The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Page  221

THE SCHOOL OF MUSIC

In 1940 the School of Music became an autonomous school in the University, upon the terms and conditions for the separation of the School of Music and the University Musical Society as approved by the Board of Regents on May 24, 1940. In December of that year the Regents adopted bylaws stating the purposes and governing principles of the School. Earl Moore was appointed Director. The enrollment at that time numbered 303 students, with 278 registering for the summer session. Twice as many students from other units of the University, especially from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, also elected courses in music. There were 40 faculty members and 17 assistants. Even though the staff and student body were comparatively small in relation to the current figures, 72 concerts were presented on campus that year in recitals and small ensembles.

Faculty members giving private instruction in applied music (performance) were paid on a commission basis in addition to a salary. When the University assumed responsibility for the School in 1940, commissions were discontinued, and all members of the staff were appointed on salary. The first budget was set at $145,025, plus $47,510 to be collected from the fees for private lessons. At that time students enrolled in the School paid the standard University registration fee and an additional sum for private lessons. The additional fee was determined on a sliding scale. In May 1944, however, a uniform registration fee for all students was determined, regardless of the teacher with whom they might study.

Dr. Moore's appointment was changed from Director to Dean in 1946. When Dean Moore retired in 1960, there were 59 full-time teachers on the staff. Enrollment had reached over 500 with 50 registered in the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and more than 1,300 students in other units of the University electing courses offered by the School of Music faculty. By 1972-73 there were 106 members of the faculty and 112 teaching fellows to service an enrollment of 861; 112 of those were registered for graduate degrees in the Rackham School.

On Dean Moore's retirement, Assistant Dean James Wallace assumed the deanship of the School. On July 1, 1970, Page  222Dean Wallace resigned his duties as dean to resume his career as a teacher. Associate Dean Allen Britton was appointed Acting Dean during Dean Wallace's leave of absence, and on February 1, 1971, he became Dean. His former duties asliaison between the Rackham Graduate School and the School of Music were taken over by Professor Robert A. Warner, who was appointed Associate Dean at that time.

Two committees responsible for the educational policy and curriculums of the School are the Council of Departmental Representatives (CDR) and the Faculty Council of Doctoral Studies (FCDS). The CDR is concerned with such matters as the core curriculum, academic records and discipline, courses offered, extracurricular activities, and the Honors Program. The FCDS is concerned with degree programs in music authorized and administered by the Graduate School. The Committee on Scholarships and Awards is responsible for dispersing monies at its disposal for scholarships and, with recommendations from the faculty, chooses the recipients of the many awards available each year.

Degrees. — The Bachelor of Music degree had been offered by the University Musical Society from 1923 until 1929. From 1929 until 1940 both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees were conferred jointly by the Musical Society and the University. It was also possible to obtain a Master of Arts degree in music from the Graduate School under the supervision of the faculty of the School of Music. In May of 1945 the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Musicology and Music Education and the Doctor of Education in Music Education were authorized by the Regents and granted by the Rackham School. In November 1953, the Regents established a new degree — Doctor of Musical Arts — as a professional degree in the fields of composition and performance, again to be administered by the Graduate School. In April 1971 the Doctor of Philosophy in Theory was inaugurated. Another degree, Bachelor of Musical Arts was approved by the Regents and went into effect in the fall semester of 1973.

Interlochen. — Not long after the School of Music became an independent unit, Joseph Maddy, founder and president of the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan, requested that a summer branch of the School of Music be established at the Camp to offer accredited University courses to undergraduates. Agreement with the School of Music and the Board of Regents was reached in October 1941. This agreement was renewed for a period of five years in Page  223December of 1944 with the liaison committee composed of the deans of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the School of Education, and the School of Music, and again in September of 1949 with the stipulation "that the Deans of the Schools and Colleges within which courses are authorized shall constitute an Advisory Committee on Relationship with the National Music Camp." This agreement was renewed for another five years in 1954 and again in 1957, after which the College Division at National Music Camp became a permanent institution. In addition, the National Music Camp and the School of Music were associated in the formation of the All-State Program, a series of concentrated two-week sessions for secondary school music students from the state of Michigan.

Conferences. — These conferences held annually have drawn hundreds to the campus from all over the country. These are the Midwestern conference on School Vocal and Instrumental Music, inaugurated in 1945, the National Band Conductors and Wind-Percussion Teachers Conference, inaugurated in 1948, and the Conference on Organ Music which began in 1960.

Physical Plant. — As the reputation of the School of Music grew, so did the student body. Before the new building was erected in 1964, the School was housed in thirteen buildings scattered throughout the main campus. These ranged from the old music building on Maynard Street, which was used for private teaching studios and practice rooms, along with a small recital hall, to Harris Hall (rented from St. Andrews Church) for the use of the Wind Instrument Department and the University bands and orchestra; Angell Hall, Burton Memorial Tower, Hill Auditorium, Lane Hall, the School of Education, the Frieze Building, and various church basements were used. Faculty recitals were presented in the Rackham Building, and larger productions, such as opera, band and orchestra concerts, and large choral groups used Lydia Mendelssohn Theater or Hill Auditorium.

