INVENTORY OF THE SHAMBREY CHORALE

Finding aid prepared by Christeta Nini
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Archives & Special Collections
University Library, Room 5039
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, California 90747
Phone: (310) 243-3895
URL: http://www.csudh.edu/archives/csudh/index.html
©2010


Descriptive Summary

Title: Shambrey Chorale
Dates: 1890-2005
Collection Number: Consult repository
Creator: Shambrey, Celestine
Extent: 7 boxes [3 linear feet]
Repository: California State University, Dominguez Hills Archives and Special Collections
Archives & Special Collection
University Library, Room 5039
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, California 90747
Phone: (310) 243-3013
URL: http://www.csudh.edu/archives/csudh/index.html
Abstract: This collection includes sheet music, performance notes, performance programs, chorale rosters, photos, a book, journal articles, correspondence documents, and multimedia related to the Shambrey Chorale. Choral works include early traditional sacred church music and hymns from 16th century styles to contemporary styles, compositions from canonical European composers, traditional negro spirituals, gospel, jazz, musical theater, U.S Patriotic, American Folk Songs, Christmas themes, and Ethnomusicological styles.
Language: Collection material is in English

Administration Information

Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Preferred Citation

[Title of item], SHAMBREY CHORALE, Courtesy of the Department of Archives and Special Collections. University Library. California State University, Dominguez Hills

Acquisition Information

The records in this collection were donated to the Sacred Music Archive and CSUDH, Archives and Special Collections.

Processing Information

Processed and encoded from September 2010 through October 2010 by Christeta Nini.

Shambrey Chorale History

The Shambrey Chorale was conceived and implemented in Summer of 1972 with their first formal rehearsal in October 1972. Their first public performance was February 25, 1973 at the Temple Israel of Hollywood, California. After rave responses to their debut performance at Temple Israel, choral group members met on March 17th to formally organize. The Chorale was named after its Founder-Director, Celestine (Celeste) Shambrey. Vennie F. Johnson accepted her nominated role as the chorale's organ accompanist. Basso-baritone soloist, Rudy Williams, was selected as first president. Their regular rehearsal base was Plymouth Congregational Church (on 6th Avenue and West 54th Street), with major credits to Vennie F. Johnson, a member of Plymouth Church, for officiating the process.
As a non-profit organization, chorale members and leaders were non-paid, voluntary positions. Chorale funding came from chorale participant regular contributions. Through time, special contributions in the form of finances or advising came from major sponsors such as Milton F. Williams, Dr. Milton H. Davis, and C. Dave Hardgrave. First president, Rudy Williams, provided awards and citations to chorale participants who demonstrated exceptional service or sacrifice for the fulfillment of the chorale's goals and purposes.
The first officers were Rudy Williams, President; Barbara Moore, Vice President; Peggy Speese, Corresponding Secretary; Zulah Lee, Treasurer; Earldon Scales, Assistant Treasurer; Vennie Johnson, Librarian; Verlena Davenport, Assistant Librarian; Vermya Phillips, Chaplain; Don Villarel, Publicity; Viola Avery, Social Chairman; and Carrier Speed, Assistant Social Chairman.
Their major purposes are: 1) to provide varied styles of well prepared music for area audiences -- and especially for those who might not otherwise enjoy such privileges, 2) to demonstrate the possibilities and creative advantages of intergroup sharings, regardless of religious, educational, social or ethnic backgrounds, 3) to present constant challenges to participants (leadership included) for persistent application and improvement of their natural talents, and 4) to offer rescue for emergencies confronted by serious, gifted but disadvantaged students. As part of fulfilling their major purpose, ca. 1973-1974, ten students in a variety of fields such as medicine, music, and police and social service have been given financial provisions for registration, books, graduation fees, and more.
Their early performance history: 1) Handel's oratorio, JUDAS MACCABAEUS, on February 25, 1973 at Temple Israel of Hollywood, Calif.; 2) Hall Johnson music on May 20, 1973 at Oneonta Congregational Church, South Pasadena, Calif.; 3) R. Nathaniel Dett's oratorio, THE ORDERING OF MOSES on November 4, 1973 at Zion Hill Baptist Church, 78th and 10th Avenue, near Inglewood, Calif.; 4) Traditional and Contemporary music on February 24, 1974 at Church of Chimes (Congregational) United Church of Christ, Van Nuys, Calif.; 5) Beethoven's oratorio, MOUNT OF OLIVES, on April 7, 1974 (Palm Sunday) at First United Methodist Church, Inglewood, Calif.; and 6) Traditional and Contemporary music on May 26, 1974 at Faith Presbyterian Church, Century Boulevard near Western (Calif.).

