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Stephen Powers first thought of his grand piano as an impressive piece of furniture.

But he enjoyed listening to music so much when friends played at parties at his home in North Wilmington that he began taking lessons.

“I enjoy having a couple of songs under my belt,” says Powers, a 52-year-old banker. “I play Happy Birthday. I play Getting to Know You for my mom.”

Powers is part of a boomlet of adults who are studying piano. Many took lessons briefly as children and regret giving it up. Some simply enjoy music. Others gravitated toward the keyboard because studies suggest piano improves mental acuity while reducing the odds of dementia.

A Swedish study published in 2014 in the International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that when a twin played a musical instrument later in life, he or she was 64 percent less likely to develop dementia than the twin who did not play.

A study published in Frontiers in Psychology in 2013 evaluated the impact of piano lessons on cognitive function, mood and quality of life in adults age 60 to 84.

The group that studied piano showed significant improvement in tests that measure executive function, controlling inhibitions and divided attention, as well as enhanced visual scanning and motor ability. Piano students also reported a better quality of life.

Some grownups simply relish a challenge.

In the United Kingdom, Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, took to the keyboard at age 56. He chronicled the year he spent learning Chopin’s demanding No. Ballade 1 in G Minor in the book Play It Again: An Amateur Against the Impossible.

Richard Swarmer, 57, of Lewes, played the trumpet from grade school through college. He has sung in several choirs. This year, he began piano lessons.

Learning the piano isn’t easy even for someone with a musical background. Still, Swarmer appreciates that the creative thought process is different from the focus required by his job for a medical benefits company.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed taking piano lessons as an adult,” he says. “It provides a welcome respite from the demands of my job.”

Ethel Thirtel of North Wilmington is 71 and a student at the Music School of Delaware. She is also taking French lessons to help keep her intellect sharp.

“Both pursuits involve active studying and practice to master new skills,” she says.

To meet rising demand, the Music School of Delaware offers adults-only evening group classes to accommodate working people, says Matthew Smith, student and alumni relations officer. The school also provides instruction for adults 50 and older through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at University of Delaware.

“In addition to professionals, we are getting a lot more inquiries from older adults who are retired and have time on their hands,” he says.

Geri Smith, a Julliard-trained singer, musician and composer, has taught piano to children in public schools as well as private arts centers. Her adult students include a 59-year-old writer who took up piano after the death of her husband, a gifted musician.

“Teaching children is a different experience than teaching adults,” says Smith, of Unionville. “Kids pretty much do what you ask them to do but adults ask lots of questions. They want to know why things have to be done a certain way.”

An important part of learning piano is creating new pathways in the brain. A Harvard Medical School study examined the impact of practicing the piano on synapses, the connections between neurons that encode memories and learning.

Volunteers practiced two hours a day for five days, playing a five-finger exercise to the beat of a metronome. To learn how that impacted the neurons scientists used transcranial-magnetic-stimulation (TMS), in which a wire coil sends magnetic impulses to the brain.

They discovered that after a week of practice, the stretch of motor cortex devoted to the finger exercises had expanded like crabgrass.

“Playing the piano creates new synapses,” Smith says. “Think of it as creating a conduit so your right hand can talk to your left hand.”

Meldene Gruber of Rehoboth Beach, who has taught piano for more than 40 years, has seen a surge in adult students in the past two years. Now, half her students are adults.

“A number of my adults say they think playing the piano will help with mental acuity,” she says. “Playing the piano forces you to use both sides of the brain, which is great for neuron firing.”

Most adults have specific goals in mind, such as learning to play Christmas carols or a few favorite pieces.

“You don’t get adults who are focused on becoming concert pianists,” Gruber says. “They come for the joy of playing, not because their mothers made them.”

via Chopstick therapy: how piano lessons could help us age better — NewsWorks.

