SCUA

Collection area: Performing arts (page 1 of 7)

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Abramson, Doris E.

Doris E. Abramson Papers
ca.1930-2007
(25 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 127
Image of Doris Abramson
Doris Abramson

After earning her masters degree from Smith College in 1951, Doris Abramson (class of 1949) returned to UMass in 1953 to become instructor in the English Department, remaining at her alma mater through a long and productive career. An historian of theatre and poet, she was a founding member of the Speech Department, Theatre Department, and the Massachusetts Review. In 1959, a Danforth grant helped Abramson pursue doctoral work at Columbia. Published in 1969, her dissertation, Negro Playwrights in the American Theatre, 1925-1969, was a pioneering work in the field. After her retirement, she and her partner of more than 40 years, Dorothy Johnson, ran the Common Reader Bookshop in New Salem.

An extensive collection covering her entire career, Abramson’s papers are a valuable record of the performing arts at UMass, her research on African American playwrights, her teaching and directing, and many other topics relating to her diverse interests in literature and the arts.

Gift of Dorothy Johnson, Apr. 2008
Subjects
  • African-American theater
  • Poets--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Theater
Contributors
  • Abramson, Doris E.

Albertson, Jeff

Jeff Albertson Photograph Collection
ca.1966-2005
7 boxes (10.5 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 057
Image of Jeff Albertson, ca.1970
Jeff Albertson, ca.1970

Born in Reading, Mass., on Sept 13, 1948, Jeff Albertson was still a student at Boston University, working on the staff of the BU News, when he was hired as a photographer by the Boston Globe. Reflecting the youth culture of the late 1960s and early 1970s, his photographs earned him positions with several prominent Boston alternative media outlets. Covering news, music, and the political interests of his generation, he served as photo editor for the Boston Phoenix and associate publisher for the Real Paper, and his work appeared regularly in mainstream publications such as Rolling Stone, People, and Boston Magazine. After becoming photo editor for the Medical Tribune News Group and moving to New York City in the 1980s, he met and married Charlene Laino. In later years, he became involved in early efforts to create websites devoted to issues surrounding health. Albertson died in 2008.

As a photographer, Albertson covered a wide range of subjects, with particular focus on music and social change. The many thousands of prints, slides, and negatives in the collection include stunning shots of Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and John Lee Hooker, activists such as Abbie Hoffman, politicians, and public personalities. The collection also includes several photographic essays centered on poverty, old age, fire fighting in Boston, and prisoners in Massachusetts (among other issues) along with a wide array of landscapes and street scenes.

Gift of Charlene Laino, Oct. 2013
Subjects
  • Boston (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Musicians--Photographs
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements
Contributors
  • Simon, Peter
Types of material
  • Photographs

Arcadia Players

Arcadia Players Records
1989-2005
18 boxes (27 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 451

Since 1989 the Arcadia Players have been performing Baroque music with the aim of providing an authentic experience both for the musicians and the audience by employing instruments and performance practices that draw from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In residence at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies at UMass Amherst, the ensemble performs an annual series of concerts in several communities throughout western Massachusetts.

The collection consists of brochures, programs, photographs, videorecordings of performances, and financial and administrative records. Together the items provide a behind-the-scenes look at the operations of a small but successful professional ensemble of musicians.

Subjects
  • Music--17th century
  • Music--18th century
  • Musicians--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Arcadia Players

Baker, James

James Baker Free Spirit Press Collection
1969-2005 (Bulk: 1969-1974)
3 boxes (1.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 834
Image of Spirit in Flesh tour bus
Spirit in Flesh tour bus

James Baker was a member of the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune (later the Renaissance Community) in the early 1970s, and a key contributor to the Free Spirit Press, the commune’s publishing operation. Part promotion, information, and entertainment, the Free Spirit Press magazine ran for four issues in the winter and spring 1972-1973.

The Baker collection consists of the surviving materials from the production of Free Spirit Press concentrated heavily in the period between winter 1972 and summer 1974. Accumulated mostly while preparing a brochure for the commune, the manuscript material contains copies of the commune’s by-laws and membership rolls, comments from community members on how they wished to be represented, and a story board for the brochure and series of quotes from community members to be included. The second half of the collection contains hundreds of images, mostly 35mm negatives, taken of or by the commune and its residents. The images depict the production and distribution of Free Spirit Press and the commune band (Spirit in Flesh, later called Rapunzel), but they also include several rolls of film taken by commune members of major rock and roll acts of the era, including the Grateful Dead, Taj Mahal, Jethro Tull, Santana, Chuck Berry, Hot Tuna, and Fleetwood Mac.

Subjects
  • Berry, Chuck
  • Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Grateful Dead (Musical group)
  • Grateful Dead (Musical group)--Photographs
  • Metelica, Michael
  • Renaissance Community (Commune)
  • Rock music--1971-1980--Photographs
  • Taj Mahal (Musician)
  • Taj Mahal (Musician)--Photographs
Contributors
  • Geisler, Bruce
Types of material
  • Photographs

Barbershop music

Barbershop Music Collection
1952-1985
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS *93

Founded in 1938, the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America was one of the earliest organziation devoted to promoting barbershop harmony singing.

Mostly undated, the dozens of printed SPEBSQSA songbooks and sheet music in this collection appear to have been printed between the early 1950s and mid-1980s.

