Guide to the George Russell Howerton (1905-1999)

Collection Title: George Russell Howerton (1905-1999)
Dates: 1923-1999
Bulk Dates: 1935-1971
Identification: 19/1/4
Creator: Howerton, George
Extent: 9 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: The George Howerton Papers, filling nine boxes, illuminate Howerton's life, career and interests. While the entirety of the collection ranges from 1923 to 1999, the bulk of the content lies between 1935 and 1971. The Papers fall into six general categories: 1) biographical information, 2) teaching materials, 3) programs and concert information, 4) information on clinics and festivals and programs from these occasions, 5) presentation and lectures, and 6) publications.
Acquisition Information: Bernard Dobroski, Dean of the Northwestern University School of Music, transferred the George Howerton Papers to the Northwestern University Archives on the 23rd of June, 2003 (Accession #03-108).
Processing Information: Nathan Garrett; July 2004.
Separated Materials: Two cubic feet of material were discarded from Dr. Howerton's papers. Seventy-eight long-playing audiodiscs and two reels of magnetic audiotape were transferred to the University Archives Audio-Visual Collection; two photographs were relocated to the Archives Photographic Collection; three bound volumes of Northwestern University Chapel Service Programs dating from 1947 to 1950 were added to the Archives Serials Collection.Seventy-eight long-playing audiodiscs and two reels of magnetic audiotape were transferred to the University Archives Audio-Visual Collection. Following is a list of these materials:Composer Title Date Recorded Ensemble190 Bach Christ Lag in Todesbanden Part 1/Bach Christ Lag in Todesbanden Part 3191 Bach Christ Lag in Todesbanden Part 2/Bach Christ Lag in Todesbanden Part 4192 Bach Christ Lag in Todesbanden Part 5/Bach Christ Lag in Todesbanden Part 7193 Bach Christ Lag in Todesbanden Part 6/Bach Christ Lag in Todesbanden Part 8194 Bach Christ Lag in Todesbanden (Final Chorale)/Bach Schmücke Dich Part 1, 1st Chorus (Beginning)195 Bach Cantata no. 80, Sop. Aria: “Come Dwell Within My Heart”/Bach Cantata no. 80, Baritone Recitative: “O Child of God”196 Bach Cantata no. 65, 1st Chorus Part 1/Bach Cantata no. 65, 1st Chorus Conclusion197 Bach Cantata no. 65, Chorale: “Three Kings Came From Sheba”, Bass Recitative/Bach Cantata no. 65, Bass Aria: “Gold of Ophir Do Not Bring”198 Bach Cantata no. 65, Tenor Aria: “Take Me, Jesus” Part 1/Bach Cantata no. 65, Tenor Aria Conclusion199 Bach Cantata no. 21 Part 1/Bach Cantata no. 21 Part 3200 Bach Cantata no. 21 Part 2/Bach Cantata no. 21 Part 4201 Bach Cantata no. 21 Part 5/Bach Cantata no. 21 Part 7202 Bach Cantata no. 21 Part 6/Bach Cantata no. 21 Part 8203 Bach Cantata no. 21 Part 9/Bach Cantata no. 21 Part 11204 Bach Cantata no. 21 Part 10/Bach Cantata no. 21 Part 12205 Bach Du Hirte Israel, Chorus: “Thou Shepherd Bountiful” Part 1/Bach Du Hirte Israel, Chorus: “Thou Shepherd Bountiful” Part 2206 Bach Du Hirte Israel, Bass Aria Part 1/Bach Du Hirte Israel, Bass Aria Conclusion207 Bach Schmücke Dich, Tenor Aria Conclusion/Bach Schmücke Dich, Soprano Aria: “How Precious Are the Guests” Beginning208 Bach Schmücke Dich, Sop. Aria: “How Precious Are the Guests” Part 2, Alto Recitative/Bach Schmücke Dich, Bass Recitative209 Bach Schmücke Dich, Tenor Aria Beginning/Bach Schmücke Dich, 1st Chorus Conclusion210 Bach Schmücke Dich, Soprano Aria: “Son of Life”/Bach Schmücke Dich211 Bach Ein Feste Burg, A Stronghold Sure Part 