Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
The Shambrey Chorale Collection SPC.2010.002
SPC.2010.002  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (63.46 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Scope and Contents
  • Historical Note
  • Arrangement
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Citation

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: California State University Dominguez Hills, Gerth Archives and Special Collections
    Title: Shambrey Chorale Collection
    creator: Shambrey, Celestine, 1911-2001
    Identifier/Call Number: SPC.2010.002
    Physical Description: 6 boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1890-2005
    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.

    Scope and Contents

    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.

    Historical Note

    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, c. 973-1974, 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.).

    Arrangement

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

    Conditions Governing Access

    There are no access restrictions on this collection.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from the collection 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.

    Citation

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

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    African Americans--Music.
    African Americans--California--Los Angeles.
    Gospel Music
    Church music
    Chorales
    Shambrey Chorale
    Hairston, Jester, 1901-2000