Musical Roots of the Elm City
The American Singing Book, or, A New and Easy Guide to the Art of Psalmody: Designed for the Use of Singing Schools in America
New-Haven: Printed for and sold by the author, 1785
Daniel Read (1757-1836) was a New Haven-based musician and businessman. Born in Massachusetts, he fought in the American Revolution, and settled permanently in New Haven in 1782. Despite his lack of formal musical training, Read was a prolific composer of hymn tunes and psalm settings. The American Singing Book (1785) is one of his earliest publications.
The New Haven Museum and Historical Society holds Read’s papers, as well as a large oil portrait of him. In 2007, they collaborated with the Gilmore Music Library and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library on an exhibition, Daniel Read and the Flowering of Sacred Music in New Haven, held at Beinecke.
Singing School for Young Ladies & Children
(Advertisement, New Haven, March 1853)
The identity of Mr. Phoebus is not known, but his name was appropriate, because Phoebus Apollo was the Greek god of music (as well as of the sun). The tuition at his singing school—one dollar per quarter—was the equivalent of approximately $30 in today’s money.
Stella Nahum, Lillian Reznikoff Wolfe, and Reuven Kosakoff
Piano Fundamentals: Book A, 25 Studies
(New Haven: Manuscript Publishing Society, )
Reuven Kosakoff (1898-1987) was a New Haven-based composer, pianist, and teacher. He was educated at the Yale School of Music and at the Institute of Musical Art (later known as the Juilliard School), and studied in Berlin with Artur Schnabel. He composed many types of music, including Jewish liturgical works and music for children. He collaborated with Stella Nahum (his sister) and Lillian Reznikoff Wolfe on this pedagogical work.
Let’s Build a Town with Music
Program for a benefit concert for the Neighborhood Music School
February 8, 1964
The Neighborhood Music School is New Haven’s principal music school for pre-college students. Tracing its origins to a settlement house founded in 1911, the music school was established in 1915. It has operated from several locations; at the time of this benefit concert in 1964, it was raising funds for a new site on Audubon Street, where it is still located in 2017.
As the program proclaims, the concert featured an all-star cast of New Haven’s musical personalities. The Master of Ceremonies, Richard C. Lee, was mayor of New Haven from 1954 to 1970. Frank Brieff was the conductor of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. It was very much a town-gown event, for many of the other participants were from Yale, including Luther Noss (dean of the Yale School of Music and professor of organ), Fenno Heath (conductor of the Yale Glee Club), Keith Wilson (professor of clarinet), Donald Currier and Ward Davenny (both professors of piano), and Gustav Meier (professor of conducting). The singers Helen Boatwright, Shirley Sudock, and Emy de Pradines were all Yale faculty spouses.
The title is based on a children’s opera by Paul Hindemith (1895–1963), Wir bauen ein Stadt (Let’s Build a Town). Hindemith taught at Yale from 1940 to 1953.