Cyrus Daniel Papers

Identifier: MSS.0099

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

The Cyrus Daniel Papers include compositions and arrangements by Daniel; miscellaneous programs 1944-1951; a bound copy of Vanderbilt University A Cappella Choir History, 1937-1967; and a selection of A Cappella Choir records, 1944-1965.


  • 1937 - 1967

Biography - Cyrus Daniel

Cyrus Daniel was born on February 27, 1900. He received an A.B. in Greek from Shurtleff College in Alton, Illinois, and a Mus. B. in Organ and Composition from Northwestern University. He taught for a year in New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. He held the position of Professor of Theory and Composition at Lawrence Conservatory in Appleton, Wisconsin until September 1944. He came to Vanderbilt University in 1944 as a Visiting Lecturer in Music and Music Literature and remained as a Lecturer in Music and as University Organist until 1968. After the planting of the Centennial Oak (Saturday, March 17, 1973) in celebration of the Vanderbilt University Centennial, the first performance of “Golden Morning” – composed by Cyrus Daniel was heard by the carillon. Mr. Daniel composed the music as a setting for the Donald Davidson lyric poem about the Vanderbilt campus.


1.26 Linear Feet (3 Hollingers)

Language of Materials



The Cyrus Daniel Papers include compositions and arrangements by Daniel; miscellaneous programs 1944-1951; a bound copy of Vanderbilt University A Cappella Choir History, 1937-1967; and a selection of A Cappella Choir records, 1944-1965.

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives

Compositions of Cyrus Daniel (as described by the composer)

Op. 1, No. 1 – Music, when soft voices die (Shelley) Dedicated to Dr. Marshall Hulbert, Appleton, Wisc., a fondly remembered faculty member at Lawrence Conservatory.

Op. 1, No. 2 – Nirvana (Wheeler) Dedicated to Dr. Carl Beecher, Evanston, Ill., my much-admired vocal composition teacher at Northwestern University.

Op. 2, No. 1 – Etude Dedicated to my cherished eldest sister, Nora Ann Daniel, Upland, Cal., who was a second mother to me.

Op. 2, No. 2. – Intermezzo Dedicated to my dear sister, Harriet Frances Daniel, Upland, Cal.

Op. 2, No. 3 – Piece in A-Flat Dedicated to a gentle and musical sister, Mary Christine (Mrs. Charles) Gabriel, Fosterburg, Ill.

Op. 3 – Sketches in Romantic Style for Piano Op. 3, No. 1 – Autumn Dedicated to Ruth (Mrs. Dawson) Zaug, Hobe Sound, Fla., a “breath of the South" in Appleton, Wisc., who suggested the name for the piece.

Op. 3, No. 2 – April Dedicated to Dr. Beverly Douglas, Nashville, Tenn., plastic surgeon, inventor, and tenor soloist who called upon me for accompaniments many a time, and made me an honorary Alumnus of his class at Princeton! (14)

Op. 3, No. 3 – Lora Dedicated to Lora (Mrs. Oscar) Reinke, Neenah, Wisc., an artist and devoted friend who did a life size pastel of me playing the violin.

Op. 4 – Violin Sonata in one movement. Dedicated to Dr. Percy Fullinwider, Appleton, Wisc., fellow faculty member at Lawrence Conservatory. He played first violin in our local quartet; other members were Dr. Steve Darling, second violin, Lorenz DeMinter, 'cello, and myself, viola.

Op. 5 – Piano Sonata No. 1: three movements subtitled: I. Lofty Mountains (written in Colorado) II. An English Garden (written in London) III. The Sea (written in California) Dedicated to Dr. Hans Barth, Jacksonville, Fla., who selected this Sonata for performance at the First American Composers Festival, commemorating to 100th Anniversary of the founding of Mars Hill College, N.C. It was performed by Dr. Robert Hopkins. (56)

Op. 6 – Nocturne (Adagio) for Orchestra Dedicated to my beloved wife, Ada Mary Kathleen (Boulter) Daniel, my life-long inspiration.

Op. 7 – Overture in A Minor for Orchestra (1937) Dedicated to Dr. David Stanley Smith, New Haven, Conn., Dean of the School of Music, Yale University, and my composition teacher there.

Op. 8 – String Quartet on ''Barbara Allen" (1938) Dedicated to my revered mother Annabelle Zeluia (Mrs. Chisley) Daniel, who sang this folk song to me in my childhood.

Op. 9 – Piano Quintet in E. Minor (1940) Dedicated to Miss Katherine v. Dickinson, Alton, Ill., piano teacher and Director of the Camerata Chorus of Music there. An elegant lady and a generous and helpful teacher.

Op. 10 – Piano Sonata No. 2 in B Minor (1943) Dedicated to Prof. Arne Oldberg, Evanston, Ill., my composition teacher at Northwestern University and Estes Park, Col., He was the finest musician in my life and the most influential.

Op. 11, No. 1 – Mit Freuden Zart, an organ processional (1950) Dedicated to Margaret (Mrs. Neil) Wright, my pupil and protagonist par excellence, who uses this number frequently.

Op. 11, No. 2 – Heroic piece for organ (1950) Written for the dedication of an organ designed by Richard Thomasson and myself for the West End Methodist Church of Nashville, Tenn., and performed on my recital there in 1955. Dedicated to Stanley Martin, Northwestern University, who played this selection at one of Orchestra Hall's Sunday Evening services, where he was organist for many years. He was my organ teacher, and believed in me when I needed it.

