By Inka Alasade, Justin Carver, Ilona Matkovszki, Eleanor Tewksbury, Noah Lenstra, Carol Berthold, Thornton Miller, Nolan Vallier[Printer Friendly] | [ Email us about these papers]
Primary Creator: Blankenship, Shirley (1938-)
Extent: 14.5 cubic feet
Arrangement: Organized into five series: Series 1) Personal Papers, ca.1900-2009, Series 2) Audio Recordings, 1953-2015, Series 3) Sunshine Dinner Playhouse Theatre Production Photographs, 1995-1997, Series 4) Guido Sinclair Music and Papers, 1958-2005, and Series 5) Shirley Blankenship Computer Files, ca. 1950-2016. Series 1 is arranged chronologically. Series 2 is arranged in two different methods by date of acquistion: materials received in 2009 are arranged by a system of Roman numerals given to each recording by Shirley Blankenship and materials received in 2016 are arranged alphabetically based on their original order. Series 3 is arranged alphabetically by the title of the production. Series 4 contains two sub series based on the primary creator of the material: Sub-Series 1) Guido Sinclair Papers and Music and Sub-Series 2) Shirley Blankenship's Guido Sinclair Legancies. Each sub-series is arranged chronologically. Series 5 is arranged into three subseries based on the bulk of material found within each set of files: Sub-Series 1) Personal Files, Sub-Series 2) Audio Files, and Sub-Series 3) Shirley Blankenship's Guido Sinclair Legacy Files. Each of the sub-series in Series 5 is arranged alphabetically by title.
Date Acquired: 12/04/2009. More info below under Accruals.
Subjects: Adams County, Illinois, Champaign County, Illinois, Compositions-Music, Harps, Jazz, Music, School of, Music -- Indonesia, Music Composition, Piano, Quincy, Illinois, Theatrical Productions, Violin
Consists of scrapbooks, reel-to-reel audio tapes, CDs, DVDs, cassette tapes, VHS tapes, sheet music, photographs, correspondence, posters and concert programs documenting Dr. Shirley Meyer Blankenship's career as a music student at the University of Illinois, a harpist, violinist, pianist, composer, theater performer, private music instructor, and University of Illinois School of Music faculty member between 1972 and 1981. Of special note are original compositions based on the music of her former husband and jazz musician, Guido Sinclair (1935-1992), as well as graphic illustrations, concert posters, jazz recordings, and Sinclair's original compositions. Materials in Series 4, Sub-Series 1 represent materials created by Guido Sinclair and donated by Shirley Blankenship to the archives. The Music and Papers were partially digitized by Dr. Blankenship prior to being acquired by the University of Illinois. A small but selected sample of images and recordings are included online.
Shirley Meyer Blankenship is a music educator, composer, pianist, harpist, and violinist. She was born in Decatur, Illinois, in 1938 and graduated from the Notre Dame Conservatory of Music (Quincy, IL) in 1955 and Quincy Senior High School in 1956. As a teenager, she was awarded the title Miss Quincy. She received a BM in piano performance with a minor in violin from the University of Illinois in 1961. She continued her training in piano performance at Washington University in St. Louis receiving a Master of Music in 1966. She then returned to the University of Illinois to begin a Master of Music Theory degree and taught Music Theory as a graduate teaching assistant. She earned her second graduate degree in 1969 and eventually taught harp and music theory at the University of Illinois between 1972 and 1981. In 1977, she became the first woman to receive a Doctorate degree in music composition from the University of Illinois. From the late 1970s to the early 1990s, Dr. Blankenship performed on harp with the Squareknot Quartet, a group which included such members as Dorothy Martirano on violin. In the mid 1980s, Dr. Blankenship organized an arts exchange between the Squareknot Quartet and the country of Indonesia. At this time, Dr. Blankenship also married Guido Sinclair, a Jazz musician who played saxophone and performed regualarly at jazz venues in both Champaign and Chicago. Between 1988 and 1992, she began performing with Sinclair on violin, harp, and piano at several local bars and restaurants including Nature's Table. Dr. Blankenship was instrumental in promoting Sinclair's music after his death in 1992 and arranged, published, and performed several of his compositions. Around this time she began the Artist in Motion series, which held concerts at several area clubs including Chester Street. From the mid 1990s to the 2010s Dr. Blankenship began working on her Harp Legacy Project, in which several contemporary composers created compositions for her to perform and record. From this project she has created a number of harp webinars and articles on composing for the instrument.
