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Victor Zajec papers

 Collection 0001-SCPA
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.


  • 1962-2012
  • Majority of material found within 1970-1993

Use and Access to Collection

There are no restricted files in this collection.

Duplication and Copyright Information

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. Contact the curator for an appointment:


5.50 Linear Feet


Victor William Zajec (1923-2005) is a native of Chicago. He 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 also worked as a church music director and taught private violin to a number of students. Six years later, He accepted a position as band director in Philadelphia, Mississippi. There 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 joint 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 an active schedule of guest conducting and adjudicating throughout the country and remained 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 has written books about the history of each of these organizations. These include The First Fifty Years, a history of the Midwest Clinic (1946-1996), and Past Presidents of the American Bandmasters Assocation (1998).


The Victor Zajec Papers are found in two locations: the American Bandmasters Association Archives and the Midwest Clinic Archives. Currently, they are not divided into series.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Several gifts of Victor Zajec beginning 17 February 1997.

Related Material

Vic Zajec Collection. H.E. Nutt Archives. Ruppell Library, VanderCook College of Music.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.
Victor Zajec papers
Prepared by Bradley Mariska, April 2004.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library Library

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