MLA California Chapter Newsletter 2014

The 2nd Annual Meeting of MLACC took place at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California from October 10-11th. We celebrated the 75th anniversary of the founding of the original California Chapter!

Jonathan Manton Presenting

Jonathan Manton (Stanford University) kicked off our program with his presentation, “Sounds of Stanford and the Bay Area: Embedding the Stanford Digital Repository into teaching and learning.” He discussed the classes that he and his colleagues have collaborated with that include assignments in which students deposit their research artifacts and products into the Stanford Digital Repository. Students learn about providing good metadata, issues regarding Copyright Law, and the logistics of submitting materials to the repository. Jon’s presentation was one of two awarded the “Best of Chapter” recognition for the opportunity to present at the Best of Chapter session at MLA 2016.

The second presentation was “Developing Information Literacy Skills for Future Music Industry Leaders” by Veronica Wells (University of the Pacific) and Keith Hatschek (Professor of Music Management, University of the Pacific). Their presentation discussed the ways in which they’ve embedded and scaffolded information literacy assignments throughout the music management curriculum. Employers of future music industry leaders are looking for information literacy skills in their new hires; therefore, it’s important that students get plenty of opportunities to practice these skills in a multitude of ways.

The panel presentation, “Recently Processed Music Collections,” consisted of two presentations. The first by Veronica Wells and Jim Haffner (Professor of Opera, University of the Pacific), was on Lucas and Kathe Underwood. The Underwoods came to the United States during World War II to escape Nazi persecution. They eventually came to the University of the Pacific where they helped to establish opera in the Central Valley. Their large collection of music scores, which includes scores from the 18th century, were donated to the University Library and recently added to the Holt-Atherton Special Collections.

In that same session Jon Manton, discussed the Richard Maxfield (1927-1969) Collection. The collection features several recordings of Maxfield’s compositions, which can be streamed online. Maxfield enrolled at Stanford University and later transferred to UC Berkley to study with Roger Sessions. Maxfield employed many chance techniques in his compositions, but also manipulated his works based on what he thought sounded best. For information see the finding aid for this collection here.

Tour of Holt-Atherton Special Collections

Tour of Holt-Atherton Special Collections

Michael Wurtz (Head of Special Collections, University of the Pacific) gave a tour of the Holt-Atherton Special Collections, which includes the Dave Brubeck Collection, the John Muir Collection, among others.

Beverly Wilcox gave a presentation entitled “Music in the Dépôts littéraires: The Nationalization of Music Libraries in France 1789‐1811.” She discussed how by 1791 in France, eight former monasteries had been repurposed as Dépôts littéraires and filled them with books and manuscripts seized by government officials. The works were sorted, catalogued, and inventories. Music proved to be difficult to organize. Wilcox showed examples of how sheet music was cataloged and discussed what later happened to the music.

MLACC 75th Anniversary Cake

We took a brief break from our program to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the original California Chapter with a special cake. Many thanks to Rhonelle for providing the cake!.

We concluded the day with two sessions “Show us your discovery system!” and Round Robin where we discussed what challenges and opportunities we are encountering at our institutions.

Scott Stone (University of California, Irvine) began our second day with his presentation, “A picture is worth a thousand words: Using Many Eyes to visualize your collection and its use.” As a new librarian at UC Irvine, Scott wanted to get a sense of how his collection was being used. He used Many Eyes, which is an analytical software application. He put in the circulation statistics into Many Eyes and assessed his collection by call number. While many of his assumptions were confirmed, he also found a few surprises. Scott was our other “Best of Chapter” award winner.

Music Librarians

David A. Wells’s (California State University, Sacramento State) presentation, “Abdon Laus and the Premiere of the Rite of Spring,” demystified the assumption that the bassoon solo in the beginning of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring was extremely high for the instrument. In fact, through his extensive study of bassoon works composed and performed during that time, including fingering charts, Wells showed how the bassoon solo in the Rite of Spring was not extraordinary in terms of its use of the high register. Wells also discussed the life of Laus and how his trip to the San Francisco world’s fair (The Panama–Pacific International Exposition) led to his position with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Join us next year as we plan to meet in Southern California! Details will be available this spring.

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Invitation to the California Chapter Meeting

You are invited to join us for the Music Library Association California Chapter Meeting at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California on October 10-11th. This meeting will be a great way to connect and learn from fellow music librarians from around California. We will also be celebrating the 75th year of the founding of the original California Chapter!

The website for the meeting is available here and includes information about transportation, accommodations, the program, and the travel grant.

We’re still looking for contributors to the panel discussion on Friday’s session “Recently Processed Music Collections.” Have you processed an interesting music collection in the last couple of years? Tell us about it! Presentations can be 5-15 minutes long with or without presentation slides.

Also, we’re excited about our session “Show us your discovery system!” We’d like the opportunity to see as many discovery systems as possible – the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you want to make sure you get a chance to show yours off, let us know!

Lastly, applications for the Travel Grant are due on Friday, September 26th. The Travel Grant provides support for music librarians, library paraprofessionals, library students, and anyone interested in music librarianship to attend chapter meetings. More info about applying is available here.

