University of Massachusetts Amherst
SCUA

Collection area: Performing arts (page 2 of 7)

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Bezanson, Philip, 1916-1975

Philip Bezanson Papers
1946-1980
9 boxes
Call no.: FS 040

An influential educator and composer, Philip Bezanson helped guide the Department of Music at UMass Amherst through its period of rapid expansion in the late 1960s and early 1970s. After graduate study (PhD 1954) and appointment to the faculty at the University of Iowa, Bezanson was brought to UMass in 1964 to become Head of the Music Department and helped to expand and reorient the program, recruiting an increasingly accomplished faculty, including his former student Frederick Tillis.

The Bezanson papers include materials relating to the development, performance, and publication of much of Bezanson’s musical work, including scores and parts for 46 of his 47 instrumental and vocal compositions. The collection also includes a sampling of correspondence, programs and posters for performances, papers relating to the development of the opera Golden Child and his collaboration with Paul, the score of the opera Stranger in Eden (libretto by William A. Reardon), and one sound recording.

Subjects
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Music and Dance
Contributors
  • Bezanson, Philip, 1916-1975

Black, Joseph Laurence, 1962-

Joseph Laurence Black History of the Book Collection
1789-1964
128 items (3 linear feet)
Call no.: RB 023
Image of The Woman Trapper (1908)
The Woman Trapper (1908)

A scholar of early modern British literature, Joe Black received his BA and PhD from the University of Toronto and taught for several years at the University of Tennessee Knoxville before joining the English faculty at UMass Amherst in 1994. Rooted in the history of the book, his research on seventeenth-century literature has examined the intersection between writing and the material and social context of production as well as the dialogue between print and manuscript culture.

The Black collection is an eclectic assemblage of American imprints designed to assist study and instruction in the history of the book. The collection includes two long runs of pulp novels, Beadle’s Frontier Series and the American Revolution-inspired Liberty Boys of ’76, examples of almanacs, prompt books, and works form the early national period in publishers’ bindings.

Subjects
  • Books--History--United States
  • Dime novels, American
Types of material
  • Almanacs
  • Scrapbooks

Blake, Ella Dot Martin

Ella Dot Martin Blake Sheet Music Collection
1902-1941
3 boxes (3.0 linear feet)
Call no.: RB 015
Image of I'm forever blowing bubbles
I'm forever blowing bubbles

A native of Waterloo, Quebec, Ella Dot Martin Blake emigrated to Worcester County, Mass., in about 1927. She and her husband Sydney farmed and raised two sons. Ella Blake died in 1987.

Assembled by Ella Dot Martin Blake, this collection consists of eighty pieces of sheet music, more than half with illustrated covers. Dating from the early 1900s, the collection covers both World Wars as well as the rise of Broadway and Hollywood’s golden age. Selections include military sheet music, “Good-Bye, Little Girl, Good-Bye” (1904) and music from Hollywood films, such as “Daddy Long Legs” dedicated to Mary Pickford (1919), and “By a Waterfall” from Footlight Parade (1933).

Gift of Janice Blake, Oct. 2012
Subjects
  • Motion picture actors and actresses--Photographs
  • World War, 1939-1945--Songs and music
Types of material
  • Sheet music

Boston Jazz Society

Boston Jazz Society Records
ca. 1973-2014
6 boxes (10 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 880
Image of

Founded in 1973, the Boston Jazz Society grew from a small group of enthusiasts listening to music in living rooms to a thriving organization that “kept Jazz alive” in New England. As Jazz’s popularity began to fade in the late 1960s, local Jazz societies formed to provide support to artists and give them the means and venues to continue to perform on the road. The Boston Jazz Society was originally inspired by one of the earliest, the Left Bank Jazz Society of Baltimore. Like the Left Bank, BJS produced concerts in clubs, theaters, and hotels but expanded their efforts to include exhibits, television and radio shows, and a Jazz education program for grade school students. The longest running BJS activities, however, were the annual Jazz Barbecues and starting in 1975, the BJS Scholarships. The scholarship program raised funds for young Jazz musicians to attend the New England Conservatory of Music’s Jazz Department and the Berklee School Of Music and began the musical careers of many important musicians, composers, and teachers. BJS was also deeply connected to the local music scene, celebrating Roxbury, Mass. natives Alan Dawson and Roy Haynes, whose brother Vincent was a long-time board member, among many others. After 42 years of promoting Jazz music in Boston, the Boston Jazz Society, Inc. dissolved in 2015.