During her teaching career, Dr. Blankenship has been an instructor of harp, piano, violin, viola, composition, music theory and other subjects at the University level. Her appointments include: Washington University in St. Louis; MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois; Quincy College; Lindenwood Colleges in St. Charles, Missouri; Hardin (formerly Jefferson) Junior High, St. Charles, Missouri; Olivet Nazarene University, Kankakee; and the University of Illinois. As a violinist, Dr. Blankenship has performed with the Quincy Symphony, University of Illinois Symphony and also with the Springfield, Kankakee and Danville Symphonies. She has been the harpist for the Decatur Symphony and was the principal harpist with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, in which she has participated as a violinist, violist and keyboardist as well. Her theatrical career includes being the music director, accompanist and/or actress for productions at the University of Illinois, Little Theater Company and Champaign, Illinois' Sunshine Dinner Playhouse. Dr. Blankenship has contributed her performance skills to the advancement of contemporary and new music, especially for the harp. As a student at the University of Illinois, she was a member of The Contemporary Chamber Players and has been a consultant to numerous composers. Dr. Blankenship has performed and/or composed under the names of Sherilee Niles, Shirley Meyer, Shirley Ann Blankenship, Anne Jazzmin, and Gianne Sinclair.
Additional materials were donated by Dr. Blankenship on July 26, 2016.
Box 21 and 22 were donated by Dr. Blankenship to the Music and Performing Arts Library and then the boxes were transferred to the Center on June 14, 2021.
Box 23 and 24 were donated by Dr. Blankenship to the Sousa Archives on November 1, 2021.
Box 25 was donated to the Sousa Archives on May 2, 2023.
Acquisition Source: Dr. Shirley Meyer Blankenship
Acquisition Method: Gift
Three data DVD-Rs, created by Shirley Meyer Blankenship.
DVD I: 1953 Notre Dame Recital, 1955 Recital at Notre Dame, 1961 University of Il Graduation recital, 1962 Washington U Master's Degree Recital, Fulbright Audition Tapes, Quincy reunion 1963-5, Quincy Reunion c. 1959-60; DVD I A: Hardin Junior High, Lindenwood Colleges, Ave Maria WGEM Talent Contest c. 1955; Edited Bruch Violin Concerto.
Seven data DVD-Rs, created by Shirley Meyer Blankenship from compact audio cassettes (referred to as "Case").
Case II - Canterbury Trio at Olivet Nazarene University 1990 and 1991; Case II I - Compositions, Contemporary Music Performances, Delaney Perich Concert, Other Krannert Performances, Radio Show 1962 First Chair Players, Radio Show with Megan WEFT '85, Alla Rustica, Grandjany, Valerie Cribbs; Case III A - Squareknot Quartet (SQ): My arrangements, Demo made at Red Herring, SQ with Debra Zae Munn, SQ with Leon Jeter; Case III B Squareknot and Guido (Sinclair): Concert in Miniature, Kathy Tessin (flute), My Arrangements for SQ, Nature's Table with Raphael Garret (bass), Pogo Tapes, Quincy and Urbana Benefit Concert; Case III C Guido and Shirley with the Squareknot in Quincy, 1983: Blind Pig, Bop Shop, Church of the Nazarene, Concert in Miniature, Demo 1, Demo 2, Nature's Table with Raphael (Garret), Quincy April 14th 1983, Slow Version of Shirley's Delight, Vocals Guido and Shirley, Days of Wine and Roses (3 versions), Ebb Tide, Fools Rush In, Lament, Polka Dots and Moonbeams, Satin Doll, Stella by Starlight; Case III D - Church of the Nazarene, Demo harp, sax, and percussion, Guido Shirley demo, Nature's Table with Raphael (Garret), Slow Version of Shirley's Delight, et al.; Margaret Klemm - Harp and Voice
Cassette Tape: Mozart - Sonate for Violin and Piano K. 296, Kenneth Kloweit - Violin, Shirley Meyer - Piano; Strauss - Concerto, Op. 11, Blair Hurt - Horn, Shirley Meyer - Piano; Mozart - Vesperae Solennes De Confessore, Quincy String Ensemble, Robert Koper - Conductor; Randall Thompson - Feast of Praise, Shirley Meyer - Harp, Brass Choir, James Brinkman - Conductor. Duplicated on Reel IVC-1, Side A. Recorded May 17, 1964.