August 3: On This Day in Music

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Monday Music Quiz

 

 

 

 

• 1778 ~ La Scala, one of the world’s great opera houses, opened on this day. They premiered William Tell by Gioachino Rossini

• 1823 ~ Francisco Asenjo Babieri, Spanish composer

• 1884 ~ Louis Gruenberg, Polish-born American composer

• 1902 ~ Ray Bloch, Conductor and orchestra leader

• 1917 ~ Charlie Shavers, Trumpeter with the John Kirby Sextet and composer of Undecided

• 1918 ~ Les Elgart, Lead trumpet, bandleader for Les and (brother) Larry Elgart

• 1921 ~ Richard Adler, Broadway Composer, lyricist

• 1926 ~ Tony Bennett (Benedetto), Grammy Award-winning American singer of popular music

• 1941 ~ Beverly Lee, Singer with The Shirelles

• 1949 ~ B.B. (Morris) Dickerson, Bass and singer with War

• 1951 ~ Johnny Graham, Guitarist with Earth, Wind and Fire

• 1963 ~ The Beatles made their final appearance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England. The group was about to leave its hometown behind for unprecedented worldwide fame and fortune.

• 1963 ~ The Beach Boys’ Surfer Girl, was released on Capitol Records. It became one of their biggest hits. Surfer Girl made it to number seven on the hit music charts  on September 14, 1963

• 1963 ~ Comedian Allan Sherman’s summer camp parody, Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter from Camp) was released on Warner Brothers Records. The melody was based on the Dance of the Hours from Ponchielli’s opera La Giaconda. This dance was also performed in the original Disney movie Fantasia.

• 1971 ~ Paul McCartney formed a new band called Wings. Joining McCartney in the group were Denny Laine, formerly of The Moody Blues, Denny Seilwell and McCartney’s wife, Linda.

• 1998 ~ Alfred Schnittke, one of the most original and influential composers to emerge from the Soviet Union, died. He was 63.

• 2001 ~ Jeanne Loriod, the leading performer of an electronic instrument used in film scores and symphonic works to produce mysterious glassy tones, died in southern France. She was 73. Loriod, who played the ondes martenot – invented by the French musician Maurice Martenot – died of a stroke in Juan-les-Pins, Le Monde newspaper reported.

She was the younger sister of pianist Yvonne Loriod, who was married to composer Olivier Messiaen. The three musicians often collaborated.

The ondes martenot – which translates as “Martenot waves” – produces electronic waves from a system of transistors, a keyboard and a ribbon attached to a ring on the performer’s forefinger.

Loriod’s career took her all over the world. She performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic, among others.

Composers such as Tristan Murail, Jacques Charpentier and Michael Levinas wrote works for her, according to Le Monde. Loriod had also been planning to collaborate with the pop group Radiohead, the paper wrote.

• 2008 ~ Louis Teicher died at 83.  He was half of the piano duo Ferrante & Teicher, which toured for four decades and released 150 albums, some as suitable for elevators as for concert halls.

• 2016 ~ Ricci Martin, an entertainer/musician son of Dean Martin, died at the age of 62.

August 1: On This Day in Music

 

 

Be sure your student reads and listens to Today’s Daily Listening Assignment
 

 

• 1779 ~ Francis Scott Key, born
More information about Key
Listen to Francis Scott Key’s Star Spangled Banner
Read about the Star Spangled Banner

• 1877 ~ Angela Diller, American pianist and educator

• 1919 ~ Oscar Hammerstein I passed away

• 1930 ~ Lionel Bart, Broadway Composer

• 1930 ~ Geoffrey Holder, Dancer

• 1939 – American bandleader Glenn Miller recorded In the Mood which later became his theme tune.

• 1942 ~ Jerry Garcia, American rock guitarist, banjo, lyricist and singer with The Grateful Dead

• 1942 ~ Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded Charleston Alley, on Decca Records.

• 1942 ~ The American Federation of Musicians went on strike. Union president James C. Petrillo told musicians that phonograph records were “a threat to members’ jobs.” As a result, musicians refused to perform in recording sessions over the next several months. Live, musical radio broadcasts continued, however.

• 1947 ~ Rick Anderson, Musician, bass with The Tubes

• 1947 ~ Rick Coonce, Singer, drummer with The Grassroots

• 1953 ~ Robert Cray, Guitar

• 1960 ~ Chubby Checker’s The Twist was released. The song inspired the dance craze of the 1960s.