The Boston Jazz Society Records extensively document BJS’s meetings, events, business dealings, and scholarship administration through meeting minutes, posters, correspondence, photographs, recordings, videos, and BJS’s own propaganda and publications. The majority of the BJS records came from the collection of founding member and longtime president Aureldon Edward Henderson and also represents his involvement in promoting Jazz in the Boston area.

Gift of Aureldon Edward Henderson, July 2014, Aug. 2015
Subjects
  • Jazz musicians--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Jazz--Massachusetts--Boston
Contributors
  • Berklee School of Music
  • Haynes, Roy
  • Henderson, Aureldon Edward
  • New England Conservatory of Music

Brann, Vincent

Vincent Brann Papers
ca.1917-2005
(7.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 094

Vincent Clinton Brann was a Professor of Dramaturgy and Directing at UMass Amherst. Born Feb. 19, 1927 in Knoxville, Iowa, Brann served in the United States Army during WWII. After completing his B.A. at the University of Iowa in 1950 he was again called to serve in the Army during the Korean Conflict (1950-1951). Brann held faculty positions at Carnegie Institute of Technology, University of Maryland Overseas Program Europe, and Smith College before joining the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Speech Department in 1964. Brann remained in the Speech Department until 1972 when it became the Department of Theater; he continued to teach in the Department of Theater until his retirement in 1988. Brann was well-known for his oral interpretation and performance classes as well as his productions and original scripts. At the time of his death in 2007 he was Professor Emeritus of Dramaturgy and Directing.

The Brann Papers are a collection of genealogical materials dating to the early 20th century, correspondence, family and travel photographs (particularly of Spain and France), play scripts with director’s notes, musical theater scores, and Brann’s college yearbooks.

Subjects
  • Brann family
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Speech
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Theater
Contributors
  • Brann, Vincent

Cosby, Bill, 1937-

Bill Cosby Radio Program Collection
1968 Jan-Jul
12 phonograph records (.3 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 981

“The Bill Cosby Radio Program” was a daily syndicated radio series of roughly 5-minute comedy inserts by Cosby and produced by Frank Buxton (who also served as the show’s announcer and comedic “straight man”). Along with sound man Gene Twombly, Cosby and Buxton improvised the episodes, which were syndicated to more than 200 top-40 radio stations around the nation on transcription discs by The Coca-Cola Company and distributed by McCann-Erikson (Coke’s ad agency). The show marked the beginning of Cosby’s long association with Coca-Cola and was the debut of many characters from Cosby’s comedy.

This collection features twelve radio broadcast transcription discs (one 12-inch disc and eleven 16-inch discs) of “The Bill Cosby Radio Program” containing programs #21-130 (1968 Jan 29-Jun 24) and programs #141-145 (1968 Jul 15). The disc labels contain the original program description and art.

Gift of Jerry Reed, June 2017.
Subjects
  • African American comedians
  • Buxton, Frank
  • Coca-Cola Company
  • Cosby, Bill, 1937-
  • Radio comedies
  • Radio programs
Types of material
  • Phonograph records
Restrictions: SCUA does not currently have the appropriate media to play these records.

Craig, Edward Gordon, 1872-1966

Edward Gordon Craig Collection
1951-1956
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 344

A noted figure in modernist theater, Edward Gordon Craig was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, on Jan. 16, 1872, the illegitimate son of the renowned actress Ellen Terry and the architect Edward William Craig. Although the most productive portion of his career was brief, he exerted a strong influence on the field of set design and lighting, and was fairly prolific as a writer on theatre.

