Katherine K. Davis

Biography

Born: June 25, 1892; St. Joseph, MO   Died: April 20, 1981; Littleton, MA  
While most music lovers would not recognize the name of Katherine K. Davis, they have undoubtedly heard at least one of her works, the famous Christmas carol "The Little Drummer Boy." But Davis composed considerably more than just that perennial favorite: her output includes seven operas, cantatas, choruses, songs, piano and organ pieces, and much else, making up more than 600 compositions altogether. Unfortunately, only her famous Christmas Read more piece receives any attention today, but its wide popularity assures Davis a place in music history and leaves the hope that enterprising musicians may one day want to explore the vast output of this largely forgotten pioneering woman.

Davis was born on June 25, 1892, in St. Joseph, MO. She studied piano from her early childhood and began composing at 15. After graduating from St. Joseph High School she enrolled at Wellesley College, where she won the Billings Prize for Composition. As a talented pianist, organist, and composer of promise, she sufficiently impressed the faculty to stay on there as a teacher of piano and theory after her 1914 graduation.

She began advanced studies in her post-graduate years at the New England Conservatory of Music. Later on Davis traveled to Paris where she studied briefly with iconic music pedagogue Nadia Boulanger.

After returning to the U.S. she joined the Faculty at the Concord Academy (Massachusetts) and while there took up the study of choral music with Thomas Whitney Surette. Davis also taught music at the Philadelphia-based Shady Hills School for Girls. While on the faculty there she wrote many works for the school's chorus in hopes of rectifying what she perceived as a paucity of good music for girls' choirs as well as for amateur choral ensembles.