1/Bach Ein Feste Burg, A Stronghold Sure Part 2212 Bach Ein Feste Burg, Sopr/Bar Duet: “Standing Alone” Part 1/Bach Ein Feste Burg, Sopr/Bar Duet: “Standing Alone” Part 2213 Bach Ein Feste Burg, Unison Chorale: “Though Fiends Appear” Part 1/Bach Cantata no. 80, Unison Chorale: “Though Fiends Appear” Part 2214 Bach Ein Feste Burg, Tenor Recitative: “Then Close Beside”, Chorale plus Ovation/Bach Ein Feste Burg, Contralto and Tenor Duet: “How Blessed Then”215 Bach Now Let Every Tongue, Paling of the Stars/ Dec. 10th, 1950 N.U. Choral GroupsKramer Magnificat (2) Dec. 10th, 1950 N.U. Choral Groups216 Bach Sanctus, B minor Mass, Part 1/ Dec. 9th-10th, 1950 N.U. Choral GroupsBach Sanctus, B minor Mass Part 2, I Hear Along Dec. 10th, 1950 N.U. Choral Groups217 Black As Lately We Watched, Masters in this Hall/ Dec. 10th, 1950 N.U. Choral GroupsHolst Cain Warrell Carol of the Birds, A Merry Christmas Dec. 10th, 1950 N.U. Choral Groups218 Brahms 6 Love Songs Part 1/Brahms 6 Love Songs Part 2219 Britten, Hodie Ceremony of Carols/Britten, Hodie Ceremony of Carols, That Yonge Child, Balulalow220 Britten Ceremony of Carols, As Dew in April, This Little Babe/ Dec. 10th, 1950 Women’s Glee ClubBritten Ceremony of Carols, There is no Rose, That Yonge Child Dec. 10th, 1950 Women’s Glee Club221 Britten Ceremony of Carols, Procession, Wecome Yule/ Dec. 10th, 1950 Women’s Glee ClubPraetorius Davis Lo, how a Rose PAT-A-PAN Dec. 10th, 1950 Men’s Glee Club222 Britten Ceremony of Carols, Deo Gracias, Recession/ Dec. 10th, 1950 Women’s Glee ClubBritten Ceremony of Carols, In Freezing Winter Night Dec. 10th, 1950 Women’s Glee Club223 Britten Ceremony of Carols, Wolcum Yule: There is no Rose/No label224 Salama “Jesus Christ is Born”, “Lullaby, Jesus Dear”, “Jingle Bells”/Dec. 10th, 1950 N.U. Choral Groups 12 Days of Christmas Dec. 10th, 1950 Women’s Glee Club225 Donovan, Gaul “Dame, Get Up”, “I Know O Virgin Mary”/Dec. 10th, 1950 Women’s Glee Club Schein, McCollin “From Heights of Heaven”, “Come Hither Ye Faithful” Dec. 10th, 1950 A Cappella Choir226 Angelus ad Pastores ait Christus natus est/Dec.10th, 1950 N.U. Choral Groups Palestrina Magnificat in the Fourth Mode N.U. Choral Groups227 Old Ship of Zion, Down in Yon Forest/Lutkin Benediction and Humming228 Quaecumque Sunt Vera, 10 030 B/The Lord Bless You, 10 030 A229 O, Little Town of Bethlehem Silent Night/Dec. 1941 N.U. Madrigal Singers of 1941 Merry Christmas Dec. 1941 N.U. Madrigal Singers of 1941230 Merrymount Praise We/Little White Hen Ringing Bells231 Hodie Alleluia/Dec. 8th, 1940 N.W. Uni. A Cappella Shepherds Christmas Song N.U.232 O Maria Diana Stella/Noel A Cappella Choir233 Come Hither Ye Faithful/A Cappella Choir Handel Let Their Celestial Concerts234 I Hear Along Our Street/A Cappella Choir Warrell I Wish You a Merry Christmas235 Go Northwestern, 10 031 A/No label236 Shepherd Song/No label237 Honegger Jeanne d’Arc (Tenor: Porcus)/No label238 Honegger Jeanne d’Arc (Tenor: Porcus)/Nowell239 Williams Wassail Song/How Far is it to Bethlehem?240 Von Bruck In Sorrow Part 1/Von Bruck Year that Trembled, In Sorrow Part 2241 Peter Grimes Old Joe/Innsbruck242 University Hymn Quaecumque Sunt Vera/A Cappella Choir Robertson, Von Etten Rise Northwestern, Go U Northwestern Men’s Glee Club243 The Lord Bless and Keep You/A Cappella Choir Arr. Scott The Erie Canal Men’s Glee Club244 Arr. Bartholomew The Old Ark’s A-Moverin’/Men’s Glee Club Kodaly Ave Maria Women’s Glee Club245 Unlabeled Audio Discs (18)
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

