Collection on Henry Veld

MSS 30
approximately 2 linear feet


Unknown, see acquisition information following.




There are no restrictions on the use of this collection

Access points:

Veld, Henry.
Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.). Choir.
Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.)--Faculty.
Handel Oratorio Society.
Choral conductors--Illinois.

Finding aid prepared by:

Emily Hughes Dominick, 2007.
Revised by Kelsey O'Connell, 2010.


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 appears to have been created artificially by the Archives and Special Collections. One item, a photo album of Veld's final rehearsal with the Handel Oratorio Society in 1966, is known to have been donated by Frank Telleen in 1978 but other components have unknown origins. Some items, including the Massanet's Mary Magdalen score, some clippings from the 1960s, and the Handel Oratorio Society performance programs from the 1965-1966 season are from Donald Morrison, professor of music and choral director at Augustana College, 1966-1993. These materials were donated by Morrison in December 1994 and were processed into this collection in September 2010.



Henry Veld was born in South Holland, Illinois, July 20, 1895. His family was musically inclined with his father playing clarinet in the village band. Following his propensity for music, Veld studied theory and composition at Chicago Music College, now Roosevelt College. He went on to train in New York under voice instructors William Brady and Oscar Seagle in 1928.

In 1929, Veld was offered a job at Augustana College. His first duty was to conduct the girls' choir, the Oriole Choir and then the Jenny Lind Chorus, but was soon asked to help reorganize the men's glee club, the Wennerberg Chorus. In 1931, Veld joined the mens' and womens' respective choirs into one during a concert and the beginnings of the Augustana Choir were established. Also in 1931, Veld took over the responsibilities of conducting the Handel Oratorio Society (see historical note for MSS 231 for a history of this choral body). He is credited with growing the chorus from 125 members to 350. After several years at Augustana College, Veld earned a bachelor's degree in music education. Veld remained on the faculty at Augustana College for 37 years and was known as one of the leading conductors in the United States.

During his tenure at Augustana, Veld took the choir on annual tours where they sang in 33 of the United States, three Canadian provinces, and five European countries. In 1955, the choir appeared on Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town television program where they sang "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning," from the musical Oklahoma, in Swedish. In addition to the Augustana College choirs, Veld conducted many other choirs during his career including Chicago's prestigious Apollo Chorus; two choruses at American University in Shrivenham, England during World War II; and a 2000 voice choir for the opening session of the World Council of Churches Assembly in Soldier's Field in Chicago.

Veld belonged to the American Academy of Teachers of Singing, American Choral Directors' Association, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Music Educators' National Conference, After Dinner Club of Moline, Outing Club of Davenport, Cliff Dwellers Club of Chicago, Omicron Delta Kappa, and St. John's Luther Church of Rock Island. He married Alice VanZanten on August 15, 1935 in Holland, Michigan. They had two children.

Veld retired in 1966, but continued conducting at various posts including as visiting professor-conductor at Bethany College in Kansas, Carthage College in Wisconsin, Hamline University in Minnesota, and Fresno State in California. He died, after a brief illness, on June 15, 1976 in Muskegon, Michigan. In 1980, the Henry Veld Chair in Music was created in his honor. The endowed chair was only the third in the history of Augustana College.



The Collection on Henry Veld contains a variety of scrapbooks containing information about Veld while at Augustana College, articles and newspaper clippings on Veld, photographs of choirs and of Veld, and three of Veld's scores with annotations.



The Collection on Henry Veld has been arranged chronologically into the following four series:

Series I. Scrapbooks, 1930-1947 includes a wide range of materials such as programs, press clippings, correspondence, and photographs. The scrapbooks provide a window to the development of the Augustana Choir under the direction of Veld.

Series II. Clippings, 1955-1976 contain articles and newspaper clippings about Veld and performances he conducted. In addition, this series continas the Handel Oratorio Society performance programs from Veld's final season as conductor, 1965-1966.

Series III. Photographs, 1965-1966 and undated contains three choir group photographs and an album filled with photographs of Veld conducting the Handel Oratorio Society during his final year at Augustana College.

Series IV. Scores, circa 1955 and undated contians marked scores, most notably Handel's The Messiah, but also, "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning," and Massanet's Mary Magdalen, which demonstrate Veld's style as a conductor.



Box 1
      Series I. Scrapbooks, 1930-1947
            "The Augustana College Choir: Pictures, Programs, and Press Notes," 1930-1943 [2 folders]
            Scrap album, clippings, 1930-1952 [oversize: in box 3]
            Programs and clippings, 1923-1947 [oversize: in box 3]

      Series II. Clippings, 1955-1976
            Handel Oratorio Performance Programs, 1965-1966

      Series III. Photographs, 1965-1966 and undated
            Group choir photographs, undated [4 folders]
            Photo album, "Dr. Henry Veld Conducts the Handel Oratorio Society," 1966

Box 2
      Series IV. Scores, circa 1955 and undated
            "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," circa 1955
            Handel's The Messiah, undated
            Massanet's Mary Magdalen, undated

Box 3 [oversize]
      Series I. Scrapbooks, 1930-1947 (cont'd)
            Scrap album, clippings, 1930-1952
            Programs and clippings, 1923-1947



MSS 231 Handel Oratorio Society
MSS 234 Augustana College Choir records 

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