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Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
TODAY IS
February 10
Can You Guess? February 10, 1944 a song by Al Trace made its wonderful, zany debut. The song talks about the foods horses, deer, lambs and goats like.  (Sounds a little bit jumbled and jivey to me.)  Can You Guess what that song might be? 

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
What Else
Happened
Today?
1696 - German composer Johann Melchior Molter was born.

1702 - Jean Pierre Guignon, Italian composer, violinist and teacher, was born.

1794 - Premiere of Haydn's Symphony No. 99. Haydn conducting.

1860 - Premiere of Brahms's Serenade No. 2 in A, Op. 16 in London, Brahms conducting.

1893 - James "Jimmy" Durante, pianist / band leader / singer / actor was born.

1914 - Larry Adler,  American composer and harmonica player, was born.

1929 - Jerry Goldsmith, American film score composer, was born.

1961 - Premiere of Walter Piston's Symphony No. 7. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting. Won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1961.
William Schuman
1910-1992
William Schuman's Violin Concerto had its premeire February 10, 1950. Isaac Stern was the soloist. He was accompanied by the Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony.

William Howard Schuman was born in New York City, August 4, 1910.   He began to study the violin as a young boy and later played several other instruments. His loved jazz (he had his own band) and school orchestra. His family spent evenings singing songs from operettas and musicals. He even wrote some music. But mostly Schuman loved baseball.
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In 1928 Schuman went to New York University to study business. He continued writing pop songs with E. B. Marks, Jr. He and lyricist Frank Loesser, wrote 40 songs for radio and Vaudeville/night club acts.

April, 1930 was a turning point for Schuman.  Although he didn't want to, he went unwillingly to his first professional symphony concert. There he realized that he would spend the rest of his life writing classical music.  He left New York University  to devote his time to music studies.  Max Persin taught him harmony, Charles Haubiel of the Juilliard School taught him counterpoint, Adolf Schmid taught orchestration. Schuman earned a degree in Music Education from Columbia University in 1935.

Schuman taught at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, N.Y., for ten years starting in 1935. He earned an Master of Arts degree from Columbia in 1937. During this time Schuman's classical music received its first successful public performances. Aaron Copland praised him in the magazine
Modern Music in May, 1938, saying "Schuman is, as far as I am concerned, the musical find of the year. There is nothing puny or miniature about this young man's talent."

In 1944, music publisher G. Schirmer, Inc., made Schuman Director of Publications.  He became President of the Juilliard School in 1945. 

As Juilliard president, Schuman convinced the planners of Lincoln Center that Juilliard should join with the Center. Not long afterwards, Lincoln Center's board of directors placed him in charge of the entire complex. He established the Chamber Music Society and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. During this time, Schuman continued to write music of his own.

Schuman's piece,
On Freedom's Ground, with a text by Richard Wilbur (a Pulitzer Prize winner who became U.S. Poet Laureate in 1987), marked the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. The work was played two dozen performances in the two years following its premiere (October 28, 1986, the day of the statue's rededication).

Schuman kept writing new music, until he was in his 80's. He received a 1989 Kennedy Center Honor "for an extraordinary lifetime of contributions to American culture."

William Schuman died in New York City on February 15, 1992
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Did You Guess?
The song about the food choices of various animals was called "Mairzy Doats." (Did you see the color clues?) Listen to the Sample Below along with some other fun songs.

Mairzy doats and dozy doats
And liddle lamzy divey,
A kiddlely divey too, wouldn't you?
Mairzy doats and dozy doats
And liddle lamzy divey,
A kiddlely divey too, wouldn't you?

If the words sound queer and funny to your ear,
A little bit jumbled and jivey,
Sing "mares eat oats and does eat oats
And little lambs eat ivy."

Mairzy doats and dozy doats
And liddle lamzy divey,
A kiddlely divey too, wouldn't you?
Mairzy doats and dozy doats
And liddle lamzy divey,
A kiddlely divey too, wouldn't you?
A kiddlely divey too, wouldn't you
?
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