George Russell Howerton was born October 28, 1905 in Milton, Kentucky, to Sara (Sallie) Sutton and David Ham Howerton, a Baptist minister and teacher. Howerton's teaching career at Northwestern University began in 1939 when he was appointed Director of Choral Activities. After John Walter Beattie retired in 1951, he was named Dean of the School of Music.

George Howerton was musically active from a young age, teaching piano and studying organ as a high school freshman near the family's home in Springfield, Missouri. After graduating from high school he studied at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. Howerton received a bachelor's degree in 1926, majoring in English literature and minoring in French because his father considered music a “fancy” vocation. Howerton went on to earn his master's degree at Columbia University Teachers College in 1940, and his doctoral degree at Northwestern University in 1950 while teaching at Northwestern's School of Music. Additionally, Howerton attended the University of Southern California, New York University, and Harvard University, and he studied organ with Marcel Dupré in Paris. His career as church organist and choir director for congregations in metropolitan Chicago in the 20s and 30s paid for his college tuition.

Howerton's teaching career at Northwestern University began in 1939 when he was appointed Director of Choral Activities. After John Walter Beattie retired in 1951, he was named Dean of the School of Music. Soon after his appointment, Howerton was given the task of managing a $4 million bequest from the estate of philanthropists Louis and Elsie Eckstein. The new Dean placed special emphasis on expanding the School's music education program, and on bringing new and distinguished artists from all over the world to the School of Music faculty. Howerton also bolstered the Music Library's holdings of books and manuscripts, and inaugurated the School's first opera workshop. Soon after his retirement in 1971, Howerton and his wife A'Louise moved to Salida, Colorado, where Howerton had once conducted at a festival. Here, Howerton continued to support the Salida-Aspen Music Festivals through occasional conducting and by writing program notes. The 1994 festivals were dedicated in his honor for his “guidance and creative leadership in bringing 18 years of outstanding musical programs to [the] Upper Arkansas Valley Communities.” (See Box 1, Folder 5)

In the course of his life, Howerton was a Vice-Chairman for the Ravinia Festival Association (Illinois); a governing member for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association; a member of the Educational Committee for the Lyric Opera of Chicago and of the Board of Regents for the National Music Honor Society (National President from 1960 to 1966); served on the Metropolitan Opera National Council; was the National Co-Chairman of the Central Opera Service of the Metropolitan Opera National Council; and received a Steinway Award in 1967 for his contributions to the music community.

Howerton published a number of articles on trends in the choral community for Etude Magazine, as well as other periodicals. He also published a textbook, Technique and Style in Choral Singing, in 1959 and co-authored the books Fundamentals of Music Theory with Traugott Rohner in 1948 and Literature as a Fine Art with Donald J. McGinn in 1959. The latter book reflected Howerton's longtime interest in the relationship between music and other arts, especially painting, architecture, and literature.

