Nineteenth Century American music was largely centered around the community and church. Sing-a-longs and hymns were the main avenues of musical participation. Lowell Mason was an able and prolific composer of hymn tunes and anthems. He contributed greatly to the development of music curriculum, fighting for the right of every child to receive elementary music instruction in the public schools.
His son William Mason inherited his musical talent and pioneer spirit. A gifted pianist, he had the opportunity to study abroad, befriending Liszt and Brahms. Upon his return to America he had a successful career as a performer, composer and teacher, his pedagogical material laying the foundation for the high caliber of pianists this country has produced. He was a great supporter of chamber music, devoting himself to educating the public of its value.
Daniel Gregory Mason was the son of Henry Mason, co-founder of the famous American piano company Mason & Hamlin, and the grandson of Lowell. Although having studied in Paris with D'Indy, his music is influenced by the classic-romantic music worked out by Beethoven and Brahms. Teaching music at Columbia University and writing extensively about music, he came to the conclusion that American music is necessarily "eclectic and cosmopolitan-its distinctiveness must be individual rather than national."
William Mason's Dance Antique will be performed by the Calico Winds in February 2004.
David Chadwick was born in 1946 and brought up in Hertfordshire. He studied music at Cambridge Technical College, and moved north in the 1970's to complete a B. Ed. degree, later adding to it an M. Mus. from Liverpool University. He now lives and works as a music teacher in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, where he is Organist and Choirmaster at the Parish Church. As a composer, he is largely self-taught. He has been writing music from the age of nine.
David Chadwick's arrangement of Sea Sketches will be performed by the Calico Winds in February 2004.