The Northern California Chapter of the Music Library Association held its Spring 2002 meeting at Stanford University. The morning session included a presentation on the AMPEX Corporation from Henry Lowood, Curator for the History of Technology collections and Germanic collections; and Jim Kent, Manager of the Green Library Media / Microtext Center. Following a tour of the Music Library, lunch was held at the Stanford Faculty Club. After lunch Richard Koprowski, Assistant Archivist from the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound presented information on the history of recorded sound.
The business meeting was held in the Braun Music Center. The Chair, Ray Heigemeir, called the meeting to order at 3pm. Present were Ray Heigemeir (Chair), Tony Calvo (Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect), Jason Gibbs (Newsletter Editor), Alicia Patrice (Secretary/Treasurer), Sally Berlowitz, Nancy Lorimer, Richard Ross, Mimi Tashiro, Janet Bochin, Judy Clarence, Manuel Erviti, Patricia Stroh, and Mike Irvine. The minutes from the Fall 2001 meeting were approved with one correction-Richard Ross was not in attendance at the Fall meeting. Alicia reported as treasurer that there was approximately $1700 in the account.
West Coast Joint Meeting:
Eugene, Oregon will host the NCC, SCC, and PNW chapters. Possible dates are Fall of 2003 or Fall of 2005. The NCC expressed that Fall 2003 was preferable.
First-Timer's Grant Money:
An amendment needs to be made to the by-laws and presented 30 days before a vote.
The wording would be something along the lines of:
MLA/NCC funds a First-Time Attendees Grant. This pays for meeting registration, lunch and travel expenses (up to $50) for the MLA/NCC member and guest who is a first-timer to an MLA/NCC meeting. Applications are encouraged from interested paraprofessional staff as well as other librarians who are not necessarily music librarians, but who work in related fields. More than one grant may be given at a time.
Concerns were raised about the wording that includes the MLA/NCC member and guest. We'd like to have this put in motion in time for the next meeting. A recommendation that the officers make the decision on awarding the grant. Ray will put draft on the listserv. The Constitution needs to be checked to find out whether a vote can be made by mail.
IAML Contribution: Mimi Tashiro proposed that MLA/NCC consider making a contribution to the IAML meeting. She expressed that any amount was welcome. A decision to donate $300 to IAML-US was made and no particular focus was assigned to the donation, so that IAML can use it as they wish. (A check was written and given to Mimi after the meeting.)
IAML Volunteer Information: Ray Heigemeir is in charge of staffing the registration desk. Lenore Coral has sent specifics about the duties of this position. Not as many people are needed as previously thought. Assignments will be as follows: Saturday August 3 and Sunday August 4 are the days when people are most needed; Saturday morning will include the stuffing of packets for registrants; Saturday afternoon will be early registration; Sunday will be the busiest day for registering; guides are need for the reception at 6PM on Sunday; Monday through Thursday the registration and information desk will need to be staffed; the bus events will need 1 person to work as guide. Any interested parties should contact Ray and additional information will be posted on the listserv.
Election of Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect; Passing of Baton: Ray passed the position of Chair to Tony Calvo. Manuel Erviti was nominated and agreed to serve as Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect.
Sally Berlowitz, San Francisco State University: SFSU closer to getting new library. A team has been appointed to evaluate the architect's proposals. They are waiting to hear from the Governor, but it is likely to happen in 3-4 years. Things will be moved to compact storage and the present building will be gutted and rebuilt. There is a hiring freeze and a vacant position of curator of the De Bellis Collection.
Patricia Stroh, San Jose State University: The new library is on schedule and under budget. They will be moving the special collections in June 2003. Fundraising for the Beethoven Bibliography is starting with a goal of $1 million. Patricia will be on sabbatical in the Fall and Beth Fleming will fill in for her. Patricia has also been asked to be the program chair for the national MLA meeting in Vancouver in 2005.
Manuel Erviti, University of California, Berkeley: The official groundbreaking for the new building was held in April and the physical groundbreaking will occur in June. Meetings with the architects on the final details are ongoing and the project is over budget. The estimated completion is August 2003.
Tony Calvo, University of the Pacific: The Music Library is completing shifting and cataloging. The library is planning a million dollar renovation. Tony has been appointed to the Statistics Committee of the MLA.