• 1971 ~ The Concert for Bangladesh was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Ravi Shankar and Billy Preston performed. A multi-record set commemorating the event was a super sales success. Together, the concert and the album raised over $11 million to help the starving minions of Bangladesh.

• 1981 ~ MTV (Music Television) made its debut at 12:01 a.m.

• 1984 ~ Singer Jermaine Jackson made a guest appearance on the TV soap opera, As the World Turns.

• 1997 ~ Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter died of a heart attack in a Moscow hospital. He was 82.

• 2007 ~ Tommy Makem, Irish folk singer died

• 2017 ~ Goldy McJohn, Canadian musician (Steppenwolf), died at the age of 72

 

July 31: On This Day in Music

today

 

Be sure your student reads and listens to Today’s Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

• 1828 ~ François Auguste Gevaert, Belgian composer, musicologist, conductor and organist

• 1845 ~ The French Army introduced the saxophone to its military band. The musical instrument was the invention of Adolphe Sax of Belgium.

• 1847 ~ Ignacio Cervantes, Pianist

• 1886 ~ Franz Liszt, Hungarian composer and pianist died. Originator of the symphonic poem, he was a prolific teacher and a huge influence on Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss.
More information about Liszt

 

• 1911 ~ George Liberace, Violinist, conductor; administrator of Liberace Museum; brother of pianist/entertainer Liberace

• 1918 ~ Jan La Rue, American musicologist

• 1918 ~ Hank Jones, Pianist. He accompanied Billy Eckstine and Ella Fitzgerald. He led the Hank Jones Trio

• 1919 ~ Mornam Del Mar, British conductor

• 1923 ~ Ahmet Ertegun, Recording Executive

• 1939 ~ John West, Musician, guitarist with Gary Lewis and the Playboys

• 1942 ~ Harry James and his band recorded the classic I’ve Heard that Song Before, for Columbia Records. Helen Forrest sang on the million-seller.

• 1943 ~ Lobo, Singer

• 1946 ~ Gary Lewis (Levitch), Singer with Gary Lewis and the Playboys, entertainer Jerry Lewis’ son

• 1946 ~ Bob Welch, Guitarist and singer with Fleetwood Mac

• 1947 ~ Karl Green, Musician, guitar and harmonica with Herman’s Hermits

• 1964 ~ Jim Reeves, popular U.S. country music singer, died in an air crash near Nashville.

• 1985 ~ Prince was big at the box office with the autobiographical story of the Minneapolis rock star, Purple Rain. The flick grossed $7.7 million in its first three days of release on 917 movie screens. The album of the same name was the top LP in the U.S., as well.

• 2019 ~ Hal (Harold Smith) Prince died at the age of 91, He was an American theatrical producer and director associated with many of the best-known Broadway musical productions of the 20th century.

Over the span of his career, he garnered 21 Tony Awards, more than any other individual, including eight for directing, eight for producing the year’s Best Musical, two as Best Producer of a Musical, and three special awards.

July 30: On This Day in Music

today

 

Be sure your student reads and listens to Today’s Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

 

• 1751 ~ Maria Anna Mozart, Austrian pianist and Wolfgang’s sister, born in Salzburg, Austria

 

• 1899 ~ Gerald Moore, British pianist and accompanist

• 1909 ~ Adolph Baller, Pianist

• 1926 ~ Martin Bookspan, American music critic, administrator and broadcaster

• 1929 ~ Christine McGuire, Singer with The McGuire Sisters

• 1936 ~ Buddy (George) Guy, Blues guitar, singer, on BBC TV

• 1941 ~ Buddy Guy, Blues Musician

• 1941 ~ Paul Anka, Canadian singer and songwriter of popular music. He composed Johnny’s Theme (Tonight Show Theme) and had 33 hits over 3 decades, including “Diana” and “Puppy Love”.

• 1942 ~ Frank Sinatra recorded the last of 90 recordings with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra on Victor Records. His last side was There are Such Things, which became number one in January of 1943. Sinatra moved on as a solo singing sensation.

