John Garvey Music and Papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Subject Terms

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Sheet Music

University of Illinois Jazz Band Records

Russian Folk Orchestra Records

Personal Papers

Contact us about this collection

John Garvey Music and Papers, 1910-1997

By Sally Duchow, Raquel Flores-Clemons, Noah Lenstra, Adriana Cuervo, Thornton Miller, and Nolan Vallier

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Collection Overview

Title: John Garvey Music and Papers, 1910-1997Add to your cart.

ID: 12/5/38

Primary Creator: Garvey, John (1921-2006)

Extent: 3.5 cubic feet

Arrangement: The collection is arranged in four discrete series: Series 1. Sheet Music, Series 2. University of Illinois Jazz Band Records, Series 3. Russian Folk Orchestra Records, and Series 4. Personal Papers. Series 1 is further arranged into two sub-series: Sub-Series 1. University of Illinois Jazz Band Sheet Music and Sub Series 2. Walden String Quartet Sheet Music and Chamber Music. Materials in Series 3 were arranged and numbered by the archivist in 2016. Series and Sub-Series were added in 2017 by the archivist, before then all materials were arranged by date of acquisition. Materials acquired after 2017 are arranged chronologically.

Date Acquired: 03/22/2005. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Jazz, Music, School of, Russian Folk Orchestra, Russian Folk Songs, Stringed Instruments, Walden Quartet

Formats/Genres: Papers

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Consists of sheet music, manuscripts, score fragments, photographs, newspaper clippings, correspondence, audio recordings, and administrative records that document the career of John Garvey, founder of the University of Illinois School of Music Jazz Program, the Russian Folk Orchestra, and the Walden String Quartet.

Biographical Note

John C. Garvey was born March 17, 1921 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania and attended Temple University, studying violin under Alfred Lorenz. He joined the faculty of the UIUC School of Music in 1948 when the Walden String Quartet was brought to the University from Cornell University, as quartet-in-residence. Garvey continued as the principal teacher of viola, and as a member of the quartet, until the 1970s.

After coming to Illinois, he developed a large number of other musical interests. He conducted the School of Music's chamber orchestra, started the jazz band in 1960 and remained the principal faculty member in the jazz field until his retirement in 1991, and became very active in the School's activities in new and experimental music. In addition to doing much of the conducting at the biennial Festival of Contemporary Arts in the 1960s and early 1970s, Professor Garvey also arranged guest residencies at UIUC for important innovators and composers of new music, such as Harry Partch and John Cage.

In the 1970s, Garvey traveled to Russia and Southeast Asia, to study performance of indigenous musics. He became an expert in Russian instrumental folk music and established the University's Russian Folk Orchestra, which he conducted for over a decade, and which toured widely in the USA and abroad. He also studied South Indian vocal music with visiting professor from India, Dr. Ranganayaki Ayyangar. Intimate involvement with Indonesian music and dance was characteristic of the late part of his career, as he traveled repeatedly to Java and Bali in order to observe performances, engage in research, and begin collecting art and artifacts from these countries. This part of his collection was donated in 2003 to the University's Spurlock Museum.

John Garvey and the UI Jazz Band were acknowledged by the Smithsonian Institute as one of the major contributors of recorded jazz during the period from 1966 through 1975. A publication compiled by the Smithsonian included Garvey and his band along with jazz noteables Count Basie, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Charles Mingus, Oscar Peterson, Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Sarah Vaughan, and other legendary musicians.

Related Materials:

John Garvey and the University of Ilinois Jazz Band web log

Subject/Index Terms

Music, School of
Russian Folk Orchestra
Russian Folk Songs
Stringed Instruments
Walden Quartet

Administrative Information

Repository: The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

Accruals: March 22, 2005; January 7, 2010; November 28, 2016; and May 9, 2017.

Access Restrictions: None.

