Snyder, Ellis Emanuel (1898-1969) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Snyder, Ellis Emanuel (1898-1969)


Historical Note: Ellis Emanuel Snyder (1898-1969) was born in Circleville, Ohio to Emanuel Absolum Snyder and Anna Ellen Kerns. Snyder graduated from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio in 1919, earning a degree in music education. Soon thereafter, he earned a degree in theology at Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary and eventually a masters in vocal performance at Chicago Musical College in 1932. He became the director of the choral program at Capital University in 1921 and would serve in this position until his death in 1969. In 1923, he married Pauline F. Walker in Franklin, Ohio. At this time, Snyder also served as the director of the Grace Lutheran Church choir and assistant director at Christ Lutheran Church, both in Columbus, Ohio. In 1929, he founded the Chapel Choir at Capital University, an ensemble that initially consisted of 33 vocalists. The Chapel Choir made its first major performance at the Music Supervisor's National Conference in 1932. Ten years later, Snyder took this ensemble to Carnegie Hall, performing in a benefit concert for US armed forces that was sponsored by the National Lutheran Council. After World War II, the group performed for President Truman and his wife at the White House. In the summer of 1944, Snyder taught at the School of Sacred Music at Waldenwoods in Detroit, a summer music festival that taught choral conducting in a sacred context. In 1954, he received an honorary doctorate in music from St. Olaf University. Snyder died on January 7, 1969 in Columbus, Ohio.
Note Author: Nolan Vallier



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