Life and career
Martha Alter was born in New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania, to parents David Boyd and Daisy Myrl Alter. She graduated from Vassar College in 1925. Alter continued her studies, receiving a master's in musicology from Columbia University and a master's of music composition from Eastman School of Music, studying with Ernest Hutcheson, Rubin Goldmark, Howard Hanson and Bernard Rogers.
She taught at Vassar College from 1929-1931 and took a position teaching music at Connecticut College in 1942. She died in Newport, Pennsylvania, and her papers are housed at the Vassar College Libraries.
Selected compositions include:
- O Bethlehem
- Bill George, march and song for baritone and orchestra, poem by Malcolm Cowley
- Anthony Cotnstock or A Puritan's Progress, ballet
- Groceries and Notions, drama with Gertrude Brown, book by K.K. Doughtie
- Martha Alter papers, 1923-1942, retrieved 17 May 2014
- Ahlquist, Karen, Alter, Martha (1904 - 1976), composer, pianist, teacher, Grove Music Online, retrieved 17 May 2014
- Frankenstein, Alfred Victor; Spaeth, Sigmund Gottfried; Mize, John Townsend Hinton (1951). Who is who in music.
- Martha Alter, Conn College Professor, dies, retrieved 17 May 2014
- "History". Retrieved 5 October 2010.