Yale Bulletin and Calendar

June 23, 2000Volume 28, Number 34

Music School Dean Robert Blocker (left) shows Harry and Margaret Simeone the plaque bearing their likenesses, which honors their establishment of a scholarship for performance or composition students.

School of Music awards first Simeone scholarship

The first Harry and Margaret Simeone Music Scholarship was presented at the School of Music's Commencement ceremonies to Erika Schafer, a trumpet player who recently completed her first year in the Master of Music program.

Mr. and Mrs. Simeone, who established the endowment for the scholarship at the School of Music with a $1 million gift, were honored at the May 22 ceremonies with a plaque that will hang permanently in the School of Music's main building. The scholarship will provide support annually to students majoring in performance or composition at the School of Music.

"We are grateful and deeply touched that Harry and Margaret have chosen Yale to be the beneficiary of this generous gift," said School of Music Dean Robert Blocker. "I know that they take great pleasure in the development of young musicians, and I was delighted to introduce them to the first Harry and Margaret Simeone Music Scholarship recipient."

Harry Simeone is a distinguished arranger, conductor and composer who studied at the Juilliard School before working for CBS. He later worked for Fred Waring as composer and arranger. Margaret Simeone enjoyed an extensive career as an entertainer, singing with, among others, the Benny Goodman band, and later with Fred Waring.

The Simeones moved to Hollywood in 1939, where Harry Simeone worked for Paramount on a number of films starring Bing Crosby. He worked with such distinguished film composers as Victor Young and Ernst Toch. In 1945 he rejoined Fred Waring and later served as conductor and choral arranger for the popular weekly television show "The Firestone Hour."

Harry Simeone is perhaps best known for composing the timeless holiday classic "The Little Drummer Boy." Originally released in 1958 as part of the choral album "Sing We Now of Christmas," the song was also issued as a single by the Harry Simeone Chorale and remained on the U.S. music charts for five consecutive years, from 1958 to 1962. By 1970, there were 150 versions of the song and 25 million copies of the record had been sold.


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