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Chatham University Music Department Records

Identifier: 2019.006

Scope and Contents

This collection contains records created by the Chatham University Department of music between 1870 and 2016.  The collection contains significant gaps due to irregular deposit arrangements. Series I: Scrapbooks Sub-series A: Departmental Scrapbooks Scrapbooks in this subseries contain material relating to the Music Department of the Pennsylvania College for Women including concert programs, newspaper clippings relating to the program or program events, photographs of students, and handwritten notes about departmental activities.  Documents pertain to the Music Department as well as student groups formed within, including the Glee Club and others. Sub-series B: Research Scrapbooks Scrapbooks in this series contain clippings pertaining to musical composers, music news, and music styles.  Item 1, Research Scrapbook, 1940-1943, contains clippings from Modern Music covering a variety of musical styles.  Item 2, Research Scrapbook, 1944-1946 contains clippings from Musical America on Modern composers and compositions. Series II: Events This series consists primarily of programs, fliers, invitations, and printouts of electronic mail notices about musical performances and recitals occurring in connection with or organized by the Chatham University Department of Music.  Ranging in date from 1870 to 2016, the materials document performance repertoire, names of performers and accompanying musicians, and the performance venue.  Musicians represented in the collection include Chatham students, faculty, Chatham student clubs, ensembles from other schools, and visiting artists. Series III: Festivals This series contains materials related to festivals organized through the Chatham University Department of Music independently and in collaboration with other organizations.  Materials related to the Pittsburgh International Music Festival in 1952 include programs, correspondence, press releases, and fliers.  Materials relating to the Contemporary Music Festival include programs, marketing material, and copies of newspaper articles about the festival.  Material relating to the Ives Festival consists of concert programs and copies of newspaper articles.  Material for the Spring Music Festival includes concert programs and fliers. Series IV: Programs This series contains material related to the Laboratory School of Music under the direction of both Miihail Stolarevsky and Henry Spinelli, including brochures, concert programs, and fliers.  Material related to the Opera Workshop includes programs, lists of scholarship recipients and workshop attendants, newspaper clippings, brochures, and photographs. Material related to the Minna Kaufmann Rudd Scholarship includes brochures, programs from award performances, newspaper clippings about program changes, photographs of scholarship events and recipients, and scholarship entry guidelines. Series V: Publications This series contains printed books and musical scores for songs and music performed at Chatham University.  Along with books compiled by Chatham students, this series contains handbills bearing song lyrics used at university events, a typewritten summary of singing events, and correspondence. Series VI: Photographs This series contains photographs of Chatham University Music Department events and facilities. Series VII: Miscellaneous. This series contains two admissions brochures describing the music program at Chatham University. Series VIII: Posters This series contains oversized posters advertising events produced by or in coordination with the Chatham University Department of Music.


  • created: 1870-2016


Conditions Governing Access

All other records are open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Some items in this collection are protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Biographical or Historical Information

Chatham University Chartered on December 11, 1869 by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, the Pennsylvania Female College was initiated by Reverend William Trimble Beatty and several members of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church with the intention of providing “for young ladies what colleges of the first class accomplish for young men.” The campus was situated in the affluent Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in a building that held the previous distinction of being the largest private residence in Allegheny County.  A Board of Trustees which included Rev. Beatty and several members of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church, led the selection of college administrators and the development of college curriculum aiming to “furnish [students] the means of a thorough, well-proportioned and liberal education adapted to their wants in life.” In 1890 the name of the institution was changed to Pennsylvania College for Women, and in 1955 the name was changed again to Chatham College in honor of William Pitt, First Earl of Chatham and namesake of the City of Pittsburgh. In 1994, Chatham College expanded around its historic undergraduate women’s college by beginning to offer graduate programs to both men and women with a special emphasis in the health science fields.  University status was granted in 2007 and the institution is thereafter named Chatham University.  Additional campus locations, including one in the East Liberty neighborhood called East Side and one in Gibsonia called Eden Hall Farm, were added in 2008. In 2014, Chatham University’s Board of Trustees approved a resolution to implement coeducation within all colleges and schools while creating structures and programs that preserve the University’s commitment to women’s education and leadership. Chatham University Department of Music Since its founding in 1869, coursework and programming in music was offered at Chatham University.  Initially requiring fees in addition to regular tuition, the reformulation of the curriculum after the first year incorporated a higher level of instruction in music and other areas. While music classes were optional for students in the early years, regular all-campus vocal instruction was implemented by 1876 and group singing of hymns was a party of daily devotional tasks.  Campus performances by the most talented and accomplished students, termed Soirees Musicals, as well as regular recitals by college faculty were attended by the college community and members of the public.  Performances by students and faculty received national recognition and students were given opportunities to enjoy performances, often arranged by college faculty, by visiting musicians at the college or nearby locations. In 1909, coursework in music was expanded to include theory and composition, and certificates were granted to students completing substantial credits.  Music remains a primary component of the college curriculum through the 1921 curricular rearrangement and in the 1946, a two-year sequence of arts curriculum became a requirement for all students.  Regular expansion of the college facilities provided improved music study and practice area, first with the construction of a music hall in the 1890s and performance spaces across campus.  Student clubs organized around music, such as the Banjo Club, Mandolin Club, and Glee Club, were open to and joined by students from all academic departments. In 1951, The Andrew W. Mellon Education and Charitable Trust funded a composer-in-residence and pianist in residence project to host Roy Harris and the Laboratory School of Music was established in 1949 to educate a new generation of instrumentalists.  Training of opera singers, conductors, and stage directors was offered through the Opera Workshop and a Pittsburgh International Festival of Contemporary Music was established in coordination with the Carnegie Institute in 1951. The Ives Festival, which featured performances by Henry Spinelli, the Spring Music Festival, and the Musicale series have continued to provide opportunities for students and the community to enjoy musical performances at Chatham University. The Chatham University Department of Music has been led and staffed by a number of individuals including the following: Adolph F. Christiani, Sarah Brannan-Hershey, Agnes Caldwell Way, Joseph H. Gittings, T. Carl Whitmer, May B. MacKensie, Helene Welker, Lillie B. Held, Clifford Taylor, Russell G. Wichmann, Mihail Stolarensky, Henry Spinelli, and Pauline Rovkah.

Note written by Molly Tighe


8.00 box

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

Materials are arranged into 8 Series, one of which has been further arranged into subseries.  Within series and subseries, files are arranged chronologically.  The arrangement scheme for the collection was imposed during processing in the absence of original order.

  • Scrapbooks
  • Departmental Scrapbooks
  • Research Scrapbooks
  • Events
  • Festivals
  • Programs
  • Publications
  • Photographs
  • Miscellaneous
  • Posters
  • Related Materials

    Chatham University Choir Collection Chatham University Song Contest Recordings Collection

    Processing Information

    Processed by Molly Tighe.

    Archon Finding Aid Title
    Molly Tighe
    Description rules
    Describing Archives: A Content Standard
    Language of description
    Script of description
    Code for undetermined script
    Language of description note

    Repository Details

    Part of the Chatham University Archives Repository

    Woodland Road
    Pittsburgh PA 15232 US