The business meeting was held in Clark Library. The Chair, Ray Heigemeir, called the meeting to order shortly past 3pm and thanked Bill Meredith and Patricia Stroh for hosting the meeting and putting on the morning program at the Beethoven Center.
Present were Ray Heigemeir (Chair), Nancy Lorimer, Patricia Stroh, Sally Berlowitz, Judy Clarence, Mike Levine, Richard Ross, Deborah Smith, John Roberts, Jason Gibbs, Tom Bickley, Mimi Tashiro , Tony Calvo, Erick Arenas (a Pacific music student and library worker,) and Beth Fleming.
The minutes from the Spring 2001 meeting were approved and it was decided that due to the absence of our Secretary/Treasurer, Alicia Felice, chapter dues would be collected in the spring.IAML 2002: John Roberts updated the group on the plans for the IAML 2002 conference to be held at UC Berkeley from Sunday August 4 through Friday August 9. The location for the final banquet has been confirmed. The banquet will be held in the foyer of the San Francisco opera house. Also confirmed were concerts by the Kronos Quartet and harpsichordist Davitt Moroney. John asked for help in compiling information regarding transportation from the San Francisco and Oakland airports to UCB. Debbie will look into whether BART will be running to SFO by conference time. Tom will gather information on transport from the Oakland airport. UCB music library staff, along with Judy and Sally, will put together a list of restaurants in the Berkeley area.
Joint Chapter Meeting: Ray reported that he had been in contact with Kevin McLaughlin, the chair of MLA/SCC, regarding a joint chapter meeting. I t was proposed that we have a joint meeting at some time in the future, and possibly at regular intervals, such as once every three years and that we also include the Pacific Northwest chapter. The Pacific Northwest chapter has been contacted and we are waiting to hear from them. Ray will speak with representatives of the other two chapters at the MLA Annual Meeting in February.
First-timers Grant: Ray brought forth a proposal to begin a grant for first time attendees to MLA/NCC meetings. The program, based on a similar one implemented by the New England MLA chapter, will subsidize first timers and possibly the person who brings them.
Elections: Nancy volunteered to serve on the nominating committee with Sally and the Chair, Ray Heigemeir. A new Chair-elect will be chosen at the Spring 2002 meeting.
Spring Meeting: The Chair-elect will organize the spring meeting.
Patricia Stroh, San Jose State University: Brought greetings from the Texas chapter of MLA and reported on the printing conference she attended which was hosted jointly with AMS.
John Roberts, UC Berkeley: The Music Library is interviewing for an assistant head of the library. Groundbreaking for the new building is set for May 1, 2002. It is expected to be completed by Spring 2003.
Jason Gibbs, San Francisco Public Library: He worked as a consultant on a movie called "The Quiet American," which is set in Vietnam.
Mimi Tashiro, Stanford University: Barbara Sawka retired as Head of the Stanford Music Library and Archive of Recorded Sound. Searches are underway for both positions. Part of the Hoover Institution collection has been moved to the library.
Mike Levine, College of Marin: The music library at the College of Marin is being painted. The CD thief was apparently released and was re-arrested after being caught breaking into a house in Marin.
Debbie Smith, San Francisco Conservatory: The new building for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, to be built in downtown San Francisco, is in the design phase. The target date for completion is Spring 2004.
Tony Calvo, University of the Pacific: UOP has hired a new conductor, Nicolas Waldvogel, who was previously youth orchestra conductor for the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. J.B. Dyas was recently appointed the executive director of the Dave Brubeck Institute. A donation of 1000 CDs was processed over the summer.
A click on a link in a bibliographic record to an image file of a piece of sheet music leads to a screen with links to either medium- or full-size images. The full-size image is best for viewing detail and for performance, printable on a wide-carriage printer that can reproduce the noteheads in a size convenient for reading. The medium-size image is best for viewing on a monitor, and for printing on an 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of paper.
The home page of the collection now allows a user to move directly to "Sound and Video." In 1998, a concert of Berkeley's Music Sources, Center for Historically Informed Performance, Inc., was videotaped and digitized for the site (8 sound and 8 video files of sheet music from the collection). After experimenting with creation of MIDI sound files from the digitized images themselves through optical recognition software (Finale's Smart Score), thirty-three sheet music titles are now available in MIDI. Such computer-generated sounds have their drawbacks. For example, vocal parts must be assigned to a MIDI instrument and lyrics are lost.
As I had hoped when I originally applied for a grant for the project, the virtual library has become a test bed for experimentation for myself and others. My thanks to those who continue to contribute items for the collection. I hope that with further grant funding the collection might be extended to cover other local collections, for it is clear that the 2,000 items already digitized are only about one-fourth of the material that was published.
