Edward B. Birge

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Born: 1868

Died: 1952


Edward Bailey Birge was born in Northhampton, Massachusetts, into a musical family. His father conducted the band and chorus of the Florence Musical Association and his mother was a concert pianist. He studied violin and piano at an early age and, in high school, directed a glee club. He attended Brown University, directing an orchestra and glee club, as well as teaching high school. He taught in the public schools and later in a normal school in New England, then was appointed director of music in the public school of Indianapolis, Indiana. He served on the faculty of Indiana University as Head of the Public School Music Department and Director of the University Chorus. He was also organist and choirmaster of Trinity Episcopal Church. He was superintendent of the American Institute of Normal Methods and a founding member of the Music Supervisors National Conference, which later became the Music Educators National Conference (MENC). He composed a concert-overture, a children’s cantata, school-music, and a children’s song series. He authored the first history of American music education.

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