Victor Zajec (1923-2005) has written two books on the history of the American Bandmasters Association: "The Edwin Franko Goldman Memorial Citation: A History," 1998 and Past Presidents of the American Bandmasters Association, 2000. Both books provide biographical sketches of the office holders and honorees. The Zajec Collection contains correspondence and information files on these individuals. The Zajec Papers also include research materials for Victor's book The First Fifty Years: Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic (Homewood, IL: Midwest Clinic, 1996). The Victor Zajec Papers are found in two locations: the American Bandmasters Association Archives and the Midwest Clinic Archives.
The collection is open for research use. Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room during SCPA’s operating hours. Please contact the curator for an appointment or if you have questions related to digital access of the materials.
Copyright was not transferred to the University of Maryland with the physical gift of any copyrighted materials. The copyright holder maintains possession of any copyrighted materials 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.
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Victor William Zajec (1923-2005), a native of Chicago, first learned music by playing the cornet at Taylor Elementary School. In high school, Zajec played clarinet and saxophone, and took lessons with Richard Brittain at the VanderCook School of Music. He also studied with members of the Chicago Symphony and played in Harold Bachman's University of Chicago Symphonic Band.
Following graduation, Zajec worked briefly for Montgomery Ward before entering the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942. He trained in Boca Raton, Florida, where he led to base dance band and went on to overseas duty as a radio bombadier in the Pacific.
After the war, Zajec entered the VanderCook School of Music (B.M.E., 1950) and began teaching in Charleston, Mississippi, in 1948. In addition to teaching the concert band and marching band, Zajec worked as a church music director and taught private violin. Six years later, He accepted a position as band director in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where he remained until 1963. During this time, Zajec was selected to lead the Mississippi Lions' All-State Band at their International Conventions and also directed the Hamasa Temple Shrine Band in Meridian, MS.
In 1963, H.E. Nutt, President of VanderCook College, invited Zajec to join the faculty of his Alma Mater. He finished his master's degree there the following year, and spent the next twenty-five years teaching a wide variety of music classes, ensembles, and lessons. Zajec also became the Dean of the Graduate School and retired in 1988.
Following his retirement from VanderCook, Zajec continued guest conducting and adjudicating throughout the country, remaining active in a number of professional organizations. He was named to Midwest Clinic [official website] Board of Directors in 1983 and elected to the American Bandmasters Assocation that same year. Zajec authored books about the history of each of these organizations, including The First Fifty Years, a history of the Midwest Clinic (1946-1996), and Past Presidents of the American Bandmasters Assocation (1998).
Several gifts of Victor Zajec, beginning 17 February 1997.
Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library