The six audio recordings that comprise the Craig collection originated from a series of BBC radio talks in the early 1950s. The reel to reel tapes include Craig’s reminiscences of Ellen Terry, Isadora Duncan, the old school of acting, celebrities, and how he played Hamlet in Salford, Lancashire.

Subjects
  • Duncan, Isadora, 1877-1927
  • Terry, Ellen, Dame, 1847-1928
  • Theater--Great Britain
Types of material
  • Oral histories
  • Sound recordings

Cummington School of the Arts

Cummington School of the Arts Records
1908-1993
30 boxes (45 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 891
Image of Poster, ca.1925
Poster, ca.1925

In 1923, Katherine Frazier established the Playhouse-in-the-Hills as a venue for theatrical performances in the small Berkshire County town of Cummington, Mass. Frazier’s vision, however, soon led her to expand the project into the Cummington School of the Arts (later the Cummington Community of the Arts), which she envisioned as “an environment congenial to creative activity.” Over its seventy years of operation, the School emphasized creative collaboration across the fine arts, offering not only performances, but summer residencies and six-week courses where writers, artists, performers, and musicians could study and practice under the guidance of visiting artists. Among its noted alumni were luminaries such as Helen Frankenthaler, Willem de Kooning, Diane Arbus, Marianne Moore, and Archibald Macleish, and the school was a starting point for Harry Duncan’s renowned Cummington Press. The increasing financial challenges facing not-for-profit organizations led a cessation of operations in about 1993.

The records of the Cummington School of the Arts offer a cross-sectional view of the School across its years of operation. In addition to a very small selection of personal material from Katherine Frazier, the collection includes valuable correspondence and ephemera relating to the school’s philosophy and founding, and nearly a third of the collection consists of records of students, often including their applications, comments on the work accomplished in Cummington, and occasionally, copies of work produced. The balance of the collection consists of many of the school’s publications, administrative materials (including curricula and planning documents), and financial and fundraising materials.

Transferred from Springfield Museums through Margaret Humberston, Dec. 2015

Davis, Bobby

Bobby Davis Photograph Collection
1980-1983
1 box (0.2 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 065

A native of Providence, R.I., Bobby Davis arrived in Amherst in 1977 and soon afterward entered the University Without Walls program at UMass to earn his college degree. A talented jazz musician, Davis became immersed in the vibrant local arts scene, learning photography while writing for the student publications Nummo News and the Collegian, and covering performances by a steady stream of jazz and R&B acts touring through the area. Working later as a photographer for Smith College and traveling for the yearbook company, Delmar Studios, Davis eventually settled in Northampton, where he remains active as a photographer.

The Davis collection contains ten exhibition prints of jazz musicians performing in Amherst, including Art Blakey, Angela Bofill, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Yusef Lateef, Oscar Peterson, Max Roach, Gil Scott-Heron, and Archie Shepp.

Gift of Bobby Davis, Jan. 2015
Subjects
  • Jazz musicians--Photographs
Types of material
  • Photographs

Dobell, Frederic

Frederic Dobell Papers
1872-1916
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 607
Image of Frederic Dobell
Frederic Dobell

A fixture on the late Victorian and Edwardian English stage, Frederic Dobell headlined a variety of productions, appearing in theatres and touring from London to Edinburgh. Late in his career, Dobell played roles from Shakespeare to melodrama. He died in London in August 1916 at the age of 72.

A small collection dating from the last three decades of his career, the Dobell Papers including correspondence regarding acting engagements, 14 part books, six broadsides advertising performances, and a fine clutch of materials relating to the play On the Verge, Or, A Woman’s Honor, including: four watercolor set designs, five stage layouts, a musical score.

Subjects
  • Actors--Great Britain
Contributors
  • Dobell, Frederic
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