Acquisition Source: Music and Performing Arts Library

Acquisition Method: Boxes 1-10 were acquired in 2005 in Washington D.C. Boxes 11-13 were transfered to the Sousa Archives from MPAL, which aquired the transferred boxes ca. 1970. Additional materials came from MPAL in 2010. The Russian Orchestra photographs were a gift from Bruce and Susan Woods in 2016 when they donated the Emanuil Sheynkman Papers and Russian Music. Additional Materials created by John Garvey and collected by Bruce and Susan Woods were donated by Bruce and Susan Woods in 2017.

Related Materials:

For materials relating the the University of Illinois Jazz Band see the Morgan Powell Music Manuscripts and Medicare 7,8 or 9 Dixieland Cooperative Jazz Band Record. See Also: John Garvey and the University of Illinois Jazz Band web blog at

For Materials related to The Walden String Quartet and the Festival of Contemporary Arts see the Walden String Quartet Administrative Records, the School of Music Audio Department Sound Recordings, and the Stanley Fletcher Papers.

For Materials related to the Russian Folk Orchestra see the Walter J Kassura Russian Folk Music Collection, the John Garvey Music Collection, and the Emanuil Sheynkman Papers and Russian Music at the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music. See Also the Ralph T. Fisher Papers University Archives

For materials related to Garvey's travels to South East Asia, Bali, and Indonesia see The Robert E. Brown Papers and Center for World Music Records, The Bruno Nettl Papers, and The Shirley Meyer Blankenship Music and Papers at The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music. See Also materials held at the Spurlock Museum at

Finding Aid Revision History: Finding aid revised January 7, 2009, to reflect the accession of one cubic foot of Garvey Music and Papers from the University of Illinois Music and Performing Arts Library acquired by that library circa 1970. Finding Aid Altered in May 2017 by Nolan Vallier to reflect series and subseries arrangement with the acquisition of new material collected by Bruce and Susan Woods.

Other Note: Pages

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Sheet Music],
[Series 2: University of Illinois Jazz Band Records],
[Series 3: Russian Folk Orchestra Records],
[Series 4: Personal Papers],

Series 3: Russian Folk Orchestra RecordsAdd to your cart.
Box 15Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Photograph Panel 1, ca. 1978-1985Add to your cart.
Photograph 1: Row 1: Phyllis [sic] Tilton, Manya [sic] Lodico, John G., Rory Torley; Row 2: Sue Wood, Thad Bales, Ed Banks, Maria Merkelo; Row 3: Kathy Fiala [sic], Wilbert Stoecker, Matthew ?, Joanne Nelson, Nacy Nelson, Irene Perloff, ? Alan [sic]; Row 4: Ray Cain, Brole [sic] W., unidentified female, unidentified female, unidentified male, David Cooper, Victor Gorodinsky, Harry Hechell, Norman Peters; circa 1978-79. Photograph 2: Sheynkman and Garvey, circa 1985. Photograph 3: Sheynkman, circa 1985. Photograph 5: Caption: "Same as #2 on Russian Folk Orchestra Board" (Archivist's note: This number refers to Garvey's original numbers, not the archivist's.); Charles Rappaport, Nan Nelson, David Cooper, Dominic Skaperdas, unknown; early 1980s. Photograph 6: Unknown Female Playing Domra. Photograph 7: Nan Nelson, Larry Anderson, Gordinsky [sic], unknown, George Gaspar, Howard Grueneburg [sic], Mike Keppel. Photograph 8: Phylis [sic] Tilton-Hurt, soloist; Gordinsky, conducting; Charlie Rogers; Tad [sic] Bales; Bill Busman; Bruce. Photograph 9: Victor Gorodinsky, Thad Bales, Mike Keppel. Photograph 10: Phylis [sic] Tilton-Hurt, Thad Bales [sic]. Photograph 11: Mia Gay (foreground), Oboist (and flutist) unknown. Photograph 12: Maxwell McCullough and unknown. Photograph 13: Garvey and Sheynkman. Photograph 14: Caption: "Same as Center Image on Recording Board #1;" 1984-1985 (Archivist's note: This number refers to Garvey's original numbers, not the archivist's.)
Folder 2: Photograph Panel 2: 10th Anniversary with Guests, ca. 1970s-1985Add to your cart.
Contains: "The Sounds of Russia: Old and New" recording order form; Photograph 1: First recording session (of 3): Gordon Arnold playing prima balalaika; early [19]80s ([19]83-85). Photograph 2: Charles Rappaport, Nan Nelson, David Cooper, Dominic Skaperdas, unknown; early 1980s. Photograph 3: "Shirley Blankenship on gusli from the turn of the century." Photograph 4: Bruce Woods, unknown, Judy Grass, Sue Woods, Maria Merkelo, Nan Nelson, unknown, Wesley Keeder, unknown. Photograph 5: Wesley Reeder; late [19]70s. Photograph 6: Robert Prescott, Gordon Arnold, Bruce, Maria Merkelo, Judy Grass. Photograph 7: Rev. Richard Anderson. Photograph 8: Robert Prescott (younger, with glasses). Photograph 9: Susan Burke, Nan Nelson, David Cooper, Dominic, Sue Woods, Manya Lodico, Matt ?, Robert Prescott, Robert Backstrom. Photograph 10: Row 1: Nancy Nelson, Bill Goldes, Maxwell McCullough, Sheynkman, Garvey, Rob Prescott, Leonard Bucktrom, David Cooper; Row 2: Bil Busen [sic], unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, Matthew ?; Row 3: Victor Gorodinsky, George, Howard Gruenberg, ? Zun, Zun's wife, Norman Peters, Thad Vales; Row 4: Unknown, Sotomayor, David McCullough, Irene Perloff,?  unknown, unknown, Carmel Gross,?  unknown; location: Krannert.
Folder 3: Photograph Panel 3: Fifteen Years of Concertizing, ca. 1974-1989Add to your cart.

