YSM launches yearlong celebration of its 125-year history

Throughout the 2019-2020 academic year and concert season, the Yale School of Music community will reflect on the School’s 125-year history and look forward to the future of music-making at Yale. While music at Yale can be traced to earlier days, it was in 1894 that the School was established and that its first degrees were conferred. To celebrate music at Yale is to appreciate and acknowledge all those who have made music here.

“In celebrating the 125th anniversary of the School of Music, we pause to reflect on the values of the faculty, staff, alumni, and friends whose work ensured an artistic legacy for us,” YSM Dean Robert Blocker said. “Now we gratefully embrace the responsibility of continuing their work and imagining new musical horizons that ignite our passion and resolve today and in future decades. Indeed, music is the currency of hope.”

This year’s Convocation, on September 5, will mark the beginning of our yearlong anniversary celebration. The School’s Board of Advisors, faculty, staff, students, and special guests will join us for a ceremony that includes performances by students, faculty, and alumni and remarks about the legacy and promise of music at Yale by University President Peter Salovey and President Emeritus Richard Levin. As always, the incoming class will be welcomed and formally installed.

This year, for the first time in more than a decade, the School will hold an alumni reunion. Graduates from all classes are invited back to campus for activities ranging from an alumni concert to a panel discussion about women composers, in conjunction with the University’s 2019-2020 Women at Yale celebration “commemorating the 50th anniversary of coeducation in Yale College and the 150th anniversary of women students at the University.” In further celebration of women at Yale, the Yale Camerata and Yale Glee Club will give the world-premiere performance in April of a new work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and School of Music alumna Julia Wolfe on a program presented “in celebration of 100 years of women’s suffrage.” The fall-winter 2019-2020 issue of Music at Yale, our biannual alumni magazine, will appropriately be dedicated to women from the School of Music.

In the spring, in partnership with the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, the Yale Philharmonia will join the Yale Schola Cantorum and The (London) Bach Choir on an East Coast tour, led by David Hill, with performances in New Haven, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

These and other moments will help us look to the School’s past with an eye and an ear on its future. As always, the coming concert season features music and performances by internationally acclaimed artists and the next generation of composers, instrumentalists, and vocalists. More than 250 concerts are scheduled to take place on campus, and most of those will be streamed live online for families and friends in cities around the world.

We invite you to join us in celebrating 125 years of music-making at Yale.

Watch our celebration launch video

Published August 28, 2019
Share This Comments

Hindemith at the Yale School of Music

Hindemith+CollegiumIn the last issue of Music at Yale, the School of Music’s alumni magazine, the story about Paul Hindemith included two historical photos — along with a request for help in identifying the students in them.

We were pleased to receive multiple replies, and we can now identify the members of the Collegium Musicum in the photo at right.

Seated, left to right: Joseph Iadone, Charlotte Durkee, and Eckhart Richter.

Standing, left to right: Martha BixlerJohn Temple Swing.

(Hindemith stands at right.)

Published April 29, 2013
Share This Comments

From the Archives: Richard Storrs Willis

One of the first notable musicians to come out of Yale was Richard Storrs Willis (1819–1900). He graduated from Yale College in 1841 – before the School of Music even existed.

Willis was the president of Yale’s Beethoven Society in 1838 and 1840. After graduation he studied music in Germany for six years. His teachers there included Felix Mendelssohn.

Most prolific in writing hymns, Willis is best known for having written the music to “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.”

After his studies in Germany, Willis returned to America and served as music critic for the New York Tribune, The Albion, and The Musical Times, where he was also the editor for a time. He was a member of the New-York American-Music Association.

Willis founded his own journal, Once a Month: A Paper of Society, Belles-Lettres and Art, which published its first issue in January of 1862.

Published September 2, 2011
Share This Comments

Voices of American Music concert pays tribute to the Oral History of American Music project on its 40th anniversary

“…The world’s definitive archive of historical material on American music.”
– The New York Times

Vivian Perlis interviews Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein in Copland’s home.

The Yale School of Music presents Voices of American Music, a concert tribute to the legendary Oral History of American Music (OHAM) project at Yale. The concert will take place on Tuesday, April 6 at 8 pm in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven) as part of the Chamber Music Society at Yale.

The works of some of America’s most important composers will be heard in a rare program that joins music with footage from OHAM’s archives. Founded by Vivian Perlis, one of the foremost historians of American music, OHAM is dedicated to collecting and preserving audio and video memoirs of notable figures in American music. The musicologist H. Wiley Hitchcock called OHAM “an incomparable resource, the most extensive ongoing oral history project in America.”

MORE

Published March 10, 2010
Share This Comments

[ history ]

From the Archives: Coolidge Quartet performs at Yale in November, 1936

Coolidge QuartetElizabeth Sprague Coolidge, a vital and prominent patron of twentieth-century American music, extended her reach to New Haven. The daughter of Yale graduate Albert Arnold Sprague (Class of 1859), she and her mother donated the funds for Yale’s first building dedicated to music, Sprague Memorial Hall, which opened in 1917. A series of chamber music performances in Sprague Hall was also named in memory of Albert Arnold Sprague. MORE

Published April 29, 2009
Share This Comments

[ history ]

From the Archives: Composer David Stanley Smith

1938-03-15_stanleysmith_webDavid Stanley Smith spent much of his musical life at Yale, where he studied with Horatio Parker and was friends with Charles Ives. Later in his career, he taught music history at the university. In 1920, he succeeded his old mentor Parker as dean of the School of Music and conductor of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra (when it was closely integrated with the university). MORE

Published April 16, 2009
Share This Comments