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Skilton, Charles Sanford, 1868-1941



  • Existence: August 16, 1868 - March 12, 1941


Born in Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1868, Charles Sanford Skilton received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University in 1889. He taught languages at Siglar's Preparatory School in Newburgh, New York, from 1889 to 1891. While in New York, he studied composition with Dudley Buck and organ with Harry Rowe Shelley. From 1891 to 1893, Skilton attended the Berlin Hochschule für Musik where he studied with Woldemar Bargiel and Otis Boise. He became Director of Music at the Salem Academy and College in North Carolina until 1896. The following year he took a position as instructor of piano and theory at the State Normal School in Trenton, New Jersey. In 1903, he secured a position as professor of organ, theory, and history at the University of Kansas, and from 1903 to 1915 he served as Dean of the School of Fine Arts. Skilton became acquainted with American Indian tribal melodies while working at the Haskell Institute near the KU campus, and he incorporated some of these melodies in his compositions. His opera Kalopin, based on an Indian story, received the David Bishop Medal of the American Opera Association of Chicago.

Skilton died March 12, 1941, in Lawrence, Kansas.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Charles Sanford Skilton Collection

Identifier: MS-0135
Scope and Contents The Charles Sanford Skilton Collection was donated to the University of Missouri-Kansas City by Skilton’s son and daughter. Housed in the Dr. Kenneth J. LaBudde Department of Special Collections, the collection consists of several of Skilton’s major works in manuscript form, including the operas The Day of Gayomair, Kalopin, The Sun Bride, and Ticonderoga; and works for vocal/choral and organ/harmonium as well as instrumental compositions. Also included are published scores by Skilton and by...
Dates: 1890 - 1941