This is sheet music featuring music composed by Ella Hudson Day entitled “Texas Pride of the South.” Ella Hudson Day was born Luella Lucile Hudson in Texas and raised in the Hill County. Reportedly she started to compose piano music at the age of ten. She studied music and voice in Austin, Texas and was also known to have played a few stringed instruments. In her 20’s she taught music in San Marcos, Texas and later, Comanche, Texas. Luella married Eugene Ramsey Day on October 12, 1897. Her family was among the first to help establish Rotan, Texas in 1907. Her first composition “Quality Rag” was printed in 1909, followed by “Texas, Pride of the South” which is used in many Texas colleges and schools. Her most famous composition, “Fried Chicken” followed in 1912, and “You, Just You” in 1926. Her final composition was published in 1948, and was titled “I’m in Love With You.” Besides being a composer, she was a member of the Poetry Society of Texas, a newspaper correspondent, and represented the city of Rotan at the first Texas Centennial Celebration in Austin.
Texas has been the home and birthplace of many female composers. Among these composers was Raidie Britain, a classical composer who was based out of Silverton. Born in 1897, Raidie was educated in Chicago and Europe. By the time she was 91 years old, she had composed over 280 pieces for the orchestra, piano, organ, and chamber music. She was known to compose in a isolated canyon, seeking inspiration from the landscape of her southwest home.
Other Texan composers include Julia Frances Smith born in Carwell, Texas in 1905. As a teenager she studied with Harold von Mickwitz at the Institute of Musical Arts in Dallas. She earned her Bachelors Degree from North Texas State Teachers College (now known as University of North Texas) in 1930 and her Masters & Doctorate degree (1933 and 1952 respectively) from Juliard. She mostly wrote classical compositions including “Waltz for Little ‘Lulu’” in 1937, the opera “Cynthia Parker” which premiered in 1939, and a composition written in honor of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s inauguration in 1965. Besides being a composer, she was an accomplished concert pianist, author, and advocate for women composers. Julia was also the chairman of the American Women Composers. After her death in 1989, her home became a part of the University of North Texas campus.
Female composer Mary Jeanne Van Appledorn was born in Holland, Michigan in 1927. She studied composition with Bernard Rogers and Alan Hovhaness at the Eastmen School of Music. There she earned a Bachelors Degree in 1948, a Masters Degree in 1950, and a Doctorate in 1966. She received several ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) awards between 1980 and 1988. In 1967 she was appointed as a teacher at Texas Tech University .
Contemporary female composer Tina Marsh was born in 1954 and was primarily based out of Austin, Texas. She was co-founder and creative director of the Creative Opportunity Orchestra Jazz ensemble. Tina also became a member of the Texas Hall of Fame as well as the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. Among her many talents, Tina was also a jazz vocalist.
Click the video above to view ‘Fried Chicken Rag by Ella Hudson Day’.
Click the video above to view ‘Tosca String Quartet and Composer Tina Marsh Perform at Alamo Ritz’.