Sept 1, 1953). American composer, improviser, saxophonist, producer, and record label owner. Zorn is the best known composer and performer associated with the “Downtown” scene in New York City’s Lower East Side in Manhattan. He has composed works for a variety of ensembles including string quartets, orchestras, chamber ensembles, rock bands, and jazz groups, as well as works for solo instruments, voice, and other instrumental and vocal combinations. His compositions often incorporate elements and techniques from a number of musical genres and traditions such as rock and popular music from all over the world, jazz (particularly the post-bop and free jazz traditions), classical music (especially the music of a number of 20th-century avant-garde composers and movements), improvised music, and film music. Zorn’s interest in a variety of avant-garde movements, movies, Judaism and Jewish identity, and occult religious traditions has exerted a powerful influence on his aesthetic of art and composition....