Lorna Cooke de Varon collection, 1942-2005 (bulk 1950-1988).


De Varon, Lorna Cooke. Lorna Cooke de Varon collection, 1942-2005 (bulk 1950-1988).

Lorna Cooke de Varon collection, 1942-2005 (bulk 1950-1988).

The correspondence is organized into general correspondence and then correspondence from the various groups of the NEC Community-administration, staff, faculty, students, etc. The general correspondence spans the years 1948-2005. Highlights of the general correspondence include letters from Jacqueline Kennedy and Aaron Copland. The administrative files contain materials documenting the operations of the choral department. These include choral library information, curriculum records, membership lists, departmental reports, repertoire assignments, repertoire lists, historical records and concert schedules. Series three consists of programs. Like the correspondence, the programs are organized by category. The first group contains programs of the NEC Chorus and Chamber Singers that occurred in Jordan Hall or elsewhere at NEC. These programs for the most part span the years 1947-1988. The next group of programs is from concerts of the NEC Chorus with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. These BSO programs primarily span the years 1951-1987. There are concert programs from performances at the Gardner Museum as well as other Boston locations, venues outside Boston but in Massachusetts, and performances outside of Massachusetts. There are also concert programs from other ensembles conducted by de Varon, including the NEC Alumni Chorus, the Conservatory Camerata, the Longy Chamber Singers, and miscellaneous other concerts conducted by de Varon. Finally, in this series are miscellaneous concert programs for which de Varon was not the conductor. The fourth series consists of publicity files relating to the NEC Chorus. These include posters/flyers, organized chronologically; summaries of press comments (reviews of the chorus); press releases concerning the chorus, as well as information dealing with radio broadcasts and recordings. Series five documents special performances made by the NEC Chorus during de Varon's tenure. Among these special performances are concerts and recording sessions with Aaron Copland; concerts at the Gardner Museum, the Monadnock Music Festival, and the War Memorial Auditorium dedication; performances at Winterfest, and, most substantially, files concerning performances of the NEC Chorus with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The sixth series consists of a large amount of material relating to "Other Engagements" referring to professional engagements that de Varon had that were separate from the NEC Chorus. The "Other Engagements" series is divided into several categories referring to the different varieties of activities in which de Varon was participating. These include classes/workshops, conducting positions, lectures, and writings. There is also a category for "notes" - folders which contain notes on a particular topic for which the purpose is not known. Among the engagements highlighted here are de Varon's work with the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, the Choral Institute at Wellesley, the Zimiriya Festival in Israel, the Cameran Singers in Israel, the Conservatory Camerata, and the Longy School of Music Chamber Singers. In terms of the lectures which de Varon presented, the best effort was made to organize the materials according to a specific lecture, however, there may be some crossover by topic. De Varon gave lectures at the BSO, NEC, Radcliffe, and Wellesley College among many others. The seventh series contains the tour files for the NEC Chorus and Chamber Singers under de Varon. These files are organized chronologically from 1957-1988. For the larger tours, the materials are organized into several folders, each focusing on a specific aspect of the tour. Some of the larger tours include those to Puerto Rico (1965), Spain/Soviet Union (1966), California (1970), Europe (1972), Israel (1978), Bulgaria/Romania (1987) and China (1988). A small number of subject files make up the eighth series. These include biographical sketches of de Varon, information about awards that de Varon received, items from Bryn Mawr, Radcliffe, and Wellesley College, correspondence with E.C. Schirmer, personal materials, and miscellaneous brochures, flyers, reports, studies and applications. The news articles/publications series contains both NEC publications and articles published by numerous newspapers and periodicals. The articles date from the 1940s through 2005, with the majority of the articles dating from the 1960s-1980s. A large portion of the articles are reviews of concerts given by the NEC Chorus. There are numerous reviews of concerts in which the NEC Chorus performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Also included in this series are a number of articles pertaining to the NEC Chorus tours, particularly the one to the Soviet Union in 1966. The tenth series is comprised of photographs. The photographs are organized by subject. These include BSO performances, Copland concerts/recordings and Tanglewood, and more general photographs which include press photographs (head shots) of de Varon; candid photographs of de Varon; other (non-NEC) choruses, photographs of de Varon conducting, general NEC Chorus photographs, and photographs from the NEC Chorus tours including California, China, Puerto Rico (1965), Puerto Rico (1983), Romania/Bulgaria, and the White House/Capitol/NY tour, as well as a large number of photos from the Soviet Union tour. There are several scrapbooks in this collection. The two largest are anniversary scrapbooks commemorating de Varon's 30th anniversary at NEC in 1977-1978 and her retirement from the NEC Chorus in 1988. There is a scrapbook that de Varon compiled from the Soviet Union tour, some of this is still intact, the rest is loose pages. There is also a scrapbook from the 1940s-1950s and another focusing on the NEC Alumni Chorus. The box of Artifacts contains mostly award plaques for de Varon from various organizations including the Alfred Nash Patterson Foundation for the Choral Arts, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (from 1962, 1964, and 1970), the NEC Alumni Association, and the ACDA Eastern Division. Also included in this series are a silver plate/plaque and a silver Christmas bell which the Chorus received when they sang at the White House in 1975. The final box of oversize materials includes items that would ordinarily fit into other series but that are physically too large to be shelved with their respective series. This box contains posters, a citation for de Varon for the Boston Medal for Distinguished Achievement, an oversize photo of de Varon conducting, and most notably a poster with a photo of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, signed by all of its members as a tribute to de Varon.

11 record cartons and 5 flat boxes.

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New England Conservatory of Music

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De Varon, Lorna Cooke

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Lorna Cooke de Varon, choral conductor, was born in Western Springs, Ill., on January 17, 1921, daughter of Vernon Walter and Hazel Mildred (Watts) Cooke. De Varon earned her BA from Wellesley College in 1942, where she studied theory with Nadia Boulanger and her MA from Radcliffe College in 1945. At Radcliffe, de Varon studied conducting with G. Wallace Woodworth; choral composition with Archibald T. Davison, and composition with Walter Piston. De Varon served as Assistant Conductor of the Radc...