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Frank Mancini papers

 Collection 0038-SCPA

Frank Mancini (1886-1964) was an influential music educator in Modesto, California. This collection focuses on his teaching and conducting career there and includes music programs of many of Mancini's ensembles and guest conducting appearances; correspondence with important musicians of the time including William Revelli, Edwin Franko Goldman, and others; instructional materials from Mancini's years as an educator; awards earned by Mancini and his bands; audio recordings of an interview with Mancini and a performance of the Modesto High School band; and materials focusing on Mancini's legacy.


  • c.1926-1970
  • Majority of material found within c.1926-1970

Use and Access to Collection

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.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Copyright was not transferred to the University of Maryland with the gift of any copyrighted materials. All rights remain with the creators and rights holders. 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.

To inquire about duplication of materials for research or for publication, please contact SCPA’s curator.


0.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Frank Mancini papers were entrusted to Lynn Sams for the writing of a biography and subsequently transferred to the ABA Research Center. The papers focus on Mancini’s teaching and conducting career in Modesto, California, which began in the late 1920s.

A strength of the papers is the series of music programs of many of Mancini’s ensembles and guest conducting appearances. Included in Mancini’s correspondence are letters to important musicians of the time including William Revelli, Edwin Franko Goldman, and others.

A limited number of instructional materials from Mancini’s years as an educator are included: a date book, sketchbook, adjudication notes, etc. Mancini and his bands received many awards, as represented in this collection in part by his American Bandmasters Association Certificate of Membership and medals awarded to the Modesto High School Band. Audio recordings of an interview with Mancini and a performance of the Modesto High School band under his direction are also worthy of attention.

A significant portion of the papers focus on Mancini’s legacy. The passing of Mancini and the establishment of Modesto’s Mancini Park are documented through newspaper articles, a scrapbook, and a dissertation on Mancini’s life.

The papers do not contain information on Mancini’s early career as a clarinetist with professional bands and orchestras.

There was no prescribed original order for the documents, so the order as it appears here was imposed by the processor. Therefore, not only is the overall organization of the collection that of the processor's own device, but the sequence of documents within folders and the titles of said folders are also artificial to the collection.


Frank Mancini (1886-1964) studied the clarinet while growing up in Italy. He came to the United States in 1907 to play as a soloist with Ellery's Royal Italian Band. Between 1908 and 1915, he played with both Sousa's and Conway's bands, as well as numerous opera companies.

Mancini settled in Modesto, California, in 1921 to lead the Stanislaus County Boys Band. He became an important educator and conductor in the area for the next four decades, directing the band programs in the Modesto Public Schools and Modesto Junior College. His bands won many awards, and Mancini was very active as a guest conductor and adjudicator. Mancini taught noted band composer Roger Nixon at Modesto Junior College from 1938-1940. Mancini was elected into the American Bandmasters Association in 1940 at the convention in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Mancini had a close relationship with the community of Modesto. In their wills, Mancini and his wife left cash, stocks, and other investments for a considerable music scholarship fund for music students at Modesto High School. They also left their 23-acre ranch to the City of Modesto, later dedicated Mancini Park.


This collection is organized into nine series.

  1. Biographical materials
  2. Correspondence
  3. Articles
  4. Programs
  5. Instructional materials
  6. Honoraria
  7. Publications
  8. Ephemera and realia
  9. Photographs

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The Frank Mancini Papers were deposited at the ABA Research Center by Lynn Sams on 27 January 1976.

Related Material

The following items relating to Frank Mancini are housed in the Lynn Sams papers at Special Collections in Performing Arts:

LP Recording: "KMOD - Air Check." Interview with Dr. Goldman and Prof. Mancini. 33 1/3 RPM; 1 disc; D.12". Interview with Goldman and Mancini by Modesto Radio Station also some Goldman marches.

LP Recording: LS 052. "Egmont Overture." Modesto High School Band. Frank Mancini, Conductor. 1 disc; MI 557/558 A; D.12". LS 081

3. 5" Reel to Reel [Paged Collections]. "Interview with Dr. Edwin Franko Goldman and Frank Mancini." Broadcast from Radio Station KHOD; 2/3/1955. Typed program; filled out with Sousa Marches. LS 600

ABA Information Files: CA: Modesto [CRI 3-2]

PAL Microfilm. Susca, Vito Gregory. Frank Mancini: His Life and Contribution to Music Education. D.M.A. diss., University of Southern California, 1967. UMCP Performing Arts Library Microfilm, Ask at the Desk BSu81f American Bandmasters Association records, Special Collections in Performing Arts, University of Maryland Libraries. (finding aid)

Historic Modesto website

Frank Mancini papers
Bradley Mariska
May 2003
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

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