Joseph Philbrick Webster

Joseph Philbrick Webster (February 18, 1819 – January 18, 1875) Often known more simply as J. P. Webster, American composer Joseph Philbreck Webster was born on the outskirts of Manchester, New Hampshire. He showed promising musical talent from an early age, learning to play the violin and flute. He was, however, drawn to singing and,

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Septimus Winner

Septimus Winner (May 11, 1827 – November 22, 1902) Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Septimus was the seventh child of violin maker Eastburn Winner. Although he largely taught himself to play musical instruments during his youth, he did receive some formal tuition from violinist Leopold Meignen. At the age of just twenty he opened a musical

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Thomas Martin Towne

Thomas Martin Towne (May 30, 1835 – April 4, 1912) Thomas Martin Towne was not only the composer of many sacred and secular, patriotic songs. He was also a doctor, musical professor, husband to one of America’s first leading women in the literary and publishing fields, and served in the Civil War. Born and raised

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William Downing Evans

William Downing Evans (1811 – 1897) Whilst Civil War raged in America, the small mining towns of South Wales also faced conflicts of their own. Although these were battles without guns, armies and mass bloodshed, they were, nonetheless, struggles which pierced the hearts of men and women. Amidst all of this, William Downing Evans, the

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William Vincent Wallace

William Vincent Wallace (March 11, 1812 – October 12, 1865) Transport developments during the Nineteenth Century allowed musicians to bring their talents and compositions to many corners of the globe. Nevertheless, not even the greatest of cultural superstars enjoyed the almost swashbuckling adventures of William Vincent Wallace. Although a number of his tales may have

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John Hill Hewitt

John Hill Hewitt (July 11, 1801 – October 7, 1890) John Hill Hewitt was an American songwriter born in July 1801 in New York City. Along with music he is also known for his plays and poetry. Hewitt was born into an extremely musical family and was exposed to music from a very young age.

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John Hewitt Comments on Henry Russell

This is excerpt from John Hewitt’s book Shadows on the Wall or, Glimpses of the Past, where he talks about Henry Russell, their relationship, and their music. Henry Russell. The descriptive songs and ballads of this composer and vocalist are still much in vogue. He spent much of his time in Baltimore, though New York

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Henry Russell

Henry Russell (December 24, 1812 – December 8, 1900) Henry Russell was born in Sheerness, Kent, in the South of England, during the year 1812. Russell was a pianist, singer and composer. He was born into a Jewish family, and was dedicated to music from a very young age, and started learning piano from the

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Frederic Woodman Root

Frederic Woodman Root (June 13, 1846 – November 8, 1916) Frederic Woodman Root was born in Boston in 1846, son of George Root, a well known songwriter at the time. His mother, Mary Olive Root, was also a famous singer, thus, Root grew up surrounded by music. At just 5 years old, his father had

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George Frederick Root

George Frederick Root (August 30, 1820 – August 6, 1895) George Frederick Root was an influential songwriter, born in August 1820, in Sheffield, Massachusetts. His work mainly focused on issues regarding the American Civil War. As a young boy, Root trained on piano under the guidance of George J. Webb, and also studied the flute alongside this.

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