Skilton, Charles (1868-1941)
Charles Sanford Skilton (August 16, 1868 – March 12, 1941) was an American composer, teacher and musicologist. Along with Charles Wakefield Cadman, Blair Fairchild, Arthur Nevin, and Arthur Farwell, among others, he was one of the leading Indianist composers of the early twentieth century.
Skilton was born in Northampton, MA, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University in 1889. From that year until 1891 he taught languages at a preparatory school in Newburgh, NY; while there, he studied composition with Dudley Buck and organ with Harry Rowe Shelley. Skilton traveled to Berlin for further study in 1891, remaining there until 1893 and studying at the Hochschule für Musik with Woldemar Bargiel and Otis Boise. Returning to the United States, he became director of music at the Salem Academy and College in Winston-Salem, NC, in which position he served until 1896. In 1897 he found work as an instructor of piano and music theory at the State Normal School in Trenton, NJ; he moved west in 1903, when he became a professor of organ, theory and history at the University of Kansas. He served as the Dean of the School of Fine Arts at that institution from 1903 until 1915. It was there that he developed his interest in American Indian music.