(March 28) Loeffler - Rhapsody for Viola, Oboe, and Piano, George Daniels - Oboe, Shirley Meyer - Viola, Barbara Hess-Piano; (May 2) Prokofiev - Overture on Hebrew Theme, Op. 34, Pamela Schmitt - Clarinet, Shirley Meyer - Violin, Mary Agnes Ridder - Violin, Evelyn Watterson - Viola, Alice Mays - Cello, Barbara Hess - Piano; Jolivet - Concerto for Percussion and Piano; (May 2) Brahms-Trio V, Op. 114 (incomplete), Pamela Schmitt - Clarinet, Alice Mays - Cello, Shirley Meyer - Piano; (January 10) Randall Snyder - Nocturne for Violin and Piano, Shirley Meyer - Violin, Barbara Hess - Piano. Duplicated on Reel IVC-1, Side B, 1, 2, 3, 4. Recorded between January and May 1965.
Cassettes Tape: "Solo for Carolyn." Harp and Electronic sounds. Duplicated on Reel VA-1, Side A1. Recorded ca. Late 1960s.
Rao was My Indian Vina Teacher, Piece by Bill Brooks , Shirley Meyer on Harp. Duplicated on Reel VA-1, Side A2. Recorded 1967.
"Mouthpiece Concerto," Clarinet and Electronics - Paul Zonn. Duplicated on Reel VA-1, Side A3. Recorded August 11, 1970.
Performed in Great Hal. Morgan Powell, "Loneliness" for Harp and Tuba (Shirley and Dibley). Duplicated on Reel VA-1, Side A4 Recorded July 24, 1971
(Violin) Paul Zonn - Sonorum One, Contemporary Chamber Players. Duplicated on Reel VA-1, Side B1.
Cassette Tape: Duet for Tuba and Harp by Chuck Dibly, Dibly - Tuba. Duplicated on Reel VA-2, Side A1. Recorded May 21, 1967- April 10, 1978
Dan Perantoni and Blankenship perform "A Question of Summer" by Barney Childs. Duplicated on Reel VA-2, Side A2.
"Minatures for Diverse Instruments" by Gerald Warfield. Duplicated on Reel VA-2, Side A3.
Solo Harp and Percussion Mallets by James Stroud. Duplicated on Reel VA-2, Side A 4.
(Harp) "Les Gestes" by Bernard Rands. Duplicated on Reel VA-2, Side B1.
"Non Sequitur VI" by Herbert Brun. Performed by Flute - Tom Howell, Cello - Lee Duckles, Piano - Neely Brucs, Harp - Blankenship, Persussion - G. Allen, William Youhass. Duplicated on Reel VA-2, Side B2.
Cassette Tape: Side A: "Elegiac Trio" by Arnold Bax performing by the Camerata Trio - Guillermo Perich - Viola, Charles Delaney - Flute, Blankenship - Harp. Duplicated on Reel VII-1, Side A 1. Debussy "Trio Sonata" performed by the Camerata Trio. Duplicated on Reel VII-1, Side A 2. Persichetti, "Serenade No. 10 for Flute and Harp" performed by Charles Delaney - Flute, Blankenship - Harp. Duplicated on Reel VII-1, Side A 3.
Side B: Jolivet, "Alla Rustica" performed by Thomas Howell - Flute, Blankenship - Harp. Duplicated on Reel VII-1, Side B 1. Holst, "Four Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda." Leonard Rumery - Conductor, Blankenship - Harp. Duplicated on Reel VII-1, Side B 2. "Trio (viola, harp, flute) Sonata" by Debussy. Lento, Dolce Rubato, Tempo Di Minuetto, Allegro Moderato Ma Risoluto. Performed by Guillermo Perich - Viola, Charles Delaney - Flute, Blankenship - Harp. Duplicated on Reel VII-1, Side B 3.