Contains: List of concerts from 1974-1989. Photograph 1: Rob Prescott, unknown male, unknown male with hat, unknown woman. Photograph 2: Dan Anderson, Wesley Reeder, Edwin Banks. Photograph 3: Norman Peters, Photograph 4: Nancy Nelson, Maria Merkato [sic]. Photograph 5: Howard Gruenberg, Sue Wood, Sally Clewell. Photograph 6: Judith Grass. Photograph 7: Dominic Skaricdas [sic], Larry Adelston. Photograph 8: Nany Nelson, Edwin Banks, Susan Flores. Photograph 9: Row 1: Bruce Wood, Lippold Halken, Joanne Nelson; Row 2: ? Han [sic], David Nelson. Photograph 11: Caption: "Duplication, See Panel 1" (Archivist note: Duplication of Photograph 9, in Folder 2: Susan Burke, Nan Nelson, David Cooper, Dominic, Sue Woods, Manya Lodico, Matt ?, Robert Prescott, Robert Backstrom.). Photograph 12: Rob Prescott. Photograph 13: Maria Merkelo. Photograph 14: Mayra Ryan, Susan Burke. Photograph 15: unknown male, Misha Sheynkman. Photograph 16: Bruce Wood, Rob Prescott, Wilbort [sic] Stoecker (background). Photograph 16: unknown female, unknown female, Dominic Skaperdas, unknown female, Ernie Adams, unknown female, unknown female, unknown male, Rob Prescott. Photograph 18: Charles Rappaport [sic]. Susan Burke, Mia Gay (background).