Gift of William R. Lenville, Oct. 2013
Subjects
  • Barbershop (Music)
Types of material
  • Sheet music
  • Songbooks

Bascom, Eric

Eric Bascom Collection of Jazz Recordings
ca. 1940-1950
ca. 500 phonograph records (10 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 882
Image of David Stone Martin cover for Slim Gaillard and Bam Brown's 'Opera in Vout'
David Stone Martin cover for Slim Gaillard and Bam Brown's 'Opera in Vout'

When he was fifteen or sixteen, Eric Bascom’s life changed forever when he saw renowned jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery perform. Though Bascom had been playing guitar himself since he was young, seeing Montgomery opened his eyes to a completely new way of playing guitar and a completely new approach to music. Since that time, Bascom has been an avid listener, collector, and practitioner of jazz. He is currently performing as the Eric Bascom Trio with Ed Brainerd and Genevieve Rose.

The Eric Bascom Collection of Jazz Recordings consists of hundreds of jazz 78 rpm records from the 1940s and 1950s, including a number of 78 books with beautifully illustrated covers. In addition to the records are player piano rolls, several of which were punched by Fats Waller, and a portable Walters Conley Phonola 78 record player.

Subjects
  • Bop (Music)
  • Jazz musicians
Contributors
  • Basie, Count, 1904-1984
  • Christian, Charlie, 1916-1942
  • Fitzgerald, Ella
  • Parker, Charlie, 1920-1955
Types of material
  • 78 rpm records
  • Piano rolls

Bergman, Borah

Borah Bergman Papers
ca. 1970-2012
30 boxes (20 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 806
Image of

Born in 1926 in Brooklyn, New York, Borah Bergman emerged late in life as a renown free jazz pianist and technical innovator. While teaching math and English in the New York public school system, Bergman developed an ambidextrous technique, or as he described it, “ambi-ideation.” This technique allowed Bergman to express ideas with equal intensity using both his right and left hands and provided the framework for an evolving and truly unique musical philosophy and body of work. Since his first recording, released in 1975 at the age of 49, Bergman appeared on 28 albums, both solo and with some of the most important figures in avant-garde jazz, and was active until his death in 2012.

The Borah Bergman Papers include hundreds of hours of Bergman’s personal recordings on reel-to-reel tapes. According to Bergman, these recordings comprise his greatest achievement and demonstrate the development of his technique and musical ideas. In addition to the personal recordings are a wide variety of Bergman’s performances in studio and with other musicians. Bergman’s work is also documented in notebooks, scores, fiction manuscripts, and an unpublished textbook on his ambi-ideation technique.

Subjects
  • Free Jazz--United States
  • Jazz musicians--United States
Types of material
  • Scores
  • Sound recordings

Berkeley, Roy

Roy and Ellen Perry Berkeley Papers
ca.1954-2011
2 boxes (3 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 972

Born in New York City in 1935, Roy Berkeley’s eclectic creative career began while working his way through Columbia University (BA, 1956) as an editor for the New York Post and pseudonymous author of 14 pulp novels, and continued after graduation, working for two years at the height of the Cold War in U.S. intelligence. A self-taught guitarist, he became a stalwart of the folk music scene in Greenwich Village, performing at the Gaslight regularly and at the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959, and eventually recording three albums. In 1966, Berkeley married Ellen Perry, a writer and editor for Progressive Architecture and Architectural Forum, and one of the few women architectural critics of the time. Their time in New York City ended in 1971, however, when Ellen’s job as an editor at an architectural magazine ended. Using Roy’s winnings from his appearance on the television show Jeopardy, the couple relocated to Shaftsbury, Vt., where they led a freelance life as writers, editors, teachers, and lecturers. Roy was eventually appointed deputy Sheriff in own and became a member of the state’s Fish and Wildlife Board. After a struggle with cancer, Roy Berkeley died in 2009 at the age of 73.

The bulk of the Perry Papers consists of Roy’s research files and drafts of a never-completed history of the folk music scene, along with some correspondence, notes, and ephemera that includes both editions of his Bosses Songbook, a satirical send-up of the People’s Songbook. The collection also contains a sampling of the exceptional range of Ellen’s writing on topics from architecture to cats, cookery, to grieving.

Gift of Ellen Perry Berkeley, April 2017
Subjects
  • Architecture
  • Folk music
Contributors
  • Berkeley, Ellen Perry

Berlin, Normand

Normand Berlin Papers
1968-2013
2 boxes (3 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 180

A literary scholar and much admired teacher, Normand Berlin joined the faculty at UMass Amherst in 1965, four years after receiving his doctorate at the University of California for his study of Elizabethan drama. The author of five books and numerous articles on topics ranging from medieval poetry to contemporary film, Berlin was known equally for his work on early modern drama and for his work on Eugene O’Neill, for which he was awarded the Eugene O’Neill Bronze Medal. He was equally popular in the classroom, where his course on Shakespeare became a campus staple for many years, earning the university’s highest teaching award in 1976, the UMass Amherst Distinguished Teaching Award. After retirement in 1995, Berlin remained in Amherst. He died at home on July 13, 2015, at the age of 83.

This small collection contains scattered notes, writings, and correspondence from Normand Berlin’s career, much of which pertains to his research on drama.

Gift of Barbara Berlin, Sept. 2016
Subjects
  • Drama--Study and teaching
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English

Bestor, Charles

Charles Bestor Papers
1971-2002
2 boxes (0.75 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 126

A composer, Professor of Composition, and Director of the Electronic and Computer Music Studios at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Charles Bestor has also taught at Juilliard School of Music and other universities, won international awards for his music, and collaborated with contemporary installation artists.

The Bestor Papers includes scores and sound recordings for two of his compositions, Suite for Alto Saxophone and Percussion and In the Shell of the Ear, as well as correspondence, concert programs, and reviews, all relating to the publication and performance of the works.

Gift of Charles Bestor, Mar.-Apr. 2004
Subjects
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Music and Dance
Contributors
  • Bestor, Charles
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