• 1942 ~ Stagedoor Canteen was first heard on CBS radio. The show was broadcast live from New York City and 500 servicemen were entertained each week by celebrities who freely donated their time for the war (WWII) effort.

• 1945 ~ David Sanborn, Grammy Award-winning musician, saxophone, flute, composer of the TV movie score to Finnegan Begin Again

• 1947 ~ Marc Bolan (Feld), Singer with T. Rex

• 1956 ~ Singer Brenda Lee recorded her first hit for Decca Records. Jambalaya and Bigelow 6-500 started a new career for the petite 11-year-old from Lithonia, GA (near Atlanta). Brenda Mae Tarpley (Brenda Lee) had been singing professionally since age six. She recorded 29 hit songs in the 1960s and became a successful country singer in 1971. Brenda Lee had a pair of number one tunes with I’m Sorry and I Want to be Wanted. She recorded a dozen hits that made it to the top 10.

• 1958 ~ Kate Bush, Singer

• 2002 ~ Leonard Litman, who ran two top Pittsburgh entertainment venues in the 1940s and ’50s that attracted stars such as Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and Bill Haley’s Comets, died of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 88. Litman owned Lenny Litman’s Copa, a nightclub that flourished in the city’s downtown from 1948 to 1959. Earlier, he ran the influential Mercur’s Music Bar. After the Copa closed in 1959, Litman continued to promote concerts and made a brief foray into sports in the 1960s when he and his brothers invested in an American Basketball League team. Litman worked as the Pittsburgh correspondent for Billboard Magazine from 1948 to 1960 and as a correspondent for Variety for decades.

• 2003 ~ Sam Phillips, American record producer and founder of Sun Records and Sun Studios, died at the age of 80

 

• 2016 ~ Gloria DeHaven, American musical actress (Step Lively), died at the age of 91

July 29: On This Day in Music

today

 

Be sure your student reads and listens to Today’s Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

• 1856 ~ Robert Schumann passed away.  Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist.
More information about Schumann

• 1887 ~ Sigmund Romberg, Hungarian-born American operetta composer, founding member of ASCAP. He was famous for his operettas “Desert Song”, “Maytime” and “Student Prince”

• 1916 ~ Charlie Christian, American guitarist and blues singer

• 1917 ~ Homer (Henry D. Haynes), Comedy singer, duo: Homer and Jethro

• 1925 ~ Mikis Theodorakis, Composer

• 1930 ~ Paul Taylor, Dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Emmy Award-winning choreographer, Kennedy Center Honors in 1992 “…for enhancing the lives of people around the world and enriching the culture of our nation.”

• 1933 ~ Randy Sparks, Folk singer, songwriter with the New Christy Minstrels

• 1935 ~ Peter Schreier, German tenor

• 1946 ~ Neal Doughty, Keyboards with REO Speedwagon

• 1953 ~ Geddy Lee, Bass, singer with Rush

• 1965 ~ The Queen of England attended the premiere of the motion picture, Help!, starring The Beatles. The command performance was held at the London Pavilion. The film later earned first prize at the Rio De Janeiro Film Festival in Brazil.  The Beatles later said the film was shot in a “haze of marijuana”. According to Starr’s interviews in The Beatles Anthology, during the Austrian Alps film shooting, he and McCartney ran off over the hill from the “curling” scene set to smoke a joint.

• 1966 ~ Martina McBride, Country singer

• 1970 ~ Sir John Barbirolli died. He was the British conductor of the Halle Orchestra, and was a famous interpreter of English music, Mahler and Italian opera.

• 1973 ~ Wanya Morris, Rock Singer

• 1974 ~ Singer “Mama” Cass Elliot, American folk-pop singer died.

• 1984 ~ Fred Waring, American musician and conductor died at the age of 84. He was also a promoter, financial backer and eponym of the Waring Blendor, the first modern electric blender on the market.