Scope and Content

The Shambrey Chorale Collection includes sheet music, performance notes, performance programs, chorale rosters, photos, a book, journal articles, correspondence documents, and multimedia related to the Shambrey Chorale. Choral works include early traditional sacred church music and hymns from 16th century styles to contemporary styles, compositions from canonical European composers, traditional negro spirituals, gospel, jazz, musical theater, U.S Patriotic, American Folk Songs, Christmas themes, and Ethnomusicological styles with print dates ca.1890-1995. Some sheet music also include the conductor's handwritten markups in regards to performance cues. Some sheet music include non-choral works. The performance programs include performances by the Shambrey Chorale and concerts by other choirs. The photos are one-of-a kind, two of which photograph a performance poster of the Shambrey Chorale and their March 23, 1975 performance. The single book in this collection is a poetry book by Langston Hughes. The journal articles are multiple copies of a single article describing the lack of black Americans and involvement in philharmonic or symphony orchestras. The correspondence documents are from John Mayes, Jr., Shambrey Chorale president during 1991. Other documents pertain to Thelma Hicks, active chorale member; Dr. Jester Hairston, composer of many choral works in their collection; and papers about vocal exercises, orchestra seating, jazz mentorship programs, chorale rosters, and chorale history. Multimedia consists of an audiocassette tape and 2 DVDs. The collection has been organized into two series.

Arrangement

Arranged in 2 series:
  • Series I. Papers, photos, and multimedia (1972-2005)
  • Series II. Sheet music (1890-1995)

Indexing Terms

Subjects

African American Musicians.
African American Singers.
Choral works.
Chorales.
Sacred Music
Sheet music

Personal Names

Shambrey, Celestine.

Corporate Names

Shambrey Chorale.


Container List

 

Series 1. Papers, Photos, Multimedia 1972-2005

Physical Description: 0.5 linear feet [1 box]

Scope and Content Note

Papers, photos, and multimedia pertaining to the Shambrey Chorale.
Box 1, Folder 1

Shambrey Chorale Rosters, Description, and Notebook 2005

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Includes letter from John E. Mayes Jr. to Hansonia Caldwell providing two pages of a Shambrey Chorale Roster, chorale rosters from different time periods, and multiple copies of Shambrey Chorale description. 1 particular chorale roster is contained in a music manuscript book with handwritten notes of names and corresponding telephone numbers. All other chorale rosters are typed. Also includes notebook containing writings about chorale's activities and logistics.
Box 1, Folder 2

John Mayes, News Article, Other Papers 1991-2000

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Includes letter from John E. Mayes Jr. to Shambrey Chorale members, letter from John E. Mayes Jr. seeking financial support from "friends" of Shambrey Chorale, news articles relevant to the African-American community, sheet of vocal exercises, and document of choir seating for 100 people.
Box 1, Folder 3

Performance Programs and News Release 1976-1996

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Includes various programs of Shambrey Chorale performances. Performance programs include Handel's JUDAS MACCABAEUS on Sunday, October 23, 1977 at Temple Israel; Jester Hairston's music directed by Jester Hairston on Sunday, October 28, 1979 at First Baptist Church in Los Angeles; Beethoven's CHRIST ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES on April 5, 1992 at Community Presbyterian Church; Beethoven's CHRIST ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES on Palm Sunday, April 12, 1987 at First A.M.E. Church; various sacred music works on Sunday, May 17, 1987 at Hamilton United Methodist Church; and various sacred music works on Sunday, October 11, 1987 at Westminster Presbyterian Church. (All performances were in Los Angeles, Calif.) Also included are script inserts for CHRIST ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES and a news release of Shambrey Chorale's October 1996 performance of Handel's JUDAS MACCABAEUS.
Box 1, Folder 4

