Understanding History Thru Music tm  


Jim Dalton &

Maggi Smith-Dalton

Singing String Music

203 Washington St. .#263  

Salem MA 01970


Maggi Smith-Dalton began her singing career in cabarets and nightclubs and has maintained a parallel career as a historian most of her life. She has performed nationwide in the U.S., and in Cuba, England, and Canada.

Maggi has also worked as a classical music program radio host for NPR stations and commercial stations, and hosted a musical theater and interview program for university-based community radio. While still in her 20s, she appeared on NYC television shows and produced & hosted a cable TV show.  

Maggi authored two books of history as of 2013, co-authored one book of essays and original music, and is also a prizewinning short story writer. She has a long history of writing feature articles and columns for magazines and newspapers.

She wrote a weekly history column for the Boston Globe (boston.com) (2010-12), and continues to freelance for print and online publications. She contributed articles to Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories that Shaped Our Culture (ABC-CLIO) (on music and theater, and period performance practice).

Maggi holds a master's degree in American Studies, and her current scholarly work focuses on historic civic rituals that incorporate music as a primary element, a subject on which she has presented in academic situations both domestically and abroad. She is a frequent lecturer on the integration of humanities and music, American cultural history, and other topics.

Thumbnail sketch:

     •     Professional musician (singer [soprano] and [primarily] 12-string guitar), with extensive experience as a solo concert artist, in musical theater, on TV, radio, and recordings, since mid-1970s  

     •     Extensive experience as a nightclub/cabaret singer (11+ years)

     •     Nationwide performance credits as duo performer with husband Jim Dalton.

     •     Recording credits (four albums as of 2013)

     •     Soloist, “ringer” in international goodwill choir (Cuba) 2002,

     •     and with large and small choirs domestically  

     •     Past arts experience with children includes working as a music teacher, theater workshops, children's choir director and art camp director

     •     Professional and community theater experience, speaking and singing roles

     •     Guest lecturer at the Boston Conservatory and other colleges; speaker (history and music) at conferences here and abroad

     •     Classical music program host, Northwest Public Radio; and community and commercial radio stations

     James Dalton is a composer, performer and educator with wide-ranging interests. Since 2000, he has served on the music theory faculty of the Boston Conservatory. He freelances in orchestral, chamber music, new music, and theater/opera pit orchestra settings. He performed with the 92 Street “Y” Chamber Orchestra, Indian Hill Symphony, and the New England Mandolin Ensemble.

     Jim's compositions have been performed throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe by Idaho Brass, Providence Mandolin Orchestra, Enigmatica, Toronto Camerata, Ensemble Decadanse, Transient Canvas, Scottish Voices, Paul Ayres, Aaron Larget-Caplan, Carson Cooman, and Stephen Altoft at venues such as the Kansas Symposium of New Music, Musiques Nouvelles (Lunel, France), Sound: the Scottish Festival of New Music (Aberdeen, Scotland), and EuroMicroFest (Darmstadt, Germany) In 1997, he won first prize in the Toronto Camerata Competition.

     As a music theorist, Jim's interests and research have ranged from palindromes and symmetrical musical structures to just intonation and microtonality. He has presented at

conferences in the U.S. and abroad including the Northeast Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Society for American Music, the Macro Analysis Creative Research Organization, and Beyond the Semitone (Aberdeen, Scotland).

     He contributed to Music in American Life (ABC-CLIO) and a forthcoming book on the early banjo. He is the author of Mandolin for Beginners (Alfred 2001).

He is a member of the New England Conference of Music Theorists, the Society of American Music, the Augusto Novaro Society, Classical Mandolin Society of America, Boston New Music Initiative, and Pi Kappa Lambda.

Jim Dalton

Professor, Department of Music Theory

The Boston Conservatory


Musical Styles performed include but are not limited to: 

          American popular styles from most eras (1600s to 1970s)

          Great American Songbook and Tin Pan Alley

          blues; jazz; gospel


          show/musical theater repertoire

          historically important styles/repertoire (i.e., vaudeville, Victorian parlor songs)

          early music 

          sacred and folk music (ceremonials)

          standard “classical” repertoire (cultivated styles, both modern and historical) 

          New Music (contemporary art compositions)

Husband and wife

Jim Dalton


Maggi Smith-Dalton

are known nationwide

for their innovative, entertaining, educational, and creative programming.

They have been widely  praised

for their solid research, entertaining delivery, and "dazzling" "spellbinding" musical abilities.

For much of their career together they have specialized in performing music of the 19th and early 20th centuries

in historically-informed style

and on historically-appropriate instruments.