1852-1922

September 26, 1852, Tuscarora (now Silvara), Pennsylvania.

April 7, 1922, Washington, DC.

Cogswell displayed musical talent early, and while still in his teens was teaching singing schools. In his early 20’s he lived in Brooklyn, Pennsylvania, organizing the Brooklyn Band there. The band became well known from its performances at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876.

Cogswell next moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, and became director of the City Guard Military Band. He also gave private lessons and served as a choir director. Upon leaving Scranton, he spent a year studying under leading teachers in Boston and New York.

Then came brief teaching stints in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania and Binghamton, New York, then to Elmira, New York, where he instructed the city band and was choir master at Trinity Episcopal Church.

From Elmira, Cogswell went to Mansfield, Pennsylvania, to direct the Music Conservatory associated with the local normal school (later the Mansfield State Teachers College).

The city of Syracuse, New York, attracted by his efforts in developing public school music, hired him to direct music in its schools. While there, he received his degree from Syracuse University.

In 1906, Cogswell returned to Pennsylvania to direct the music department of the Indiana Normal School. He also write the alma mater for Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He spent his summers teaching music at Cornell University and the Chautauqua Summer School of Music.

Cogswell’s final move was to Washington, DC. In addition to directing music in the public schools, he led the Home Defense League Regimental Band, conducted the Washington Oratoria and Washington Symphony Orchestra, and was president of the music section of the National Educational Association. Cogswell’s works include:

  1. Fall into Line!
  2. His Is the Healing You Need
  3. In the Rock I’m Safely Resting
  4. Morning Gate, The
  5. Tell It to Jesus
  6. When the Bridegroom Comes