Oliver Shaw was one of the first important American classical composers. Due to a childhood accident and later a case of yellow fever, he was totally blind when he composed many of his most notable works.

His works included many references to local places including “Taunton,” “Bristol” and “Trip to Pawtucket.” Shaw also composed numerous sacred songs including “Arrayed in Clouds of Golden Light,” and “The Missionary Angel.”

Along with his friends, Shaw 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.” Shaw died in 1848 and is buried in Swan Point Cemetary in Providence.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music for What'sUpNewp, SO RI, Folk Radio UK and more. He's also a DJ Tuesday night 6-9PM on WRIU 90.3 FM.