List of performances by year and date, Russian Folk Orchestra, "Fifteen Years of Concertizing",?  1989: 5/7 15th Anniversary Concert, Colwell Playhouse, KCPA; 4/14 Rockford College, Rockford, IL; 4/14 Hononegah High School, Rockton, IL; 4/13 Highland Community College, Freeport, IL; 4/13 Cornell College, Mount Vernon, IL; 3/14 Hanover College, Hanover, IN; 3/12 Festival Theater, KCPA; 3/12 Spoon RIver College, Canton, IL; 2/11 United Wesley Methodist Church, Macomb, IL; 2/10 Indian Hills Community College, Ottumwa, IA. 1988: 12/4 Colwell Playhouse, KCPA;10/16 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA; 5/8 Colwell Playhouse, KCPA; 4/29 Eastern Illinois University, Charlestown, IL; 4/24 Zion Lutheran Church, Clinton, IA;4/9 University Church, West Lafayette, IN; 3/6 Festival Theater, KCPA; 1/31 Spoon RIver College, Canton, IL. 1987: Colwell Playhouse, KCPA; 10/18 Festival Theater, KCPA; 5/3 Festival Theater, KCPA (Walter J. Kasura Memorial Concert); 4/9 Governors State University, University Park, IL; 3/8 Butler University, Indianapolis, IN; 3/6 Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL; 3/1 Colwell Playhouse, KCPA. 1986: 12/7 Colwell Playhouse, KCPA (Debut of Piano Gusli); 11/2 Pershing School, Joliet, IL (Hadassah Benefit); 10/17 Mattoon Chaper, Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Mattoon, IL; 10/12 Festival Theater, KCPA; 5/4 Festival Theate, KCPA; 4/11 University Church, West Lafayette, IN; 4/6 National Academy of the Arts, Champaign, IL; 3/16 Butler University, Indianapolis, IN; 3/9 McKinley Memorial Presbyterian Church, Champaign, IL (Service), 2/23 (Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA (Frances Crawford, Soprano, in "An Evening of Russian Folk Songs"; 1/31 Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Conference, Peoria, IL. 1985: 12/8 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA; 11/15 Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL; 10'13 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA; 5/5 Festival Theater, KCPA; 4/13 University Church, West Lafayette, IN; 2/10 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA; 1/26 Knox College International Fair, Galesburg, IL. 1984: 12/2 Colwell Playhouse, KCPA; 11/16 Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL; 11/16 North Shore Country Day School, Winnetka, IL; 11/5 Danville Branch, American Association of University Women, Danville, IL; 10/18 U. of I. Foundation Annual Meeting Banquet, Lobby, KCPA; 10/14 Colwell Plahouse, KCPA; 4/29 10th Anniversary Concert, Colwell Playhouse, KCPA; 3/23 University Church, West Lafayette, IN. 1983: 12/4 Little Dixie Concert Association, Moberly, MO; 12/1 Colwell Playhouse, KCPA; 10/23 Festival Theater, KCPA; 10/3 Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY; 4/29 Barrington High School, Barrington, IL; 4/29 Amos Alonzo Stagg High School, Palos Hills, IL; 4/24 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA (William Warfield, Baritone, in "An Evening of Russian Folk Songs"); 3/18 Central Illinois Arts Consortium Showcase, Illinois Central College, East Peoria, IL; 3/17 McKinley Memorial Presbyterian Church, Champaign, IL (Service); 3/13 Mabel's, Champaign, IL; 3/6 U. of I. College of Engineering: Industrial Affiliates Program in Physical Electronics Workshop, Banquet, Champaign, IL; 2/15 Colwell Playhouse, Champaign, IL. 1982: 4/25 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA; 3/28 Illinois State University, Normal, IL; 3/18 Berea College, Berea, KY; 3/16 Centre College, Danville, IL; 3/6 Spoon River College, Canton, IL; 2/14 Festival Theater, KCPA. 1981: 12/8 Colwell Playhouse, KCPA; 11/15 Illinois College, Jacksonville, IL; 11/2 Danville Branch, American Association of University Women, Danville, IL; 10/25 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA; 10/11 Centreast Auditorium, Skokie, IL; 9/26 Grape Expectations Festival, Champaign, IL; 7/22 New Music Building Auditorium; 6/17 Balalaika & Domra Association of America 3rd Annual Convention Festival Concert, Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA; 5/2 Champaign-Urbana Beaux Arts Ball, Lincoln Square, Urbana, IL; 4/11 Midwest Slavic Conference, Banquet, Champaign, IL; 4/5 Festival Theater, KCPA; 2/28 Quad-Cities World Affairs Council, Davenport, IA; 2/22 1st United Methodist Church, Mattoon, IL. 1980:11/16 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA; 10/30 Ilinois Board of Education Planning Seminar for Social Studies Teachers: "Citizenship Education for CUltural Understanding", Danville, IL; 9/30 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA; 9/15 Sunluncher's Fun, Champaign, IL; 8/16 Spoon River College, Canton, IL; 7/24 Smith Music Hall; 4/28 Smith Music Hall; 2/26 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA. 1979: 12/4 Smith Music Hall; 10/23 Studio Theater, KCPA; 10/13 Dwight Hall, Yale University, New Haven, CT; 10/12 American Association fr the Advancement of Slavic Studies Annual Meeting, Banquet, New Haven, CT; 7/30 Smith Music Hall; 4/22 Illinois State University, Normal, IL; 3/13 COlwell Playhouse, KCPA; 2/24 New Music Building Auditorium (Leonard Davis, balalaika, and Walter Kasura, domra, guest soloists). 1978: 10/24 Smith Music Hal; 4/25 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA; 4/15 Midwest Slavic Conference, Banquet, Bloomington, IN (Our first off-campus concert). 1977: 12/11 New Music Building Auditorium; 10/25 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA; 3/7 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA. 1976: 11/9 Festival Theater, KCPA; 4/27 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA; 3/11 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA; 2/15 Festival Theater, KCPA (Our first concert in costume). 1975: 11/5 Foellinger Great Hall, KCPA; 4/29 Colwell Playhouse, KCPA. 1974: 11/23 Festival Theater, KCPA (Our debut).