Dean Moore annually, in his Report to the President, stressed the need for a building which would bring all the scattered departments of the School under one roof with some semblance of unity. In 1952 the Regents recommended that Dean Moore and Eero Saarinen & Associates confer on the needs and plans for a building to be erected in the fine arts area of North Campus. A site was chosen and plans for the building were officially approved in May 1954, but the Legislature failed to vote any appropriation for its construction. It was not until the academic year 1961-62 Page  224that the Legislature voted sufficient funds to begin construction of the new building. The official groundbreaking was celebrated on September 7, 1962, and it was estimated that the building would be completed in December of 1963. But because of moving and installation of new equipment the new School of Music did not open its doors until the summer session of 1964. In its first year of operation, instructors from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts came to North Campus to offer such basic courses to music students as freshman English, beginning languages, and psychology. This practice was abandoned when adequate bus transportation to and from the main campus was provided. Members of the music faculty continued to teach students in other schools on campus who had elected courses in music. Classes were taught in Burton Memorial Tower, Hill Auditorium, Angell Hall, and later in the new Modern Language Building.

Frederick Stearns Building. — In the fall term of September 1973-74 the School of Music took over the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, some three blocks from the School, to alleviate its pressing space problems. With remodeling, this afforded 29 offices and rehearsal space for mediumsized musical groups and could likewise be used for intimate recitals. Above all it made possible space to store and exhibit the Stearns Collection of musical instruments, one of the largest collections of old and exotic instruments in the country. The original collection was the gift to the Music Department of the University by Frederick Stearns in 1898. The Collection was first housed in the old University Museum until Hill Auditorium was built in 1914, at which time it was moved to an area on the second floor of Hill. Professor Albert Stanley, the Director of the School of Music in 1918, published the first catalog, describing the instruments to the best of his knowledge. William Kendall was named the first curator of the Collection. With his resignation in 1949, Marion McArtor took over as acting curator, which position he held until his death in 1956. Dr. Robert A. Warner was officially appointed Curator in September 1959. He is responsible for adding many instruments to the original collection and putting many of the instruments in playable condition for study purposes. In 1972 the University received a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to permit an extensive inventory and cataloging of the collection of some 1,800 instruments.

William D. Revelli Band Hall. — For many years Harris Hall on campus served as the rehearsal hall for the University bands and for a time the orchestra as well. After Page  225the School moved to its new quarters on North Campus, Harris Hall was retained for the Marching band and other bands. When Dr. Revelli retired in 1971, George Cavender, his successor, took over the problem of finding new quarters for the bands. Through his efforts and those of band alumni a new building became a reality in 1972, and was named the William D. Revelli Band Hall. There are offices for the band staff, storage areas for instruments and uniforms, a library and workroom, and a rehearsal hall.

Electronic Music Studio. — Through a grant of $15,000 from the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, the School of Music now has one of the five best electronic music studios in the western hemisphere. The studio is on the third floor of Hill Auditorium and is patterned after a studio in the famed Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. Mario Davidowsky, associate director of the Columbia-Princeton Center, guided the planning and installation of equipment in the School studio. George Balch Wilson was appointed Director.

School of Music Library. — The Library is situated on the third and fourth floors of the central section of the School. It has been a divisional unit of the University Libraries since 1940. It was first housed in two rooms on the third floor of Burton Tower, one large room containing a small collection of books, scores, and recordings and a small room doubling as an office and a workroom. The major part of the collection remained in the General Library with some items in storage in the Chemistry Library. With the move to North Campus, it was possible at last to house all the musical materials in a single area. There is now a trained library staff of 16. The inventory in 1973 included 51,050 volumes and 14,348 phonodiscs and phono-tapes.

One of the most distinguished collections in the Library is the Stellfeld Music Library. The famous Stellfeld Collection consists of more than 10,000 books on music, scholarly publications, all the published complete works of composers, many sets of scores and parts ready for performance, and manuscripts of 17th- and 18th-century composers. The acquisition of this significant library was the life work of a distinguished Belgian jurist, P. A. Stellfeld (d. 1956), and was housed in his mansion in Antwerp.

On September 14, 1946, the Regents accepted the gift of a rare collection of some 3,000 pieces of sheet music, Page  226music scores and bound volumes of music composed and published in Europe from about 1764 to 1924. It is known as the Corning Music Collection and was the gift of Mr. Bly Corning of Flint, Michigan.

Among the other important acquisitions is an interesting collection of manuscripts of all the works commissioned by the Stanley Quartet. In 1973 Dr. Eva Jessye presented the School with a gift of the Eva Jessye Afro-American collection. It contains original manuscripts, plays, opera scenes, Hirschfield caricatures of Black artists, recordings, books, photos, and various objects of art. The collection is housed in the Stearns Building.

In 1972-73, 272 concerts were presented by faculty and students of the School, almost all of which were open to the public without charge. These included degree recitals by students, concerts by various ensembles, and faculty recitals.