Howerton married A'Louise Trester on September 4, 1940. They had no children. Howerton died on April 8, 1999 at the Columbus Manor Nursing Home in Salida, Colorado, where he had resided for two years prior to his death.

Scope and Content

The George Howerton Papers, filling nine boxes, illuminate Howerton's life, career and interests. While the entirety of the collection ranges from 1923 to 1999, the bulk of the content lies between 1935 and 1971. The Papers fall into six general categories: 1) biographical information, 2) teaching materials, 3) programs and concert information, 4) information on clinics and festivals and programs from these occasions, 5) presentation and lectures, and 6) publications.

The biographical files include materials related specifically to George Howerton and also genealogical information about the Howerton family. In addition to the materials in the awards and certificates folder, a dropfront box (Box 9) holds oversized awards, plaques, and other materials. Clippings pertain to events such as Howerton's acceptance of a Steinway award in 1967 and articles reporting his activities with noted friends. Press releases relate to Howerton's career at Northwestern. The genealogical information, much of which was compiled by other family members, documents the Howertons back to around 1700. One folder specifically relates to the life and career of David H. Howerton, including teaching certificates and recommendation letters. The folder titled “Garden,” which contains seed packets, magazine articles on gardening, and other materials, all meticulously organized in scrapbook fashion, demonstrates Howerton's love of nature. A very slim general correspondence file contains a few letters from various employers and several friends. A personal card catalogue that Howerton compiled for his private musical library is also included in this category.

The teaching materials vary in their content as well. The folders contain some quizzes and tests, many pages of lecture and discussion notes, and copious amounts of hastily scrawled curriculum ideas and plans. There is also a comparison and analysis of the Bach Mass in b minor with the Missa Solemnis by Beethoven that Howerton prepared for an unidentified class. It should be noted that the lecture series, “Interrelation of the Arts,” was not a formal class but an optional lecture given in the evenings in 1948, open to both the student body and the public.

The extensive program and concert information is organized by the performing groups if possible, in addition to date; otherwise they are organized only by date (as in the General Program folders). The few programs that did not bear George Howerton's name as conductor or participant were either sent to him by his students regarding their own musical achievements, or contained music that Howerton arranged and prepared for performances.

The clinics and festivals section is a subset of the programs and concert information section. Howerton was able, in many of the communities in which he worked, to give workshops for young people in performing groups and high schools. Some record of these workshops exists here in the form of programs and newspaper clippings. Also contained in this section are more programs, clippings, and records of his involvement with major music festivals such as the Ravinia Summer Music Festival, or the Salida-Aspen Concert Series.

Lectures consist of the final versions of presentations that Howerton made at banquets, conferences, or festivals and are unrelated to his course lectures.

Publications consist of reprints or clippings of magazine and newspaper articles that Howerton wrote, as well as information relating to the three books that he authored or on which he collaborated (see biography).

Finally, one folder contains sheet music that Howerton used in his choral programs. The music is predominantly for Christmas and other religious holidays.

See Other information for a list of audio visual materials that were separated.

