Department of Music and Dance records

 Records of the Music Conservatory

Summary Information

Eastern Michigan University Archives
Eastern Michigan University
Michigan State Normal College.
Department of Music and Dance records
Date [inclusive]
2.4 Linear feet 2 record center cartons, 1 archive box
The Department of Music and Dance collection documents the Conservatory of Music, the Music Department and lastly the Music and Dance department at Eastern Michigan University from 1879 until 2011. Materials are arranged into eight series:   Administrative Files includes, department information regarding instructors, program materials and evaluation; music course books and a Teachers’ Music Certificate book;  Budget and Finance; Community Bands; Correspondence; Newsletters; Press; Concert Programs; and  Promotional Materials. This is not a complete record of the Department of Music and Dance.

Preferred Citation note

Please cite materials from the University Archives in the following manner: Item. Collection Title. Eastern Michigan University Archives.

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Historical Note

The Michigan State Normal School was founded in 1854 and in the second year, musical instruction began. Albert Miller was the first director of the program which was housed in 'Old Pierce Hall.' He taught harmony and composition as there were no musical instruments.

In 1858, Ezra Meade Foote took over the program and promoted the study of popular music. Foote is credited with starting the first Normal choir, a source of civic pride. Frederic Pease, for which Pease Auditorium is named, became the third director of the music program and expanded it to include instruction in piano-forte, organ, melodeon and harmony, and an advanced course for teachers in “graded and district schools” as well as lessons on the violin. In 1881, during Pease's tenure, the State Board of Education authorized creation of a Conservatory of Music which allowed for advanced instruction, and application of skills in the Normal School's training school. Pease developed the first four-year music program at the School, implemented a series of events for the community such as weekly public recitals, an annual community concert by the Normal Choir, private lessons for local citizens, and the inclusion of local talent in the chorus and orchestra. Pease ran the program from 1863 until his death in 1909.

Frederick Alexander, for which the Alexander Music Building is named, took over the program in 1909. Alexander continued the tradition of community singing with the Normal Choir. In response to the growing interest in band and orchestral music in the public schools, Alexander expanded the program to include instrumental music education in the curriculum. He also oversaw the building and opening of the Frederic H. Pease Auditorium in 1915, a venue that drew not only campus events and performers but also groups and individuals of national and international prominence. The Detroit Symphony, Duke Ellington, John Philip Sousa, Pearl Bailey, Joffrey Ballet, Victor Borge, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Philadelphia Orchestra, Julian Bond, Shirley Chisholm, and Winton Marsalis all performed in the Pease Auditorium. Frederick Alexander retired in 1941 and when he died in 1955 he left a bequest of $90,000 to Eastern Michigan College.

Haydn Morgan, replaced Alexander in 1941. A noted educator, choral conductor, author and composer, Morgan brought with him a commitment to the goals of music education, with a renewed emphasis on the proper training of young voices. In 1955, the Conservatory name changed, becoming the Department of Music at Eastern Michigan College. Morgan established the EMU Choir, Women’s Chorus, Men’s Glee Club, Freshmen Girl’s Vocal Ensemble, the Madrigal Singers and the EMU-Civic Symphony Orchestra. Morgan remained department head for 22 years.

Howard Rarig was the director of the Department from 1965-1971. During Rarig’s six years of service he credited with laying the groundwork for hiring applied music specialists on each instrument and became one of the first administrators to recognize the importance of development activities in support of department scholarships. James B. Hause, a recruit from Western Michigan University and oversaw the construction of the Alexander Music Building, completed in 1981, bringing together all of the Music Department faculty who had previously been housed in three different buildings on campus. In addition, during his 23 year tenure he saw the renovation of Pease Auditorium in the early 1990s. Hause retired in 1994.

Gordon McQuere, program director from 1996-2001, helped organize the 1996 alumni festival "Encore" to reopen the restored Pease Auditorium. In 2001, David Woike’s took over as director of the Department of Music which would become, during his tenure, the Department of Music and Dance. Woike retired in 2011. Diane L. Winder has been acting the interim Department Head since 2012.

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Scope and Contents note

The Department of Music and Dance documents the Music Conservancy, Music Department and the Department of Music and Dance at Eastern Michigan University from 1879 until 2016. The collection is broken into nine series:  Administrative Files,  Budget and Finance,  Community Bands,  Correspondence,  Newsletters,  Press,  Concert Programs,  Promotional Materials, and  Sound Recordings.