In the larger metropolitan areas of the United States most theaters employed an orchestra of twenty or more musicians, whose function was to provide the musical accompaniment during each performance. Once a film had arrived, it was the responsibility of the theater orchestra conductor (or of the organist, if there was no orchestra) to select, from a library of many thousands of musical fragments, the accompaniment for that week's feature. Substantial skill was required, not only to maintain synchronization with the film, but to avoid improper tonal relationships or sudden transitions between musical fragments. Although the use of music varied widely from locale to locale, theaters across the nation emulated, to a greater or lesser extent, the manner in which films were being presented in Los Angeles and New York. Particularly influential, however, was Sid Grauman (1879-1950), the owner of the Million Dollar, Egyptian, Chinese and other theaters in Los Angeles.
Grauman offered a lot of entertainment for the admission price. Patrons came to count on such programs as the one of April 29, 1918, with an overture by the orchestra, Bohm's "Tarantella," followed by a harp solo, and the Grauman Educational Weekly, scenic and news features compiled by Sid himself. [Organist] Jesse Crawford offered a medley of wartime hits: "I'm Sorry I Made You Cry" and "UncleSammy, Take Care of My Girl." Next was Mack Sennett's latest comedy short, "Saucy Madeline," followed by the Anita Peters Wright's Rhythmic Dancers. Then came Grauman's Topical Weekly, a revue of important events compiled by Grauman, and finally the tenor Carlos Bravo in an aria from Tosca, topped off by Douglas Fairbanks in a wartime featurette called Smashing the Kaiser. The main feature wasAdolph Zukor's Tosca, starring the noted stage actress, Pauline Frederick.(1)
San Francisco was not far behind these developments; indeed, by the mid to late teens a number of theaters had been built to accommodate the growing popularity of these presentations. Perhaps the mostimportant of these, however, was the Tivoli, where, on April 25, 1920, a young conductor wielded his baton for the first time. In a review that appeared the following day, it was said that the Tivoli now enjoyed the talents of "a skilled and magnetic conductor, imparting to the orchestra his own fine musical feeling and inspiring the audience in unusual degree with the thrills of the composition."(2) Indeed, though he would leave no enduring legacy, until he was offered an attractive position by Sid Grauman in 1922, he was one of San Francisco's most well known musicians and his reputationwas fondly and warmly recalled long after leaving the Bay area.(3) His name was Ulderico Marcelli.
Ulderico "Rico" Marcelli was born October 3, 1882 in Rome, Italy.(4) Not long after his family had emigrated to Chile, Marcelli entered the national conservatory in Santiago, where he studied violin, piano and French horn. He was particularly influenced by Domenico Brescia (1866-1939), a compatriot originally contracted to teach harmony, but who eventually became that conservatory's subdirector.(5) Nevertheless, Marcelli accompanied another prominent Italian in Chile, Enrico Marconi (d 1903), when in 1900 the latter was asked to direct the reopening of the national conservatory in Ecuador.
As a musician, Marcelli was well respected in the Ecuadorian conservatory, but as a teacher his sour character and lack of finesse produced a negative reaction among his students, who eventually felt compelled to express their dissatisfaction to Brescia, who was by this time the institution's director. Brescia admonished Marcelli, but his counsel was apparently not heeded, for "more than one student left Marcelli's studio in order to study under Brescia." (6) By 1909 Marcelli had either resigned or had been relieved of his position in the conservatory.By 1910 Marcelli had left Ecuador and was residing in San Francisco.(7) The exact nature of Marcelli's activities during the remainder of that year and into the early part of 1913 is not known. By 1913 he had found employment as a member of the French horn section in the San Francisco Symphony. From about this same time he was also playing in "Demetrio's Venetian Orchestra of Soloists," regarded as one of the city's most successful "café orchestras." Under the direction of P. Demetrio, it was a small ensemble of eleven musicians; Marcelli was the group's concert master.(8)
In 1914, the performance of his one act opera, Maimundis, marked Marcelli's first significant introduction to musical San Francisco. It garnered numerous favorable comments, including those of Alfred Metzger (1875-1943), who found the work to be "rich and ingeniously scored."(9) At about this same time, Marcelli became the musical collaborator in a dramatical representation written by Andre Ferrier(1874-1962) titled Marseillaise.(10) Nevertheless, it was during the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915 that, by conducting a rehearsal or possibly a concert of the Exposition Orchestra, he would set the course for his future direction in music. Indeed, by the end of 1918 he was conducting a twenty piece orchestra at the T&D Theater in Oakland, where, by early that next year, he had "every lover of good music in Alameda County worshipping at his shrine."(11) That same month, the orchestra was increased to 60 members in order to present a series of weekend concerts, conducted by Marcelli, that proved so successful that during February the theater management attempted to venture into opera, with theproduction of Cavelleria Rusticana!
