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The Authoritative Work On American Music
by [?]

Helen Kelsey Fox, like so many of our talented men and women, has a European strain in her blood. She is a lineal descendant on her mother’s side of a French nobleman and a German princess. Nevertheless she continues to reside in Vermilion, Ohio. She is of a “decided poetic nature and lives in an atmosphere of her own. She dwells in a world of thought peopled by the creations of an active and lyric mentality.” She is so imbued with the poetic spark that, as she expresses it, she “speaks in rhyme half the time.”

John Z. Macdonald, strictly speaking, is not an American composer. He was born in Scotland and came to America in 1881 at the age of 21, but as he is one of the very few composers since Nero to enter public political life he well deserves a place in this collection. In 1890 he was elected city clerk of Brazil, Indiana, a position which he held for seven years. In 1898 he was elected treasurer of Clay County, Indiana. This county is democratic “by between five and six hundred” but Mr. Macdonald was elected on the republican ticket by a majority of 133. He was the only republican elected. Among the best known of Mr. Macdonald’s compositions is his famous “expansion” song, in which he predicted the fate of Aguinaldo. He has autograph letters, praising this song, from the late President McKinley, Col. Roosevelt, General Harrison, Admiral Schley, John Philip Sousa and other “eminent gentlemen.”

Edward Dyer, born in Washington, was the son of a marble cutter who “helped to erect the U. S. Treasury, Patent Office, and Capitol…. In the majority of his compositions there is a tinge of sadness which appeals to his auditors…. Mr. Dyer never descends to coarseness or vulgarity in his productions; he writes pure, clean words, something that can be sung in the home, school and on the stage to refined respectable people.”

We learn much of the study years of Mrs. Lucy L. Taggart: “From earliest childhood she received valuable musical instruction from her father (Mr. Longsdon) who, coming from England in 1835, purchased the first piano that came to Chicago, an elegant hand-carved instrument that is still treasured in the old home.” Later “she studied under Prof. C. E. Brown, of Owego, N. Y., Prof. Heimburger, of San Francisco and Herr Chas. Goffrie. Mrs. Taggart was also for five years a pupil of Senor Arevalo, the famous guitar soloist of Los Angeles…. Mrs. Taggart has in preparation (1902) Methought He Touched the Strings, an idyl for piano in memory of the late Senor M. S. Arevalo.”

David Weidley, born in Philadelphia, is the composer of the following songs, Old Spooney Spooppalay, Jennie Ree, Autumn Leaves, Hannah Glue, and Uncle Reuben and Aunt Lucinda. “He has done much to create and elevate a taste for music in the community where he resides and where he is known as ‘Dave.’ Even the little children call him ‘Dave’ as freely and innocently as those who have known him for years, and there can be no greater compliment for any man than that he is known and loved by the children. Mr. Weidley is by profession a sheet metal worker. He is a P. G. of the I. O. O. F., and a P. C. in the Knights of Pythias. He is not identified with any church, but loves and serves his fellow-men.”

In the biography of Delmer G. Palmer we are assured that “Versatility is a trait with which musical composers are not excessively burdened. There are few performers who can include The Moonlight Sonata and Schubert’s Serenade with selections from The Merry-go-round, and do justice to the expression of each, much less would such adaptability be looked for among composers. As most rules have exceptions, in this there is one who stands in a class occupied by no one else, Mr. Delmer G. Palmer, the ‘Green Mountain Composer,’ who at present resides in Kansas City.