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A ",field_main_title:"most enjoyable evening: music in early Prescott and Flagstaff, Arizona Territory, ca. 1865-ca. 1890

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Although one finds much scholarship on nineteenth-century music in America, one finds relatively little about music in the post-Civil-War frontier west. Generalities concerning small frontier towns of regional importance remain to be discovered. This paper aims to contribute to scholarshi

Although one finds much scholarship on nineteenth-century music in America, one finds relatively little about music in the post-Civil-War frontier west. Generalities concerning small frontier towns of regional importance remain to be discovered. This paper aims to contribute to scholarship by chronicling musical life in the early years of two such towns in northern Arizona territory: Prescott and Flagstaff. Prescott, adjacent to Fort Whipple, was founded in 1864 to serve as capital of the new territory. Primarily home to soldiers and miners, the town was subject to many challenges of frontier life. Flagstaff, ninety miles to the north-northwest, was founded about two decades later in 1883 during the building of the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad, which connected the town to Albuquerque, New Mexico in the east and southern California in the west. Although the particular resources of each town provided many different musical opportunities, extant newspaper articles from Prescott's Arizona Miner and Flagstaff's Arizona Champion describe communities in which musical concerts, dances and theatrical performances provided entertainment and socializing for its citizens. Furthermore, music was an important part of developing institutions such as the church, schools, and fraternal lodges, and the newspapers of both towns advertised musical instruments and sheet music. Both towns were home to amateur musicians, and both offered the occasional opportunity to learn to dance or play an instrument. Although territorial Arizona was sometimes harsh and resources were limited, music was valued in these communities and was a consistent presence in frontier life.

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Date Created
2011

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A history of the first fifty years of the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix

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ABSTRACT The Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix occupies and maintains an historical place in the musical and civic history of the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona. Organized in November, 1929, the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix (OMC)

ABSTRACT The Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix occupies and maintains an historical place in the musical and civic history of the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona. Organized in November, 1929, the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix (OMC) is the only performing arts organization in Phoenix that can claim eighty-one years of continuous performance. The chorus gained popularity locally, nationally, and internationally in its first five decades. The breadth of the chorus's recognition began to decline in the latter part of the 20th century, but the chorus still retains a loyal following of audience members. This study focuses on the first fifty years of the OMC, especially the period from 1946 to 1979, the years the chorus was under the direction of Ralph Hess. Through his leadership the group's popularity and recognition reached a peak, thanks largely to his emphasis on civic responsibility, ties to service organizations, and musical ability and showmanship. No scholarly publications exist regarding this organization. Several boxes of memorabilia housed in the Arizona Historical Society Museum in Tempe, Arizona, serve as the primary source of material for this study. Concert programs supply information about concert repertoire, advertising, and chorus history. Newspaper articles from local and international press offer reviews, announcements, and media perceptions of the chorus. Information illustrating the abundant civic engagement of the OMC appears in proclamations and awards from local, state, national, and international personalities. This objective information helps propel the story forward, as do the personal letters and stories contained within the collection. Because many documents from the latter part of the 1970s are missing, the primary source information becomes more anecdotal and subjective. This study illustrates some of the ways in which the OMC went beyond mere survival to occupy a significant place in the musical life of Phoenix. Engagement in civic and social functions and support for non-profit organizations established the chorus as more than just a musical ensemble. Their pursuit under Hess of "Cultural Citizenship" earned them international recognition as civic leaders and ambassadors of goodwill.

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Date Created
2010

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The career of Clifford Demarest (1874-1946): organist, social advocate, and educator

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As an organist, church musician, and educator, Clifford Demarest (1874-1946) was a prominent figure in New York during the first half of the twentieth century. However, prior to this thesis, Demarest's place within the history of American music, like that

As an organist, church musician, and educator, Clifford Demarest (1874-1946) was a prominent figure in New York during the first half of the twentieth century. However, prior to this thesis, Demarest's place within the history of American music, like that of many of his contemporaries, was all but neglected. This research reveals Clifford Demarest as an influential figure in American musical history from around 1900 to his retirement in 1937. Led by contemporary accounts, I trace Demarest's musical influence through his three musical careers: professional organist, church musician, and educator. As a prominent figure in the fledgling American Guild of Organists, Demarest was dedicated to the unification of its members and the artistic legitimacy of the organist profession. As the organist and choir director of the Church of the Messiah, later the Community Church of New York (1911-1946, inclusive), Demarest played an integral part in the liberal atmosphere fostered by the congregation's minister, John Haynes Holmes (1879-1964). Together Holmes and Demarest directly influenced the nascent National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and supported luminaries of the Harlem Renaissance. Influential figures such as Langston Hughes (1902-1967), Augustus Granville Dill (1881-1956), Egbert Ethelred Brown (1875-1956), and Countee Cullen (1903-1946) were inspired by the liberal environment in the Church of the Messiah; however, prior to this research, their connections to the church were unexplored. As the music supervisor of Tenafly High School and later, for the state of New Jersey, Demarest influenced countless students through his passion for music. His compositions for student orchestras are among the earliest to elevate the artistic standards of school music ensembles during the first four decades of the twentieth century. Archival sources such as church records, letters, and newspaper editorials, are synthesized with current research to characterize Demarest's place in these three professional orbits of the early twentieth century. His story also represents those of countless other working musicians from his era that have been forgotten. Therefore, this research opens an important new research field – a window into the dynamic world of the American organist.

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Date Created
2014