Nevertheless, Marcelli's many responsibilities did not hinder him from maintaining his interest in composition. His work, Water Colors: Four Symphonic Sketches, was premiered on a "pops" concert by the San Francisco Symphony near the end of the 1918-1919 season. Shortly thereafter, a concert billed as "Midsummer Music of Bohemia" was given at the Tivoli Theater that featured an orchestra of some seventy musicians interpreting Brescia's music from the Grove Play, Life, along with selections from several other previous Grove Plays. On that same program Marcelli conducted two movements from Water Colors. By that time it had also been decided that Marcelli would be providing the music for the next Grove Play.(12) In fact, Marcelli composed the music for four other Grove Plays, of which the last, Aloha Oe, was composed in 1958.
Sadly, there is much that cannot yet be said. Certain pieces of evidence are still lacking which prevent a complete story from being told. Nonetheless, from the evidence at hand it is clear that Marcelli was a very gifted musician. He went on from the Tivoli in San Francisco and the Grauman theaters in Los Angeles to continued success in Chicago and Detroit. With the demise of the silent film during the late 1920s, many thousands of musicians suddenly found themselves out of work. Nevertheless, Marcelli was able to make the transition to the new medium of radio. Indeed, he is known by today's old time radio enthusiasts as the first bandleader for the Fibber McGee and Molly show. During the late 1930s and early 1940s Marcelli was leading the Rico Marcelli Symphony Orchestra in Chicago at the Grant Park Band Shell as part of a series of open-air concerts presented by the Chicago Park District. As always, his presentationswere well conceived and finely executed. Although perhaps one could say that Marcelli was eclipsed by more "serious" musicians, he truly brought enjoyment and edification to thousands, if not millions, of ordinary Americans.
(1) Charles Beardsley, Hollywood's Master Showman: The Legendary Sid Grauman (New York: Cornwall Books, 1983), 45.
(2) Thomas Nunan, "New Tivoli Conductor Makes Debut," San Francisco Examiner, 26 April 1920.
(3) "Marcelli Visiting In San Francisco," San Francisco Chronicle, 12 June 1927.
(4) Marcelli himself seems to have contributed to a certain amount of confusion regarding the year of his birth. The correct date, however, was registered with the Social Security Administration soon after his death in Sunland, California on August 17, 1962.
(5) Brescia left Chile in 1904 to become the director of the national conservatory of Ecuador but political unrest caused him to leave this position in 1911. Three years later, he had settled in San Francisco, and in addition to maintaining a vocal studio in the Kohler & Chase building, he was a frequent contributor of compositions to the Berkshire Chamber Music Festival and, as a member of the Bohemian Club, he composed the music for several Grove Plays. From 1925 until his death, he taught composition at Mills College in Oakland.
(6) Segundo Luis Moreno, La música en el Ecuador (Quito: Municipio del Distrito Metropolitano de Quito, 1996), 118-19.
(7) According to immigration records registered at Angel Island, Marcelli and his family (wife Clementina [1879-1956] and two daughters, Aida and Gloria Emma, [1906-1989], and his sister Julia Marcelli [b 1891]), arrived in San Francisco on board the S.S. City of Sydney on January 26, 1910.
(8) "Neapolitan Mandolin and Guitar Club," Pacific Coast Musical Review 26, no. 12 (20 June 1914): 4. Little is known about P. Demetrio. However, his sudden death two years later at the age of 44 was noted in the November 11, 1916 issue of Pacific Coast Musical Review, which includes this curious explanation: "His name was really Demetrio Papageorgopula, but owing to the difficult pronunciation he changed it to P. Demetrio."
(9) Alfred Metzger, "Ulderico Macelli's [sic] One Act Opera Heard," Pacific Coast Musical Review 26, no. 15 (11 July 1914): 3.
(10) Redfern Mason, "'Maseillaise' [sic] is Basis for Wonderful Tableau," San Francisco Examiner, 12 July 1914.
(11) "Galaxy of Stars Come to T. & D. Tomorrow," Oakland Enquirer, 4 January 1919.
(12) Ray C. B. Brown, "Ninth C.M.T.A. Convention at San Francisco a Brilliant Event," Musical Courier 79, no. 4 (24 July 1919): 7.
Dr. John L. Walker is a teacher, performer, and musicologist living in Missouri. An oboist, Dr. Walker studied with Philadelphia Orchestra member Louis Rosenblatt while earning a student a Temple University. In 1995 he graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln after completing a dissertation on Latin American chamber music for the oboe. Dr. Walker has held many professional positions, including principal oboe of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Guadalajara, the USAF Heritage of America Band in Virginia and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional del Ecuador. While in Ecuador, he was also on the faculty of the National. As a musicologist, he has published articles in both English and Spanish about Latin American music in a number of well-known music journals, such as Pauta, Latin American Music Review and the Journal of the International Double Reed Society.
240 Morrison Hall
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720
Patricia Elliott Stroh
Center for Beethoven Studies
One Washington Square
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA 95192-0171
Fine Arts Librarian
California State University, Sacramento
Sacramento, CA 95819-6039
Art and Music Center
San Francisco Public Library
San Francisco, CA 94102