Gordon Myers music and personal papers
Scope and Contents
Papers of Gordon Myers (1919–2006), composer, musicologist, humorist, professor of music at Columbia College (1965–68) and Trenton State College (1968–85), member of New York Pro Musica, including published and unpublished music manuscripts; correspondence; scrapbooks; programs; and audio and video recordings of Myers' compositions and performances. Includes the score and parts to God's Trombones, his dissertation (ED D.) from Columbia University.
The collection is open for research.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the American Music Research Center.
Biographical / Historical
Gordon Myers was born May 9, 1919, on Jackson Township’s Eastlane farm, Bremer County, Iowa, to Logan Clifton Myers and Ruth Iowa Jones Myers. He graduated from Finchford Consolidated High School in 1937 and won a scholarship in singing and graduated from Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, in 1941.
In the fall of 1941, he won a fellowship in singing at the Juilliard Graduate School, New York City, NY. Study was interrupted when he enlisted in the U.S. Army, August, 1942. As a soldier, he was chosen by Frank Loesser to premiere his The Ballad of Rodger Young, on the NBC’s The Army Hour, March 25, 1945.
Myers earned his Master’s degree from Teacher’s College, Columbia University in 1948. He was the featured singer, program director, and Vice President of WGHF-FM (10 East 40th Street) in New York City from 1948 to 1955.
He continued his studies, sang concerts, oratorio, composed and directed a Community Chorus. He sang with the Margaret Dodd Singers, the Randolph Singers. In addition, from 1957 to 1963 he also recorded and toured England, Europe and the United States with the New York Pro Musica.
Myers earned his doctors degree (ED.D.) from Teacher’s College, Columbia University in 1965. His Doctoral thesis was a 90-minute choral work, God’s Trombones by James Weldon Johnson, which was published in 1966 by Eastlane Music Corporation with the help of a $1,000 grant from BMI. The copyright to God’s Trombones was transferred to Paraclete Press in 1994 when it was recorded on CD by Gloriae Dei Cantores. The full score with parts for brass was published by Paraclete Press in 1996.
He was Chairman of the Music Department, Columbia College, Columbia, South Carolina, from 1965 to 1968. He then moved to Trenton State College, Trenton , New Jersey, in 1968 and retired as full professor of music in 1985.
He received two Rockefeller Foundation Grants for the summers of 1969 and 1970 to research for today’s performance of American vocal music published and performed before 1800. His “Yankee Doodle Fought Here,” the story of New Jersey in the American Revolution, drew $60,000 in grant monies to tour his Trenton State College Singers one day a week for three years and they performed it 226 times before more than 84,000 school children in New Jersey, 1974-1977.
He sang faculty recitals for every year he taught in colleges and invented The Art of Belly Canto, a repertoire of humorous songs that came to be known nation-wide. The Art of Belly Canto songs and Myers autobiography, I Sing – Therefore, I Am are published by Leyerle Publications, 1989 to 1998.
Gordon Myers died at home, October 7, 2006.
12 linear feet
Language of Materials
The collection's arrangement and description are, in most cases, the creator's
Housed in the American Music Research Center
- Processed by:
- Genevieve Nelson
- Date completed:
- May, 2010
- Encoded and updated by
- Eric Harbeson (2010)
- The Gordon Myers music and personal papers, 1919–2006
- An inventory of holdings at the American Music Research Center
- Conversion Draft
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written inEnglish.
Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository
1720 Pleasant Street
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States