• 2018 ~ Tomasz Stańko, Polish trumpeter (Astigmatic), died at the age of 76

July 28: On This Day in Music

today

OCMS1741 ~ Antonio Vivaldi died
More information about Vivaldi

• 1750 ~ Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer and organist, died. Composer of “St Matthew Passion” and “Brandenburg Concertos”, his output covered every musical genre with innovations in format, quality and technical demands.
More information about Bach

• 1796 ~ Ignace Bösendorfer, Italian Pianomaker
More information about Bösendorfer

• 1811 ~ Guilia Grisi, Italian soprano

• 1901 ~ Rudy (Hubert Prior) Valee, Bandleader and singer. Valee was one of the first, before Bing Crosby, to popularize the singing style known as “crooning”.

• 1914 ~ Carmen Dragon, Classical music conductor, bandleader and father of singer, ‘Captain’ Daryl Dragon

• 1915 ~ Frankie Yankovic, Polka King, Grammy Award-winning musician, accordion

• 1933 ~ The singing telegram was introduced on this day. The first person to receive a singing telegram was singer Rudy Vallee, in honor of his 32nd birthday.

• 1934 ~ Jacques d’Amboise, Ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet

• 1937 ~ Peter Duchin, American bandleader, pianist, son of musician, Eddy Duchin

• 1938 ~ George Cummings, Guitarist with Dr. Hook

• 1939 ~ Judy Garland sang one of the most famous songs of the century with the Victor Young Orchestra. The tune became her signature song and will forever be associated with the singer-actress. Garland recorded Over the Rainbow for Decca Records. It was the musical highlight of the film, The Wizard of Oz.

• 1941 ~ Riccardo Muti, Italian conductor

• 1945 ~ Rick Wright, Keyboards with Pink Floyd

• 1949 ~ Peter Doyle, Singer with The New Seekers

• 1949 ~ Simon Kirke, Drummer with Free

• 1958 ~ Three years after his Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White reached number one, Cuban-born bandleader Perez Prado captured the top spot again, with Patricia. Prado was known as the Mambo King for his popular, Latin-flavored instrumentals.

• 1969 ~ Frank Loesser passed away

• 1972 ~ Helen Traubel passed away

• 2001 ~ Bass guitarist Leon Wilkeson, one of the founding members of legendary rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, died at the age of 49. The band, best known for songs What’s your Name?, Sweet Home Alabama and Freebird, debuted in 1973 and was named after the members’ high school gym teacher, Leonard Skinner. Wilkeson was involved in a 1977 plane crash in Mississippi that killed band members Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines. The group disbanded after the crash but re-formed with others in 1987 for a reunion tour. The band toured for most of the 1990s and had a concert scheduled for Aug. 23 in Jacksonville.

• 2002~ Thomas Calvin “Tommy” Floyd, whose twangy voice sold Luck’s beans in the 1950s, died. He was 89 and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Floyd was one of Asheboro’s best-known voices, between his music career and his jobs announcing at radio stations. Floyd organized the Blue Grass Buddys in 1942. The group played for radio shows and performed around the Southeast, appearing in concert with bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. In 1950, Luck’s sponsored the band, provided that Floyd plug the product at shows. His jingle went: “Luck’s pinto beans, Luck’s pinto beans. Eat ’em and you’ll never go wrong. Luck’s pinto beans.” Luck’s sponsored him as a host for 15-minute country music spots on television stations in the Southeast. Luck’s discontinued the sponsorship in 1953.

• 2002 ~ Eddy Marouani, who managed the careers of some of the most famous figures in French music, including Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel, died. He was 81. He also steered the careers of singers Michel Sardou, Serge Lama and comedian Michel Boujenah. Marouani headed the agency “Office Parisien du Spectacle” and presided over one the biggest families of French impresarios. Marouani published his memoirs in 1989, entitled “Fishing for Stars, Impresario Profession.”

July 27: On This Day in Music

today

 

 

Be sure your student reads and listens to Today’s Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

 

1867 ~ Enrique Granados, Spanish composer and conductor
More information about Granados

• 1877 ~ Ernö Dohnányi, Hungarian pianist, composer and conductor. He wrote the popular “Variations on a Nursery Song” and became an eminent concert pianist. One of the leading lights of 20th-century Hungarian music, he championed the music of Bartok and Kodaly.

