Historical Instrument Section (Craig Kridel and Clifford Bevan, Editors)
Assembling a Portrait of TUBA/ITEA, and Where can I Find…?
by Carole Nowicke, ITEA Historian
As I thought about what to include in (.377/this column (content being dictated by accessions received by the Archives), the local public radio station was broadcasting a recording of the Florentine Opera of Milwaukee’s American premiere of The Picture of Dorian Grey, prompting me to think of actual pictures in a better state of preservation than Mr. Grey’s, “I can not identify all of the people in those 1986 photographs,” the speculative image, “What portrait of TUBA/ITEA could emerge based upon our records holdings?” and then to wonder, “Why didn’t Lowell Liebermann include a tuba part in that opera?”~ what’s wrong with that picture?
Accessions received over the past year include Ronald Munson’s membership certificate from the Robert Ryker organi- zational years, some Executive Committee meeting minutes (printed) from Mary Ann Craig, and a packet of informal photographs of the Regina conference from Jerry Young. From Skip Gray, several cubic feet of correspondence between Robert Ryker, William Trigg and those who they tried to interest in the establish- ment of a Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association, in addition to Executive Committee minutes (both printed version and notes) and some correspondence from 1984-1994. John Griffiths recently sent two cubic feet of material relating to his 2000 ITEC conference. The remainder of what would constitute an official archive for TUBA/ITEC consists of a small number of items deaccessioned from the University of Wyoming at Laramie.
Based upon items currently available in the Archives, a history of the associa- tion written without resorting to reprint- ing articles from the Journal would con- clude that nothing of interest happened between 1972-1984, and that there had only been conferences in Regina, Saskatchewan, Sapporo, Japan, and Austin, Texas. Sapporo’s conference is represented by documents from the Executive Committee concerning arrangements and planning, no programs or recordings, and the Austin conference only by photographs.
Except for the folder lists, what follows is the description (what archivists and manuscript curators call the “scope and content note”) for the first portion of TUBA/ITEA Archives, which have not yet been transferred to the University of Maryland as I am hoping to have a more complete run of material before shipping them. These documents are now sorted, labeled, have had metal fasteners removed, and are properly housed in acid-free folders, within archival document boxes. Photographs are housed in chemically inert envelopes or photo sleeves. Modern wood-pulp paper (as is the case with Dorian Grey) because of its manufacturing process is imbued with what is termed “inherent vice,” and will deteriorate, particularly if left exposed to sunlight and humid conditions. Carbon-copies from the 1970’s will be very brittle compared to cotton fiber content paper of the 1870s. By housing our material in acid free (or the more preferable “buffered” acid-free folders), deterioration at the least is not hastened by acid migration. Photographs taken during the 1986 ITEC conference, for example, which had been taped onto paste-up board for use in the Journal are considerably yellower and more brittle than those which were stored next to each other in a less acidic container – although some of those were water-damaged.
SERIES 1: Correspondence, 1968,1972
This series of one cubic foot of material consists primarily of incoming letters and outgoing copies of correspondence with those interested in becoming members of a proposed fraternity for tuba players. Organized alphabetically by name of correspon- dent and thereunder by date, out-going correspondence are for the most part tissue carbon copies. A few resumes and concert programs are included with the correspondence.
Of particular interest in this series are letters between Robert Ryker and W. D. Trigg with Winston Morris, J. Lesley Varner who would later draft a constitution with Ryker. Correspondence with Charles Ford of the Getzen Corporation concerns Getzen’s financial support and assistance in setting up a meet- ing on December 18 in conjunction with the December 1969 Chicago Music Educator’s National Conference (M.E.N.C.), also known as the Midwest Conference.
These materials also include some blank and undelivered certificates of membership. The Mirafone Corpora- tion financed the printing of letter- head, envelopes, membership certifi- cates and membership cards. Conn Corporation supported printing newsletter Vol. I, No. 1, 1969.
These records, and what has been mentioned previously as new accessions are “all that there is” in terms of docu- mentation for a history of this association. I have been informed of materials given to other individuals, such as the first historian, Robert Campbell, over the years, but they did not remain in the custody of the organization, and are probably lost forever. The University of Wyoming has six boxes of Robert Campbell’s personal papers, but there is no description, inventory, or container listing for the collection, so there is no way of knowing whether those items include estrays (items “gone astray) from TUBA, and there is no way to replevin (legally regain) the records. If someone might be willing to travel to Laramie, Wyoming, examine those documents and make an inventory, we might request copies of documents not duplicated elsewhere.
