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The Robert Parris Papers

 Collection 0148-SCPA
Robert Parris (1924-1999) was known both as a composer and music critic. He earned his B.S. in composition from the Julliard School of Music in 1948, continued studies at Tanglewood from 1950-51, and went on to complete a Fulbright Scholarship from 1952-53. Parris studied with a number of composers including, Peter Mennin, William Bergsma, Jacques Ibert, Aaron Copland, Otto Luening, and Arthur Honegger. Local to the Washington, DC metro area, Parris worked as music critic for both the Washington Post and Washington Star from 1961-1975. After teaching at Washington State College and University of Maryland, Mr. Parris joined the music faculty at George Washington University in 1963. A large number of Parris’ compositions were published by the American Composers Alliance. This collection consists of original scores, sketches, and printing masters of works composed during Parris’ career.

Dates

  • 1952-1999
  • Majority of material found within 1976-1999

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. Please make an appointment with the curator: Vincent J. Novara Tel: 301-314-7614, Email: vnovara@umd.edu.

Extent

2.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Robert Parris Papers cover the period from 1952 to 1999; the bulk of the materials date from 1976 to 1999. The collection consists of sketches, drafts, notes and edits, and textual materials used and created during his compositional process. Arrangement is chronological.

Biography

Robert Parris was born in Philadelphia, PA, on May 21, 1924. He completed B.S. and M.S. music education degrees at the University of Pennsylvania and went on to earn his B.S. in composition from the Julliard School of Music in 1948. Mr. Parris continued his compositional studies at Tanglewood from 1950-51, and took part in a Fulbright Scholarship from 1952-53. His varied educational experiences allowed Parris to study with a number of composers including, Peter Mennin, William Bergsma, Jacques Ibert, Aaron Copland, Otto Luening, and Arthur Honegger.

Local to the Washington, DC metro area, Parris worked as a music critic for both the Washington Post and Washington Star from 1961-1975. After teaching at Washington State College and University of Maryland, Mr. Parris settled in the DC metro area and became a member of the music faculty at George Washington University in 1963.

Mr. Parris had works premiered by the National Symphony Orchestra, and he received several commissions from other major performing ensembles including, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, New York, the Contemporary Music Forum, and the National SO. A large number of Parris' compositions were published by the American Composers Alliance.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into one series.
  1. Series 1: Compositions

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The Robert Parris Papers were placed on deposit by the composer's widow, Anna Parris, in March 2001. It was converted to a gift in December 2015.

Related Material

ACA Score Collection, printing masters

Irving Lowens papers. The collection includes a file of correspondence (1970-1978) that addresses critical, personal, and professional matters. Also included are two drafts of substantive writings by Parris. Elsewhere in Lowens' papers are his reviews of Parris' works as performed in the DC area.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.
Title
The Robert Parris papers
Status
edited-full-draft
Author
Processed by Amanda Holgate, June 2009.
Date
2009-06-01
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • 2013-06-05: EAD markup validated using Oxygen software by Amanda May, June 2013.
  • 2015-05-05: EAD markup validated using Oxygen software by John Davis, May 2015
  • 2016-01-13: EAD markup validated using Oxygen software by John Davis, January 2016

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library Library

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