• 1918 ~ Leonard Rose, American cellist

• 1927 ~ Bob Morse, Singer with The Hi-Lo’s

• 1933 ~ Nick Reynolds, Folk singer with The Kingston Trio

• 1942 ~ Peggy Lee recorded her first hit record, in New York City. With the backing of the Benny Goodman band, Miss Lee sang Why Don’t You Do Right.

• 1943 ~ Al Ramsey, Musician: guitar with Gary Lewis & The Playboys

• 1944 ~ Bobbie Gentry, Pop Singer. She won a Grammy Award in 1967

• 1949 ~ Maureen McGovern, Singer

• 1950 ~ Michael Vaughn, Guitarist with Paperlace

• 1959 ~ Brothers, Santo and Johnny (Farina) of Brooklyn, NY saw their one and only hit record, the instrumental Sleepwalk released. Sleepwalk was number one for two weeks. Their next song, Tear Drop, only made it to number 23 on the pop charts. Such is life in the pop music biz.

• 1963 ~ Karl Mueller, Rock Musician

• 1974 ~ NBC~TV removed Dinah’s Place from its daytime programming roster. The move brought Dinah Shore’s 23~year association with the Peacock Network to a close.

• 1974 ~ John Denver’s biggest hit song reached the top of the Billboard singles chart. Annie’s Song, written for his wife, became the most popular song in the U.S. Denver had three other #1 songs: Sunshine on My Shoulders, Thank God I’m a Country Boy and I’m Sorry.

• 1976 ~ John Lennon finally had his request for permanent residency in the United States approved. Lennon’s immigration card number was A-17-597-321. The decision to allow Lennon to stay in the country ended a long struggle between the former Beatle and the U.S. Government.

• 2000 ~ Alex “Sleepy” Stein, the founder of the first all-jazz radio station, died of cancer at the age of 81. Stein started working for CBS radio in the 1940s and later moved to Chicago, where he earned the nickname “Sleepy” after replacing an all-night deejay named Wide-Awake Widoe. He moved to Southern California, where he started broadcasting from an AM station in Long Beach. In 1957, Stein bought KNOB and began all-jazz programming from the Signal Hill station. On-air personalities at the groundbreaking station included famous jazz announcers Chuck Niles, Jim Gosa and Alan Schultz. Stan Kenton helped him finance the station by contributing the profits from his band’s performances.

• 2001 ~ Harold Land, a jazz saxophonist who over five decades performed with such greats as Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday and Tony Bennett, died at 72.

Land was born on Dec. 18, 1928, in Houston and grew up in San Diego. His parents bought him a saxophone when he was 16 and he made his first record at 21. In 1954 he moved to Los Angeles, where he joined the group run by trumpeter Clifford Brown and drummer Max Roach, touring the country for two years. He went on to join bands featuring jazz notables Curtis Counce and Blue Mitchell. He co-led a band with vibraphone player Bobby Hutcherson in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and had a 30-year association with Gerald Wilson’s orchestras. Land earned a reputation as a hard-bop musician capable of incandescent improvisation. In the late 1970s and the 1980s, Land joined the Timeless All-Stars, which included Hutcherson, drummer Billy Higgins, pianist Cedar Walton and trombonist Curtis Fuller. He also was a featured soloist for Tony Bennett. He appeared on the soundtracks for the movies Carmen Jones in 1954 and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? in 1969. He continued to be an active musician late in life. The album Promised Land, featuring Land and his quartet, was released this year.

• 2012 ~ Tony Martin, American singer, died from natural causes at the age of 98. His career spanned over seven decades, and he scored dozens of hits between the late-1930s and mid-1950. He was married to actress and dancer Cyd Charisse for 60 years until her death in 2008.

 

Daily Listening Assignments ~ July 27, 2020

 

Today we listen to Hot Cross Buns.  “Hot Cross Buns” is an English language nursery rhyme, Easter song, and street cry referring to the spiced English bun known as a hot cross bun, which is associated with the end of Lent and is eaten on Good Friday in various countries.

