Sarah Coleman Bragdon Music Collection


Descriptive Summary

Title: Sarah Coleman Bragdon Music Collection
Dates: 1880-1960
Collection Number: Consult repository
Extent: 3 boxes
Repository: Pasadena Museum of History
Abstract: The Coleman family settled in Pasadena, California in 1886, the year of incorporation. Sarah Coleman Bragdon became an accomplished pianist and music teacher, as well as composing many piano pieces about Pasadena. The Coleman Chamber Music Series is an annual musical event in Pasadena, founded by her sister, Alice Coleman Bachelder. The Sarah Coleman Bragdon Music Collection contains 3 boxes of manuscript and published sheet music by Sarah Coleman Bragdon, and published music about Pasadena.
Language of Material: English


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Preferred Citation

Sarah Coleman Bragdon Music Collection. Pasadena Museum of History

Biography/Administrative History

The following information is from the book entitled "Coleman, Musicmaker" by Robert Winter, printed in Pasadena, California in the year 2000. Sarah Coleman Bradgon was the daughter of Theodore and Jennie Coleman. Mr. Coleman served as secretary to the Senator from Nebraska. They moved to Pasadena, California in 1886 the year the city was incorporated. Mr. Coleman obtained a position with the Pasadena Weekly Star and Mrs. Coleman taught history and English literature at Throop Polytechnic Institute. Sarah and her sister, Alice, grew up to become accomplished pianists and music teachers. Sarah being especially interested in composition, and Alice excelling as a technician. As her nephew Alan Batchelder remembered her, Sarah was easy-going and full of fun. (Alice was more serious about the pursuit of music. She took organ lessons from the Presbyterian Church organist, and when he returned to London, England, she inherited his job. At the same time she was assistant to the organist at the Episcopal Church of the Angels, and she succeeded him when he died. She was also taking piano lessons from local teachers, and at 18 decided to go to Boston for further training.) Mary Olive O’Daniels, a Pasadena resident, had taken lessons from Sarah, then Alice. She remembered Alice as “a more thorough taskmaster than Sarah”. Another advanced student recalled Alice would allow him to play the solo part of a piano concerto while she accompanied him with a piano arrangement, often by Sarah, or the orchestral score. Sarah Coleman Bragdon died January 11, 1960, and is buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Pasadena. John R. Bragdon (1875-1940), her husband, is buried in the same plot.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Sarah Coleman Bragdon Collection consists of the following: Box 1: Manuscript Music for Piano by Sarah Coleman Bragdon; Manuscript Music for Piano Trios and Quartets by Sarah Coleman Bragdon; Box 2: Manuscript Music for Voices by Sarah Coleman Bragdon; Published Music by Sarah Coleman Bragdon; Box 3: Music Written About Pasadena from the Sarah Coleman Bragdon Collection; Miscellaneous Sheet Music from the Sarah Coleman Bragdon Collection

Indexing Terms

Piano music
Bragdon, Sarah Coleman - 1880 - 1960
Throop Polytechnic Institute
Pasadena Presbyterian Church
Mountain View Cemetery
Pasadena, California
Sheet music
Music teacher

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