THE PAPERS OF LOUIS THURSTON NICHOLAS which cover the years 1894-2006, consist of 208 linear feet of material and are concerned with Nicholas's personal and professional life. Major series in the papers include Personal and Professional Correspondence; material relating to his activities in the National Association of the Teachers of Singing (NATS); Personal and Biographical papers; his Musical and Academic Career and programs from the George Peabody College Concert Series; The Tennessean, where he served as Music Editor and Critic from 1951-1975; and Louis Nicholas's biography and accompanying materials for Thor Johnson: American Conductor. There are also Church related materials; European Trips; his collection of programs including those from the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and other local music venues; Publications collected by Louis Nicholas; Sheet Music and Songs/ Music and Book Catalogs; Promotional Materials and Press Releases; Photographs, Scrapbooks, and other Memorabilia.
The following describes the Series of the Collection:
THE CORRESPONDENCE series forms a major component of the collection. It includes letters both to and from Nicholas's wife, Sarah Lacey Nicholas, and correspondence from their three sons Joel, David, and Kevin. Also included in the family correspondence are letters from his father, sisters, and brothers, among many other relatives. Correspondence from friends includes letters from people from all areas and eras of Nicholas's life, including schools where he taught and attended and the many churches where he was involved, often as music director. Letters as well as Christmas Cards, birth and graduation announcements, thank-you notes, get well cards,( after the Greyhound Bus wreck on Sept. 27, 1959 ), sympathy cards (including condolences after his wife's death in May 1990 ), and wedding invitations all comprise the personal correspondence.
There is also professional correspondence with music colleagues including pupils of Louis Nicholas and fellow teachers and music critics. Clare Elby and Edyth Walker are two of Nicholas's teachers whose correspondence may be found in this series. There are letters from many musicians: vocalists, choir members, organists, pianists, harpsichordists, violinists, conductors, and composers. Also in this group are contained many letters requesting information about the study of music, performances, and advice about musical matters.
The records of THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
OF TEACHERS OF SINGING (NATS) are extensive, containing organizational records,
board minutes, budget information, annual meeting records, annual reports, administrative
correspondence, and a substantial amount of correspondence with Nicholas's colleagues
in the organization. Also included are programs from conventions and workshops,
membership lists, and the publication Inter Nos (1970-2002).
Louis Nicholas was a charter member of the Association., and President of NATS from 1962-1964. Music programs for NATS can also be found in the Programs Series in Vocal Recitals and other.
THE PERSONAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS contain a variety of documentation of Louis Nicholas's personal and professional life. There are notebooks with highlights from his life and career and important and historic items from his large collection of programs. There is also material on various events where he is honored. Also included in this series are materials from schools of higher education that he attended--Southwestern at Memphis, Teachers College of Columbia and University of Michigan. There are also papers relating to Sarah L. Nicholas and their sons, Joel, David, and Kevin. SCRAPBOOKS, MEMORABILIA, AND OVERSIZE MATERIALS at the end of the Papers also include important Personal and Biographical Materials from the years 1930 to 1985.
CHURCH RELATED MATERIALS include his
collection of "Order of Service" and "Visitor" programs
from Vine Street Christian Church 1958-2001 as well as other materials relating
to VSCC. There are also materials from West End Methodist Church in Nashville
(1949-2002) where he served as choir director from 1946-1957; The Temple Congregation
Ohabai Sholom where he was tenor soloist and music director (1946-1994) and
other church programs both in Nashville and elsewhere.
ACADEMIC AND MUSICAL CAREER materials cover his tenure at Peabody College, School of Music 1944-1979 over a wide range:
Dissertation proposals and monographs submitted; teaching notebooks; faculty communications and committee work; articles on teaching music, bulletins and Peabody publications; American Academy of Teachers of Singing-minutes of meetings; audio-visual materials; and the merger with Vanderbilt among others. The Academic and Musical Career is a varied collection of correspondence with colleagues at Peabody College and Vanderbilt University, notebooks on music and people, records from Nicholas's years at North Texas State Teachers College and Southwestern at Memphis, and a small number of records of the Music Critics Association.
THE GEORGE PEABODY COLLEGE MUSIC PROGRAMS
AND SUMMER CONCERT SERIES consists mainly of correspondence, both outgoing
and incoming, making arrangements for performances for the summer concerts with
accompanying promotional information and programs from the Series.