If you have any questions about the meeting, please email Veronica at vwells[at]pacific[dot]edu.

We’ll see you soon!

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Call for Proposals

We are currently seeking proposals for presentations, panel discussions, and problem-solving sessions for our upcoming annual meeting at the University of the Pacific in Stockton California, October 10-11th. The meeting website is still under construction, but is available here: Proposals that offer practical tips and techniques in the field of music librarianship are strongly encouraged. Proposals from student members are also welcome. Proposals should include:

  • A working title of the presentation/panel
  • The name(s) and affiliations(s) of the presenters/panelists
  • A short description of the presentation/panel (100-300 words)
  • The length of time needed
  • Any special technology requirements beyond a computer, projection screen, speakers, and an Internet connection

Proposals and questions can be submitted to Veronica Wells (, Chair of the Program Committee. The deadline for submission is August 8th, 2014.

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Two New Collections at the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound

The Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound has recently processed the following collections:

Charles Daniels Sheet Music Collection

The Charles Daniels Sheet Music Collection principally contains sheet music of works either composed by Daniels, published under his given name or one of his pseudonyms, notably Neil Moret, or works published by one of the many publishers Daniels was affiliated with during his career. Also included are piano rolls of works by Daniels, various periodicals from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, ephemera, and compositions and publications by the creator of the Charles Daniels Sheet Music Collection, Nan Bostick.

Monterey Jazz Festival Collection (N.B details of the live festival recordings in this collection have been online for some time

Recent processing has included the creation of a finding aid that details the entire collection in addition to these live audio and video recordings) The collection contains the archives of the Monterey Jazz Festival from 1958 to the present. It primarily consists of unpublished sound recordings and videos of festival concerts, and interviews and panel discussions in various formats, many of which are also available as digital sound and video files. Also included are a variety of recordings received with the collection that are not recordings from the festival itself, but instead feature content connected to the festival in some way, such as studio recordings of artists who performed at the festival, demo tapes for artists wishing to perform at the festival, or various recordings relating to festival founder Jimmy Lyons in some way. Some books, photographs, posters, programs, and other miscellaneous papers can also be found in the archives. The collection adds material every year.

–Jonathan Manton, Sound Archives Librarian, Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford Univesrity

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The Donald Pippin Collection at Stanford University

Stanford University is pleased to announce the availability of the Donald Pippin Collection.

Donald Pippin

Donald Pippin. Photo by Bob Shomler, c1996. Used by permission.

Since 1952 Donald Pippin has been a part of the musical life of San Francisco. He is best known as the founder of Pocket Opera, which started in 1977 with the purpose of making opera more accessible to the average concertgoer by presenting opera in unique English language translations with a small chamber ensemble. The Donald Pippin Collection consists primarily of Pippin’s English translations of opera librettos available as pdf files. Additional materials include facsimiles of over 300 print media reviews of Pocket Opera productions; copies of two anthologies published by Pippin, A Pocketful of Lyrics and As the Lights Go Up…: Tales from the Opera; a speech on Offenbach given by Pippin in San Francisco in 1996; a tribute ode by Anne Dudley on the occasion of Pippin’s 60th birthday; and finally an interview with Pippin published in Journal Français d’Amérique in 1996.

Link to the finding aid here:

About Pocket Opera:

Pocket Opera is a theatre of the mind and of the heart. Productions are staged with minimal costuming and without sets, using only the few practical props (a bench, a desk, a door, …) that are essential to convey the story. A few operas, for which staging would add little or nothing to the interpretation of the story, are performed concert style. Through the use of Pippin’s singable translations and narration, through accomplished vocalists and small chamber orchestra, Pocket Opera presents the essence of opera — affordable, accessible opera of the highest musicality for contemporary audiences (–from the Pocket Opera website).

Ray Heigemeir, Public Services Librarian at Stanford University

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Call for Leaders!

California Music Librarians: we’ve bonded, we’ve grown stronger, we’re on the upswing!

It is time to express your interest in running for Chair-Elect/Chair of the MLA California Chapter.  The total time commitment is four years (one year as Chair Elect, two years as Chair, one year as Past Chair). The work is not difficult and the rewards are many, as Veronica Wells (Chair) and Scott Stone (Past Chair) can attest. The lucky winner will also receive a generous outpouring of gratitude from the Chapter, and a nice addition to one’s résumé.

What we need from you, future leader, is a one-paragraph statement of interest, detailing why you would be a good candidate for the position. Please send your brief statement of interest, including your qualifications, to Ray Heigemeir ( on or before April 15, 2014. Candidate statements will be included in the online ballot, to be sent to the membership by end of day, May 1, 2014. Transfer of power will take place on July 1.

Also, Ray looking for one person from the membership to join the Nominating Committee.  This person will assist in recruiting eligible candidates and in facilitating the election process.  Please let me know if you are interested.

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MLA California Chapter Newsletter 2013

Last October, MLA-CC held its first meeting as a merged chapter at Chapman University in Orange, California. Scott Stone was our gracious host. It was an excellent day-and-a-half of presentations and conversations.