Cassette Tape: Side A: Persichetti "Serenade No. 10 for Flute and Harp" Larghetto, Allegro comodo, Andante Grazioso, Andante Cantabil, Allegretto, Scherzando, Adagietto, Vivo. Performed by Charles Delaney - Flute, Blankenship - Harp; Flute and Viola, Guillermo Perich - Viola, Charles Delaney - Flute; Camerata Trio; BaxTrio. Duplicated on Reel VII-2, Side A.
Side B: Piece by John Addison, performed by University of Illinois Woodwind Quintet with Harp;Â Blankenship - Harp; Arnold Bax - Elegaic Trio, Camerata Trio. Duplicated on Reel VII-2, Side B.
Cassette Tape: Side A: Eastern Illinois University, 17 December 1972. Performed by Cecilian Singers, Dr. James Brinkman, Conductor. Duplicated on Reel VII-5, Side A.
Side B: Quincy College, 17 December 1966. Dr. James Brinkman - Conductor, Quincy College. Duplicated on Reel VII-5, Side B
Cassette Tape: Side A: New Music Building Auditorium, Urbana, 13 February 1974 - Duo performed by Richard Fuchs - Violin, Allen Nisbet - Cello. Duplicated on Reel VIII-1, Side A-1. University of Illinois, 1971 - Side A: Duo, Richard Fuchs - Violin, Allen Nisbet - Cello; Side B: "Chansons Innocentes, Part III," Edwin London - Conductor, Blakenship - Harp. Duplicated on Reel VIII-1, Side A, 2,3.
Side B: Composer's Symposium, Washington University, ca.1960-1962 - Harold Blumefeld - Teacher, "Piano Pieces - Schizoid"; "Vocal Piece" - Blankenship in piano, Harp; and "Viola Piece - Fantasy Struck, "Herb Vanderberg - Viola, Shirley Papdemetriou - Harp. Duplicated on Reel VIII-1, Side B 1,2,3. Composer's Symposium Washington University, 1965 - Two Songs: "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night," "The Trees Stand," performed by Barbara Dahlheim - Soprano, Blankenship - Piano. Duplicated on Reel VIII-1, Side B 4,5. University of Illinois Student Composers Concert, 1970 - "Terse Trio in Three Movements" performed by Blankenship, Bettye Krolick - Violin, Howard Osborn - Viola, Robert Swenson - Cello. Duplicated on Reel VIII-1, Side B, 6. Doctoral Composition Project, Smith Music Hall, 1974 - Blankenship "Visions and Revisions" (see tapes and data control file for ensemble). Duplicated on Reel VIII-1, Side B-7.
Cassette Tape: Side A: New Music Building, University of Illinois, 13 February 1974 - Blankenship "Duo for Violin and Cello", performed by Richard Fuchs - Violin, Allen Niset - Cello; Saul "Harp Solo in Baroque Style," with Chorus, Harold Decker - Conductor; Blankenship "Two Songs: Do Not Go Gentle, The Trees Stand," Barbara Dahlheim - Soprano, Blankenship - Piano. Duplicated on Reel VIII-2, Side A-1,2,3,4. University of Illinois, November 1978 - Saul - Harp Solo in Baroque Style by Blankenship, with Chorus, Harold Decker - Conductor. Duplicated on Reel VIII-2, Side A 5. Krannert Center Great Hall, 24 July 1971 - Blankenship "Chansons Innocentes," text - e.e. cummings: I. In Just Spring, II. Tumbling Hair,III. Hist Whist. Performed by Edwin London - Conductor, Barbara Dahlheim - Soprano, Blankenship - Harp. Duplicated on Reel VIII-2, Side A-6.
Side B: Thracian Horses Music, Summer 1962 - Side 1: Music for a play entitled Thracian Horses (Greek Style) for flute, oboe, and harp; Side 2: Blankenship practicing voice. Duplicated on Reel VIII-2, Side A-7 & Side B. Illini Union Concert, 1967 - "De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum (of the dead say nothing but good)" performed by Robery Kelly - Viola, Blankenship - Harp. Duplicated on Reel VIII-2, Side B-2.
