Oliver Shaw , was one of the first American composers.
Shaw, Oliver was born on March 13, 1779 in Middleboro, Massachusetts, United States. Son of John and Hannah (Heath) Shaw.
Attended Bristol Academy, Taunton, Massachusetts. Studied with John L. Berkenhead, blind organist, Newport, Rhode Island, studied under Johann Christian Graupner, Boston, clarinet from Thomas Granger, Boston.
A childhood accident and later yellow fever caused him to go totally blind. After studies, he started his musical career in Boston and in Providence where he remained an important musical figure until his death. One of his students was Lowell Mason.
In 1810, Shaw together with his friends founded Psallonian Society "for the purpose of improving themselves in the knowledge and practice of sacred music and inculcating a more correct taste in the choice and performance of it" based in Providence. His publications include five volumes of his own music and contributions to others. Many compositions, he wrote, were based on poems by Thomas Moore.
He died at Providence, Rhode Island.
Married Sarah Jenckes, October 20, 1812, 5 daus., 2 sons including Oliver J. Became blind, 1800.