Flagg, Josiah, American bandmaster; b. Woburn, Mass., May 28, 1737; d. probably in Boston, Jan. 2, 1795(7). He organized and drilled the first regular militia band of Boston (most probably the first group of that nature in America). On June 29, 1769, he presented its first concert, and on Oct. 28, 1773, he gave a “final Grand Concert” at Faneuil Hall with about 50 players. Subsequently he settled in Providence and served there as lieutenant colonel during the Revolution. Little is known of his other activities. He publ. A Collection of the best Psalm Tunes in 2, 3 and 4 parts…To which is added some Hymns and Anthems, the Greater part of them never before printed in America (1764; introduced the anthem to the English colonies; engraved by Paul Revere) and Sixteen Anthems…To which is added a few Psalm Tunes (1766). Flagg was the first in America to establish a connection between sacred and secular music. That he was an educated practical musician and was acquainted with European music is evidenced by the type of programs he conducted.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire