Organizing WVMEA Material at Colson Hall

NOTES DA CAPO - By John Puffenbarger
September 1989

In 1981 the MENC national office requested that the WVEA create the position of historian in order that records pertaining to music education in our state might be preserved. The WVMEA Executive Board appointed Clifford W. Brown in June of that year to be the first historian, and he served in this capacity until his tragic death in November of 1988.

Since January 1989, when I accepted the WVMEA Executive Board's invitation to assume the responsibility of historian, I have studied the work which Clifford Brown began and have grown very appreciative and grateful for his interest those seven years.

He was well suited for the position of historian. He had been very active in music education since the late 1940s, serving as WVEA president as well as holding other positions. He had collected many documents concerning the WVEA over the years, and he gave his personal collection to the archives at Colson Hall at West Virginia University today.

During the past months I have been studying part of what he collected, It includes 25 boxes of material relating to music education in our state, and it is available at Colson Hall to anyone who wishes to use it for research. Because of its value, it is placed on reserve. Please feel free to look at any of the documents whenever you are on the WVU campus. Materials on file include minutes of past meetings, conference programs, records of affiliate organizations, and records from past presidents. Some materials date from the 1920s.

We need to continue to add to and collection because and value of history lies in the perspective it gives us is we take up the problems of the present. The activities of today become the history of tomorrow; therefore, we should begin now to preserve what we are doing this year. Printed music programs, newspaper articles, pictures (both past and present) should be sent to me during the year so they will become part of' our heritage. My address is: 46 Rohr Avenue, P.O. Box 6, Buckhannon, WV 26201. I hope each of you will take time to send anything you think would be interesting and of value to music educators in the future.