Tom Bickley and Didgeridoo

Tom Bickley and Didgeridoo

Tom Bickley (CSU East Bay) started us off with a presentation on “Information Literacy and the Didgeridoo.” He collaborated with faculty members from music, physics and computer science on a project to improve student success in the first year course in musical acoustics. Groups of students used pvc pipe to construct and decorate didgeridoos. They learned to play the instruments, measured the acoustical properties of the instruments, researched musical cultures, and performed a short piece for the class. Tom brought us an example of a didgeridoo and played it for us.

David Gilbert (UCLA) and Lindsay Hansen (CSU Northridge) reprised their IAML 2013 presentations on two Hollywood film composers who fled Vienna due to World War II. Gilbert discussed Ernst Toch’s work in the film industry for his presentation, “Émigré Composers and the Price of Success in Hollywood: The Case of Ernst Toch.” Gilbert also used film clips and score excerpts from the UCLA Library, Performing Arts Special Collections to show Toch’s impact on the film industry.  Hansen discussed Ray Martin in her presentation, “From Vienna to Hollywood: the Ray Martin Story.” Ray Martin had countless pseudonyms and is mostly known for his light music compositions, including film music.

Jerry McBride (Stanford University) presented on Stanford’s Musical Acoustics Research Library, which includes the Catgut Acoustical Society papers, as well as papers from other important wind instrument acousticians. The collection consists of letters, research papers, photographs, digital materials, wood samples, clarinet mouth pieces, lab equipment, and more.

California music librarians mingling

California music librarians mingling

“Lightning Round – What I Learned at That OTHER Conference” was an opportunity for several MLA-CC meeting attendees to describe their experiences at conferences outside of MLA. The other conferences included Conference on Deep Listening: Art/Science, International Humanities Conference, German Studies Association Conference, International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres Conference, Rare Books & Manuscripts Preconference, and American Library Association: Music medium of performance and Genre/Form Project.

Scott Stone invited two music faculty members (one from Chapman and the other from CSU Long Beach) to answer our questions for the session “Round Table with Music Faculty – Information Literacy: Important or Not?” While it is clear that information literacy is incredibly important to music faculty members, we learned that the ways these two faculty members approached research is different than what we normally expect; for example, they prefer to go to JSTOR when looking for an article because it will save them a some time when it comes to accessing the full text and because they dislike RILM’s interface.

Laura Bailey (San Diego Public Library) and John Smalley (San Francisco Public Library) co-presented “Out Loud in the Library! Music Programming and Partnerships at Public Libraries.” They each shared their own stories of successes and challenges with music programming. Smalley taught a course on Western music for SFPL and Bailey programmed a concert for the SDPL. They recently presented on this topic at the Music Library Association Meeting in Atlanta.

The presentation, “Restoration of Zenobia Powell Perry’s opera, Tawawa House for the Townsend Opera Company, Modesto, California,” by Jeannie Gayle Pool was awarded the Best of Chapter. Pool discussed the fascinating story behind Zenobia Powell Perry’s background and creation of Tawawa House. Pool has been working very hard to restore this opera, which will be performed by the Townsend Opera Company this May.

In “How Do Students Really Use the Library” Stephanie Bonjack (USC) discussed the results of a usability test conducted for USC to examine how they could improve their library’s website. This presentation evolved into group discussion on how students use information and how (or if) we as music librarians should adapt to their information seeking styles.

MLA CC Executive Board

MLA CC Executive Board

Two orchestra librarians discussed their jobs and the challenges they face in “A Day in the Life of an Orchestra Librarian.” We learned that orchestra librarians have extensive knowledge about the various published versions of pieces—including what editions have errors. Orchestra librarians need to be able to handle the pressure of frustrated conductors, guest soloists, and performers. While the role of music librarians in public and academic libraries greatly differ from orchestra librarians, we found that there are potential ways for us to collaborate and support each other.

Join us next year in Stockton, California as we meet at the University of the Pacific!

Veronica A. Wells, MLA-CC Chair

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From the Chair

Happy New Year and welcome to our website with a new domain name!

For the past couple of months we have been working behind-the-scenes with the MLA Web Committee to get our site migrated over to MLA’s servers. Now that we have a permanent domain name, I’m hoping that this website can grow and be more responsive to the needs of the Chapter and our Chapter members. I would like to thank our web editor, Jim Soe Nyun, as well as Verletta Kern and Becky O’Donoghue from the MLA Web Committee for making this migration happen swiftly and efficiently.

I think we’re off to an excellent start as a new Chapter! Our meeting at Chapman University last fall was an incredible opportunity for learning and engaging with each other. Stay tuned for a blog post covering some of the highlights of the meeting. This coming year there will be even more opportunities to participate in various Chapter activities and projects and I hope that you’ll try to find a way to get involved.

I hope to see some of you at the MLA Annual Meeting coming up soon in Atlanta. And for those of you looking ahead to the fall, our next chapter meeting will be at my institution, the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, which is recognized as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the U.S.

Best wishes,

Veronica A. Wells
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