The papers comprising the series THE TENNESSEAN-MUSIC EDITOR AND CRITIC document Louis Nicholas's career as a music critic from 1951-1975. Nicholas's reviews of performances and books on the subject of music can be found in this series along with his column "Music in Review" "The Music Scene", "Sampling Records" and " Concert Reviews." Incidental writings in this series include announcements, essays and interviews. Correspondence on Nicholas's reviewing activities may are to be found in this part of the papers. There are also articles and reviews by others. Finally the Scrapbooks which comprise the series at the end of the papers have many newspaper clippings by and about Louis Nicholas.
Louis Nicholas's biography of THOR JOHNSON: AMERICAN CONDUCTOR is represented by drafts of the book and correspondence about its progress and publication. Also included is research conducted in the writing of the book. In this series there is biographical information about Johnson; some sheet music from Johnson's collection, a Paige box of Johnson memorabilia including ceremonial robes and photographs; and programs from his concerts conducting the Chicago Little Symphony, the Penisula Music Festival, the Early Moravian Music Festival, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra (1967-1974) and Nashville Youth Symphony. Thor Johnson lived from June 10, 1913-January 16, 1975.
* Other documents related to Thor Johnson are located in the archives of the Moravian Music Foundation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
EUROPEAN TRIPS SERIES contains correspondence, notes, programs, and various other items from his summer travel in Europe. Other European programs may be found interspersed in the Collections of Programs series.
THE COLLECTIONS OF PROGRAMS in the papers is an extraordinary assemblage covering a lifetime of concerts, recitals, and performances of every kind. Beginning with the programs of student concerts at Peabody College, the collection continues through recitals and concerts at other institutions. Next there are several categories of recitals separated by type: vocal recitals, choral concerts, organ recitals, piano recitals, violin recitals, chamber music, joint recitals, orchestral concerts, band concerts, musicals, and operas. There are several historical program collections, including those for the Chicago Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera. There are programs from his summer European trips. ( see also the EUROPEAN PROGRAMS series ).Other programs include seven boxes of Nashville Symphony Orchestra programs (see THOR JOHNSON series for others); ten boxes of local university concerts and other local venues, and one box of Messiah programs that feature Louis Nicholas as director and performer.
There are 32 boxes of SHEET MUSIC AND
SONGS, MUSIC AND BOOK CATALOGS. The many pieces of sheet music include a
wide range of secular and sacred music with some items individually listed.
Nine boxes make up the PUBLICATION SERIES (publications collected by L.N.) and include Piano Guild Notes, 1967-1989, Your Musical Cue, Indiana University, 1958-1973, Etude Music Magazine, 1926-1954; newsletters from the Hymn Society of America and others.
There are 51 boxes of PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS AND PRESS RELEASES. Included are new releases, photographs (many individually listed) and news releases from all kinds of artists, performers, groups, and management companies.
Artists and performers, NATS Events, and Peabody College Musical Events make up the three boxes of PHOTOGRAPHS. Although the photos here are arranged by topic, other photos are interspersed throughout the collection in the Promotional Materials and Press Releases.
SCRAPBOOKS* AND MEMORABILIA AND OVERSIZE MATERIALS total 29 flat boxes. They cover the years from 1930-1985 and consist of newspaper clippings, programs, bulletins, announcements, publicity, framed items, and many other types of ephemera regarding the activities of Nicholas and his family. These Scrapbooks are an important part of the Personal and Biographical information on Louis Nicholas.
* Some of the Scrapbooks are gifts from others with old programs and newspaper clippings.
ADDENDA includes some envelopes.
Scope and Content | Biography
| Series I: Correspondence | Series
II: NATS | Series III: Personal and Biographical
Series IV: Academic and Musical Career | Series V: George Peabody College Material | Series VI: Tennessean Career
Series VII: Thor Johnson | Series VIII: Church Related Materials | Series IX: Programs | Series X: Publications
Series XI: Sheet Music, Songs and Catalogs | Series XII: Promotional Materials | Series XIII: Photographs | Series XIV: Addenda
Special Collections | Heard Library | Vanderbilt University
Copyright © Special Collections, Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt
Last modified: April 10, 2008
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