Anniversary Programs 1975-1997

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Includes program books from Shambrey Chorale's anniversary performances. Anniversaries include Third Anniversary Concert on Sunday, October 26, 1975, an undated anniversary, and 25th Anniversary on Saturday, October 18, 1997. Also includes 3 photographs: 2 photos of Shambrey Chorale at their 2nd Anniversary performance (one of which contains Jester Hairston). The third photo contains 3 individuals believed to be attending an Anniversary program. Also
Box 1, Folder 5

Other Concert Programs 1983-2008

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Includes concert programs featuring other choirs or performers.
Box 1, Folder 6

Community Documents 1997

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Includes document copy from the City of Los Angeles certifying Shambrey Chorale's non-profit status, a pamphlet about a jazz mentorship program, an instruction sheet on how to write one's life story or family history with Shambrey's write-up about her father and original document about his occupation.
Box 1, Folder 7

Thelma Hicks and Dr. Jester Hairston 1972-1987

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Includes Shambrey Chorale member, Thelma Hick's other performance programs, and documents about Dr. Jester Hairston, associate member of the Shambrey Chorale.
Box 1, Folder 8

Tape, DVDs, Book 2004-2005

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Includes audiocassette tape of JUDAS MACCABAEUS, DVDs of Shambrey Chorale Roundtable and the Shambrey Chorale, and a poetry book entitled, "Let America Be America Again" by Langston Hughes with preface by Senator John Kerry.
 

Series 2. Sheet Music 1890-1995

Physical Description: 2.5 linear feet [6 boxes]

Scope and Content Note

A reflection of Shambrey's music library, includes choral and non-choral works of European and European-style sacred church music and hymns from 16th through 20th centuries; traditional negro spirituals; gospel; jazz; musical theater; U.S Patriotic; American Folk Songs; Christmas; and Ethnomusicological styles. Also includes Shambrey Chorale conductor's handwritten performance cue markups and incomplete sheet music. Inclusive dates reflect printing dates as opposed to original composition dates.
 

Subseries 1. European Sacred Music ca. 1890-1995

Physical Description: 3 boxes

Scope and Content Note

Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary sub-genres within the larger European Art tradition.
Box 2, Folder 1

Bach Compositions ca. 1899-1958

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Works by German composer, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) with Shambrey Chorale conductor notes inserted in various pages.
Box 2, Folder 2

Bach Compositions ca. 1921-1953

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Unbound choral works.
Box 2, Folder 3

Handel Compositions ca. 1940-1968

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Complete choral work of oratorio, THE MESSIAH, by German-British composer, George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), and sheet sets for specific titles in the oratorio. Also includes incomplete sheet set of "Hallelujah Chorus" from THE MESSIAH as well as 2 works not from the oratorio.
Box 2, Folder 4

Handel JUDAS MACCABAEUS n.d.

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

2 copies of complete choral oratorio, JUDAS MACCABAEUS, by G.F. Handel. 1 copy includes Shambrey Chorale conductor markups and notes.
Box 2, Folder 5

Handel's JUDAS MACCABAEUS music and Shambrey conductor notes n.d.

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Copy of complete choral oratorio, JUDAS MACCABAEUS, by G.F. Handel with Shambrey Chorale conductor markups and notes. Also includes papers documenting orchestral arrangements.
Box 2, Folder 6

Beethoven's THE MOUNT OF OLIVES n.d.

