Augustana College Choir records

MSS 234
4.375 linear feet


Unknown, see acquisition information


English, Swedish


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection

Access points:

Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.). Choir.
Veld, Henry
Choral societies--Illinois--Rock Island.
Music in universities and colleges--Illinois--Rock Island.

Finding aid prepared by:

Emily Hughes Dominick, 2007.
Updated by Kelsey O'Connell, 2010.
Julia G. Westblade, 2013.


Augustana College Special Collections
Thomas Tredway Library
639 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois 61201

Acquisition Information
Historical Note
Scope and Content
System of Arrangement
Container List
Related Collections


This collection has been assembled from several donations and small collections including scrapbooks compiled by Gilbert Dierkes (Assistant Director of Admission) and Frank Telleen (Director of Information Services); programs and advertisements of the Choir performance at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln center donated by Rita Gustafson (Cultural Events); an autographed score donated by John C. Reed, by way of Jon Hurty (Choir Director); and programs, tour information, posters, and photograph negatives by Donald Morrison (former professor of music and choral director). Other items in the collection may have been transferred to the Archives and Special Collections from the Department of Music.



The Augustana Choir was formed under the direction of Henry Veld who merged the male chorus, the Wennerberg Chorus, with the female chorus, the Orioles, into one group starting in 1931. They made their first joint appearance on March 18, 1931 during a concert at Orchestra Hall in Chicago and became an immediate success.

Since its debut, the Choir has performed all over the United States and has made appearances in Canada, Europe, and China. The Choir has made numerous recordings and has performed on both radio and television programs.

The Choir has been directed by Henry Veld (1931-1966), Donald Morrison (1966-1993); Roger Wesby (1993-1996); Jon Hurty (1996- ).

Membership to the 70-voice Choir is limited to the undergraduate students at Augustana College. The Choir members also participate in the Handel Oratorio Society which presents Handel's Messiah and other major choral works each year.



The Augustana College Choir records include mostly programs from Augustana Choir performances, clippings and information about various Augustana Choir tours, some recordings, earlier photographs, and various miscellaneous items such as, correspondence, advertisements and promotional materials, materials from Dr. Veld's reception, a guest book from the Augustana Choir's Fiftieth Anniversary, and an autographed score.



This collection has been arranged chronologically into the following five series:

Series I. Programs, 1934-2013 includes programs from most of the concert series performed by the Augustana College Choir.

Series II. Tours, 1934-2008 contains the bulk of materials for this collection. This series is organized chronologically and includes various information about the annual tours of the Choir. It appears that most of this information was compiled by the Choir Manager/ Public Relations Director but some items were compiled by other creators who are listed at the folder level. The items saved vary greatly from year to year, some tour years may include such items as financial records, clippings of reviews or concert announcements, press releases, correspondence, publicity posters, itineraries, contracts, lists of choir personnel, schedules, scrapbooks and other items. In addition, this series contains a memoir of the 1953 Augustana Choir Tour by Niel M. Johnson from, "Nelsons and Johnsons: A Family History and Reminiscences, Vol. II 1943-1953."

Series III. Radio, Television, and Recordings, 1950-1960 contains information about performances aired on radio or television, or that were prepared for LP recordings. This series includes letters and postcards asking for the Augustana Choir concert to be aired on television, scripts of radio programs, correspondence, and notes.

Series IV. Miscellany, 1941-1990 and undated includes information about the purchase of risers for the choir, advertising materials (including posters) that had been separated from the individual tours files, information about the 25th anniversary of the choir celebration dubbed the Veld Reception, and undated clippings. The Veld Reception materials had previously been stored with the Collection on Henry Veld, MSS 30, but were transferred into this collection in 2007 as they are more relevant to the choir as a whole than to Veld. There are also an autographed score of "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" that the Choir sang in Swedish on the Ed Sullivan show, and the guest book from the Augustana Choir's Fiftieth Anniversary.

Series V. Photographs, 1934-1966 and undated includes photographic prints, 1 positive transparency, and 1 slide. Subjects of the photos includes formal group shots, informal small group shots, and Veld Reception photos. There are also some pictures of billboards advertising the choir's upcoming shows, photograph negatives from tours, and other miscellaneous shots.



Box 1
      Series I. Programs, 1934-2009
            Other College Choir programs

Box 2
      Series II. Tours, 1934-2008
            Dixon, Illinois, 1937
            1938 [oversize: in box 8]
            1939 [oversize: in box 8]
            1940 [oversize: in box 8]

Box 3
            Clippings, 1948
            Clippings, 1949
            Clippings, 1950
            Providence, RI March 23, 1950
            Clippings, 1951

Box 4
            Selection from "Nelsons and Johnsons: A Family History and Reminiscences, Vol. II 1943-1953" by Niel M. Johnson pages 192, 197-236 on Augustana Choir Tour 1953, 1979
            Clippings, 1953
            Clippings, 1954
            Clippings, 1956
            Clippings, 1957
            Publicity Committee, Concert March 28, 1958
            Clippings, 1959
            Clippings scrapbook compiled by Frank Telleen, 1959-1960
            Clippings 1960
            Clippings, 1962

Box 5
            Pablo Casals Benefit Concert, 1968
            Clippings, Tribute to Casals, May 7, 1968
            1968 (disassembled scrapbook from Gilbert Dierkes)
            Clippings, 1969
            Clippings, 1970-1976
            Orchestra Hall Concert, March 19, 1976
            Materials Collected on Augustana Choir tours, circa 1970s
            Clippings, 1985
            Clippings, 1990

Box 6

      Series III. Radio, Television, and Recordings, 1950-1960
            Letters and cards sent regarding Choir telecast, 1952 [2 folders]
            Choir recordings, 1950-1954
            Key LP record, 1950-1954
            Word Records, 1953-1955
            RCA Victor Records, 1953-1955
            Word and RCA recordings, 1955-1959
            Recordings, miscellaneous info, 1950-1955
            Radio and television, miscellaneous info, 1953
            NBC network, 1953-1954

Box 7
            CBS network, 1951-1956
            Mutual network, 1952-1954
            "National Pulpit Radio" program, 1958-1960

      Series IV. Miscellany, 1941-1990 and undated
            Riser correspondence, 1941-1950
            Publicity and advertising, 1947-1955
            Veld Reception, 1956
            Clippings, undated
            Letter of appeal to sponsor an April 16, 1966 concert in honor of Dr. Henry Veld
            Guest Book and Choir Alum sign-in sheets from Augustana Choir Fiftieth Anniversary, May 30-31, 1981
            Posters, 1940-1990 and undated [oversize: in box 8]
            "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" autographed score, 1955 [oversize: in box 8]

      Series V. Photographs, 1934-1966 and undated
            Group, 1934-1966 and undated
            Small group, informal, undated
            Veld Reception photos, 1956
            Publicity and miscellaneous, 1950-1958 and undated
            Photograph Negatives from Choir tour, undated

Box 8 [oversize]
      Series II. Tours, 1934-2008 (cont'd)

      Series IV. Miscellany, 1941-1990 and undated (cont'd)
            Posters, 1945-1990 and undated
            "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" autographed score, 1955



AV 8 Augustana Choir CDs and LPs
MSS 30 Collection on Henry Veld
MSS 231 Handel Oratorio Society records
MSS 232 Wennerberg Chorus records
MSS 233 Oriole Chorus records
Posters -- Music

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