In 1941 Davis wrote her mega-hit "The Little Drummer Boy," which she originally entitled The Carol of the Drum. Oddly, she published the work under the pseudonym C.R.W. Robertson. Early scores and recordings of this piece often carried the attribution "transcribed by C.R.W. Robertson." The piece did not achieve immediate success, but would become a big hit in the postwar era when the Trapp Family Singers recorded it under its original title for RCA. Davis remained active as a composer and educator in her later years. At her death on April 20, 1980, she bequeathed royalties and other monies to the music department at Wellesley College. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 93 Available Recordings
1 2 3 4
  • 1.
    A Christmas Gift
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4654272 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Charles Gounod,  George Frideric Handel,  James R. Murray  ... 
    Performer:  Yvonne Kenny,  Janis Laurs,  Suzanne Handel,  Juris Ezergailis
    Conductor:  David Stanhope
    CD: $22.49
    In Stock
    CD:  $22.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 2.
    Let It Snow / Mayer, King's Singers
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001966502 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jule Styne,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Michael Praetorius,  James Pierpont  ... 
    Performer:  Albrecht Mayer,  Beni Araki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
    CD: $18.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $11.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 3.
    Label: Reflections   Catalog: 60310 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Unspecified,  Jay Livingston,  Mykola Leontovych,  Noel Regney  ... 
    Performer:  Chemayne Del Mastro
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boccherini Guitar Quartet
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 4.
    Label: Platinum Legends   Catalog: 60760 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  Traditional,  George Frideric Handel,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    On sale! $17.98
    CD: $15.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $17.98   CD:  $15.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 5.
    Christmas With The Vienna Boys Choir
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 9004 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Lowell Mason,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  John Francis Wade  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Marschik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Boys' Choir
    DVD: $17.99
    In Stock
    DVD:  $17.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 6.
    Christmas With The Vienna Boys' Choir
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5160 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Lowell Mason,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  John Francis Wade  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Marschik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Boys' Choir
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $19.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 7.
    Christmas With Los Romeros
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001747402 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  James R. Murray,  Franz Schubert,  Massimo Paris  ... 
    Performer:  Lito Romero,  Pepe Romero,  Celin Romero,  Angel Romero
    Conductor:  Massimo Paris
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Romeros,  Concerto Málaga
    CD: $13.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $13.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 8.
    Swing Ye Noel / William Noll, Ritz-Carlton Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62483 Release Date: 12/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Frank Comstock,  Johnny Marks,  Felix Bernard  ... 
    Conductor:  William Noll
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ritz-Carlton Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
    Low Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 9.
    Label: Disc Makers   Catalog: 5637880790 Release Date: 12/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Katherine K. Davis,  Jester Hairston,  Walter Kent  ... 
    Performer:  Jonathan Story
    CD: $16.99
    Special Order
    CD:  $16.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 10.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 965682 Release Date: 11/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina,  Hildegard of Bingen,  Traditional,  Hugh Ronzani  ... 
    Performer:  Louise Prickett,  Christina Leonard,  Paul Dyer,  Craig Everingham  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Dyer
    On sale! $41.99
    Import CD
    $38.99
    Back Order
    On sale!   $41.99   CD:  $38.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 11.
    Label: Heather Poduska   Catalog: 5637866276 Release Date: 11/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Barbara Mandrell,  Katherine K. Davis,  Traditional,  Walter Kent  ... 
    Performer:  Elaine Purcell,  Heather Poduska
    CD: $24.99
    Special Order
    CD:  $24.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 12.
    Holiday Baby
    Label: Harp Music To Go   Catalog: 89076 Release Date: 11/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Henry Walford Davies,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  William James Kirkpatrick  ... 
    Performer:  Merry Miller
    CD: $13.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $13.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 13.
    Christmas Goes Baroque - A Musical Tour Of Switzerland, Germany & Belgium
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 2110546 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Traditional,  James Pierpont,  Friedrich Silcher  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Breiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
    Recommendation
    DVD: $9.99
    In Stock
    DVD:  $9.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 14.
    Yuletide
    Label: Clarion   Catalog: 941 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Healey Willan,  Katherine K. Davis,  Traditional,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  John Rutter,  Michael McDonald,  Kelli Lueder,  Andrew Chung  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Hughes
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 15.
    New Orleans Christmas Carol / Ellis Marsalis
    Label: Elm Records   Catalog: 19790 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Katherine K. Davis,  Adolphe Adam  ... 
    Performer:  Roman Skakun,  Jason Marsalis,  Bill Huntington,  Ellis Marsalis  ... 
    On sale! $17.98
    CD: $15.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $17.98   CD:  $15.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 16.
    Joy To The World / King's Singers
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 268 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Edgar Pettiman,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Philip Lawson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
    2-3 Days
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 17.
    King's Singers Christmas
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 8 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Michael Praetorius,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Lowell Mason  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
    DVD: $17.99
    In Stock
    DVD:  $17.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 18.
    Label: Sonoma   Catalog: 271 Release Date: 10/18/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Irving Berlin,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Henry Walford Davies,  Lowell Mason  ... 
    CD: $8.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $8.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 19.
    Label: Motema Music   Catalog: 69 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Thaddeus Jones,  Ethiopian Traditional,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Geri Allen,  Carolyn Brewer,  Connaitre Miller,  Farah Jasmine Griffin
    CD: $15.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $15.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 20.
    Cool Yule / 	United States Air Force Band Airmen Of Note
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 62992 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James Pierpont,  John Frederic Coots,  Benjamin Russell Hanby,  Gene Autry  ... 
    Conductor:  Alan C. Sierichs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Band Airmen of Note
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 21.
    Holiday Note From Home / United States Air Force Airmen Of Note
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 60592 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Katherine K. Davis,  Eddie Pola,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Band Airmen of Note
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 22.
    The Musical Advent Calendar 2011
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93279 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Joseph Mouret,  Andreas Hammerschmidt,  Katherine K. Davis,  Joseph Rheinberger  ... 
    Performer:  Dominik Axtmann,  Franz Troster,  Katja Huhn,  Sophie Moser  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans-Georg Conrad,  Volker Müller,  Christof Schmidt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Marx Rootschilt Tillermann,  Freiburger Spielleyt,  RSO Chamber Ensemble
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 23.
    Instrumental Music For Christmas
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 9.00104 Release Date: 12/19/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Katherine K. Davis,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Traditional,  James Pierpont  ... 
    Performer:  Gloria Whitney,  Nancy Baun,  John Eaken
    Conductor:  Peter Breiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia,  Eaken Piano Trio
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $8.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 24.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 951853 Release Date: 12/07/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Felix Mendelssohn,  William Garnet James,  Lowell Mason  ... 
    Performer:  David Corkhill,  John Scott,  Sir David Willcocks,  James Blades  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Anthony Walker,  Brett Weymark  ... 
    On sale! $47.99
    Import CD
    $41.99
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $47.99   CD:  $41.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 25.
    A Family Christmas / Bell, Royal Scottish National Orchestra & Junior Chorus
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 202 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leroy Anderson,  Robert Kaye,  Traditional,  Katherine K. Davis
    Conductor:  Christopher Bell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Junior Chorus
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

1 2 3 4