CD 1 - Contains audio recordings of Shirley Meyer Blankenship accompanying performances of Schumann, Poulenc, and various jazz pieces.
CD 2 - Contains audio recordings of Shirley Meyer Blankenship accompanying performances of Mozart, Wagner, and various jazz pieces.
CD 1 - Titled "Brenda" contains: Edited Audio Recording of Recital June 14, 2015.
CD 2 - Titled "Brenda Incomplete" contains Audio Recording of Recital June 14, 2015.
CD3- contains piano arrangements of Candyman, Moonlight Sonata, Secret of Mana, Sonata in C Major.
45RPM disc 1- Bette Midler, vocal, Stay With Me by Jerry Ragavoy & The Rose by Amanda McBroom, 1979.
45RPM disc 2- The Gospel Exciters of Champaign, Illinois; Why Not Tonight by L. Johnson, and My Hope is Built by D. Bertram, undated.
DVD 1- Contains audio recordings of performances given by Guido Sinclair at Nature's Table including concerts with Joe Grohens; George Staley, Dorothy Martirano, Von Freeman, John Young, the Squreknot Quartet, Salvatore Martirano, Tim McNamara, Kevin Kizer, Sandy Mazzei, Chuck Tripp, Vicky Capo, Brad Wheeler, and Steve Griggs (1982-1991).
DVD 2- contains audio recordings of performances given by Guido Sinclair in Chicago and venues outside of Champaign urbana with: Mike Kocour, Britta Lang-sjoen, Glen Dewey, Kevin Kingston, Brother Alex, David Swaim, Justin Kramer, Kita Makoto, Tim McNamara, and Elliot Torres (1984-1991).
DVD 3- Contains tracks recorded by Guido sinclair (ca. 1980-1992), performers include: David Swaim, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, John Dahlstead, Mike Kokour, Raphael Garrett, Dorothy Martirano, Ray Yedinak and Cheryl Phillips.
DVD 1 - Titled "Recorded at Pogo Studios" contains a copies of the reel to reel Pogo Studio tapes. Includes performances by Shirley Meyer Blankenship/Anne Jazzmin, Mike Blomme, Russell Cheatum, Danny Deckard, Kevin Engels, Michael Griffin, Lawrence Hobgood, John Hurtubise, Mike Kocour, Tim McNamara, Guido Sinclair, and Jeff Stitely.
DVD 2 - Titled "Dahlstead Series at Nature's Table I" contains performances by Shirley Meyer Blankenship/Anne Jazzmin, Russell Cheatum, John Dahlstead, Jeff Helgesen, Carol Kai, Guido Sinclair. Notes: Also contains descriptions of tracks and audio recordings made on reel-to-reel tapes.
Tape Cassette 1- Bernard Rands "Les Gestes" performed by Shirley Blankenship at KCPA ca. 1970.
Tape Cassette 2- Herbert Brun "On Stilts Among Ducks" and "Op. 59", performed by Shirley Blankenship, 1996.
Tape Cassette 1 - Audio cassette recording. Mirror, composer: Mark Zanter. Performers: Shirley Blankenship, piano; Deborah Eastwood, trumpet; John Scott, double bass. Recorded at the (Midwest) Composer's Symposium, Ann Arbor, Michgan, November 5, 1994.
Tape Cassette 2 - Audio cassette recording. Pieces include: Shirley's Delight, Sagileo, and Kiss for Kenny, undated.
Tape Cassette 1- Metaphysical Waltz, performed by Shirley Blankenship 1988.
Tape Cassette 2- Metaphysical Waltz, performed by Shirley Blankenship, 1995.
CD 1- "Stone and Feather", Shirley Blankenship, Piano.
CD 2- "Intertwines for Viola and Cello;" Shirley Blankenship, viola; Brian Gona, Cello.
CD 3- "The Owl and the Pussy Cat, for Harp and Flute;" Shirley Blankenship, Harp; Amanda Pond, Flute.