Woman of the Century/Mrs. H. H. A. Beach
BEACH, Mrs. H. H. A., composer, born in Henniker, N. H.. 5th September, 1867. Her parents were Charles Abl>ott and Clara Imogene Cheney. Mrs. Cheney, born Marcy, was well known as an excellent musician, and it is due to her careful supervision and fostering care that Mrs. Beach's early musical development was so systematic and judicious. The earliest evidences of her musical powers were manifested before she was a year old, and as she was so situated as to hear much good music, she soon acquired the habit of catching the songs that were sung to her. When three years old, to play the piano was her chief delight, and soon she could play at sight any music that her hands could grasp. At the age of four years she played many tunes by ear. She improvised much and composed several little pieces. Among her earliest musical recollections is that of associating color with sound, the key of C suggesting white, A flat, blue, and soon. The exact pitch of sounds, single or in combination, produced by voice, violin, piano, bells, w histles or birds' songs, has always been perfectly clear to her, making it possible for her to name the notes at once. When she was six years old, her mother began a course of systematic instruction, which continued for two years. At the age of seven she played in three concerts. She continued to compose little pieces. Among these were an air with variations and a setting of the "Rainy Day" of Longfellow, since published. Regular instruction in harmony was begun at the age of fourteen. For ten years, with various interruptions, Mrs. Beach received instruction in piano playing from prominent teachers in Boston. She made her first appearance before a Boston audience as Miss Amy Marcy Cheney on 24th October, 1883, at sixteen years of age, playing the G minor concerto of Moscheles with grand orchestra. That performance was succeeded by various concerts and recitals in Boston and other places, in association with distinguished artists In December MRS. H. H. A. BEACH. 1885, she was married to Dr. H. H. A. Beach, and since then has frequently contributed her services for the benefit of the charitable and educational institutions of Boston, in recitals and performances with orchestra. Her talent in composition has shown itself in the following list of published works: A grand mass in E flat, a graduate for tenor voice, an anthem for chorus and organ, three short anthems for quartet with organ accompaniment, a four-part song for female voices, three vocal duets with pianoforte accompaniment, nineteen songs for single voice with a pianoforte accompaniment, a cadenza to Beethoven's C minor concerto, and a valse caprice for piano. She has in manuscript other compositions, a ballad, several short pieces for the piano or piano and violin, and songs. The mass was performed on 7th February, 1892. by the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, with the Symphony Orchestra and a quartet of soloists assisting.