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Walter Collins College Song Book Collection

Identifier: CoU-AMRC-24

Scope and Contents

Collegiate song books collected by Walter S. "Wally" Collins (1926-1997), including extensive research materials on the Yale Song Book.


  • Creation: 1853–1953


The collection is open for research

Usage Restrictions

Copyright is not held by the American Music Research Center. Requests to publish materials should be directed to the copyright holder.

Biography of Walter S. Collins

Walter S. “Wally” Collins was born January 12, 1926, in West Hartford, Conn. He married Jane (Jenny Kate) Reynolds. He received two degrees from Yale University, his bachelor’s in 1948 and a master’s in music in 1951. He also received a master’s and doctorate degree from the University of Michigan in 1955 and 1960. He studied with Paul Hindemith, Hans David, Robert Shaw, Leo Schrade and other noted musicians.

He first taught at the Hotchkiss School, Auburn University, the University of Minnesota and Oakland University near Detroit before coming to the University of Colorado in 1971. At Oakland University, he was the founding chairman of the music department and began the Meadow Brook School of Music. From 1971 to 1988 he was an associate dean for graduate studies at the College of Music at the University of Colorado, where he also taught choral music and musicology.

He served as adjudicator and clinician at choral festivals in many parts of the world, and published numerous articles and books on choral music. In 1980, he was honored by the Yale School of Music Alumni Association for “distinguished contributions in the field of music.” He was a national leader in a cappella singing of popular music, beginning with membership in the Yale Whiffenpoofs. He was president of the Yale Glee Club. In 1988, he was recipient of the “Pan” distinguished-service award from Spring Sing, a national association of a cappella singing groups.

He was a charter member of the board of directors of the International Federation for Choral Music and was secretary-general and vice-president of the federation. He was a member of the Boulder Rotary Club. In 1971, he was the founder of the New Wizard Oil Combination, singing group performing in Boulder and Denver, Colorado. He was an avid birdwatcher and Internet devotee, observing over 700 species of birds in the U.S. and Canada.

Mr. Collins was also known to a generation of University of Colorado graduates as the commencement marshal for the annual event from 1974 to 1988, in which he led thousands of graduates in the commencement procession. He remained active in the College of Music through 1996.

Mr. Collins died June 30, 1997, while vacationing in Hyannis Port, Mass., at age 71.


10 linear feet

Language of Materials



Arranged geographically by institution.

Physical Location

Housed in the Howard B. Waltz Music Library, University of Colorado Boulder

Custodial history

Donated by Walter S. Collins

The Walter Collins college song book collection
An inventory of holdings at the American Music Research Center
Conversion Draft
Kitty Galvin, Cassandra M. Volpe
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written inEnglish.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States