Jason Gibbs, San Francisco Public Library: A new music cataloger has been hired. The Dorothy Starr Collection database is still being worked on. Any sheet music of individual songs are being accepted by SFPL, send to Jason.
Judy Clarence, CSU, Hayward: The new director at Hayward is consolidating service points, so there will no longer be a separate music section. The Music Department is reluctant, but are willing to accept it as long as the scores are still located near the recordings. It is not definite that this will happen. Judy's new office location is currently unknown. Hayward is hiring for several positions.
Janet Bochin, CSU Fresno: The library is running out of space, there are plans to demolish the old building to build a new one.
Mike Irvine, College of Marin: A new cabinet has been acquired to house the replacement CDs, monies have been established to hire someone to catalog them. Tara Flandreau is now conducting the orchestra in addition to other duties. Other monies have also been designated for equipment.
Alicia Patrice, CSU, Sacramento: The Music Department on campus has given its collection of approximately 15,000 scores to the library. Hopes include that a temporary full-time Music Cataloger will be hired sometime in the future. Dr. Terry Webb has been hired as Dean and Director of the Library.
Mimi Tashiro, Stanford University: Interviews were held for the Head of the Music Library and the Head of the Archives of Recorded Sound, results may be known in a few weeks. Stanford has picked Livermore as the site for a new facility, decisions will need to be made on items to go to this remote storage site.
Nancy Lorimer, Stanford University: Firm orders are now being placed directly online with Harrassowitz and it is working out quite well. They are also now using an Amazon.com Credit account.
Please join us for our fall meeting at the San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum and the San Francisco Public Library. We will assemble at 10 am at the entrance to the Veteran's Building (401 Van Ness Avenue, next to the SF Opera House and across the street from City Hall) for an introduction to SFPALM's music resources, presented by Reference Librarian Lee Cox. After lunch at a local restaurant, we will assemble at SFPL for a presentation by Nancy Lorimer, Head of Music Technical Services at Stanford University Music Library, on changes in AACR and how they will affect the cataloging of music materials. Jason Gibbs will offer a tour of the Music Department, and we will conclude with a business meeting and round robin.
Please note: Coffee will NOT be available at the morning session, so please seek and enjoy refreshments prior to 10 am. Also, please be prompt in assembling at the Veteran's Building entrance; we will be entering as a group before their public opening hours begin (they open to the public at 11 am, in case you are late). Questions? please contact Ray Heigemeir (email@example.com).
RSVP: Manuel Erviti (firstname.lastname@example.org). See you there!
Tony moved to Southern California in July of 2002 and immediately plunged into work in his new position. Susan Parker, Associate Dean of the University Library at CSUN, said, "We are so pleased that Antonio (known best to most of you as Tony) has chosen our library. It will be no surprise to those who know him that he has quickly become a valued member of our reference team. The staff and students who work with music materials are especially grateful for his expertise in searching, and he has made our collections of scores and recorded performances widely known and very popular with students and faculty alike. We can only imagine how much he must be missed up north." Tony's presence will be missed at our NCC meetings! Well-wishers may contact him at email@example.com.
In May 2002, Bridget Boylan was hired as the Music Cataloger at the San Francisco Public Library. Previous to this position, she has worked most recently in reference at Alameda Free Library and Oakland Public Library, as well as cataloging music scores at City College of San Francisco.
Bridget graduated from University of California-Berkeley School of Library and Information Studies in 1990. Her music background includes family members who are singers and players of traditional Irish music; her own participation in school and church choirs; and years of faithful listening to BBC radio's game show, "My Music."
She is enjoying the opportunity to work with the excellent scores collection at SFPL and hopes to cultivate contacts with some more experienced music catalogers who would be willing to entertain questions basic and esoteric.
Judy Clarence, California State University Hayward, gave a pre-conference workshop presentation entitled "'Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear': Sacred Music Reference Problems and Solutions" at the annual conference of the American Library Association in St. Paul in June.
