Lehigh University Music Festival 1949
Held by Special Collections, Linderman Library
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015
Call No.: SC Photo 0006
2 boxes; 1 linear foot
Lehigh University Music Festival Collection (1949) contains 96 photographs and a scrapbook primarily devoted to the 1949 festival, although several clippings describing the 1948 and 1950 festivals are also included in the collection. The festival was produced by the students and faculty of Lehigh University, with participation from students of local colleges and other performers. The photographs depict the process of developing and performing the production. The scrapbook consists mainly of newspaper clippings, a script, programs, tickets, forms, and other ephemera.
The collection was acquired by Lehigh University’s Special Collections in July 2007.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015, USA
Phone: 610-758 4506
Fax: 610-758 6091
Lehigh University, Linderman Library, Special Collections
Herbert D. Kynor, Jr.
Lehigh University Music Festival 1949
Restrictions to Access:
This collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Lehigh University Music Festival Collection, SC Photo 0006, Special Collections, Linderman Library, Lehigh University, Bethlehem PA
Please inquire about copyright information.
In the spring of 1948 Ralph Schwarz, a student at Lehigh University with stage production experience gained in the Army, collaborated with William Schempf, Lehigh’s music director, to produce an event that would take advantage of the many talents of the university’s students. The school’s marching band, glee club, Collegian dance band, and the Moravian College glee club, with the assistance of a great number of students and faculty, came together to perform the first Lehigh Music Festival in Grace Hall. The 1948 event was well received. In previous years, the university’s glee club would simply perform on the stage of a local auditorium. Schwarz had a vision that included interpreting the music with, “lights, color, gymnasts, marching soldiers – a mood to express each score.” To accomplish his objectives, he relied not only on the talents of his performers, but also on the technological abilities of Lehigh’s engineering students. Some examples of the technology employed in the 1948 production include the use of steam to create a “steam curtain” between the performers and the audience and the deployment of an 1,800 square foot rear projection screen dyed with a florescent medium that was produced by a local mill.
Coverage of the 1948 festival was featured in the national media and the school was determined to produce an even more elaborate production in 1949. Schwarz and Schempf each assumed their previous roles in the production. The festival was divided into three parts. The first part, titled “Bach to Bop,” featured 21 songs in a variety of styles including the American debut of Romanian composer Niku Chircoulescu’s Boolia Bashka. The second part, titled, “Glory of Lehigh,” coupled 17 songs with the projection of photographs depicting different aspects of Lehigh history and academic life. The third part was titled “Man Would Be Free.” This ambitious number, based on Study of History by Princeton University historian Arnold J. Toynbee, featured narration adapted from the work by Lehigh Associate Professor of History William A. Aiken. Schempf created a musical score to help interpret the historical and philosophical ideas of the work which, according to the program, examines “challenges to freedom in an attempt to discover what our answer should be to the struggle between East and West – between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A.”
Some of the more notable technical features of the 1949 festival included adapting a large-scale projector with a cooling system which employed a blower from a vacuum cleaner and a water bath, developing a studio in Drown Hall to create slides for projection, and building a projection screen with pivoting panels that was capable of showing slides with a three-dimensional effect. Students also created a “nitrogen curtain” that sprayed liquid nitrogen from the ceiling to create a heavy mist timed to blend with other effects to enhance various parts of the program.
By all accounts the festival was a rousing success, entertaining thousands with a creative blend of music, photography, dance, narration, and special effects. Success, however, was not measured just by the audience’s response to the production. The Lehigh Alumni Bulletin reported that, “The men of Lehigh had learned a lesson in cooperation and teamwork. They had found that each occupation has its appointed place in society and that each must function with the rest if any measure of success is to be achieved.”
Ralph G. Schwarz produced and directed the 1949 Lehigh Music Festival at Lehigh University. Schwarz received a B.A. in mechanical engineering and international relations (1948) and an M.A. in history (1951) from Lehigh University, and a Doctor of Humanities from Indiana State University in 1974. He also studied at the Sorbonne and the University of Vienna. During World War II he helped direct large-scale shows for the army and he directed a stage show in Paris to complete his dramatic course at the Sorbonne.
Schwarz also organized the 1948 Lehigh Music Festival during his senior year at Lehigh. After graduation, he was hired as an assistant on the staff of the dean to head the festival organization. He subsequently enlisted more than 1,000 Lehigh students and faculty to develop the 1949 festival.
Scope and Content Note:
This collection contains 96 8” x 10” black-and-white photographs and a scrapbook. Several of the photographs have the photographer’s name, phone number, and address stamped on the back. Both photographers cited listed dormitory addresses. Herbert A. Kynor, Jr. was the director of still and motion picture photography for the festival and graduated from Lehigh in 1947. The second photographer, Donald De Lorenzo, graduated from Lehigh in 1953. The photographs depict the process of developing the festival including images of faculty, students, and other performers building the set, doing electrical work, operating photographic and stage equipment, directing, editing, rehearsing, and performing. The scrapbook consists mainly of local newspaper clippings, however it also contains articles from two national publications: Educational Music Magazine and Musical Advance. The scrapbook also contains several Lehigh University publications, a script, programs, tickets, forms, and other ephemera.