The Archives contain items such as the illustrations shown on this page, both official records of the association, and non-record ephemera: A recital by Ivan Hammond who were willing to set aside time when they traveled to central Indiana to meet with me. One of my particular targets (along with early TUBA officials) has tion (including an informed consent, a deed of gift, and a transcription) is of no use to the Archives, as it can’t be used for research by others. I will be very happy to talk to anyone wishing to undertake oral history collection for this project or for their own project about procedures, equipment, techniques and sources of information about oral history. I am not, however, willing to transcribe tapes of interviews conducted by others. (illustration 1), indicating what selections one might program for a doctoral-level recital in the 1960’s. A letter from Joe Tarto (illustration 2), with names of others he thinks would enjoy belonging to TUBA Tarto also included a resume and other items relating to his career. From the Austin ITEC Conference of 1986, a photograph of a so-far unexplained skit (illustration 3). Finally, a photograph of an urchin with a double-belled euphonium (illustration 4). There is no identification, and a stock photo. Scott Watson saw this photograph when he was in Bloomington this summer and guessed that the lad may be young Ron Howard in costume for a period piece. This photo is what would be considered non-record “ephemera” unless it had been published in a Journal (which it now shall be) and the tyke probably isn’t a member of the association.
The Oral History Project
The ITEA oral history project as originally envisioned consisted of more than one person performing interviews, indeed, several people initially indicated a desire to participate, and had indicated particular individuals that they wished to interview. My own interviews have been limited by time and finances to those within an easy driving distance, or where I can visit friends, or with those individualswho were willing to set aside time when they traveled to central Indiana to meet with me. One of my particular targets (along with early TUBA officials) has been to interview as many students of William J. Bell as possible. Anyone who studied with Mr. Bell did so between 30 and 60 years ago, and the youngest Bell students are in their mid-fifties. Even a nodding acquaintance with actuarial tables or mortality statistics would indicate that interviews with these individuals should be conducted sooner, rather than later. My oral history subjects have included a not- insubstantial number of survivors of major surgical procedures or those with chronic health conditions.
A number of completed interviews have been sent to the ITEA archives in the Performing Arts Library of the University of Maryland, and duplicates have been sent to the oral history collections of home institutions of some of the interviewees if the institution wished copies. So far these include Indiana University, Ohio State University, Eastman School of Music, and Bowling Green State University.
Thus far, no oral history interviews conducted by others have been received. An interview without proper documenta‑ tion (including an informed consent, a deed of gift, and a transcription) is of no use to the Archives, as it can’t be used for research by others. I will be very happy to talk to anyone wishing to undertake oral history collection for this project or for their own project about procedures, equipment, techniques and sources of information about oral history. I am not, however, willing to transcribe tapes of interviews conducted by others.
Where Can I Find…?
Having one’s name on the Journal masthead and on the ITEA Online website garners one reference inquiries, most of which are requests for biographic and bibliographic information. “Easy” questions are often answered with my own copies of The Tuba Source Book, and The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music (which includes hundreds of biographic notes on those too obscure for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians), or with online access to music literature databases (only useful for recent literature), Grove, serial number lists, and various abstracting and indexing services (such as Dissertation Abstracts). A good website for those who cannot use library-subscription- only bibliographic tools is what was formerly CARL UnCover, now Ingenta (http://www.ingenta.com/). This site won’t provide an abstract, but will do subject, author, and keyword searches, and one can read tables of content for journals received. There are also many useful print-only abstract and indexing tools, which are essential if doing research in pre– 1990 journals, and some paper-based products have slightly different content than electronic databases by the same publisher.
Working at a major research university doesn’t guarantee access to information (the music library at Indiana University, for example, has very limited hours during the summer) so I do sympathize with those with unmet information needs. I urge students to consult with librarians at their own institutions, and to take the one or two credit library research courses all universities offer. The time expended in the short courses will very quickly be made up in efficient use of the library for all of one’s studies. Don’t forget the ITEA Resource Library at Ball State University as a source of music, especially of out-of-print works. Other useful “in house” resources are the Euphonium Literature Archivist, John Wyman, and Dave Miles, the Editor of Tuba Euphonium Press.
What can I do to Help?
It would be extremely helpful if those who have older official TUBA records, documents relating to conferences, etc. would donate them to the archives. The TUBA Executive Handbook indicates at what interval committee members and former committee members should turn over inactive record material to the historian. Past President, Scott Watson sent out messages to former officers, as well as requesting official records and othet historical materials from the membership in his columns. Those who just can’t bear to part with old TUBA documents should remember that these items can be copied, and in the event of death or accident, heirs are not likely to regard ten years of TUBA correspondence as important and are likely to dispose of the material. Photographic materials should be identified on the back with either photograph marking pens/pencils or soft graphic pencils. Non-archival self-adhesive labels have glue which will eventually discolor the front of the photo and may also fall off over time. Record material should be labeled as to the record’s creator and function if not self-explanatory. We would also be pleased to accept donations to help purchase proper archival folders, document boxes, paper, photo storage sleeves and other items. These supplies are considerably more costly than standard office file boxes and folders.
Thank you to those who have helped answer my own queries and to ease my own “anomalous state of knowledge” on quite a few topics over the past year. Thanks also to those who have donated documents to the Archives, and agreed to participate in the oral history project, your assistance has been most appreciated.