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Rose Marie Grentzer papers

 Collection 0052-SCPA

Rose Marie Grentzer (1914-1985) was a music educator who raised awareness about and fostered scholarship on audio-visual aids, international music education, and American music. After leading and enhancing music education programs at Juilliard, the University of Michigan, and Oberlin, she developed the graduate program in music education at the University of Maryland. Professor Grentzer taught and gave speeches throughout the world; was active in the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) (later the National Association for Music Education (NAfME)), Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity, and numerous other organizations; and cultivated the University of Maryland Madrigal Singers into an international touring choral group. This collection contains papers from her professional activities, organizational affiliations, and personal relationships, as well as photographs, correspondence, recordings, sheet music, subject files, embossers, posters, a scrapbook, certificates, and yearbooks.


  • 1867-1985
  • Majority of material found within 1930-1974

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.


46.00 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Rose Marie Grentzer papers span the period from 1867 to 1985; the bulk of the materials date from 1930 to 1974. The papers document her professional activities, organizational affiliations, and personal relationships. Formats include photographs, correspondence, recordings, sheet music, subject files, embossers, posters, a scrapbook, certificates, and yearbooks.


Rose Marie Anna Grentzer was born June 9, 1914, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1936, earning bachelor degrees in both violin and in public school music. She also earned a master of music education degree from Carnegie in 1939.

Grentzer had an extensive teaching career, beginning in 1937 as Supervisor of Music at Braddock Public Schools in Pennsylvania, a position she held until 1942. She moved on to positions as instructor at the University of Michigan in a joint position with Ann Arbor High School (1942-1945), instructor and chair of the teacher training department at Juilliard (1946-1951), and professor and chairman of the music education department at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (1950-1955).

The University of Maryland hired Grentzer in 1955 to develop a graduate program in music education. While serving as professor, Grentzer organized the Madrigal Singers, a student singing group that was officially recognized by the university in 1959. In 1964, under Grentzer's direction, the Madrigal Singers were chosen by the Department of State to perform on a multinational tour of the Near East. The Madrigal Singers were also active throughout the United States and performed multiple times at the White House. Grentzer was designated professor emeriti upon her retirement from UMD in 1974.

In addition to her work at the University of Maryland, Rose Marie Grentzer served as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Colorado, at Catholic University of America, and at the University of Michigan during the summers of 1953, 1954, and 1955, respectively. Grentzer also lectured in South America, Canada, and Europe and was the director of the annual American Music Awards for Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. She was a curriculum consultant for the District of Columbia and Baltimore public school systems and assisted in the development of educational television programs in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Rose Marie Grentzer married Harold Spivacke, Chief of the Music Division of the Library of Congress, in 1955. She used her maiden name professionally. The couple had no children together, but Spivacke had two sons from a previous marriage. Spivacke died in 1977. On November 11, 1985 Rose Marie Grentzer died of cancer.

Life Chronology

  1. 1914 - Born June 9 in Pittsburgh, PA
  2. 1931 - Graduated South Hills High School, Pittsburgh, PA
  3. 1936 - Graduated Carnegie Institute of Technology, 2 Bacheor Degrees
  4. 1939 - Graduated Carnegie Institute of Technology, Masters
  5. 1937-42 - Supervisor of Music at Braddock Public Shools, Pennsylvania
  6. 1942-45 - Instructor at University of Michigan and Ann Arbor High School
  7. 1946-51 - Chair of the Teacher Training Program at Juilliard
  8. 1950-55 - Chair of the Music Education Department at Oberlin College
  9. 1955 - Married Harold Spivacke
  10. 1955 - Hired by the University of Maryland
  11. 1959 - Started the Madrigal Singers
  12. 1974 - Retired from the University of Maryland
  13. 1985 - Died November 11 in Washington, D.C


This collection has been organized into eight series:

  1. Professional files
  2. Personal files
  3. Organizational files
  4. Photographs
  5. Sheet music
  6. Recordings
  7. Subject files
  8. Oversized and other materials

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Rose Marie Grentzer donated materials to the University of Maryland on four separate occasions in 1974. The remainder of the collection was acquired by the University of Maryland in 2010.

Related Material

Madrigal Singers records, Special Collections in Performing Arts, University of Maryland Libraries. (finding aid)

National Association for Music Educators (NAfME) Historical Center (finding aid) (LibGuide)

Spivacke Fund (Rose Marie and Harold Spivacke) Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

Rose Marie Grentzer papers
Mary Crauderueff (2008) and Amanda Koss May (2011)
February 2008; new materials incorporated and collection rearranged, June 2011
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