Folder 4: Photograph Panel 4, ca. 1970s-1980sAdd to your cart.
Photograph 1: unidentified. Photograph 2: Jim Pacholke, Dmitry Gribanovsky; early 1980s. Photograph 3: Charles Weaver, Shirley Blankenship (front), unidentified, Joanne Nelson, Ed [sic] Bell (back); early 1980s. Photograph 4: Charles Weaver, Sirley Blankenship; early 1980s. Photograph 5: Springfield, IL orchestra; early 1980s. Photograph 6: Joann [sic] Nelson, Enidi Bell, Bruce Wood. Photograph 8: Judith Grass, prima balalaika. Photograph 9: Davenpot, Iowa 2/28/81; Richard Anderson, Pev. 1st male vocal soloist; Wesley Reeder (left), Bruce Wood (right), Joann Nelson. Photograph 10: Spoon River College, Canton, IL.; August 1980s; Harry Mechell (top left), David Nelson (top right), Judy Grass, Nan Nelson. Photograph 11: Dmitry Gribanovsky (right), Jim Pacholke (left); late 1970s. Photograph 12: Unidentified female - pianist; late 1970s. Photograph 13: Great Hall; Jane Thomas (vocalist), John Garvey (center); late 1970s. Photograph 14: University of Illinois Folk Orchestra; Gordon Arnold playing the prima balalaika; Davenport, Iowa; 2/28/1981. Photograph 15: Dan Cobb (right), plays in both Irish and Russian groups, plays domra at Russian, mandolin at Irish, taken at Russian practice, Smith Music Hall; 3/24/1980. Photograph 16: Norman Peters (right), University Staff who joined orchestra; mid-1980s. Photograph 17: Wesley Reeder demonstrates the Kontrabass [sic] balalaika; Davenport, Iowa; 2/28/1981. Photograph 18: Anton Kolstee; Davenport, Iowa, 2/28/1982.
Box 16Add to your cart.
Folder 3: 3rd Annual Convention of the Balalaika and Domra Association of America, 1981Add to your cart.
Contains Tape Cassette.
Folder 4: Russian Folk Orchestra Gala Concert Program, April 28, 1991Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Russian Folk Orchestra Roster, 2005-2006Add to your cart.
Contains information on past members over the history of the organization.
Folder 6: Russian Folk Orchestra Member Correspondence, 2005-2006Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Sheet Music],
[Series 2: University of Illinois Jazz Band Records],
[Series 3: Russian Folk Orchestra Records],
[Series 4: Personal Papers],

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