Jason Gibbs gave a paper entitled "Pham Duy and His Travels Through History" at a conference celebrating the life of Vietnamese composer Pham Duy organized by the Orange County Vietnamese-American community in Westminster, CA on May 25, 2002. Although the organizers asked for a paper in English, he had translate it on the fly for the audience. Jason's performance is viewable in streaming video from the Vietspace website: http://vietspace.kicon.com
Jason Gibbs, San Francisco Public Library
On November 14, 1912, The Recreation League of San Francisco sponsored a "grand orchestral concert" conducted by Herman Perlet, at the city's Mission High School. Devoted to the promotion of wholesome leisure, the Recreation League was at the forefront of encouraging the construction of parks, pools and playgrounds, and of shutting down the dance halls in San Francisco's "Barbary Coast." The orchestral concert was accompanied by the lecture "Music as a Public Institution" by Charles Seeger, the newly-appointed chair of the music faculty at the University of California. Seeger, in accord with the worldview of event's sponsors, spoke of the power of good music as preventative of crime and as a means to promote intelligence and emotional control.
The "good" music in question were the orchestral masterworks of great composers. The reformers of the Recreation League realized that admission to the concerts of the recently founded San Francisco Symphony (1911) was beyond the means of the ordinary San Franciscans who they felt most needed to hear the music. To that end they founded the San Francisco People's Philharmonic which gave its first concert, again under Perlet's direction, on April 24, 1913. Tickets were only 25 cents - quite a bit less than the minimum 75 cent admission to the San Francisco Symphony's concerts. The musical goals of the People's Philharmonic were also somewhat different. While the Symphony assumed an audience familiar with the major works of the symphonic literature, the programs of the People's Philharmonic might present selected movements from Symphonies, always included overtures and soloists, and often included short, light works (Schumann's "Traumerei" or a "Minuet" by Boccherini).
This combination of lower prices and lighter repertoire attracted large and enthusiastic audiences. In their first season (1913) the People's Philharmonic gave two concerts that nearly filled the Dreamland Rink - a space that also served as a meeting hall and boxing rink. The quality of the performance must have been high - many of the players were also members of the San Francisco Symphony. A writer for Musical America appraised the situation: "The orchestra is sure to be permanent, and to prove a great public benefit. Classical music as a rule demands a price greater than the average citizen can pay, and it is the assumption of the men and women behind the Philharmonic League that the lure of music is not confined to people of wealth." Unfortunately, good music at low prices required a subsidy that the Recreation League was not prepared to continue to pay.
After almost a year's hiatus, the People's Philharmonic returned on May 14, 1914 for a second season underwritten by the New Era League. This organization worked to find subscribers and donors to fund the orchestra's mission. The music critic of the San Francisco Examiner reported: "members of the Waitresses' Union, girls at the Emporium, young Italian sempstresses are subscribing their monthly quarters towards the establishment of a San Francisco Philharmonic." Throughout a season of 10 concerts from May 1914 to March 1915 the orchestra continued to attract capacity audiences to the Dreamland Rink and at the newly-dedicated, larger Civic Auditorium where they performed the inaugural symphony concert on February 4, 1915. They still received accolades from the musical press for the quality of the music, but even more for the quality of their audience who "concentrated on the music, not in who is at what box." One reviewer declared that "the symphony concerts given by the Philharmonic Orchestra are of far greater and more permanent artistic value than those given by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, which seems to cater exclusively to the society elements and the "snobs"."
It is at this time that the People's Philharmonic became embroiled in controversies surrounding the San Francisco Symphony was taking. Alfred Metzger, the editor of the weekly Pacific Coast Musical Review, continually criticized the Henry Hadley's direction of the Symphony. His position was that Hadley was overpaid in relation to his competence and status as a conductor, and was not prepared to turn his organization into a "permanent symphony orchestra" - in other words, an orchestra whose members are under an exclusive contract. The players of both the Symphony and People's Philharmonic had been drawn from hotel and theater orchestras throughout the city from which they derived much of their income. It should be noted that at this time both organizations happily coexisted - Herman Perlet and Henry Hadley were good friends, and the Symphony had even loaned parts to the People's Philharmonic.
The closing of the second season of the People's Philharmonic coincided with the opening of the Panama-Pacific Exposition. Hadley's arrival and the Symphony's formation coincided with the October 1911 ground-breaking at the Exposition. Both events were important elements of San Francisco's renaissance following the 1906 earthquake and fire. Several coinciding events coinciding with the 1915 Exposition were to have a profound influence on San Francisco's musical future. First were the Exposition performances of the Boston Symphony Orchestra led by Karl Muck. The twelve different programs they presented on consecutive days in May 1915 created a sensation among music lovers. The second event was Alfred Hertz's May trip to the West coast to conduct the premiere of Horatio Parker's opera Fairyland in Los Angeles. Hertz had recently resigned as conductor for the German language repertoire at the Metropolitan Opera and was looking for new professional vistas. Once he had arrived in Los Angeles, Hertz was engaged to conduct a Beethoven Festival in San Francisco on August 6-8, 1915.
