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Guide to the Harold Schmidt Collection ARS.0120
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Source
  • Sponsor
  • Scope and Contents
  • Related Collections
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Harold Schmidt Collection
    Dates: 1940-1993
    Collection number: ARS.0120
    Collection size: 12 boxes : 333 open reel tapes (13 10.5" reels ; 276 7" reels ; 41 5" reels ; 3 3" reels) ; 40 audiocassettes ; 2 video reels ; 40 discs (2 10" instantaneous ; 34 12" instantaneous ; 4 custom pressings) ; one small box of slides and photographs
    Repository: Archive of Recorded Sound
    Abstract: Sound recordings from Stanford University professor and choral director Harold C. Schmidt (1910-1993), including performances from the Stanford University Chorus, Choir, and Chamber Chorale.
    Language of Material: Multiple languages


    Open for research; material must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use. Contact the Archive for assistance.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with repository. Publication and reproduction rights reside with the creators or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Head Librarian of the Archive of Recorded Sound.

    Preferred Citation

    Harold Schmidt Collection, ARS-0120. Courtesy of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


    The Harold Schmidt Collection was donated to the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound by Carl Schmidt in 1994.


    This finding aid was produced with generous financial support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

    Scope and Contents

    The Harold Schmidt Collection consists of sound recordings from Stanford University professor and choral director Harold C. Schmidt (1910-1993), including performances from the Stanford University Chorus, Choir, and Chamber Chorale. After graduating from Harvard, Schmidt studied with Walter Piston and Gustav Holst, and taught at Fisk University. In 1947, Schmidt joined Stanford as an associate professor. As director of the choir, he presided over nearly thirty years of commencements and Sunday services at Memorial Church before his retirement in 1975.
    Schmidt programmed works by Berlioz, Brahms, Handel, Haydn, Mechem, Milhaud, Poulenc, and others, including many 16th and 17th century choral works he edited himself. Some recordings were used by Schmidt in his classes for demonstration and testing. Those tapes identified as lectures may contain the entire lecture or only the musical excerpts used. However some tapes are clearly of lectures by Schmidt, such as an intermission feature on KKHI's San Francisco Symphony broadcast (Schmidt established the Symphony's early morning open rehearsal series in 1972 and served as lecturer). The collection also includes rehearsals, auditions, pre-recorded electronic accompaniments, and worship services at Memorial Church, particularly from Christmas and Easter programs.
    While not always identified, the principal performers are the Stanford University Chorus (whose name was later changed to Stanford University Symphonic Chorus), Stanford University Choir (later changed to Stanford Memorial Church Choir) and the Stanford Chamber Chorale. In most cases, Schmidt is conducting. Some recordings also feature contributions from professors Putnam Aldrich, Herbert Nanney, and Sandor Salgo, as well as the Stanford Symphony Orchestra. Highlights include the Stanford Summer Chorus performing the music of Randall Thompson, conducted by Thompson, Seiji Ozawa working with the University Chorus in 1970, the Chorus performing Lou Harrison’s La Koro Sutro from 1974 with Harrison directing, and the Memorial Church Choir performing a piece by Ligeti while he was a resident composer at Stanford.
    The recordings are largely on open reel tape and cassette, but there are also a substantial number of instantaneous discs in the collection. Some recordings are indexed on a series of cards available at the Archive of Recorded Sound. Please note that identification here may not be correct; in many cases tapes appear to have been reused, and reels and boxes may have been shuffled. Additionally, handwriting is sometimes illegible, abbreviated, or conflicting. Many say "blank" or "erase" in addition to other information.

    Related Collections

    Other ARS collections that include Schmidt material include ARS0112, Stanford Tape Collection  and ARS0116, Meyer Library Lecture Tapes  . There are also instantaneous discs from Harold Schmidt in the Archive of Recorded Sound's Transcription Disc Collection: one 12" disc in box 12-811 and fourteen 16" discs in boxes 16-174,16-179, and 16-180.

    Indexing Terms

    Schmidt, Harold
    Stanford University. Chamber Chorale.
    Stanford University. Choir.
    Stanford University. Chorus.
    Choral music