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The Chamber Arts Society was created in 1945 and is dedicated to the performance of classical music by small chamber ensembles. This collection includes programs for many performances from 1990-2016.

The Chamber Arts Society Collection includes programs from many Chamber Arts Society performances from 1990-2016.


Phillip Rhodes papers, 1957-2008 and undated 60 Linear Feet — 60 linear feet

North Carolina born and raised composer, Duke alumnus, and composer-in-residence and professor at Carleton College. Collection comprises primarily scores, music sketches, recordings, professional files, and correspondence that follow the development of Rhodes' compositional career. Includes published compositions and unpublished student works for both vocal and instrumental ensembles, as well as concert programs, newspaper clippings, and other publicity related items from performances of his music.

Collection comprises primarily scores, professional files, and correspondence that follow the development of Rhodes' compositional career. Name and Correspondence files consists mainly of correspondence between Rhodes and a variety of professional organizations, but also includes Rhodes' handwritten notes, some publicity materials, and other administrative documents. Personal Files includes unpublished works and music sketches from Rhodes' time as a student at both Duke and Yale, as well as some correspondence and biographical publicity materials more generally related to his career. Events and Programs consists of assorted concert programs from performances of Rhodes' music. Rhodes' music has been divided into four series based on genre: Chamber and Solo Instrumental Works, Choral and Solo Vocal Works, Operas and Oratorios, Orchestral and Wind Ensemble Works. The series include music sketches, drafts, revisions, original manuscripts, master sheets, piano reductions, published scores, conductor's scores, and when noted, instrumental parts.

Robert Ward was a composer primarily of operas, instrumental works, and symphonic choral works. He won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his opera, The Crucible, which remains his best-known work. Ward served as Chancellor of the North Carolina School of the Arts and as a faculty member at Columbia and Duke Universities. His papers span from his time as a student at the Eastman School of Music in the 1930s to his final years composing in 2012. They include scores, music sketches, recordings, libretto drafts, correspondence, scrapbooks, research and information files, writings and speeches by and about Ward, as well as concert programs, newspaper clippings, photographs, awards, and other materials that document his professional life and work as a composer.

The Robert Ward Papers have been divided into eight series: Biographical Materials, Correspondence, Operas, Instrumental Works, Vocal Works, Music Sketchbooks and Student Works, Music by Others, and Untitled Recordings. Biographical Materials consists of documents pertaining to Ward's work as a composer, including newspaper clippings, profiles, the composer's published writings and interviews, documents from the organizations with which he affiliated, events held in his honor, and certificates and awards he received. The Correspondence series primarily consists of professional communications between Robert Ward and several organizations. Ward's music has been divided into three series based on genre and arranged alphabetically by title of piece within each series: Operas, Instrumental Works, and Vocal Works. Materials for each composition may include scores, recordings, and publicity materials such as newspaper clippings, programs, and reviews. Music Sketchbooks and Student Works contains assorted untitled music sketches and sketchbooks by Ward, as well as manuscripts for some of his student works. Music by Others includes a variety of scores and recordings by other composers included in Ward's papers, the majority of which are recordings. Untitled Recordings comprises assorted media that contain no composition titles, although some recordings are labeled and dated as specific performances.


William Grant Still papers, 1877-1992 12 Linear Feet — circa 2,250 Items

The William Grant Still Papers, 1877-1992, contain chiefly photocopies of music, writings, correspondence, diaries, pictures, printed material, clippings, and recordings, which primarily document his work as a composer. The collection relates to the historical and critical study of his music, as well as being a valuable source of arrangements for performances. Still's music gained recognition due to his ability to compose classical music which both reflected distinctive African-American as well as African influences. In addition, materials (primarily writings and librettos), created by Verna Arvey, Still's second wife, also form an integral part of the collection.

A substantial portion of the collection is comprised of music in manuscript and printed formats as well as in recorded formats, and is contained in the Music series and Recordings series. The collection does not contain all the music Still composed, however it does contain a substantial number of his works and can adequately support the research of Still's compositions. The various genres or mediums in which Still worked, including symphonies, operas, spirituals, songs, and chamber music are represented in the collection. Conductors' scores and published arrangements are included. Among the various publishers represented are Charles Pace and W.C. Handy Company and the J. Fischer and Brothers. Originals from these companies are present. Countee Cullen, Verna Arvey, Arna Bontemps, Langston Hughes, and Katherine Garrison Chapin are represented among those who wrote librettos or texts for Still's arrangements. Recordings for some of Still's works are available in compact disc, LP, and audio cassette formats. Included in the recordings are performances by Louis Kaufman, Peter Christ, Videmus, the William Grant Still Music Performing Arts Society, the Denver Symphony and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, and other individual artists and orchestras.

Insofar as documenting Still's professional life, the diaries, writings, and correspondence are less complete than the music. Since gaps are evident within the diaries and correspondence, these materials do not provide a full and detailed understanding of Still's career development. However, some information pertaining to his work as well as his personal life is available. The Writings series contains several articles by Still as well as biographical and critical works about Still and his music. This series also contains writings by Verna Arvey and Judith Anne Still. An autographed copy of Arvey's In One Lifetime is included. The Correspondence series includes letters between Still and Alain Locke as well as Still and Charles Burch. Within these exchanges, there is some discussion and criticism of Still's compositions, reflections on the problems confronting African-American musicians in the 1930s, and a discussion of the possibility of Still teaching at Howard University. Correspondence between Arvey and Carl Van Vechten is also included. The diaries of both Still and Verna Arvey primarily record daily activities. However, Still's diary entries from 1930 contain reflections on his faith and spirituality, his music, and his first marriage to Grace Bundy. Within the Printed Materials and Clippings series are programs and newspaper articles, many of which are originals, that document the performances and the wide acceptance of Still's music.

The Scrapbooks series primarily contain Verna Arvey's collection of clippings which document political and social events between the 1940s and the early 1970s. These clippings demonstrate Verna Arvey's strong interest in the anti-Communist movements of the mid-twentieth century, primarily Senator Joseph McCarthy's investigations. The contents of these scrapbooks do not directly relate to William Grant Still's music. To a lesser extent the scrapbooks contain clippings pertaining to race and the status of African-Americans in the United States.