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Gilbert Raynolds Combs

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Gilbert Raynolds Combs

Gilbert Raynolds Combs (January 5, 1863 – 1934) was an stringed instruments; a composer of music for orchestra, piano, voice, and violin; a teacher; and an orchestral and chorus conductor.[1] Gilbert Combs was founder of the Combs Broad Street Conservatory of Music in Philadelphia in 1885, one of the founders and president of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia national music fraternity, founder and vice president of the National Association of Schools of Music,[2] and a Mason.[3]

Early life and career

Gilbert Raynolds Combs was born to a musical family in [5] He was educated at Eastburn Academy in Philadelphia. Though originally intended for the medical profession, he made such rapid progress, both at home and in Europe, that he decided to adopt music as his life-work.[6]

From his fifteenth to his twenty-second year Combs was actively engaged in playing the [7]

The Combs Broad Street Conservatory of Music

Gilbert Combs wrote that the appreciation of New England Conservatory, who modeled their schools after the European conservatories so that Americans could obtain an equivalent to the European education in their own country.

Gilbert Combs’ success and popularity as a teacher, and his desire to provide pupils with these advantages, led him to found the University of Pennsylvania. Two orchestras were maintained, one of 85 members, the other of 60.[9]

Works

As composer Gilbert Combs was best known by his piano-pieces, but wrote in all forms. The ‘Erato’ for piano, dedicated to Leopold Godowsky, the ‘Romance,’ op. 17, ‘Norwegian Dance,’ ‘Autumn’ and ‘Wind of Memory’ were all well known. His ‘Reverie,’ op. 7, for violin and piano, was dedicated to and often played by Henry Schradieck, the famed violin teacher. His Scotch and Irish songs, and many instructive pieces for piano and violin were much used. His Science of Piano-Playing and Introductory Steps to the Science of Piano-Playing were published in loose-leaf ledger form. His ‘Dramatis Symphony’ was first performed in 1908. The orchestral setting for ‘Sheherazade,’ an oriental drama, was given at the Metropolitan Opera House, Philadelphia, in May, 1918.[10]

Affiliations

Combs was one of the founders of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. The Sinfonia became national when he accepted a chapter at the Broad Street Conservatory on October 6, 1900. Combs was Supreme Treasurer from 1901–1902 and 1903–1904; and Supreme President from 1902–1903 and 1914–1915. He was part of the movement among conservatory directors to model their society after the social, intellectual, and artistic clubs devoted to Enlightenment Idealism.[11] In this way, the students at their conservatories could have every benefit of their own experiences in the European conservatories. Combs wrote that the musical societies and fraternities that made up conservatory life helped the Conservatories rise “to the completely first-class.”[12]

As Supreme President of the Sinfonia Gilbert Combs declared his optimism in the Fraternity’s future growth and suggested the idea of international expansion. He believed that the Sinfonia expanded because it responded to a unique sensitiveness and sensibility of musicians, and that its present and future growth would disprove the critics’ impressions “that musicians spend much of their time in mutual quarrellings and recriminations.”[13]

Combs was “a member of all [14] The Pennsylvania Grand Lodge, having record of his attendance but not record of his initiation, believes that he may have been made a Mason while he was studying in Europe. His Ritualistic Music for the 32nd Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, for men's voices and organ, was written for the Philadelphia Consistory and first presented in 1917.

References

  1. ^ William Lines Hubbard, ed., The American History and Encyclopedia of Music (Irving Squire: London, 1908), 150.
  2. ^ John F. Ohles and Shirley M. Ohles. Private colleges and universities: Vo. 1 (Greenwood Press: Westport, Connecticut. 1982), 294.
  3. ^ William R. Denslow 10,000 Famous Freemasons (Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., Inc.: Richmond, Virginia, 1957).
  4. ^ Minutes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, vol. 3 (New York: Presbyterian Board of Publications, 1874), 508.
  5. ^ William Lines Hubbard, ed., The American History and Encyclopedia of Music (Irving Squire: London, 1908), 150.
  6. ^ Alfred Remy, Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (G. Schirmer: New York, 1919), 170.
  7. ^ Waldo Selden Pratt, ed., Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 6 (New York: MacMillan Company, 1920), 175.
  8. ^ Gilbert Combs, “The Conservatory Ideal,” Music: A Monthly Magazine Devoted to the Art, Science, Technic and Literature of Music 15 (1899), 294-295.
  9. ^ Waldo Selden Pratt, ed., Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 6 (New York: MacMillan Company, 1920), 175.
  10. ^ Waldo Selden Pratt, ed., Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 6 (New York: MacMillan Company, 1920), 175.
  11. ^ John Mongiovi, “Sinfonia and the Union of Spiritual and Musical Idealism”, http://www.sinfonia.org/Resources/writings/Mongiovi/SinfoniaandtheUnionofSpiritual.pdf (July 7, 2008).
  12. ^ Gilbert Combs, “The Conservatory Ideal,” Music: A Monthly Magazine Devoted to the Art, Science, Technic and Literature of Music 15 (1899), 294-295.
  13. ^ Gilbert Combs “The President’s Message,” Sinfonia Year Book 3 (April, 1903), 11-13.
  14. ^ Alfred Remy, Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (G. Schirmer: New York, 1919), 170.
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