The San Francisco Symphony board of directors began to agree with Metzger and sought a new music director who could raise the quality of their orchestra. With that they approached Hertz who they contracted at the same salary they have been paying Hadley. As reported in Musical America: "A determining factor in shaping the action of the association was the sensational impression made in San Francisco by the visit of the Boston Symphony. The playing of Dr. Muck's organization at the Panama-Pacific Exposition was a revelation to the San Francisco public and it was immediately urged by the local newspapers and by private individuals that San Francisco's own symphonic body be re-organized until it reached the standard of the leading orchestras of the country."
This decision caused displeasure among a significant number of orchestra boosters and musicians who supported Hadley, who seems to have cut a charismatic figure within San Francisco society. They tried tar Hertz's name by accusing him of intentionally performing the "Kaisermarch" while omitting the "Star Spangled Banner" during a Beethoven Festival concert. This was at a time during World War I when the United States was still a neutral power. A couple of Symphony board members, and later the orchestra's manager, Frank Healy, would resign as a result of this incident, but the majority retained their support for Hertz. Furthermore, when Hertz tried to change some of the orchestra's membership there were rumors that he wouldn't have the support of the players that a new rival orchestra would be created. Nonetheless, by the time the new Symphony season opened on December 17, all controversy subsided and Hertz conducted to great acclaim.
The future course of the People's Philharmonic was profoundly affected by the sudden death of its musical director Herman Perlet on January 8, 1916. Nonetheless, the People's Philharmonic opened its Third Season on March 11, 1916 with Nikolai Sokoloff conducting. Sokoloff also arrived in San Francisco during the Panama-Pacific Exposition as the leader of the Innisfael String Quartet which came under the patronage of Cecilia (Mrs. J. B.) Casserly, a scion of San Mateo County society. Musical America soon reported that "there is a serious determination to build up the People's Philharmonic so that it will be in a position to compete with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra." The People's Philharmonic hired Frank Healy who decided to move the concerts to the more elegant Cort Theater. This move also necessitated increasing ticket prices - about a third of the tickets remained at .25 cents, the remaining tickets sold for as much as a dollar.
With the People's Philharmonic's loyal audiences and financial backing there were some who held doubts about the future of Hertz and the San Francisco Symphony. Nonetheless, the Symphony's backers soon came through with enough subscribers to guarantee the budget that Hertz required to sign his musicians to exclusive contracts and create the "permanent" orchestra he desired. Alfred Metzger editorialized: "The Philharmonic Orchestra gains financial support on account of an inexplicable resentment against a great musician because of his nationality. We do not begrudge the People's Philharmonic Orchestra this good fortune. We only hope that people who used it for their own purpose will not desert it at the time when the cause for their support has ceased to exist." The People's Philharmonic continued to give well-received programs to large audiences through the summer. Mrs. Casserly stated her intention to start a fourth season that December, in conflict with the Symphony's schedule. This came into an immediate clash with the new reality that most of the best musicians would be unavailable until the following summer owing to their exclusive contracts with the Symphony.
The People's Philharmonic began its fourth and final season, still under the direction of Nikolai Sokoloff, on June 3, 1917. Perhaps prompted by a belief in women's equality, or perhaps by necessity, the orchestra contracted with eight women musicians to join its ranks. Sokoloff maintained that "the employment of women in the orchestra is in accordance with the times and he will pay them the same salaries that are paid to the men." After the first performance with women he commented: "I really was not aware of their playing in the orchestra, because they played the same and just as well as the men did."
The People's Philharmonic gave its fourth concert of the season, and its final concert ever on July 15, 1917. Sokoloff presented a repertoire that was heavy in French and Russian composers that was acclaimed by local critics. Along with his praise, however, Redfern Mason of the Examiner noted that the orchestra was the People's Philharmonic in name only, and would have more fittingly been called the Sokoloff Orchestra. Sokoloff himself went on to a very successful conducting career conducting the Seattle and Cleveland Orchestras. His biographies tell of his early experience with the San Francisco Philharmonic and omit any reference to the "people".
