Skilton, Charles Sanford

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Skilton, Charles Sanford

Skilton, Charles Sanford , American composer and teacher; b. Northampton, Mass., Aug. 16, 1868; d. Lawrence, Kans., March 12, 1941. He first studied in Germany; after graduating from Yale Univ. (B.A., 1889), he studied in N.Y. with Harry Rowe Shelley (organ) and Dudley Buck (composition); then at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik with Bargiel (1891–93). From 1893 to 1896 he was director of music at the Salem (N.C.) Academy and Coll., and conducted the local orch. there; then filled a similar post at the State Normal School in Trenton, N.J. (1897–1903); in 1903 he was engaged as a prof. of organ and theory at the Univ. of Kans., Lawrence, where he remained most of his life. He made a detailed study of Indian music, and introduced Indian motifs into the traditional forms of the suite and fantasy. His opera Kalopin (1927) received the David Bispham Memorial Medal in 1930.


DRAMATIC: Opera : Kalopin (1927); The Sun Bride (NBC, April 17, 1930); The Day of Gayomair (1936). ORCH .: Suite Primeval, on Indian melodies, in 2 parts: 2 Indian Dances (originally for String Quartet, 1915; Minneapolis, Oct. 29, 1916) and part II (Minneapolis, Nov. 13, 1921); Autumn Night (Detroit, Dec. 11, 1930); Shawnee Indian Hunting Dance (Detroit, Dec. 11, 1930); A Carolina Legend, symphonic poem; Mt. Oread, overture. CHAMBER : 2 Indian Dances for String Quartet (1915; orchestrated as part 1 of Suite Primeval); Violin Sonatina (1923); String Quartet (1938). KEYBOARD : Piano : 3 Indian Sketches (1919); Shawnee Indian Hunting Dance (1929). Organ : American Indian Fantasy (1926; also for Orch., 1932). VOCAL : The Witch’s Daughter, cantata (1918); The Guardian Angel, oratorio (1925); From Forest and Stream for Women’s Chorus (1930).


J. Howard, C.S. S. (N.Y., 1929); J. Smith, C.S. S. (1868–1941), Kansas Composer (thesis, Univ. of Kans., 1979).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire