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T. CARL WHITMER (1873-1959)



  • Five boxes of programs of T. Carl Whitmer as performer and/or composer
  • Letters

Time period  1943 - 1958


    Pittsburgh composer, teacher (Pennsylvania College for Women and Pittsburgh Musical Institute), organist. Born in Altoona, PA in 1873






Folder 1

    Letters and publicity regarding 1943 Festival (his 70th birthday).
  • Annotations of his works
  • Letter from Charles W. Cadman
  • Clippings
  • Programs
  • Birthday greetings
  • Festival Concert program, May 14, 1943 at Carnegie Music Hall
  • Statement of income received for Festival
  • List of Patrons and Guarantors
  • Radio show transcripts
  • Copy of The Musical Forecast, May 1943, dedicated to Whitmer

Folder 2

    Letters 1948-1954
  • Arthur Farwell (2)
  • Gilman Chase (1) - criticizing an article by TCW in The Diapason regarding pipe organs and organists
  • correspondence re years as resident-composer at Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham University)
  • birthday greetings from friends
  • letters from Pittsburgh friends with references to Pittsburgh music and musicians
  • letters from Arthur B. Jennings, former Pittsburgh organist
  • letter from 1893 classmate at Franklin & Marshall College regarding their 60th reunion on June 6, 1953
  • letter from Clarence Cannon, Congressional representative from Missouri
  • letter from a friend who describes a flight during which she sat next to Edward Everett Horton who was returning to Oberlin College, his Alma Mater, for dedication of new buildings

Folder 3

    Letters 1955 and 1956
  • Pittsburghers include:
    • Lester Trimble
    • Matt Cvetic, Jr.
    • Philip Lee Ralph
    • Shirley Patterson Kroske
    • Oscar Demmler
    • Marshall Bidwell
    • Ralph Lewando
  • Others:
    • Rudolph Ganz
    • Paul Paray of The Detroit Symphony
    • a plumbing contract for 1956

Folder 4

    Letters 1957-1958
  • Pittsburghers include
    • J. Fred Lissfelt
    • Julian Wiliams
    • Oscar Demmler
    • Musicians’ Club
    • etc.

Folder 5

    Undated letters but some dates may be presumed by reference to the receipt of the brochure mentioned in letters dated 1955. (See Folder 3.) One letter from Harold Friedell, director of music, St. Bartholomew’s Church, NYC.

Folder 6

    Letters from Edgar and Louise Varèse:
  • 02.04.1944: re his intended broadcast of Whitmer’s "Soul of America," asks for "all the metronomic indications of change of tempo or mood" from Whitmer’s score.
  • 02.08.1944: re thanks to Whitmer for letter and record (which arrived broken). Requests metronomic speeds for portions of "Soul of America."
  • 02.24.1944: re thanks Whitmer for letter and announces intention of doing another Whitmer work "at the first opportunity.."
  • 03.15.1944: re acoustics at "The Music Center" and instrumentation of Whitmer’s pieces.
  • 04.08.1944: re his inability to hear "Soul of America" on the radio or in concert. Mentions that Louise was glad that Whitmer liked her translation, that he is working hard and that he can’t find a solicitor.
  • 05.02.1944: re thanks Whitmer for his regard.
  • 11.04.1944: invitation from Louise for lunch November 14
  • 11.15.1944: re thanks again. Mentions that Claudel is setting up a meeting.
  • Undated letter from Louise: re whatever was enclosed with letter. Thanks Whitmer for consenting to speak at a meeting about Varèse
  • 02.10.1946: re thanks Whitmer for his letter re her translation. Mentions death of Varèse’s chorus and the fact that she and Edgar will be reading Whitmer’s article
  • 10.03.1946: Louise thanks Whitmer for his praise of her translation. Mentions that Edgar is in "fine form."

Folder 7

    Ten letters from Charles Ives and two from Harmony T. Ives (his wife). Some contain references to performance of his work with Slonimsky; some contain references to Whitmer’s book "The Way of My Heart and Mind"; some contain comments on modern music and musicians. Brief correspondence between TCW, Helen Whitmer, and Irene Millen concerning the TCW collection for the Music Library


Folder 1

    "The Anointing of Solomon"
  • Letters received by TCW after premiere performance at Carnegie Music Hall, May 21, 1957, including: letter from Mamie Eisenhower (the work was inspired by Dwight Eisenhower’s inaugural prayer); correspondence re type setting of the work, Ray Green, American Music Edition
  • Three Pittsburgh newspaper reviews of world premiere by Mendelssohn Choir, May 21, 1957.
  • Letters of permission to use words of Walt Whitman (David McKay, Philadelphia) and of "Miss Turner" and Dr. Babcock (Maltbie?) from The Smart Set, New York
  • Two letters dated 1917 from George M. P. Baird re use of his Hymn to America containing "The Song of Pittsburgh"
  • Titles, copyright receipts - USA and British Museum - for "A Syrian Night," "When God Laughed," and "Choral Triptych"
  • Lists:
    • Music and Literary Works of TCW in Carnegie Library, dated 1959
    • Scores of TCW in Carnegie Library with notation of performers and performances
    • Activities in addition to composition, books, etc., dated 1953

Folder 2

    Pine Street Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg, PA where TCW was organist;
  • Six Free Organ Recitals there (typed copies, not originals) on October 29, 1898 through March 25, 1899
  • Programs of concerts, directed by TCW 1943-1948, as sung by Southern Dutchess Singers, in Beacon, Dutchess County, NY
  • Programs of performances of TCW’s works, 1931-1957 - chronologically arranged (including venues in Pittsburgh, NYC, Denver, Houston and Colorado Springs)

Folder 3

    Copy of THE CONCERT - A Sonnet of Sonnets, by George Seibel, illustrated by Jeannette Shirk and inscribed to TCW: To the composer from George Seibel, as a birthday greeting "im wunderschönen Monat Mai 1943."
    Typescript pages numbered 265 to 371, but not complete:
  • Copy for small magazines (?) - pp. 265-269
  • The Passion - an outline - pp. 281-283
  • The Youth Choir, Freedom Plains Presbyterian Church, April 1941, pp. 330-332
  • Article for THE MUSICAL FORECAST, April 1941: "HBG - Allegro Giocoso, A Personal Divertissement" - pp. 348-352 (Tribute to Harvey B. Gaul)
  • Review: "Bach Choir Opens Season with Record Audience" - not dated. Part of program included TCW’s "Out of the Night."
  • Talk (?): "Outline of the Passion Play Idea" dated 09.12.1921, p. 358
  • Article from Beacon News (Dutchess County, New York) dated 05.27.194, with account of Western Pennsylvania American Guild of Organists concert 05.09.1946. Program of TCW music. (See programs in Box II, Folder 2)
  • O Susanna - A little journey. Undated account of dedication of Stephen Collins Foster house on its removal to Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan - pp. 369-371

Folder 4

    Magazine articles:
  • Creative Art, February 1932 Vol. 10 No. 2, p. 117: "A Composer Looks at Painting"
  • The American Organist - various articles dating from November 1939 to October 1954
  • The Diapason - October 1952 and January 1, 1955
  • New York Times - February 22, 1953
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - May ? written by Harvey Gaul about an article of TCW in The American Organist on "Widor’s Organ Symphonies."
  • Booklet: Reviews of "The Way of My Mind", and "The Way of My Heart and Mind" by TCW
  • Royalty Statement dated 06.01.1957, Art of Improvisation

Folder 5

    Note in TCW’s handwriting: Material for a book chiefly of published essays. Essays and Sketches by T. Carl Whitm


Folder 1
    Letters from M. C. Rogers (nee Mildred Weston?), most undated. Some from Gallitzen, PA, others from New York City, and Springfield, MA. Handwritten, mostly addressed to: "Dearest Himself and Miffie." (Folder about 4" thick.)



Folder 1
Dramamount (10 photos of their home in La Grangeville, NY))

Folder 2
TCW’s grandparents and parents (7 photos)

Folder 3
Photos of TCW from 1873-1913, plus postcards of cities in England, Ireland, Germany and France

Folder 4
Helen Whitmer (26 photos of her), plus her sketches of Christmas cards. (One small sketch is of their Pittsburgh home at 316 Spahr Street in the Shadyside area)

Folder 5
Helen and Carl Whitmer (mostly at Dramamount), some with friends, including one photo of Arthur B. Jennings

Folder 6
Non-Whitmer, mostly unidentified; one of Mildred Weston (see correspondence in Box III); one of Harvey B. Gaul

No folder
One large photo of TCW maternal grandparents taken February 1871


Folder 1

    Honorary degree from Franklin and Marshall College, June 25, 1944

Folder 2

  • Letters of TCW written "to Papa" 1885-1886 (typed copies)
  • Good photo and story re Arthur Jennings on his retirement from University of Minnesota, cut from a magazine (Diapason?). Mentions that one of his teachers was TCW. Dated July 1, 1956.
  • Newspaper article from Poughkeepsie Sunday New Yorker re TCW’s presentation to Helen (his wife) of bound copy of letters she wrote to her mother from their trip abroad 1906-7. Anecdotes, descriptions from the letter are included in article.
  • Handwritten account by Helen of her wedding day and the two days preceding - very personal and touching.
  • Bennett Bulletin (Bennett Junior College, Millbrook, NY) with article on music at the school and photo of TCW with pupils and a second article re an article in September 1947 issue of Pittsburgh’s Forecast of the Arts which contains a Tribute to TCW. (Did Helen Whitmer teach at Bennett?)
  • Undated, handwritten letter of TCW describing a performance of Samuel Barber’s "Vanessa." (The opera was first performed at the Metropolitan Opera in 1958; this may have been an earlier production.)
  • David Bispham Memorial Medal for American Opera, inscribed to TCW for "Religious Music Dramas." The face on the medal is not TCW.

Folder 3

  • Marriage license for Thomas Carl Whitmer and Helen M. Crozier, (May 18, 1898)
  • Helen’s handwritten account of first six months of married life.
  • Helen’s letters to her mother from European trips 1901, 1906
  • Undated letters, written by both Helen and TCW. Note: Many of Helen’s letters are illustrated with her own sketches
  • Exhibition catalogue: The Fort Worth Museum of Art Loan Exhibition Paintings (includes "Italian Scene" by Helen Whitmer)