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Warner Imig scrapbooks

Identifier: CoU-AMRC-41

Scope and Contents

Scrapbooks compiled by Warner Imig (1913-2005), Professor of Music (1937-1978) and Dean (1951-1978), University of Colorado Boulder College of Music; DMA honoris causa, University of Colorado, 1978.


  • 1914-1946


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 Warner Imig

Warner Imig was born February 12, 1913 in Sioux City, Iowa. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yanktown College and a Master of Education degree from the University of Colorado. He was a graduate fellow in music at Stanford University from 1950-51 and 1952. He received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the University of Colorado in 1978. His training in opera conducting was under the direction of Louis Hasselmans and he studied choir and voice technique with Lee Dailey, Pasquale Amato (leading baritone at the Metropolitan Opera for many years) and Theodore Harrison at the American Conservatory.

Imig was appointed to the University of Colorado faculty in 1937 as a teacher of voice and choral music. He was appointed Dean of the College of Music in 1951 and continued as Dean and Professor of Music until 1978. In 1978 the Regents of the University named him Dean and Professor Emeritus. At that time, the College of Music building was named in his honor.

In 1938, Warner Imig organized and conducted the first formal University of Colorado choir and conducted that choir until his appointment as Dean. In 1942 he produced and conducted the first formal opera production under the aegis of the College of Music. In 1942 he produced and conducted the first formal opera production, the musical Sweethearts and was followed the next year by a production of the Bartered Bride. Under Imig, the College of Music had a long history of presenting outstanding productions of opera, Gilbert & Sullivan works, and musical comedy. He also organized the ever-popular annual “Festival of Christmas” musical celebration in 1942. Imig is credited with the new concept embodied in the University’s Modern Choir, which he founded in 1947. The choir was known for its varied repertoire of classic, contemporary, folk and popular music. Under his direction, the group premiered several contemporary works by American and foreign composers and was recognized as one of the outstanding performance groups in the United States. Alumni from that choral group have attained significant positions in the musical and artistic world as professors of music, composers, conductors and leaders in the arts.

As one of America’s foremost choral directors, Warner Imig has lectured at many colleges and universities and has served as a consultant in curriculum design. He has conducted extensively in the United States for various festivals as well as all-state choirs in 30 states. He has presented papers on the structure of higher education in music, the development and history of the Doctor on Musical Arts degree in the United States, and the methods and processes of accreditation in music curricula in higher education. As a partial result of these presentations and seminars, several countries have developed programs in higher education in music that are similar to the Doctor of Musical Arts in the U.S. In 1979, Imig was visiting professor of music at Hartt College of Music at the University of Hartford, Connecticut. Also in 1979, he gave a special invitation lecture in memory of the late Samuel Rubin, founder of the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, Israel, and acted as a consultant to the academy and to Hebrew University. Imig was a founding member and president of the American Choral Directors Association.

A number of Imig’s compositions have been published, primarily folk-song arrangements and a basic junior high school series titled “Music in Our Life” and “Music in Our Time”. On several occasions, he was conductor for the Denver Symphony. His performances with that group in a summer series at Red Rocks Amphitheater drew critical acclaim. Performances with the Denver Symphony and CU students included Guys and Dolls, Carousel, Annie Get Your Gun, South Pacific, and Haydn’s Creation. In addition, he conducted the Denver Symphony in concerts of contemporary composers.

Mr. Imig was active in a number of important national music associations over the course of his career. He was a governor of Kiwanis International in 1949 and was a member of the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) starting in 1963. From 1976 – 1978, he was president of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the accrediting organization for music programs in music departments, conservatories, schools and colleges in the United States. In 1977, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Music Council. Imig was a member of the steering committee of the Caucus on the Arts in Higher Education, a group formed to develop more effective communications with Federal agencies. In that capacity, he appeared before United States government committees of the House of Representatives. He also acted as chairperson for meetings of the Assembly of National Arts Organizations of which he was a founding organizer. The Assembly consists of participants from organizations with interests at all levels of education and in all arts disciplines including art, theater and dance. He has served as chair of the Joint Commission on Dance and Theater Accreditations, a commission for accreditation on higher education programs in the arts.

Warner Imig was the first chair of the Commission on Education of the Professional musician for the International Society for Music Education (ISME). He organized the committees for that commission for meetings in Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Finland, England and Canada. He is a charter and founding member of the American Choral Directors Association, as well as a board member and past president of that organization of 50,000 members. In addition, he was a national officer of the Music Teachers National Association of the United States.

Warner Imig has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He received the Boulder Chamber of Commerce Recognition award in 1973 for his 40 years as leader of Boulder’s annual Fourth of July Sing-a-Long. He led the singing in Folsom Stadium to a grand total of over 1,000,000 participants over 40 years. He was also awarded the honorary University of Colorado alumni athletic award for his 35 years of play-by-play football announcements at Folsom Field. In addition, Warner Imig was elected to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha, and an honorary citizen of New Orleans. He was awarded the Harry Carlson award in 1986 and the prestigious Robert L. Stearns Award in 1964. Mr. Imig was awarded the Governor’s Award on the Arts and Humanities in 1978 by Governor Richard Lamm. Warner Imig was one of the great innovators of his time while serving as an administrator, conductor, impresario, and teacher. He was known for his musical compositions, arrangements and textbook writing and editing. Imig died in Mesa, Arizona, July 15, 2005.


2 linear feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Housed in the American Music Research Center

Acquisition history

Donated by Warner Imig

The Warner Imig scrapbooks, 1914-1946
An inventory of holdings at the American Music Research Center
Conversion Draft
Ruth Cutcher, 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