" Julep Song (The Good Old Mint Julep for Me!)" by Will Marion Cook
Article. Will Marion Cook's musical The Southerners remains a milestone in the history of Broadway theater. Premiering at the New York Theater on May 12, 1904, The Southerners was the first Broadway musical to feature a racially integrated cast. Characters with speaking parts were portrayed by white actors in blackface and were supported by an all-black chorus of singers and dancers. Cook's wife, Abbie...
" Whoop Her Up!" by Will Marion Cook
Article. Will Cook's reputation as a leading songwriter for black musical theater led to the performance of many of his works by singers such as Irene Bently, Fannie Brice, and Marie Cahill in stage productions by white performers. Whoop 'er Up! (With a Whoop, La! La!) was sung by Cahill in two separate musicals, The Boys and Betty (1908) and Judy Forgot (1910).
" My Lady Nicotine" by Will Marion Cook
Article. Very little has been written about My Lady, Nicotine (Smoke! Smoke!), composed by Cook with lyrics by F. Clifford Harris. In her 2008 biography of Cook, Swing Along, Marva Griffin Carter lists the piece as part of Cook's last major work for musical theater, Darkydom (1915).
" Breathe on Us, Breath of God" by Arthur Farwell
Article. Farwell wrote a large number of works intended for amateur community choruses, ranging from unison songs and arrangements to more complicated four-part settings. His New York Community Chorus met on Sundays in Central Park for massive "sings," attended regularly by more than eight hundred people. For these occasions Farwell prepared song sheets containing a potpourri of unison arrangements—everything from classics in English translation...
" Hosanna" by Arthur Farwell
Article. Hosanna was published in 1918 along with Breathe on Us, Breath of God, as part of Farwell's Four Part Songs for Community Chorus, op. 51. It is the only piece in the set dedicated to the students of the Third Street Music School Settlement, which Farwell directed from 1915 to 1918. The Settlement was founded in 1894 to provide high-quality music instruction to...
"The Wind and the Day (A Sunset on Yarrow)" by Arthur Foote
Article. This part-song, one of fifty-two composed by Foote, was dedicated to Horatio Parker (1863–1919), a fellow member of the Second New England School of composers. It sets a pastoral poem by Scottish writer Andrew Lang, who edited the poems and songs of Robert Burns in 1896. The text and music paint a picture of a sunset over the heather. Foote injects chromatic harmonies...
"The Jumblies, Op. 68, No. 4" by Arthur Foote
Article. Foote sets this humorous limerick by Edward Lear (1812-88) "Allegro giocoso." He chooses only the first and fourth stanzas of Lear's five-stanza poem. The music is scored in C minor, with a parenthesized note under the first measure, "preferably in C-sharp." Foote provides a dynamic scheme and articulations to capture the text's humor. "And when the sieve turned round and round, and ev'ry...
" Come, O Thou Traveler" by Harvey Bartlett Gaul
Article. Gaul composed the anthem Come, O Thou Traveler for SATB mixed chorus and organ during his tenure as organist and choirmaster at Emmanuel Church in Cleveland. He dedicated the piece to Henry G. Eskuche, organist at St. Peter's Church in Brooklyn, New York. It was published in 1908 by the Boston Music Company.
" Now Is Christ Risen from the Dead" by Harvey Bartlett Gaul
Article. Now Is Christ Risen from the Dead is an Easter anthem for soprano solo, SATB mixed chorus, and organ, published in 1905 by William A. Pond & Co., New York. The text is taken from I Corinthians 15:55–57: "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the...
" Pirate Song" by Henry F. Gilbert
Article. Gilbert's Pirate Song was first published by the Wa-Wan Press, which was founded by composer Arthur Farwell in 1901. The purpose of the Press, named for an Omaha Indian ceremony meaning "to sing to someone," was to publish American works that broke with European tradition. Gilbert worked alongside Farwell in promoting a distinctly American style. Gilbert also advocated for the use of humor...
" Christ is Risen" by Victor Herbert
Article. Herbert gained fame primarily through his forty-three operettas. His output, however, also included numerous works for orchestra, band, various instruments, and some twelve choral pieces. He wrote a large-scale cantata, The Captive, op. 25, for the 1891 Worcester (Massachusetts) Festival. His extended anthem for soloists and chorus, Christ is Risen, was premiered at St. Paul's Cathedral, Buffalo, New York, in 1908. A year...
" Christ Jesus Comes from Heavenly Height" by Peter C. Lutkin
Article. For much of his life, Lutkin composed original carols as Christmas card greetings. Child Jesus Comes from Heavenly Height was one of two such greetings later published by H. W. Gray. It is a simple, strophic a cappella setting—in two verses with refrains—of a translated poem by Hans Christian Anderson. The verse begins with a unison descending line that separates into four parts...
