A history of music education in the Utah territory, 1850-1895
Rhodes, Rhonda Lee
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This study is a chronological narrative of how and to what extent music was taught in public and parochial schools in the Utah territory in the second half of the nineteenth century. It also documents private music instruction during the same period. A compiled list of school and private music educators is provided. Music textbooks authored by Utahans David Orson Calder and Evan Stephens are examined. These textbooks and other documented descriptions of music teaching in the territory show that the Tonic Sol-fa method of teaching was the most common from 1860 to 1890. Music education in Utah developed within a unique ecology of a relatively homogeneous religious culture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in geographical isolation from other developed areas of the United States from 1847 to 1869. The LDS people were encouraged by their leaders to be trained in and to participate in the arts. The gathering of LDS converts to Utah from locations such as Great Britain, Europe and Scandinavia brought conservatory-trained musicians to this isolated location. This influenced a gradual inclusion of music in the schools as early as the 1850s. The population of the territory gradually diversified beginning with the completion of the intercontinental railroad in 1869. In the public schools, by the 1890s, some urban school districts reported 100% of their students receiving music education. At the University of Deseret in Salt Lake City, all students in the Normal College (teacher training school) were trained in music instruction. The development of parochial schools from the 1870s forward further expanded music education in the territory. In many parochial schools, the opportunity for music study was a leading message in advertising for the school. Some parochial schools had multiple-year progressive programs in piano and vocal study. Private music teaching was more prevalent in the Utah territory than in neighboring states and territories in the second half of the nineteenth century. The teaching careers of Sarah Ann Cooke, Dominico Ballo, David Orson Calder, Charles John Thomas, John Hasler and Evan Stephens are documented in this study.