Department of Music. Collection of the Department of Music, 1883-Ongoing. GACA Collection 34. 12 Records Center Cartons, 1 Hollinger box, 17 CD boxes, 2 album boxes, 2 film reel boxes, 4 flat boxes, 2 cassette boxes, 1 oversize folder, and digital media.
The Department of Music collection contains materials related to all vocal and instrumental groups at Gustavus Adolphus College, along with general materials from the department. Materials include reports, correspondence, scores, financial materials, member lists, tour information, photographs, and recordings. Additional materials will be added to the collection as available.
Vocal music courses were introduced at Gustavus Adolphus College during the 1881-82 school year. Instrumental courses were also offered starting in 1884. Music classes were considered a normal part of the academic curriculum for all students. During 1887-88 the Music Department became one of the College’s four departments. The Music Department gave the degree of Bachelor of Music to those students who completed courses in Piano Theory, History of Music, and Harmony, and had taken the required Academic courses. Those who completed courses in Pipe Organ Theory, History of Music, and Harmony, and passed the required Academic coursed received a certificate as “organist och skollärare” (organist and teacher.)
The Conservatory of Music began in the fall of 1894. The Conservatory offered three different courses: a five year course on the Piano-forte with Theory and Harmony, Counterpoint, Orchestration, and History of Music, which taken with a literary course led to a Bachelor of Music degree; a two year course on the Pipe Organ, which could be taken with the Normal course, fitting the student for the position of organist and school-teacher in public or parochial schools; and a two year course on the Cabinet Organ which gave a foundation for the course on the Pipe Organ. Additional courses were added over the years. The Conservatory of Music graduated its last students in May 1942. The following semester, the Music courses were integrated into the College as one of its academic departments.
As of 2012, the Music Department offers a Music Major, Music Education Major, a Music Minor, and an Honors Program. The department consists of many different vocal and instrumental large groups and ensembles. The current mission is described below.
The mission of the Music Department is to teach majors and non-majors how to develop their full potential as musicians and to share the department’s heritage of excellence in notable performances on the Gustavus Adolphus campus and with communities around this nation and the world.
The curriculum of the Music Department aspires to teach music students to intelligently and artistically express themselves through a broad range of genres in musical performance, composition, and discourse.
The Music Department affirms the transformational nature of a mature understanding of the core value of music in a liberal arts education and promotes a passion for lifelong engagement with music.**
Throughout the College’s history, students have organized and participated in many musical societies. Some vocal and some instrumental. The Schumann Chorus, the Men’s Chorus, the Messiah Chorus, the Gustavus Adolphus Band, and the Orchestra are just a few from the early years, while today you can find many groups with different focuses, from voice, to strings, to jazz.
*Information in this section was taken from course catalogs.
**Taken from Music Department website, 30 August 2012 https://gustavus.edu/general_catalog/current/music#music_major
This collection is divided into six series: Conservatory of Music; Department Files; Band; Choir; Photographs; and Recordings.
Conservatory of Music, 1901-11, holds announcements of courses and mailings from the Gustavus Adolphus Conservatory of Music.
Department Files, 1883-Ongoing, consists of reports, materials about visiting artists, minutes, music camp materials, scores, correspondence, and performance programs and publicity. This series is arranged alphabetically.
Band, 1910-Ongoing, contains materials regarding instrumental groups, including scores, certificates, correspondence, financial materials, member lists, and tour information. This series is arranged alphabetically.
Choir, 1922-Ongoing, is composed of materials regarding vocal groups, including, anniversary materials, certificates, clippings, handbooks, member lists, and tour information. This series is arranged alphabetically.
Photographs, 1883-Ongoing, encompasses photographs from any group that is part of the Music Department, including choir, orchestra, and band. This series is arranged alphabetically.
Recordings, 1948, 1952-53, 1957, 1961-94, 2004-Ongoing, has recordings of performances from vocal and instrumental groups, along with student and faculty recitals. All recordings are on CD unless otherwise noted. This series is arranged chronologically.