Op. 11, No. 3 – Caucasian March, a postlude for organ (1950) Based on themes from Ippolitov-Ivanov's "Caucasian Suite" Dedicated to my dear sister Ruth Bell (Mrs. Hubert) Badgley, Alton, Ill.

Op. 12 – A Biblical Trilogy, for mixed voices, a Cappella (1951). 3 Choruses, subtitled: I. Comely, Wise and Wonderful II. The Winter is Past III. To Everything a Season An Alternate version with accompaniment by Wood-wind quartet (oboe, clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon) was written in 1970. Subtitled simply Nature, Love, and Philosophy, it was performed in part at the University of South Florida, Tampa, in January, 1971. Dedicated to Dr. Carl Waterman, long time Dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music, Appleton, Wisc., and my model for choral conducting.

Op. 13 – The Seven Seas, tone poem for orchestra and piano (1952) The rippling piano part and seven important themes suggest the title. Dedicated to Dr. Gurney Kennedy, Jacksonville, Fla., who interested me in the Southeastern Composers League, which sponsored the first performance of this number.

Op. 14 – Psalm 68, a festival cantata for chorus, soloists and organ (1957) Composed for the dedications of the new sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tenn., where I was organist and choir director of music, and first performed there Thanksgiving, 1957. Op. 14 A, the Prelude, and Op. 14 B, "Let God Arise" are available separately, the latter published by Choral Press, N. Y. through the recommendation of Noble Cain. An LP 33 record of the complete cantata is available from the composer. Dedicated to Dr. Clarence Roome, Santa Barbara, Calif. His generous financial support during my student days at Northwestern, as well as his enthusiastic friendship helped immeasurably in my musical education.

Op. 15 – Remember Now Thy Creator, for male chorus and piano (1959) Written for the Vanderbilt Men's Glee Club, and performed with Cal Turner and John Wagner as soloists, and Helen Midkiff pianist the following year. Dedicated to my father, Chrisley Daniel, Alton, Ill., also a teacher, and a hardworking, family loving man. His death when I was only nine years old has left an always-unfilled gap in my life.

Op. 16 – The Christ Child in Prophecy and Fulfillment, a short cantata for chorus, soloists and organ, with flute and oboe obbligati (1964) As the title suggests, it is in two parts so as to be suitable for performance in a church service. A soprano solo, Op. 16 A, "The Magnificat" is available separately. Dedicated to Mrs. Lawrence (Larry) LaCour, an excellent harpist whose impeccable technique and talented interpretation at the first performance was most impressive.

Op. 17 – The Song is Mine, a suite for unaccompanied voices in five movements The poem was written by Matilda (Mrs. John) Duke of Nashville, Tenn., plus an added stanza of my own to make a Scherzo possible. The movements are subtitled as follows: I. Prelude - Evening Shadows II. Scherzo - Bright Stars III. Lament - Winter's Mist IV. Air and Finale - The Scarf of Spring V. Epilog - The Song is Mine An alternate arrangement with accompaniment by an instrumental ensemble, (3 flutes, viola, cello, harp and snare drum) is available from the composer. Dedicated to the above-mentioned Mrs. Duke, violinist and poetess, and a rare combination of a practical person in a dream world.

Op. 18, No. 1 – God is a Spirit, for solo quartet or chorus (1924) Dedicated to Edith Genevieve Daniel, Nashville, Tenn., my closest sister, who loves this anthem, and plays it beautifully on her reed organ.

Op. 18, No. 2 – As It Began to Dawn, an Easter anthem to Edith (1967)

Op. 19 – Tableaux from the Life of Christ, a cantata for soloists, chorus and organ (1972) Includes eleven numbers: an organ prelude, two solos and eight choruses. It is based on the tableaux of Christus Gardens, Gatlinburg, Tenn., for which I conducted the "Christus Gardens Choir" in accompanying music, still in use at this writing.

Op. 20 – Golden Morning, for quartet or solo voice (1973) A setting of a poem by Donald Davidson, Prof. of English at Vanderbilt University for many years, commissioned for the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Vanderbilt, May 17, 1973, and performed on the Carillon then. Dedicated to Robert A. McGaw, Nashville, Tenn., Secretary to the University, in appreciation of his valuable support and advice, and his faithful friendship.

Op. 21 – Men’s Glee Club Arrangements Nos. 1,2,3 and 4 - College Songs No. 5 - Civil War songs Written for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin, and performed at the Brentwood Country Club, Brentwood, Tenn., in 1964. Dedicated to Frank Baxter, New York City, business man and philanthropist who supported the Intercollegiate Musicale Chorale (Men's Glee Club directors) for years.

Without Opus Number: (Early – before 1920; Student – to 1925)

Piano: Early works - Witches Dance and Vineyard March Student Days - Barcarolle, Fugue on ''Valencia," Entre-acte, A Hope, A Memory, Pages from an Album, Theme with Variations, Wedding March for Helen Davidson.

Chorus: Early - Hymn, We are Marching on to Canaan Mature - 4 anthems, Psalms 121, 122, 123, 124, Choral Services 1 and 2, arrangements of Love in Bloom and When I Grow Too Old to Dream.

Vocal Solo: Chinese Lullaby, Lullaby for Didi Zaug, Cuckoo Song, Regeneration, Through your eyes, The Torch.

Organ: Four Short Offertories (Early) Mature: Two medleys of Christmas Carols, Religious Suite No. 1 (An Autumn Memory, Contentment, Song of Triumph), Improvisation on St. George.

String Quartet: Early - Keep the Home Fires Burning, and The Rosary (2 vlns, 2 mans) Student – Theme and Variations.

Finding Aid for the Cyrus Daniel Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


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