Subjects

Personal Name

Howerton, George

Subjects

College teachers--Illinois--Evanston

Music teachers--Illinois--Evanston

Music--Study and teaching (Higher)--Illinois--Evanston


Container List / Contents

  • Biographical Files
    • Personal Information, 1951-1967Box 1, Folder 1
    • Newspaper Clippings, 1950-1976Box 1, Folder 2
    • Obituaries, 1999Box 1, Folder 3
    • Press Releases, 1951-1970Box 1, Folder 4
    • Certificates/Diplomas (incl. Ph.D.), 1950-1991Box 1, Folder 5
    • “The Howerton Family Supplement” by J. Howerton, Ca. 1936Box 1, Folder 6
    • “The Howerton Family Introductory Notes”, 1976Box 1, Folder 7
    • David. H. Howerton (father) and Family Information, 1888-1904Box 1, Folder 8
    • Howerton's Garden, NdBox 1, Folder 9
    • Pi Kappa Lambda, 1960-1966Box 1, Folder 10
    • General Correspondence, 1931-1996Box 1, Folder 11
    • Card Catalogue for Music Collection, NdBox 1, Folder 12
  • Teaching Files
    • Introduction to Research in Music, NdBox 1, Folder 13
    • D2 – NU – Winter Quarter Lectures, 1948Box 2, Folder 1
    • History of Music Sourcebook, Class Notes I, 1948Box 2, Folder 2
    • History of Music sourcebook, Class Notes II, 1948Box 2, Folder 3
    • Style in Composition, Summer 1948Box 2, Folder 4
    • Principles of Style in Composition II, 1948Box 2, Folder 5
    • “Comparison of Bach Mass in B minor and Missa Solemnis” by Howerton, Ca. 1948Box 2, Folder 6
    • Lecture Series – Interrelation of the Arts I, 1968Box 2, Folder 7
    • Lecture Series – Interrelation of the Arts II, 1968Box 2, Folder 8
    • Evening Division, Series II, 1968-69Box 3, Folder 1
    • Evening Division Lectures, 1970Box 3, Folder 2
  • Programs and Concert Information
    • Programs and Performance: Churches of Bloomfield and Drury, 1919-1926Box 3, Folder 3
    • Programs and Performance: University of Nebraska, Churches of Winnetka and Plymouth, 1933-1939Box 3, Folder 4
    • Programs and Performance: Hiram College, 1933-1935Box 3, Folder 5
    • Programs and Performance: Northwestern University A Cappella Choir, 1939-1946Box 4, Folder 1
    • Programs and Performance: Northwestern University A Cappella Choir, 1947-1954Box 4, Folder 2
    • Programs and Performance: Hiram College, 1936- Apr. 1937Box 5, Folder 1
    • Programs and Performance: Hiram College, May 1937-1938Box 5, Folder 2
    • Programs and Performance: Hiram College, 1939Box 5, Folder 3
    • Programs and Performance Info. for Watchitoches, Louisiana and Adjucator at New York State, July 1937- July 1939Box 5, Folder 4
    • Programs and Performance: Churches of LaGrange and Wilmette, 1939-1957Box 5, Folder 5
    • General Programs and Performance, 1938-1945Box 5, Folder 6
    • General Programs and Performance, 1946-1953Box 6, Folder 1
    • General Programs and Performance, 1954-1971Box 6, Folder 2
    • Northwestern University Glee Club Programs and Performance, 1939-1952Box 6, Folder 3
    • Publicity – Small Ensembles, 1940-1954Box 6, Folder 4
    • Programs Containing Music Arranged by George Howerton, 1946-1955Box 6, Folder 5
  • Howerton Clinics/Festivals/Conducting
    • Howerton Clinics/Festivals/Conducting, 1940-1942Box 7, Folder 1
    • Howerton Clinics/Festivals/Conducting, 1943-1963Box 7, Folder 2
    • NU Choral at Ravinia, 1950-1967Box 7, Folder 3
    • Central Opera Service/Metropolitan Opera, 1965-1986Box 7, Folder 4
    • Aspen Concerts, 1984-1993Box 7, Folder 5
  • Non-Class-Related Lectures
    • General Lectures, 1947-1964Box 8, Folder 1
    • General Lectures, 1965-1970Box 8, Folder 2
    • Lecture Material, 1968Box 8, Folder 3
  • Publications
    • Magazine/Newspaper Publications, 1940-1964Box 8, Folder 4
    • Music Education, 1941-45,1959-60Box 8, Folder 5
    • Published Books and Related Info., 1945-1968Box 8, Folder 6
    • Choral Articles – Etude Magazine, 1944-1946Box 8, Folder 7
    • Sheet Music and Indexes, ndBox 8, Folder 8
  • Oversize photographs and artifacts