A Short History of the Music Department
What eventually became a campus of the University of California in Santa Barbara had its distant origins in 1891 as the Anna S.C. Blake Manual Training School, a private institution founded in 1891 for the teaching of cooking, sewing, and sloyd (Swedish system of manual training using wood carving as a means of training in the use of tools) to the children of Santa Barbara. These subjects were later designated as household science, art, and manual arts. In 1909, after formal organization by Governor Gillette as the Santa Barbara State Normal School of Manual Arts and Home Economics, the institution became the first in the United States to be devoted exclusively to teacher training in these subjects, and the first in California to offer a major in home economics. By 1913, the institution had moved from downtown Santa Barbara into a new campus on the Riviera (now Santa Barbara Middle School) above the Santa Barbara Mission. A Department of Music was established in that year, under the chairmanship of Raymond Mosher, to provide training in support of the Special Secondary Certificate, a professional four-year degree.
In 1921, the school was designated the Santa Barbara State Teacher’s College, establishing for some years to come the teaching function of the Department. A degree in music was authorized for 1922, though a full degree program was not established till the 1940’s when the campus became part of the University of California. The music program continued, now to provide supplementary training for other degree granting departments. The number of music faculty, directors of choral and instrumental groups, grew slowly, only two or three through the 1930’s.
In 1935, the institution changed its name again, to be called the Santa Barbara State College, with a growth in faculty and programs directed toward teacher training. The Music Department’s mission was to offer the Special Secondary Teaching Credential in Music. The music faculty had grown to four members and by 1940-41 included four who continued to serve through the next couple decades: Helen Barnett, Van A. Christy, Lloyd Browning and Maurice Faulkner.
University of California, Santa Barbara College
In 1943, the State Legislature took action to establish the Santa Barbara State College as the Santa Barbara College of the University of California, to begin the following year. The war delayed further expansion, but at its conclusion, plans were developed to accommodate the expected increase of students and expansion of academic programs. In 1941, a new campus had been opened on the Santa Barbara mesa to house the manual training program of the State College (now Santa Barbara City College), but it, together with the Riviera campus, would be inadequate for the expected growth.
During the war, the Marine Corps had appropriated a ranch owned by the Storke family on a mesa in Goleta, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and had built an air-training base next to a slough which was partially filled in to provide an airfield. At the end of the war, the base became redundant and the Regents of the University of California were persuaded to buy the property to house the newest and final location of UCSB. Plans to build proceeded, and while classes continued on the Riviera and Mesa campuses in town, the first two permanent buildings on the new campus were begun, a library and a science building. Late in January 1954, UCSBC was moved, almost overnight, to begin the spring semester in February. Remnants of the airfield can be seen on the bluffs overlooking campus point.
At first, particularly for those who had served in the military, the new campus was a dismaying sight: two-story wooden buildings, formerly officer barracks, sited around perimeter roads, in the midst of sandy acreage, which blew over the campus in dust clouds when the wind came off the sea. There was no landscaping, only rows of eucalyptus trees which had served as windbreaks for the original ranch; the survivors now line parking lots 7 and 9. A few relics of the original buildings still survive, such as the Arts and Lectures Building, the Old Little Theater, and the Old Gym.
Music was assigned to two buildings, just off to the edge of the present building, with Art and Speech, and Drama as our neighbors. For a theater/concert hall, there was a large wooden (G.I.) theater, near the lagoon and on the present site of Storke Plaza. Parking, at least, was convenient: one merely pulled up on the dirt next to the building.
The third new building to be constructed on the new campus, was, to Music’s good fortune, Music Unit I. The original architects intended for the building to serve as the model for the campus style, Spanish Mediterranean, with specially-designed bricks made of volcanic ash. Thus the early buildings of the campus can be distinguished; later it proved too expensive. The Regents also ordained that the Music Building area should be fully landscaped with mature trees, as an example of how the campus might appear in the future. The pepper tree overlooking the Music Bowl is an original settler. The building, in roughly a large L shape, included faculty offices surrounding a small outdoor amphitheater, a two story wing with teaching rooms and practice studios, and large rehearsal hall at either extremity of the building, one for chorus practice and lectures (Music 1145) and the other for orchestra and band (now Geiringer Hall).
In 1958, UCSB was designated a general campus of the university, and what had been an undergraduate institution quickly expanded into graduate programs. Thus in 1960, the Master of Arts degree in Music was approved, followed shortly by the arrival of the eminent Bach, Haydn and Brahms scholar, Karl Geiringer in 1964. We were now a fullyfledged program, on par with the offerings of UCLA and Berkeley. Though choral and instrumental groups had existed as early as 1919, music performance, from the early years, has been a central and unique feature of our program. The Department had offered private instruction in performance as part of the regular curriculum. Such instruction was not available at any of the other campuses of the University of California, who regarded us with some suspicion -- and later with active opposition -- as we developed further graduate programs. In 1966, the MA program was expanded to include a degree specifically in music performance.
For several years, the Department had been involved in planning the second unit of the Music Building. The new unit, attached to the old to form a new courtyard, housed new faculty offices and studios, practice rooms, and recording studio. The new unit also featured a library to house the art and music collections, and a theater/recital hall/lecture hall, initially seating 490 people. The stage was fully equipped for opera productions, recitals, and concerts, with an orchestra pit extending partly under the stage to accommodate an orchestra of approximately 40 players. To one side of the stage was an enclosed chamber to accommodate a pipe organ when funds could be found. On February 12, 1969, the concert hall was officially dedicated and named after Lotte Lehmann, the famous singer who was a long-time resident of Santa Barbara. The opening performance was Mozart’s The Magic Flute; Mme Lehmann was present for a performance of the opera in which she had made her own debut many years before.
