Winner, Septimus



American composer; born in Philadelphia, where he was a pupil of Leopold Meignen. He became proficient on a number of instruments, including violin, piano and organ, and began teaching music at the age of twenty. From 1847 to 1857 he was violinist in the Musical Fund Orchestra and in several theatres. He established a music-store in 1853 and in many ways was active along musical lines. He served as secretary of the Board of Music Trade, he was manager of the Philadelphia Music Fund and editor of the music department of Peterson's Magazine. He made more than two thousand arrangements of airs for the violin, guitar, piano and other instruments, Gems of the Opera, and other series, and he has published many books of instruction for piano, organ, violin, violoncello, guitar, flute, banjo, accordion, concertina, flute, clarinet, flageolet and cornet. These last are published under the general title of Septimus Winner's Methods. He first gained a national reputation by his songs How Sweet are the Roses, What is Home Without a Mother, Listen to the Mocking Bird, and others of a sentimental nature. He used the pseudonyms Alice Hawthorne, Percy Guyer and Paul Stenson. His songs of patriotism, written during the Civil War, were very popular, one, Give Me Back Our Old Commander, caused him to be imprisoned for criticizing the removal of General McClellan from command of the Army of the Potomac. His God Save Our President, written during Garfield's illness in 1881, was particularly popular.