Art&Seek presents This Week in Texas Music History. Every week, we’ll spotlight a different moment and the musician who made it. This week, Texas music scholar Gary Hartman honors a non-Texan who played a vital role in helping us celebrate ours state’s heritage.
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Musician, composer and educator William John Marsh died on Feb. 1, 1971, in Fort Worth. Marsh was born on June 24, 1880 in Liverpool, England, but he moved to Texas in 1904 and became a U.S. citizen in 1917. During the 1920s, he began working as a professor and choir director at Texas Christian University, where he composed more than 100 works, mainly classical, opera and religious music. In 1924, March wrote his best known composition, “Texas, Our Texas,” which would become the official state song. William John Marsh went on to win numerous awards and to serve as chairman of the Texas Composers Guild for nearly 30 years.