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Oratorio, THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) containing Shambrey Chorale conductor markups, Shambrey Chorale's performance program of oratorio that predominantly describes the composer and his oratorial work. Also includes slip sheets of Shambrey Chorale conductor cues.
Box 2, Folder 7

Beethoven compositions ca. 1929-1938

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Titles: 1) CHORALE FINALE TO THE NINTH SYMPHONY and 2) UNTO THEE I LIFT MINE EYES.
Box 2, Folder 8

Dett's THE ORDERING OF MOSES ca. 1965

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Choral work of THE ORDERING OF MOSES by U.S. and Canadian composer, Robert Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943). Sheet music contains Shambrey Chorale conductor markups and cues.
Box 3, Folder 1

16th-17th Century European Compositions ca. 1921-1962

Physical Description: 1 Folder
Box 3, Folder 2

18th Century European Compositions ca. 1926-1981

Physical Description: 1 Folder
Box 3, Folder 3

19th Century European Compositions ca. 1928-1962

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Composers last names beginning with A through M.
Box 3, Folder 4

19th Century European Compositions ca. 1882-1954

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Composer last names beginning with N through Z.
Box 3, Folder 5

Sacred Music: Sheet Music ca. 1900-1939

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Contemporary European and non-European compositions.
Box 3, Folder 6

Sacred Music: Sheet Music ca. 1940-1949

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Contemporary European and non-European compositions.
Box 3, Folder 7

Sacred Music: Sheet Music ca. 1950-1989

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Contemporary European and non-European compositions.
Box 3, Folder 8

Sacred Music: Sheet Music n.d.

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Contemporary compositions with unknown publishing, copyright, or printing dates.
Box 4, Folder 1

Sacred Music: Songbooks ca. 1910-1981

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Choral books containing multiple song titles.
 

Subseries 2. African-American Sacred Music ca. 1917-1995

Physical Description: 1 box

Scope and Content Note

Negro Spiritual and Contemporary Gospel styles.
Box 5, Folder 1

Negro Spiritual Sheet Music ca. 1917-1995

Physical Description: 1 Folder
Box 5, Folder 2

Gospel Music Sheet Music ca. 1934-1986

Physical Description: 1 Folder
 

Subseries 3. Secular Choral Music ca. 1895-1994

Physical Description: 1 box
Box 6, Folder 1

Traditional Choral Sheet Music 1898-1971

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Choral works with lyrical context reflecting secular nature and musically similar to European-style sacred music.
Box 6, Folder 2

Country Sheet Music 1959

Physical Description: 1 Folder
Box 6, Folder 3

U.S. Patriotic Sheet Music 1940-1951

Physical Description: 1 Folder
Box 6, Folder 4

Opera Sheet Music ca. 1895

Physical Description: 1 Folder
Box 6, Folder 5

Musical Theater Sheet Music 1927-1959

Physical Description: 1 Folder
Box 6, Folder 6

Musical Theater Sheet Music 1963-1971

Physical Description: 1 Folder
Box 6, Folder 7

Film Music Sheet Music 1951-1977

Physical Description: 1 Folder
Box 6, Folder 8

Jazz Sheet Music 1931-1970

Physical Description: 1 Folder
Box 6, Folder 9

American Folk Songs Sheet Music 1939-1966

Box 6, Folder 10

World Music Sheet Music ca. 1959-1994

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Choral and non-choral works of African Zulu, Brazil, Jamaica, Spanish, West Indian, and Calpyso styles and languages.
Box 6, Folder 11

French Composition n.d.

Physical Description: 1 Folder

Scope and Content Note

Music manuscript of multiple compositions in French language for piano and vocal arrangement. Musical style seems to reflect traditional European Avant-Garde style; however, certain markings such as "Tempo di Blues" reflects a modern fusion.
 

Subseries 4. Sacred and Secular Choral Music ca. 1907-1981

Physical Description: 1 box

Scope and Content Note

Christmas sheet music, songbooks, and incomplete scores found in both sacred and secular genres.
Box 7, Folder 1

Christmas Sheet Music 1907-1971

Physical Description: 1 Folder
Box 7, Folder 2

Multi-genre Songobok n.d.

Physical Description: 1 Folder
Box 7, Folder 3

Incomplete Sheet Music n.d.

Physical Description: 1 Folder