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Frank Simon score collection

 Collection 0396-SCPA

The Frank Simon score collection documents the repertoire performed and the leader of the ARMCO band and the founder of the Instrumental Music program at the Cinncinati Conservatory. The bulk of the materials in the Frank Simon score collection date from early in Frank Simon's career through his years as the leader of the ARMCO Band. A few items appear to be from his years teaching at the Cinncinatti Conservatory of Music and the University of Arizona. These materials show the wide range of music the band performed as well as the special emphasis on marches by John Philip Sousa and arrangements by Herman Bellstedt. That emphasis signifies the special relationship Simon had with each man. Bellstedt, a soloist and arranger for Sousa's band, had been Simon's cornet teacher. Later Bellstedt recommended Simon to Sousa, who hired Simon to play in his band in 1914. Simon left Sousa's band in 1920, but continued to reference his time in the band for the rest of his career.


  • 1896-1965

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.


9.0 Linear Feet (15 score boxes and 1 Paige box of scores) : much of the material is brittle, but most legible ; Location: G5-6-1

Scope and Contents

The Frank Simon score collection contains 209 manuscript and published scores for band or chamber wind ensembles, mostly from the early 20th century. The collection is subdivided into four series: John Philip Sousa, Herman Bellstedt, Frank Simon Part Books, and Assorted Composers. The first series contains work by Sousa. In some cases, folders contain published scores and parts by Sousa. In other cases, there is sheet music by Sousa alongside a manuscript score, presumably with arrangements by Frank Simon. Most of the scores in the Bellstedt series are arranged by Bellstedt, even when the original tune is by someone else. In select instances manuscript parts seem to indicate rearrangement by Simon. The partbooks in the third series probably date from Simon's years with the ARMCO band, given the nature of the repertoire. The last series contains a wide variety of scores, many of them imcomplete. Altogether the Frank Simon score collection represents the wide variety of material performed by Frank Simon's ensembles and published by Frank Simon.

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


The finding aid reflects the original order of the materials, including the division into four series: John Philip Sousa, Herman Bellstedt, Frank Simon part books, and assorted composers.

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

The Frank Simon collection The American Bandmasters Association records

The Frank Simon collection

The American Bandmasters Association records
Frank Simon score collection
In Progress
Christina Taylor Gibson, Vincent Novara, unidentified (United States "President's Own" Marine Band Library)
September 22, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

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