"The Carol of the Beasts" by Peter C. Lutkin
Article. Lutkin wrote The Carol of the Beasts for the Northwestern University A Cappella Choir. By 1922, the year this setting was published, the choir had toured widely and had been a featured performing ensemble at a conference of the Music Teachers National Association.
" O Little Town of Bethlehem" by Peter C. Lutkin
Article. O Little Town of Bethlehem was published by the Clayton F. Summy Company in 1903 and dedicated to Lutkin's second son, Caryl Cecil Lutkin. Tragically, Caryl died of diphtheria four days before Peter Lutkin was to conduct the first performance in Evanston, Illinois, of the newly formed Northwestern University A Cappella Choir.
" Barcarole, Op. 44" by Edward MacDowell
Article. This work is unique among MacDowell's choral works for its lush vocal richness and coloristic four-hand piano display. Frequent hemiolas, grace notes, trills, and triplet patterns in the piano partner with a lyric melodic breadth and sensitive harmonic progressions in the voices. The poem is by F. M. von Bodenstedt (1819-1892), a well-known German writer whose texts were also set by Brahms, Grieg,...
" Cradle Song" by Edward MacDowell
Article. The text is by MacDowell after a German poem by Peter Cornelius (1824-1874). A lullaby, this brief work is representative of a quintessential American male glee club song: a cappella, homophonic, closely voiced, regular phrases, heartfelt, and tender. Chromatic motion often occurs against pedal tones. Interest is found more in the overall harmonic effect than in the melody. MacDowell dedicated the work to...
" Dance of Gnomes" by Edward MacDowell
Article. In dramatic contrast to Cradle Song, the song Dance of Gnomes sets a text by MacDowell that is jarring, spooky, and humorous. The Gnomes, also called "Flower Fairies," conjure up shadows, moonlight, dark forests, and magic spells. Later in the work they call themselves "ugly, hairy imps," "ugly noddles" (noddle is the nape of the neck, back of the head), and "willful hussies."...
"The Witch, Op. 5" by Edward MacDowell
Article. From 1896 to 1898, MacDowell published four partsongs for the Mendelssohn Glee Club under the pseudonym of Edgar Thorn, fearing the members would feel obligated to accept the songs if he revealed he had written them. Other works by "Edgar Thorn" are The Rose and the Gardener, Love and Time, and War Song. The narrative text by MacDowell is about a witch living...
" Summer Wind, Song of Sylphs" by Edward MacDowell
Article. This is the last of MacDowell's original choral works to be published, written while he was teaching at Columbia University. The text's poet, Richard Hovey (1864-1900), also taught at the university. The text from Hovey's epic poem, Launcelot and Guenevere, depicts the light summer breeze and imbues it with human qualities: "Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet. / The fleet wind's footing / is light...
" Long, Long the Night" by Daniel Gregory Mason
Article. Mason wrote Long, Long the Night shortly after his appointment as lecturer at Columbia University in 1905. It is a setting of the poem, On Chloris Being Ill (1795), by Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns (1759-1796). In the poem, Burns laments the illness of a long-time family friend, Jean Lorimer, for whom he had a particular fondness.
" Domine salvum fac praesidem nostrum, Op. 8" by John Knowles Paine
Article. John Knowles Paine composed Domine salvum fac praesidem nostrum soon after accepting a music-instructor position at Harvard University. Written for the inauguration ceremony of Thomas Hill as Harvard President, the work premiered on March 4, 1863. The composer conducted members of the college choir, the Harvard Music Association, and the Germania Orchestra. The piece was repeated on October 19, 1869, for the inauguration...
" Centennial Hymn, Op. 27" by John Knowles Paine
Article. Centennial Hymn was published in 1876 by J. E. Ditson & Co., Philadelphia, and republished in 1930 as Whittier's Centennial Hymn by Oliver Ditson, Boston. The vocal score was also published in two periodicals as part of the centennial celebrations—the Philadelphia Enquirer (May 10, 1876) and the Atlantic Monthly (June 1876).
" Ojalá" from "The Spanish Gypsy" by Patty Stair
Article. Patty Stair composed Ojalá in 1907, while a faculty member at the Cleveland Conservatory of Music. Written for four-part women's voices with accompaniment, the piece was dedicated to the Rubenstein Club of Cleveland. That organization was a large women's choral group, modeled on a New York City ensemble founded by William Rogers Chapman (1855-1935), a New York public school music teacher. Chapman named...