 

 

This is from Keyboard Kickoff:

Theme and Variations

 

This version gets harder and harder as it goes

 

 

 

In case that made you hungry

 

More about Hot Cross Buns

July 26: On This Day in Music

today

 

Be sure your student reads and listens to Today’s Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

 

OCMS 1782 ~ John Field, Composer, whose nocturnes for piano were among models used by Chopin.
More information about Field

• 1791 ~ Wolfgang Amadeus Franz Xavier Mozart, Mozart’s son. He didn’t give his first concert until he was 13 and never achieved his father’s fame

• 1874 ~ Serge Koussevitzky, Russian-born American conductor, double-bass player and music publisher, He was conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and founder of the Tanglewood Music Festival.

• 1882 ~ Richard Wagner’s opera “Parsifal” was first performed, at Bayreuth, western Germany.

• 1914 ~ Erskine Hawkins, ’20th Century Gabriel’ Trumpeter bandleader, composer of Tuxedo Junction (with Julian Dash and Bill Johnson)

• 1919 ~ Eva (Evita) Peron

• 1924 ~ Louie Bellson (Balassoni), Drummer with the Duke Ellington Band, drum solo on Skin Deep, composer, music director for wife Pearl Bailey, played with Dorsey Brothers and Count Basie bands

• 1929 ~ Alexis Weissenberg, Bulgarian-born French pianist

• 1939 ~ Sixteen-year-old singer Kay Starr got a big break. She recorded Baby Me with Glenn Miller and his orchestra on Victor Records. Starr was filling in for Marion Hutton who, at the last minute, was unable to attend the recording session.

• 1941 ~ Bobby Hebb, Grammy Award-winning songwriter, singer, Grand Ole Opry at age 12

• 1943 ~ Dobie Gray (Leonard Ainsworth), Singer, songwriter

• 1943 ~ Mick Jagger, British rock singer and songwriter. 41 hits [1964 to 1989], 5 gold records, 8 number one hit, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.   In 2003 he was knighted for his services to popular music and in early 2009 he joined the electric supergroup SuperHeavy.

• 1945 ~ Rick White, Singer

• 1949 ~ Roger Taylor (Meadows-Taylor), Drummer with Queen

• 1992 ~ Mary Wells passed away

• 2001 ~ Cleveland Johnson, a crusader for equality through his Tampa Bay-area newspaper, the Weekly Challenger, died of lung cancer. He was 73. Johnson wrote over the years about the need for social change, warning of the devastating effects of drugs on the black community and preaching the virtues of black economic power. Johnson, whose first love was music, studied at the Juilliard School and the Boston Conservatory. He operated a jewelry and dress store in Miami before moving to St. Petersburg in the mid-1960s and taking a job at the new Weekly Challenger, where he discovered that he had a talent for selling advertising. When founder M.C. Fountain died, Johnson kept the paper. Starting in the 1980s, he urged blacks to spend their money in black-owned businesses.

• 2002 ~ Buddy Baker, musical director for nearly 200 Disney movies and TV shows including “The Mickey Mouse Club,” died. He was 84. The composer penned incidental music and special songs sung by for “The Mickey Mouse Club” child stars and was responsible for music in the 1981 cartoon feature “The Fox and the Hound.” He was nominated for an Academy Award for the score to the 1972 children’s drama “Napoleon and Samantha.” He also scored incidental music for the Disney theme park attractions “Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln,” “It’s a Small World,” and “The Haunted Mansion.” Disney Studios hired him in 1954. He worked on arrangements for the TV show “Davy Crockett” and three “Winnie the Pooh” cartoons and composed original music for the 1975 film “The Apple Dumpling Gang” and 1976’s “The Shaggy D.A.”

• 2002 ~ Kenny Gardner, a tenor who sang with Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, died. He was 89. Gardner, the featured crooner, was remembered for such songs as Enjoy Yourself, It’s Later Than You Think and Frankie and Johnny. The band, one of the most popular orchestras in American dance music, sold more than 100 million recordings and became known for its New Year’s Eve broadcasts of Auld Lang Syne. Gardner started singing for radio shows in Los Angeles. He joined the band after Elaine Lombardo heard him on the air in 1940. Gardner left the group to serve in the military, where he was wounded and received a Purple Heart. He returned to perform with the band until his retirement in 1978.