The Stoeckel and Battell families both played crucial roles in the development of music at Yale University. Gustave Jacob Stoeckel (1819-1907) was the first professor of music at Yale. Robbins Battell (1819-1895) was a generous Yale philanthropist as well as an amateur composer. Stoeckel's papers and some of Battell's compositions are preserved in the Yale Music Library as MSS 27 and Misc. Ms. 157, respectively. In 1895, Stoeckel's son Carl (1858-1925) married Battell's daughter Ellen (1851-1939). Carl had previously been Robbins Battell's secretary. In 1899, Ellen and Carl Stoeckel established the Litchfield County Choral Union, and this group's concerts proved to be the beginning of an important summer music festival in Norfolk, Connecticut, where the Stoeckels lived. In 1906 they built the Norfolk Music Shed to house the Festival's concerts. Renowned performers such as Sergei Rachmaninoff, Fritz Kreisler, and Lillian Nordica appeared at the Festival, and the Stoeckels commissioned new works from many composers, including Jean Sibelius, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Horatio Parker, Henry Gilbert, and Victor Herbert; the Stoeckel Family Papers are largely devoted to Carl's recollections of Sibelius and Coleridge-Taylor. The festival went into abeyance after Carl's death in 1925, but when Ellen died in 1939, her will established the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Trust to revive the festival, in collaboration with Yale. The Norfolk Music Festival still takes place every summer at the family estate.
From the guide to the The Stoeckel Family Papers, 1906-1971, (Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University)