Stanley Quartet. — So named in honor of Albert Stanley, Director of the University School of Music from 1889 until 1922, the Stanley Quartet became the Quartet in Residence in May 1949. The original members were Gilbert Ross and Emil Raab, violin, Paul Doktor, viola, and Oliver Edel, cello. The Quartet gave numerous concerts on and off campus and made recordings as well. In 1958 they toured South America for six weeks under the auspices of the President's Fund for International Cultural Exchange, sponsored by the State Department. They presented eighteen concerts in fifteen cities and at each concert a work by a representative American composer was played. Financed by the Oliver Ditson Endowment Fund, the Quartet commissioned new works from the pens of such distinguished composers as Walter Piston, Darius Milhaud, Heitor Villa-Lobos and many others. These works were premiered at their regular concerts on campus.

Two other important faculty ensembles are the Woodwind Quintet and the Baroque Trio. Like the Stanley Quartet, these ensembles have made regular appearances at concerts on campus and throughout the state.

University Bands. — From a single band in 1935 which served to function at athletic events and an occasional concert, the department now includes six bands: the Symphony Band, whose personnel is composed almost exclusively of majors in music, the Concert Band, the Marching Page  227Band, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Varsity Band, made up largely of students outside the School of Music, and the Jazz Band.

In the spring of 1961 the University Symphony Band, under its conductor Dr. William Revelli and his associate conductor, George Cavender, was invited, through the sponsorship of the United States State Department, to tour the Soviet Union and the Middle East. It was the first band ever to represent the United States as part of our Cultural Exchange Program. The Band also appeared in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, Rumania, and Poland. In his last year before retirement Dr. Revelli made a tour of Western Europe with the Symphony Band in the spring of 1971.

The Marching Band has won national fame not only for its performances on the gridiron at home but at other campuses visited, especially the Rose Bowl games in Pasadena and at its appearance at the Super Bowl game in Los Angeles, January 14, 1973, where it was viewed by millions on a national telecast. George Cavender, long associated with the success of the bands as associate conductor, succeeded Dr. Revelli in 1971.

University Orchestras. — The University has always maintained a fine orchestra of symphonic proportions. When the School moved to its North Campus site and the enrollment increased, it was possible, especially through the expansion of the string department, to establish two orchestras, each with full symphonic instrumentation — the University Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia. The conductors in recent years have been Josef Blatt and Theo Alcantara.

University Choirs. — In 1942 the University Choir was established as an independent ensemble in the School. Hardin Van Deursen was its first director. When Maynard Klein was appointed director in 1948, he proceeded with an ambitious program of choral literature that embraced, at its concerts, not only the large Choir itself but often the University Symphony as well. Two sub-organizations of the University Choir, the Michigan Singers and the Tudor Singers, were founded in 1949, largely on a volunteer, noncredit basis. The Michigan Singers was a choir of some thirty select voices which performed choral works of a more intimate genre. The Tudor Singers, as its name implies, performed literature of the Renaissance period. Both were conducted by Professor Klein.

Page  228Michigan Chamber Choir. — The Chamber Choir is a small ensemble and has, since its inauguration in 1965, been under the direction of Thomas Hilbish. Its repertoire includes masterworks for chorus more appropriate for a smaller ensemble than the University Choir. In the summer of 1969, the Chamber Choir of thirty-six voices participated in the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. It was the first American chorus in the twelve-year history of the Spoleto Festival to be in residence for the entire seventeen-day period. The following year, in the spring of 1970, the Choir was invited by the State Department to tour the Soviet Union. This tour, the "Cultural Presentations Program," lasted seven weeks.

University Men's Glee Club. — Although this all-University organization is an autonomous unit, the conductors of the Men's Glee Club have been drawn from the faculty of the School. For years it has made extensive tours in this and other countries. In the summer of 1959, on a European tour, the Club, under Dr. Philip Duey, won the highest honor obtainable at the International Choral Festival held in Wales — the Llangollen Choral Award. And again in 1964, under Dr. Duey, the Club won the award. On a world tour in 1967 the Glee Club presented programs in thirty different countries. When Dr. Duey retired in 1968, he was succeeded by Willis Patterson as director. During a European tour in 1971 the Glee Club returned for a third time to Wales, and for the third time it won the coveted Llangollen Choral Trophy.

Collegium Musicum. — Organized in 1948 by Professor Louise Cuyler, Collegium Musicum was an ensemble of voices and instruments for the performance of old music. It was established largely to serve as a laboratory project for graduate students in musicology, but from its first concert it has attracted large audiences. Over the years the performances have become more elaborate, utilizing not only voices and instruments but dancing and costuming as well. Concerts are presented on campus and throughout the state. Professor Thomas Taylor is the director.

Javanese Gamelan Ensemble. — In 1966 the School acquired a set of Javanese gamelin orchestral instruments as part of the program in ethnomusicology. Judith Becker, a specialist in the music of Thailand, developed the Javanese Gamelan Ensemble. Traditional and modern music of Indonesia is performed regularly by this group.

Page  229Contemporary Music Festival. — Inaugurated in 1961, the Festival ranges from three to five concerts during the course of a week. Established ensembles in the School participate, as well as soloists and such small ensembles as the music may demand. At each Festival there is a distinguished guest composer who presents a lecture.