Scope and arrangement
The Cantata Singers Records consists of those records which the non-profit organization retained over the course of some 37 years in operation. These include correspondence and materials surrounding the concerts they produced each season as well as administrative files including minutes of the organization's meetings, documentation of their incorporation, publicity, and financial records including insurance and tax papers, balance sheets, and treasurer's reports. Much of the collection is made up of the contracts, correspondence, financial papers, programs, publicity, schedules, and ticket information, in the Series of Concert Materials. With the exception of a few brief examples none of the concert music is included. These documents evidence most of The Cantata Singers output and together with the Administrative Files and Financial Records provide much insight into what it took to sustain the organization.
The Cantata Singers records are arranged in five series:
- 1937 - 1970
This series contains correspondence retained by The Cantata Singers arranged alphabetically by the name of the outside party. The largest portions of this series are correspondence with churches, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Mark Silverberg. Correspondence with the churches documents inquiry made by The Cantata Singers as to where there might be the opportunity, and a suitable environment, to produce authentic performances, but also where the choir might rehearse. The discussions with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, principally with Dr. Emanuel Winternitz, are of a similar nature, generally to arrange performances in concert with the Museum. Mark Silverberg was President of The Cantata Singers from, at least, 1947-1949, and subsequently served as Treasurer from 1950-1952; the business of his correspondence is varied as is the rest of the collected correspondence. Correspondence between members or officers, Inter-Office Correspondence, is filed separately among the administrative files in Series III. Also, correspondence specifically related to particular concerts is collected with the other materials for that concert within the series of Concert Materials; and there is correspondence related to fund-raising collected within the Administrative Files. Some correspondence may also be found in other series when relevant to the materials contained therein.
- 1936 - 1970
The focus of The Cantata Singers was to plan and produce concert performances seasonally. This series is arranged chronologically by the date of each concert. Materials related to each concert, including contracts, correspondence, financial papers, program, publicity, schedules, and ticket information, are collected here. Information about venues, particularly seating information, may be found along with the ticket information.
- 1941 - 1970
Series III contains administrative files including the history and background of The Cantata Singers, general information for board members, documentation of their incorporation, the constitution and by-laws, fund raising information, minutes of the organization’s meetings, documentation on the membership and personnel, publicity materials, and other general information pertinent to the organization’s operations.
- 1944 - 1971
The series of financial records contains bank statements and returned checks, information regarding The Cantata Singers’ status as a charitable organization, records accounting for the organization’s receipts and expenditures, insurance and tax records, budgets, balance sheets, and other financial reports.
The series of oversized materials contains primarily concert posters and seating plans for Philharmonic Hall, oversized accounting sheets, publicity for fund raising, and an award from the City of New York.