Skip to main content
Use the right side menu to identify relevant boxes and place requests.

Frank Simon collection

 Collection 0362-SCPA

The Frank Simon collection consists of four record storage boxes, three Paige boxes, three oversize boxes, and one oversize framed photograph pertaining to Frank Simon and the ARMCO Band. The collection spans 1902 through 1965 and includes 177 photographs, 14 open reel recordings, five large scrapbooks, 24 documents (including correspondence, presentation certificates and awards, and ephemera five news-clippings and advertising flyers), two pieces of artwork, two Armco Band programs from radio programs in 1936, and a holograph full score of A. D. Davenport’s "Guest of Honor" march (dated April 23, 1936; dedicated to Frank Simon and the Armco Band).

Some of the material, including the record storage boxes and the recordings were processed by at the Marine Band Archives. In these cases the finding aid reflects the extant physical and intellectual processing of the materials as they first arrived at UMD. Otherwise, the materials has been processed anew. A concerted effort has been made to preserve the organization of the materials, although it is unclear if the system was imposed by Frank Simon, David Simon, or the Marine Band.


  • 1902-1965

Condition Description

Some items are brittle, and most are soiled from usual handling. There is slight fading present for some photographs.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restricted files in this collection. Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright was not transferred to the University of Maryland with the physical gift of the collection. The creators retain any copyright possessed in the collection. The University of Maryland Libraries is granted permission for the use in scholarly research by the Libraries’ patrons under fair use in Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act.


14 Items : open reel tapes

177 Photographs

2 Items : art pieces

5 Items : scrapbooks

.25 Folders

6.5 Linear Feet

Biographical / Historical

Frank Simon, cornet soloist, conductor, and composer was born 26 November 1889 in Cincinnati, Ohio and died there on 28 January 1967. As a young man, he studied cornet with William Kopp (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra) and Herman Bellstedt (cornet soloist and composer) and performed with Weber’s Prize Band of America and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski. In 1914 Simon joined John Philip Sousa’s band serving as cornet soloist and assistant conductor until 1921. Simon organized the ARMCO concert band under the sponsorship of the American Rolling Mill Company of Middletown, Ohio in 1921. He performed as conductor and soloist of the Armco Band, leading them in concert performances and radio broadcasts until the band’s demise in 1940. In 1930 Simon joined the faculty of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where he founded the Department of Instrumental Music. He remained there for twenty years. From 1956 to 1966 Simon was part-time faculty member at the University of Arizona in Tucson. In his later years, he continued to give lecturers, clinics, and work with school musicians through his association with the American School Band Directors Association. The Association sponsored Sounds of John Philip Sousa, two recordings of Sousa marches with historical notes and performance instructions by Simon on the proper interpretation of Sousa’s music. He was a charter member of the American Bandmasters Association and served as president of that organization from 1935 to 1936. He was selected as the fourth Honorary Life President of that organization in 1957.


Freedland, Michael. Music Man: The Story of Frank Simon Ilford, Essex, England: Valentine Mitchell, 1994

Harpham, Dale. "The Frank Simon Memorabilia." The School Musician Director and Teacher 43/3 (November 1971) 52-53

"Salute to the Armco Band." Documentary video. Sam Ashworth, producer. Middletown, OH: Globe Productions, [VHS video cassette, 1993]

"Sounds of John Philip Sousa: Authentic Rehearsal Techniques for the Preparation and Interpretation of Recorded Marches." [Ostego, Michigan]: American School Band Directors Association, Volume I, 1966 and Volume II, 1969

"Sounds of John Philip Sousa." Partial transcript of the interview with Frank Simon by Mac Carr and Seymour Okun. [1966]

Ullery, Victoria L. "Frank Simon: History and Influence." Departmental Honors paper, [Cincinnati, OH: University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music]: 1984. Revised and published in: Journal of Band Research 23/2 (Spring 1988) 40-78. Follow up comments in 26/2 (Fall 1990) 86 and 24/2 (Spring 1989) 73


This collection is arranged into ten series:

  1. Childhood memories, Sousa years, Armco, 1902-1967
  2. Armco years, 1921-1940
  3. Arizona and retirement, 1940-1967
  4. Clippings and scrapbooks, 1923-1975
  5. Recordings, 1908-1964
  6. Articles, 1930-1931
  7. Documents, 1926-1965
  8. Programs, 1936
  9. Music, 1936
  10. Photographs, 1915-1965

Custodial History

These materials were originally donated to the US Marine Corps Band Library in 1989 by David Simon (M.D.), Frank Simon's son. The materials remained with the Marine Band Library until October 2017, when they were transferred by Master Gunnery Sgt. Jane Cross (Chief Librarian and Archivist for the Marine Band) into the care of the ABA Research Center.

Related Materials

Frank Simon -- See Clarke/Simon Correspondence Collection, ABA Research Center, 1935-1936. American Bandmasters Association official records, 2.1.5. Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library.

Condition Description

Some items are brittle, and most are soiled from usual handling. There is slight fading present for some photographs.

Frank Simon collection
Christina Taylor Gibson (update UMD); Vincent J. Novara (at UMD); unidentified (United States Marine Corps "President's Own" Band Library)
30 September 2019; updated 5 March 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States