Terre Haute Symphony Collection
Dates: 1928-1999
Accession Number: 990126
Description: Two document cases


Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra

The Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1926 by Will H. Bryant, a professor of music at Indiana State Normal School, and a group of local union musicians. The idea of a symphony was also promoted by the Women's Department Club which asked Professor Bryant to create an orchestra and perform at their state convention of clubs on December 4, 1926. This became the date of their first concert which was held at the Indiana Theatre.

Although the early concerts were sporadic, venues changed, and the musicians performed without pay, the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra has developed into a highly professional organization and has maintained a close relationship with Indiana State University. In 1933, President Ralph Tirey offered the orchestra rehearsal space and the use of university musical instruments. By 1946, the symphony had a permanent performance hall at the Student Union Building.

Over the years the symphony has collaborated with a variety of guest artists from local performers (such as Amelia Meyer, Vivian Bard, Elsa Silverstein, Wilfred Fidler)

to internationally acclaimed musicians (Isaac Stern, Roberta Peters, Aaron Copeland, Antonia Brico). Music directors/conductors of the Terre Haute Symphony include: Will H. Bryant (1926-1949), James W. Barnes (1949-1970), Victor B. Danek (1970-1978), Ramon E. Meyer (1978-1995), Cindy Egolf-ShamRao (1995-1997), and David Bowden (1997 to the present).

The Terre Haute Symphony is the second oldest orchestra in the state of Indiana. A brief history of the symphony by Susie Dewey is included in "High Notes," Vol. 1, No. 1 (November 1986), Folder 17 of this collection.

The Terre Haute Symphony Association was established as a non-profit organization to maintain and support the orchestra. In one of the Association's early constitutions the purpose of the organization was defined:

"The objectives of this association are to sponsor a civic orchestra known as the Terre Haute Symphony, to sponsor campaigns or solicitations to raise funds for said orchestra, and to do any and all things deemed proper and legal in the furtherance of musical culture of the city of Terre Haute and its adjacent area."

Women's Symphony Society of Terre Haute

In 1964, the Women's Symphony Society of Terre Haute organized "to promote the interests of the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra and to stimulate appreciation of fine music." Membership was open to women who held a season ticket to the concert series.

The Society was active in various fundraising projects: the Blossom Sale, the fall candle boutique, a Round Robin Bridge series, and it spearheaded the season ticket drive. It jointly sponsored activities with the Terre Haute Symphony Association, such as the Symphony Ball, music scholarships, purchase of instruments for the orchestra, and the Young Artists Concerto Competition.

The Society disbanded in 1978.

Terre Haute Symphony League

During the 1979-80 season, the Terre Haute Symphony League was formed as a volunteer group to provide additional support for the symphony. Membership was open to men and women interested in helping the symphony. Like its predecessor, the Women's Symphony Society of Terre Haute, the League has sponsored many fundraising activities from the Symphony Ball and Auction to the season ticket drive.

Today, in 1999, the League continues to be a vital organization to help maintain the symphony.

Content and Scope of the Collection

This collection was generated from original material on the Terre Haute Symphony found in the Community Affairs File in Special Collections. It represents four specific but interrelated organizations: the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, the Terre Haute Symphony Association, the Women's Symphony Society of Terre Haute, and the Terre Haute Symphony League.

The collection includes sample programs of symphony concerts, most of which are from the 1970s and 1980s. These programs not only document the specific concert, but contain a list of members of the orchestra and the members and officers of various supporting groups. Also, in the collection are some newsletters, bulletins, membership lists, and constitution and by-laws of the different organizations which support the symphony.

For related material, see Terre Haute Symphony Association (#790523A, OV 6); Terre Haute Symphony Association (SM D.C. 4); Terre Haute Symphony Association (SM D.C. 6); and Women's Symphony Society (#790523B).

Document Case 1





Folder 1


April 10, 1928

March 21, 1939




Folder 2






Folder 3


1960; 1962; 1965




Folder 4






Folder 5






Folder 6

Programs (includes Golden Anniversary concert, March 29, 1977)





Folder 7

Programs, flyers





Folder 8






Folder 9






Folder 10






Folder 11






Folder 12






Folder 13






Folder 14

Programs; flyers








Document Case 2





Folder 15

Bulletin of the Terre Haute Symphony Board

Oct. 1956





Terre Haute Symphony Association: letters to subscribers





Folder 16

Newsletter: "Accent Notes"  Terre Haute Symphony Association





Folder 17

Newsletter: "High Notes"   Terre Haute Symphony Association





Folder 18

Women's Symphony Society of   Terre Haute (membership lists;
   constitution and by-laws)






Folder 19

Terre Haute Symphony League (membership lists; constitution and





Folder 20

Newsletter: "Notes of Interest" Terre Haute Symphony League





Folder 21

Terre Haute Symphony Ball and Auction - programs, flyers





Folder 22

Newsletter: "Prelude"