Paul Whiteman
Raised in St. Cecile Lodge #568 on May 2, 1922

How the course of American music was dramatically changed when Brother Paul Whiteman commissioned George Gershwin to write Rhapsody In Blue! Whiteman became known as the “King of Jazz” and launched the careers of Bix Beiderbecke, Bunny Berrigan, Henry Busse, and Jack Teagarden. Gershwin’s arranger for Rhapsody In Blue was another musician from St. Cecile, Brother Ferde Grofe, whose Grand Canyon Suite is still a very popular item on orchestral programs today.

Brother Whiteman was raised in St. Cecile on May 2, 1922, Whiteman’s orchestra was the first of its kind to achieve a national reputation, and its use of sophisticated musicial arrangements and introduction of popular symphonic works (notably the Rhapsody In Blue of Gershwin) were important steps in the development of American music.

Courtesy of our lodge historian V:.W:. Ken Force