Donald Pond (1906-1983) was a music educator, composer, and performer. Born in England, Pond immigrated to New York City at the age of twenty-seven and began working at the Dalton School, the Children's Theatre Arts Workshop, and as a guest lecturer at Teachers College, Columbia University. In 1937, Pond became the Music Director of the Pillsbury Foundation School, which was established with assistance from Leopold Stokowski for the study of young children's spontaneous music-making. After leaving the school in 1945, Pond stayed in the Santa Barbara, CA area and worked as a pianist, a teacher for the Music Academy of the West, and was the host of "Pleasure in Pictures," a music themed radio program. The collection consists of letters, writings, scores, books, articles, photographs, clippings, publications, radio scripts, observation notes, and sound recordings related to Pond's life and work.
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16.50 Linear Feet
The Donald Pond papers covers the period from ca.1910 to 1987; the bulk dates of the materials date from 1937 to 1983. The collection consists of letters, writings, scores, books, articles, photographs, clippings, publications, radio scripts, observation notes, and sound recordings related to Pond's life and work as a performer, composer, and music educator, including his tenure as Music Director of the Pillsbury Foundation School, his experience as a teacher and lecturer in England, Santa Barbara, California and New York City, and his work on the radio program, "Pleasure in Pictures."
In his native England, Donald Pond was a cathedral choirboy who studied composition with Gustav Holst and become Director of Music at the School of Dance-Mime at Dartington Hall in Devonshire. After immigrating to New York City at the age of twenty-seven, Pond continued to compose regularly for dance while pursuing at the same time his new interest in the musical creativity of young children at the Dalton Schools and the Children's Theatre Arts Workshop. He became a regular guest lecturer on music in education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
In 1937, he left New York for Santa Barbara, California, to become Music Director of the Pillsbury Foundation School, established with assistance from Leopold Stokowski for the study of young children's spontaneous music-making. Pond remained with the Pillsbury School through 1945, and his writings on the work there are of seminal importance. In the Santa Barbara area, where he spent the rest of his life, Pond performed often as pianist in chamber concerts and recitals, taught music theory and composition at the Music Academy of the West, aired regular radio programs on musical subjects, and taught piano privately.
Except for his early works for full orchestra, Donald Pond typically wrote music for performances by his friends and students, including compositions for various chamber ensembles, solo piano, solo voice, and chorus. Publication was not an object with him, but sharing his art and craft was; frequently his compositions were gifts. Seventy compositions are extant, but many have been lost. Pond's last works were eight choral suites written not as gifts for specific performance but as an apparent summing up, expressing clearly his roots in the British choral tradition, and intended as his musical legacy.
This collection has been divided into nine series:
Gift of papers and music donated by Lois Pond, wife of Donald Pond, was received on December 15, 1983.
Processing supported by the Rose Marie Grentzer Fund.
Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library