Mabel Daniels (1878-1971) was born into a musical family near Boston in 1878. She studied piano from an early age and began writing short pieces by age 10. Her musical interests continued at Radcliffe College, where she sang soprano in the glee club and performed, composed, and conducted student operettas. After graduating in 1900, Daniels studied composition at the New England Conservatory of Music and later at the Munich Conservatory in Germany.
Upon her return to America, Daniels joined Boston’s Cecelia Society, where she was exposed to modern choral works with orchestra. She assumed the directorship of Radcliffe’s glee club and the Bradford Academy music program. In 1913, she was appointed head of music at Simmons College, where she served through 1918. She later established composition prizes and funds at Radcliffe to aid music students. Daniels resided at MacDowell 25 times between 1914 and 1948. She was awarded honorary degrees in 1933 and 1939 from Tufts University and Boston University respectively. Daniels passed away in 1971.