Clifford Demarest (1874-1946) was born in Tenafly, New Jersey, which remained his home for his entire life. His father, a successful businessman, ran a general store; his mother was a capable musician who played the organ at the local Presbyterian Church. Demarest learned music first from her, later studying with the organist R. Huntington Woodman at the Metropolitan College of Music, New York.
In 1901 he was appointed organist of the Reformed Church on the Heights, Brooklyn. The following year he passed the examination to become a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, and he played a central role in that organization for two decades. In 1911 he became organist at the Church of the Messiah, New York, and thereafter concentrated solely on music as well as keen interests in education, reform, and musical communities. Around 1915 he began playing recitals and touring on behalf of the AGO.
In 1919 fire destroyed the Church of the Messiah, and Demarest became music supervisor at Tenafly High School. He returned to be organist at the church after it was rebuilt, but he also continued teaching until 1937, remaining at the church until his death.
His musical style is conservative, but solid, and not without creative interest. He is yet another American, important in his day, but now essentially forgotten.
"Memories" was published by Theo. Presser in 1921. It's a real mood piece, and by no means easy to play, as there is an entire section with "thumbing down" to be dealt with.
Yesterday, I called this piece, heart-warming, and I think it is. I suppose it's "schmaltzy," but it's sincere and makes an impact.
This sample set has some defects in terms of balance, bad notes, etc., and I've tried to minimize all that as much as I could. I hope my listeners will enjoy this, and perhaps even be moved by it.
The quiz? Well, all the info is in the First Comment.
The score is attached,plus a photos of Demarest, the Church of the Messiah, and one of "Dorothy Gale."