Scope and arrangement
The David Randolph papers consists of letters, diaries, writings, concert programs, photographs, and annotated scores documenting Randolph’s career as a choral conductor, radio host, and music educator. The collection contains information on Randolph’s personal and professional life; his intellectual output, including drafts of articles, reviews, and his music appreciation book This is Music; and his conducting methods and performance decisions.
Inquiries regarding audio materials in the collection may be directed to the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound (firstname.lastname@example.org). Audio materials will be subject to preservation evaluation and migration prior to access.
The David Randolph papers are arranged in nine series:
The Biographical Documents series is comprised of Randolph’s curriculum vitae, various biographical write-ups, genealogical notes, personal interest newspaper stories concerning Randolph, and official certificates of achievement and diplomas. Arranged alphabetically.
The Correspondence series contains private and business letters, the bulk of which are from family members (primarily Stanley, Isaac, and Vivian Rosenberg), colleagues, and acquaintances. Many letters are “testimonials” from audience and chorus members that discuss Randolph’s musical performances, radio program, and his impact on their appreciation of musical. Also present are communications concerning performances, lectures, and publishing, including letters from Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, The St. Cecilia Chorus, the Masterwork Chorus, the Griffith Music Foundation, MidAmerican Productions, Mohonk Mountain House, and various institutions of higher education. Most of the letters written by Randolph are photocopies of originals written in the 1990s and 2000s, including emails to The St. Cecilia Chorus sent at the end of his life.
Notable contributors include: Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Vernon Duke, Clifton Fadiman, Howard Hanson, Doris Humphrey, Harrison Kerr, Ernest Lubin, Tad Mosel, Walter Wehle Naumburg, Sam Norkin, Tony Randall, Lynn Redgrave, Klaus George Roy, William Schuman, Robert Haven Schauffler, Deems Taylor, Alec Templeton, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Edgard Varese, among others. The bulk of these letters date from the 1950s and 1960s and are notes regarding concerts, radio shows, opinions on music and specific performances, and social pleasantries. Also of interest are letters between Randolph and Neurologist Oliver Sacks, who used Randolph as an example of a musician who had stayed active and agile into his 90s (2007-2008). Arranged into folders by decade with some contributor folders at the end arranged alphabetically.
The Diaries series is comprised of 67 volumes (1943-2010) that contain daily entries noting Randolph’s professional and personal activities. Entries are brief. They include notes on appointments, deadlines, accomplishments, birthdays, anniversaries, and activities for the day. Occasionally they feature dramatic events in world news. The 1980 volume is missing and in its place is Randolph’s appointment calendar for that year. Arranged chronologically.
The Writings series (1950-2009) consists of drafts, notes, and published clippings of magazine articles; reviews; lectures and speeches; performance notes; musical compositions and exercises; record liner notes; scripts for radio programs, LPs, and Films; and miscellaneous writings by Randolph from throughout his career. This series is arranged into 8 subseries with each organized alphabetically by folder title with general writings at the beginning.
The Ledger series is made up of two volumes that document Randolph’s personal finances from 1954-1962. Randolph recorded deposits, withdrawals, and loans, and noted the purpose for each transaction.
The Concert Programs series consists of material related to Randolph’s public performances as a singer, conductor, and lecturer. Programs list the date and location of performances, performers, and notes on the featured works. Some of the programs contain program notes written by Randolph.
The Reviews and Publicity series contains newspaper and magazine reviews of Randolph performances, radio shows, lectures, and his book This Is Music. These clippings span Randolph’s entire career.
The Photographs series is comprised of 35 images spanning 1957-1999. The bulk of these are portraits of Randolph, including publicity shots and photographs of him during concerts and rehearsals. Of note are two color photographs of the Randolph Singers dressed in 18th century costume for a performance at the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg, Virginia (October 16, 1958); 16 black and white photographs of a St. Cecilia Chorus dress rehearsal at Carnegie Hall (December 16, 1973); and 5 color photographs of Randolph conducting The St. Cecilia Chorus performance of the Berlioz Requiem at Carnegie Hall (May 10, 1991).
The Scores series consists of 248 scores that Randolph used for performances throughout his career. These scores are extensively annotated and contain markings and notes regarding interpretation, errata, performers, and performance dates and venues. Many scores hold inserted printed concert programs from Randolph’s performances of the work. Score types include published and photocopied versions of full orchestral scores and piano vocal scores. The bulk of the pieces are for chorus and orchestra and span the standard chorus repertoire (Bach, Beethoven, Berlioz, Handel, Hayden, Mozart, and Vivaldi) along with American and European 20th Century compositions (Bernstein, Britten, Giannini, Stravinsky, and Vaughan Williams). The performance markings provide insights into Randolph’s musical decision making process. Of note are three heavily used copies of Handel’s Messiah.