Sidebar: High Notes in Lewis & Clark’s Choral Music Program
September 22, 2009
1892 Trustees of Albany College approve establishment of a music department.
1910 Music department has grown to a conservatory with three instructors.
1944 Hiring of John Stark Evans (the former director of music at University of Oregon) is called the year’s “most significant academic gain” for his stature and his ability to attract other distinguished musicians to the faculty and build a strong music program.
Department moves from a small greenhouse shared with the girls’ gymnasium to remodeled space under the dovecote; builds an organ out of parts gleaned from different sources during World War II.
1948 Evans introduces two major music events with all of the college’s music organizations performing: Christmas concert on campus and spring music festival in downtown Portland.
1950s-60s A cappella choir under composer-director L. Stanley Glarum, who joined the faculty in 1947, becomes one of the outstanding musical organizations of the West. Glarum draws in students, composes and arranges, and takes the 60-voice choir on popular West Coast tours.
1957 New music building constructed at a cost of $410,000. Principal donors Herbert and Ruth Templeton specify naming the building for Evans, who retires as department chair. Auditorium seating 400 is considered to have the “most perfect acoustics of any in Portland” at the time.
1950s-70s At least five recordings featuring Lewis & Clark choral singers are released.
1971 New Casavant organ specially designed for Agnes Flanagan Chapel is dedicated in honor of Glarum.
1975 Stanley Glarum retires.
1976 Gilbert Seeley becomes director of the College Choir.
1996 The Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation establishes the James W. Rogers Professorship in Music to honor the memory of James W. Rogers B.S. ‘64. The late James Rogers was a bass singer and a devoted chorus member under Stanley Glarum.
Gilbert Seeley is inaugurated as the college’s first Rogers Professor of Music. First annual James W. Rogers Concert features compositions by Seeley and choral performances by Lewis & Clark’s Cappella Nova and the Oregon Repertory Singers (also directed by Seeley).
2008 Katherine FitzGibbon joins Lewis & Clark as director of choral activities.
April 2009 Cappella Nova, Women’s Chorus, and Orchestra present a concert on campus and in downtown Portland including Mozart’s Requiem and other compositions, conducted by Katherine FitzGibbon and George Skipworth, with professional vocal soloists.