Katherine K. Davis was a composer, pianist, and author of the famous Christmas tune "The Little Drummer Boy".
Katherine K. Davis
She was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, on June 25, 1892, and composed her first piece of music, "Shadow March," at the age of 15. She graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1910, and studied music at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. After her graduation, she continued at Wellesley as an assistant in the Music Department, teaching music theory and piano. At the same time, she studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Davis also studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris.
She taught music at the Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts, and at the Shady Hill School for Girls in Philadelphia. Many of her over 600 compositions were written for the choirs at her school.
Her most famous composition, "The Little Drummer Boy" (originally titled "The Carol of the Drum"), which she wrote in 1941, became famous when it was recorded by the Trapp Family Singers. "The Little Drummer Boy" is a popular Christmas song, with words and music by Katherine K. Davis. Henry Onorati and Harry Simeone have been credited.