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Gilbert H. Mitchell papers

 Collection 0080-SCPA
As a cornettist, conductor, and educator, Gilbert H. Mitchell, Jr. (b. April 4, 1925 - d. April 21, 2016) was involved with numerous ensembles. His career began in 1943, at the age of 18, when he substituted with the Radio City Music Hall Symphony Orchestra and began to work with Leopold Stokowski and the New York City Symphony. Drafted into the Army in 1946, he began an illustrious career as a cornettist and conductor with the United States Army Band "Pershing's Own." He co-founded the Army Herald Trumpets and coordinated music for the state funeral of President John F. Kennedy. His papers consist of letters of commendation and awards related to Mitchell's career with the Army Band, photographs from throughout his career, and Mitchell's self-published memoir.

Dates

  • 1943-1998
  • Majority of material found within 1960-1970

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

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: http://www.lib.umd.edu/scpa/contact

Extent

1.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Gilbert H. Mitchell papers cover the period from 1943 to 1982; the bulk of the materials date from 1960 to 1970. The papers consist of letters of commendation, awards related to Mitchell's career as a cornettist and conductor of the United States Army Band "Pershing's Own," photographs from throughout his musical career, and a copy of his self-published memoir.

Biography

Gilbert H. Mitchell, Jr. was born in Lykens, Pennsylvania on April 4, 1925. His early cornet instruction was at the Williams School in New York, under Dr. Ernest S. Williams. In 1943, Mitchell began his professional career playing trumpet with the Radio City Music Hall Symphony Orchestra and the New York City Symphony, under the direction of Leopold Stokowski. He joined the New Orleans Symphony, conducted by Massimo Freccia, as first trumpet in 1944.

In 1946, Gilbert Mitchell was drafted into the Army and began his career as a cornettist in the United States Army Band. In the late 1950s, Mitchell co-founded and directed the Herald Trumpets. In 1960, Mitchell was promoted from Master Sergeant to Captain and appointed assistant conductor of the Army Band. For his work as a conductor, Mitchell was awarded the Army Commendation Medal four times. He retired from the Army on November 30, 1970 as Associate Conductor at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was awarded the Legion of Merit.

After retirement, Mitchell continued his musical career as a conductor and educator, conducting the U.S. Department of Agriculture Symphony Orchestra and the Northern Virginia Chamber Orchestra, teaching trumpet as George Mason University, and founding the Brass of Peace scholarship program. In 2009, he was awarded the distinction of Conductor Emeritus for the Army Band. He died April 21, 2016.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into four series.
  1. Memoirs
  2. Letters of thanks, appreciation, and commendation
  3. Photographs
  4. Awards and certificates

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The collection comprises several gifts made by Lt. Col. Mitchell between 1998 and 2009.

Related Material

American Bandmasters Association records, Special Collections in Performing Arts, University of Maryland Libraries. (finding aid)

American Bandmasters Association 64th Annual Conference 1998: US Air Force Band. Guest conductor. Compact Disc. [ABA Recordings Collection]

100th Anniversary of the Birth of Ernest S. Williams. Guest conductor. Audio cassette tape. [ABA Recordings Collection]
Title
Gilbert H. Mitchell papers
Status
Completed
Author
David Travis (2009), Leahkim Gannett (2010)
Date
November 2009; revised March 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
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

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