Adjacent to the new music unit, on the site of the wooden theater which in earlier years had served the Department as a concert hall, the Storke Tower and Student Publications Building was erected in 1968. Atop the tower was installed a unique 61 bell, five octave fully chromatic carillon. The Department appointed a carillonneur, and for a time, instruction on the instrument was offered. At the same time, an organ was ordered for the space in Lehmann Hall. $60,000 partly a gift from the Regents and partly from individuals in the community, was budgeted for an instrument to be built by the noted Dutch firm of Flentrop. Finally, on October 8, 1972 the dedication concert was played by Dr. Lawrence Moe from the Berkeley campus. The instrument is a two manual, 18 rank, tracker-action organ.
In 1976 the Bachelor of Music degree was offered, the first of the professional degrees in music, with Santa Barbara the only campus of the University to offer such a program of study. In the next decade, several other important programmatic developments were made: a major emphasis in composition included the growing interest in electronic music, spurring the eventual establishment of the Center for Computer Music Composition, now known as CREATE.
The Music Library, from the time of the arrival of Karl Geiringer, began an impressive growth into what is now one of the finest research collections on the West Coast. Supplementary to the collection is one of the largest archives of recorded vocal music. In 1982, through the efforts of Dolores M. Hsu, the Department acquired a gift of the Henry Eichheim Collection of Musical Instruments from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, which has now been expanded to more than 900 examples of instruments from all over the world.
In 1990, the last of the two professional degrees, the Master of Music and the Doctor of Musical Arts, completed the Department’s profile as a major undergraduate and graduate program, comparable to such west coast institutions as USC and the University of Washington. It was achieved after an extended period of submission and review, and against some opposition from other UC campuses, some of whom have since adopted comparable programs.
Recognition of the research and performance aspects of the Department’s program has come in several ways. In 1984, the Chancellor’s office began funding of the Young Artists String Quartet, which provides support for four advanced string students, who have made a major contribution to the Department’s ensemble program and to the Santa Barbara musical community. Similarly, a gift from Margaret Mosher has established the Mosher Wind Quintet, and a gift from Mrs. Maurice Faulkner has established the Faulkner Brass Quintet.
In 1965, a continuing and most fruitful relationship with the community began with the organization of the Music Affiliates. Their interest and hard work on behalf of the Department’s students have made a major contribution to scholarship support. In addition, gifts from faculty, former students, and interested friends have made possible a growing list of fellowships, scholarships and grants-in-aid to support student research and performance. Most recently, the annual Karl Geiringer Lecture Series brings noted scholars and performers to the campus for short residences.
The Department has been particularly enriched by the generosity of the Corwin family. In the 1970’s they began the Corwin Awards in Distinguished Achievement in Music Composition, and in 1987 endowed the Sherrill and Dorothy Corwin Chair in Music Composition; the first holder was the distinguished British composer and member of the faculty, Peter Racine Fricker.
Faculty and Student Research and Creative Activity
Consistent with the University’s mission as a research and teaching institution, the Department faculty from early days began to establish national and international reputations as scholars and performers. From their publications in book and scholarly journals, widely-performed prize-winning compositions, and performances as concert artists worldwide, the faculty have served as experienced mentors to their students. Similarly, the students have been involved in significant creative work and performance.
The opera program, in addition to presenting standard literature, has presented a number of American premieres and first performances; the various choral groups have developed an international reputation through touring, recordings, television and radio concerts and festival appearances. Students have been involved in presentations at national conferences; instrumentalists and singers have achieved professional recognition elsewhere.
From early years, the Department has made its presence known in the local community and beyond. For many years, Maurice Faulkner and others on the faculty led the annual All-California High School Symphony, which brought hundreds of talented secondary school musicians to Santa Barbara for training and a concert; many of these students later came to UCSB.
The formation of the Santa Barbara Symphony in the early 50’s came about through the efforts of such faculty members as Clayton Wilson and Stefan Krayk, who, along with others of our faculty and students, have been principal players in the orchestra. In 1960, with the addition to our faculty of Erno Daniel, pianist and conductor, the Department began a long cooperative arrangement with the Symphony to share the appointment of conductors, ending only in 1990 when the growing programs of the two institutions dictated independence.
From an institution that began life dedicated to teacher training to what is now a fully established research and professional graduate program, our graduates have distinguished themselves, nationally and internationally. A number have gone on to teaching, either privately or in outstanding secondary school positions, and in more recent years, our graduates have joined the faculties of important colleges and universities in this country and abroad. A number have become widely recognized and published scholars; some are now prize-winning and much performed composers, some writing for television and films. Some are establishing fine reputations as conductors of orchestras, opera and choruses. Our instrumentalists have gone on to solo careers and as members of leading orchestras, and our singers are to be heard in opera companies around the world.
The Department of Music University of California, Santa Barbara
Now, at the end of the century and over a relatively short span of time, the Department has established a program of scholarly and creative study fully comparable to other major institutions. The program, which derives from traditional and historical foundations of the discipline, also has begun to take a leading position in the technological advances in music research and composition, as well as the growing study of world music.
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