Mildred L. Hendrix papers, 1951 - 1968

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Hendrix, Mildred L.
Mildred Hendrix (1905-1985) was the Chapel Organist and University Organist at Duke University from 1944 to 1967 and Professor of Music from 1944 to 1969. The papers include correspondence, certificates, general subject files, recital materials, photographs, and other programs related to her career as an organist and organ instructor at the University. Major subjects in this collection are music for chapel services, organ instruction and performance, scholarly study of the organ, Duke University Chapel programming, and the Duke University Music Department. English.
6 Linear Feet
Collection ID:
University Archives Record Group:
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates > 02 -- Individuals


Scope and content:

Papers contain personal correspondence, correspondence with organ students concerning practice times and lesson arrangements, records of works played during sermons, clippings and biographical information on organists invited to perform at Duke, photographs, course syllabi, evaluation of potential students, and correspondence and conference material relating to professional organizations. Also contains bulletins and minutes for Music Department faculty meetings (ca. 1960-1967).

Biographical / historical:

Mildred Little Hendrix was born in Greensboro, N.C. in 1904. She began studying piano and organ at age 7 and received her first degree in Music from Woman's College of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, N.C. (B.S., 1926). From 1928 to 1929, she took graduate courses in directing and church music at Union Theological Seminary and Brick Presbyterian Church (N.Y.). Also during 1929, Hendrix studied piano at the Philadelphia Conservatory (Pa.). She was a piano soloist and professional accompanist for leading singers, instrumentalists, and conductors during her twelve years in Philadelphia.

Hendrix held positions as organist and choir director at several churches in the Greensboro, North Carolina area. From 1949 to 1952 she spent summers studying at the Organ Institute in Andover, Massachusetts with Ernest White and other organists. From 1953 to 1969 she studied organ with Dr. Arthur Poister at Syracuse University (N.Y.).

In 1944, Hendrix became the Duke University Chapel Organist and the University Organist. At the Chapel, she performed for weddings, funerals, Commencement Recitals and Baccalaureate services, and for all church services. She arranged special performances for Easter and delivered Handel's Messiah every Christmas. She also lectured to groups visiting the Chapel, performed monthly recitals and convocations, and answered all correspondence regarding chapel music. Hendrix worked closely with Rev. James T. Cleland to arrange music for chapel services. Also in 1944, she was also appointed Professor of Music. She taught organ literature, history, and performance, and offered private lessons to students.

In 1963 she was granted a scholarship by the French Government, Division of Cultural Affairs, to study at the International Academy of Music and Art in Nice, France. There she took private lessons with Pierre Cochereau and studied French organ music, instrument history, and music performance. In 1965 she studied in Haarlem, Holland at the International Academy at St. Bavo's Cathedral.

Hendrix was a member of many professional organizations, including the American Guild of Organists, National Guild of Piano Teachers, Pi Kappa Lambda (national honorary music fraternity), the Matinee Music Club of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Music Club, and the Main Line Music Club. She was a frequent recitalist for various state chapters of the American Guild of Organists.

In fall 1967 she became University Organist Emerita in order to devote more time to teaching in the Music Department. She retired from teaching in 1969, but continued to give recitals around the east coast and teach private lessons until her death in 1985.

Acquisition information:
The Mildred L. Hendrix Papers were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 1976, 1983.
Processing information:

Processed by Emily Glenn

Completed November 2002

Encoded by Jill Katte, August 2003

Accession UA2015-0031 added by Tracy M. Jackson, September 2016.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Access restricted. Collection contains some student records. In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended, Duke University permits students to inspect their education records and limits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records. Contact Research Services for more information.

Terms of access:

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Mildred L. Hendrix Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.