While to present day readers, the concept of a "People's" ensemble gives the impression of a mass-movement or communist organization, the People's Philharmonic might be better seen as a precursor to Pop's Concert. While these performances featured no popular culture, they did aim to present low cost concerts and a repertoire inviting to a wider public than could attend the Symphony concerts. The Symphony itself took the People's Philharmonic's example and instituted their own popular concerts. The People's Philharmonic's mission proved to be too costly for its own audience to bear and had to rely on the largesse of San Francisco's moneyed society with its own intrigues and in-fighting. This popular, pioneering ensemble died without any special notice after the summer of 1917 probably due to its expense and the shortage of musicians during the First World War, but also in some part because it had strayed from its original mission. It nonetheless played an important role in San Francisco's music history, presenting a new repertoire, helping to indirectly shape the future of the San Francisco Orchestra, and integrating women players as viable participants in the symphony orchestra.
1 Nunan, Thomas. "Music is urged as preventative of crimes," San Francisco Examiner Nov. 11, 1912, 6; "More music needed declares professor," San Francisco Bulletin Nov. 16, 1912. For a similar symphonic manifestation of the American progressive impulse see Catherine Parsons Smith's ""Something of Good for the Future": The People's Orchestra of Los Angeles," 19th Century Music (Fall 1992), 146-160.
2 Vincent, Frederic. "Frisco enjoys People's Orchestra," Musical America [MA]July 12, 1913, 14.
3 Mason, Redfern. "The forward movement in San Francisco music," San Francisco Examiner Mar. 22, 1914, n.p.
4 "People's Philharmonic Orchestra again attracts record audience," Pacific Coast Musical Review [PCMR] June 20, 1914, 1.
5 Metzger, Alfred. "Fourth People's Symphony concert," PCMR Sep. 14, 1914, 1.
6 As a writer for the Chronicle put it, Hadley's arrival "marks the full rehabiliation of the city's musical prestige."Wickham, Henry. "Henry Hadley has won many prizes," San Francisco Chronicle Oct. 22, 1911, 63.
7 Nunan, Thomas. "Alfred Hertz as Hadley's Successor in San Francisco," MA July 24, 1915, 1.
8 "Hadley's Friends, in Huff, Quit Music Association," San Francisco Bulletin Aug. 27, 1915, 1; "Strife Follows Hertz's Election as Orchestra Head," MA Sep. 4, 1915, 1.
9 Nunan, Thomas. "Hertz's Musicians Threaten to Form a Rival Orchestra," MA Oct. 9, 1915.
10 These plans seemed to include trying to bring back Hadley who seems to have wanted no part of this controversy. Nunan, Thomas. "Invite Hadley to Become New Rival to Hertz," MA Apr. 15, 1916.
11 "People's Philharmonic Orchestra," PCMR June 17, 1916, 4.
12 Nunan, Thomas. "Future of Hertz's Orchestra in Doubt," MA June 24, 1916, 27.
13 Metzger, Alfred. "Alfred Hertz and Permanent Orchestra Assured," PCMR July 8, 1916, 3.
14 Nunan, Thomas. "San Francisco Philharmonic to Continue Its Campaign," MA Aug. 19, 1916, 27.
15 Nunan, Thomas. "Orchestral Rivalry Causes New Clash in San Francisco," MA Sep. 16, 1916, 2.
16 Although the San Francisco Symphony would not have any women under contract until its 1924-1925 season, they were well ahead of most their American counterparts who did not hire women until World War II. See Ammer, Christine. Unsung: A History of Women in American Music. 2nd ed. Portland: Amadeus Press, 2001, 126.
17 Nunan, Thomas. "Women to Play in Coast Orchestra," MA June 16, 1917, 16.
18 "Women filling high places in the orchestra," San Francisco Chronicle June 10, 1917, 23.
240 Morrison Hall
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720
Patricia Elliott Stroh
Center for Beethoven Studies
One Washington Square
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA 95192-0171
Fine Arts Librarian
California State University, Sacramento
Sacramento, CA 95819-6039
Art and Music Center
San Francisco Public Library
San Francisco, CA 94102