The Administrative Files series contains a Calendar of Events, Conservatory of Music Course Books, Degree Requirements, Evaluation, Fliers, Forms and Applications, Recital Ticket Stubs, and Stationary.  Budget and Finance series includes Financial Statement of the Normal College Little Symphony, Pay Roll of Conservatory Teachers, and Receipts. The  Community Bands series is comprised of the Barnhill Concert Band programs and Community Music Academy.  Correspondence series spans from 1979 until 2011. The   Newsletters series is comprised of four different newsletters that were given out by the music and dance department including Band Alumni EMUBAA, ConBrio, The Courier, and Music at EMU.

The Press series is comprised of newspaper clippings from 1980 until 2011 and News Releases from 1990 until 1999.  Concert Programs series includes programs from the years 1879 until 2011, with gaps for the years 1897-1899, 1923-1931, and 1943-1964. The  Promotional Materials series includes Pamphlets and Postcards promoting upcoming shows put on by the Department of Music and Dance at Eastern Michigan University.

The Sound Recordings series includes records several concerts and performances at Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State Normal College. The ensembles and performances recorded are: Concert Winds and Glee Club, Eastern Michigan University Madrigals, guest artists, poetry series, Symphonic Band, and Ypsilanti Normal Choir.

The collection is not a complete record of the program. There are no substantial records in the collection from program directors, any materials pertaining to the directors can be found in the biographical files stored in the University Archives.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Eastern Michigan University Archives 2012 Janurary 23

Halle Library, Room 310
Ypsilanti, Michigan, 48197

Revision Description

  2014 May 12, 2016 November 2

Conditions Governing Access note

Researchers are asked to request materials 24 hours prior to visiting the the University Archives.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

The materials relating to many of the current and previous professors of the Department of Music and Dance can be found in the biography files in the University Archives. There are personal papers of former Music Department professors including, the Dorothy James papers 010.DJ, the  Frederick Alexander papers 010.FA, and the  Joseph Gurt papers 010.JG.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Concert programs.
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Eastern Michigan University. Symphonic Band
  • Michigan State Normal College
  • Michigan State Normal School
  • Music--Instruction and study.

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Collection Inventory

Administrative Files 

Box Folder

Calendar of Events 

1 1

Conservatory of Music Course Books 

1 2

Degree Requirements 

1 3

Departmental Information-Website 

1 4

Evaluation 1999 

1 5


1 6

Faculty and Staff 

1 7

Faculty Meeting Minutes 1973 

1 8


1 9

Forms and Applications 

1 10

Handbook 1999-2000 

1 11

Historical Highlights 

1 12


1 13

Media Guides 

1 14

Music Therapy Center 

1 15

Program Proposal 

1 16

Recital Ticket Stubs 1884-1885 

1 17


1 18


1 19
Box Object

Teachers' Music Certificate book 

1 20
Box Folder

Ticket Stubs and Donation Forms 

1 21

Visiting Musicians 1970-1979 

1 22

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Budget and Finance 

Box Folder

Financial Statement of the Normal College Little Symphony 1932-1933 

1 22

Pay Roll of Conservatory Teachers 1941-1944 

1 23

Reciepts 1885-1900 

1 24

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Community Bands 

Box Folder

Barnhill Concert Band Programs 1998-2003 

1 25

Community Music Academy 

1 26

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Box Folder


1 27-29

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Box Folder

Band Alumni EMUBAA 1994-2006 

1 30

ConBrio 1985 

1 31

The Courier 1999 

1 32

Music at EMU 1993-1996 

1 33

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Box Folder


1 34


1 35


1 36

News Releases 1990-1999 

1 37


1 38-40

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Concert Programs 

Box Folder


1 41


1 42


1 43


    Box Folder
Text (32307023991913)   2 1-16
    Box Folder
Text (32307023991905)   1 44-50
    Box Folder
Text (32307023991913)   2 20


Box Folder


2 20-22

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Promotional Materials 

Box Folder

Announcements, Brochuers 1993-1995 

2 17


2 18


2 19

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Sound Recordings 

Concert Winds and Glee Club Singers 

Box Folder

The Sounds of EMU 1983 

3 1

Eastern Michigan University Madrigals 

Box Folder

Compositions of Williametta Spencer 

3 2

Spring Tour: Great Britain and Ireland 1979 

3 3

Guest Artists 

Box Folder

Vachel Lindsay 

3 4

Poetry Series 

Box Folder

Ballad of East and West by Rudyard Kipling 

3 5

Selected Sonnets by William Shakespeare 

3 5

Symphonic Band 

Box Folder

Compositions of Anthony Iannaccone 

3 6

Symphonic Band with Oscar Henry 

3 7

Ypsilanti Normal Choir 

Box Folder


3 8

Shaw and Damrosch 

3 9

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