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San José State University Music Department Collection
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Project Information
  • Organizational History
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
    Title: San José State University Music Department Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS-2010-02-01
    Physical Description: 3 boxes (4 linear ft.)
    Date (inclusive): 1925-1999
    Abstract: The San José State University Music Department Collection, 1925-1999, documents musical performances produced by the Music Department. The records consist of print materials, loose-leaf programs, flyers, brochures, compact discs (CD), an audio cassette, acetate discs, and vinyl recordings.


    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is assigned to the San José State University Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives. Copyright restrictions may apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    San José State University Music Department Collection, MSS-2010-02-01, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Silke Higgins. Finding aid EAD encoded by Silke Higgins. Reviewed by Danelle Moon and Erin Louthen. Series II added to the collection by Dana V. Lema in 2017. Finding aid revised by Eilene Lueck in 2022.

    Project Information

    This finding aid was created as part of the Survey and Cataloging Project, a two-year San José State University Library grant project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The project began in 2008.The Project Director is Danelle Moon. The Project Archivist is Erin Louthen.

    Organizational History

    In 1857 the San Francisco Board of Education established Minns' Evening Normal School for current and prospective teachers in the city. Named after its principal, George W. Minns, the institution was formally established as the first California State Normal School by the State Legislature in 1862. A decade later, the Legislature voted to move the Normal School to San José, and the school relocated to its new home on Washington Square prior to the fall term of 1872. After a fire destroyed the Normal School building in 1880, the Legislature authorized $200,000 to construct a new building on the same site. Completed in 1881, the building was commonly referred to as the Second State Normal School. After several names and curriculum changes, Minns' Normal School is now San José State University, offering more than 134 bachelor's and master's degrees with 110 concentrations, and is recognized as one of the top public universities granting such degrees in the West.
    The San José State Normal School conducted its first musical session in 1871. In 1884, the music program evolved into a four-year course of study. In 1915, the music program was departmentalized and seventeen courses were offered. In 1922, violin and "other orchestral instruments" were added to instrumental instruction. In 1926, the marching band was formed. In 1947-48, the Music Department began offering Graduate course work. In 1948, four B. A. degrees in Professional Music were added: Theory and Composition, History and Musicology, Performance, and Conducting. In 1949-50, the Music Department created a training band for the Symphonic Band called the Varsity Band. In 1951, there were 10 separate musical ensembles at San José State University, which included the Varsity Band, Marching Band, Choral Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, A Cappella Choir, Piano Ensemble, Brass Choir, String Ensemble, and Woodwind Ensemble.
    Since the 1950s, the School of Music has prepared professional performers, composers, and music educators for careers in music and the arts. Today, San José State University's applied studio faculty includes some of the nation's most gifted artists, ranging from Metropolitan Opera stars to some of the leading musicians in major Bay Area symphonies. The Jazz Studies program hosts some of Northern California's leading jazz musicians. An award-winning Composition program is led by some of today's most respected composers, and many award-winning SJSU performing ensembles are directed by some of California's preeminent conductors.

    Scope and Contents

    The San José State University Music Department Collection, 1925-1999, documents musical performances produced by the Music Department. Loose-leaf programs and the program books were assembled by the department as a complete collection of all the performances during the season. Flyers, posters, calendars, and newsletters further document the history of the performances during this time. Finally, there are four types of recordings: acetate discs, audio cassette, compact discs (CD), and vinyl records.


    This collection is arranged into three series: Series I. Music Department Programs, 1925-1979; Series II. Publicity and Ephemera, 1952-1989; Series III. Recordings, 1941-1999.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Education, Higher -- California -- San José.
    Music -- California.
    Students' songs -- California -- San Jose
    Concert programs -- California -- San José.
    San José State Teachers College -- History.
    San José State University -- History.
    California State University, San José -- History.
    San Jose State College
    San José State University -- Music Dept. -- History.