Organization of the Content:
The Lehigh Music Festival - 1949 collection, as originally received, contained three consecutively-numbered albums of photographs accompanied by a scrapbook. The photographs were removed from the albums, placed in protective sleeves, and organized by the order they were arranged in the first album, followed by the second album, and then the third. Each photograph is coded with the collection number, the original album number, and a consecutive number representing the original order. The scrapbook is housed separately.
Online Catalog Terms:
Music festival programs--Pennsylvania--Bethlehem
Lehigh University – photographs.
Lehigh University. Glee Club
Theaters Stage – setting and scenery
Schwarz, Ralph G.
Aiken, William Appleton, 1907-1957
Detailed Description of Collection:
This box contains 96 8” x 10’ black and white photographs. The photographs were grouped in three binders and several of the photographs have the photographer’s name and phone number stamped on the back (indicated).
006.01.001 Wrestling match in Grace Hall (Donald De Lorenzo)
006.01.002 Grace Hall gymnasium floor and bleachers (Donald De Lorenzo)
006.01.003 Stagehands building set
006.01.004 Stagehands building set
006.01.005 Vocal group practicing on unfinished set
006.01.006 Stagehands building set
006.01.007 Vocal group and instrumentalists practicing on unfinished set; caption on back “Tuesday Night – Grace Hall” (Donald
006.01.008 Half of panoramic view of set
006.01.009 Second half of panoramic view of set
006.01.010 Photograph 006.03.096 originally appeared in this position
006.01.011 View of set
006.01.012 View of set
006.01.013 Photographer staging shot of actors with horse and buggy in field
006.01.014 Stagehands building set
006.01.015 David Bacon working with projector backstage (Donald De Lorenzo)
006.01.016 Head electrician Leonard Van Duyne and James Peterman setting up transformer for motion picture projector (Herbert D. Kynor, Jr.)
006.01.017 Stagehand working on set lighting (Herbert D. Kynor, Jr.)
006.01.018 Camera operator John Traise with second man and motion picture camera.
006.01.019 Director-producer Ralph Schwarz and camera operator Robert Rodale with motion picture camera
006.01.020 Actor Dave Bedell being prepared by make-up artist to portray Asa Packer (Donald De Lorenzo)
006.01.021 Actor Dave Bedell in costume as Asa Packer
006.01.022 Camera operator John Traise working with producer-director Ralph Schwarz on composing a shot of Asa Packer, portrayed by Dave Bedell
006.01.023 Man holding large lamp backstage (Herbert D. Kynor, Jr.)
006.01.024 Staged shot of Asa Packer, portrayed by Dave Bedell, on stage
006.01.025 Staged shot of four men in academic regalia in front of projected view of Lehigh campus building (Donald De Lorenzo)
006.01.026 Actor Betsey Zelesky in costume
006.01.027 Director-producer Ralph Schwarz with musical director William Schempf working with motion picture equipment
006.01.028 Coordinating director Raymond Congdon, director-producer Ralph Schwarz, and musical director William Schempf with motion picture projector
006.01.029 Group of performers with (L to R) director of still and motion picture photography Herbert D. Kynor, Jr., camera operator John Traise, director-producer Ralph Schwarz, and musical director William Schempf
006.01.030 Group of performers with John Traise operating motion picture camera
006.01.031 Director-producer Ralph Schwarz and second man adjust lights as performers look on
006.01.032 David Bacon and stagehands install equipment on set
006.02.033 Camera operator John Traise in window
006.02.034 Director-producer Ralph Schwarz lining up a shot
006.02.035 Men drinking beer
006.02.036 Director-producer Ralph Schwarz working with film reels
006.02.037 Men working on program
006.02.038 Men painting banner
006.02.039 Billboard for music festival
006.02.040 Men and women on lawn reviewing documents
006.02.041 Students dancing
006.02.042 Students dancing
006.02.043 Students dancing
006.02.044 Stagehands working on set
006.02.045 Man with record recorder or player (Donald De Lorenzo)
006.02.046 Stagehands working on set with technical director Albert Rights on left
006.02.047 Stagehands working on set with producer-director Ralph Schwarz looking upward (Herbert D. Kynor, Jr.)
006.02.048 Men in bleachers
006.02.049 Stagehands working on set
006.02.050 Stagehands discussing construction of set
006.02.051 Stagehand tightening bolts on set
006.02.052 Director of still and motion picture photography Herbert D. Kynor, Jr., photographing set construction
006.02.053 Technical Director Albert Rights (center) with stagehands,
006.02.054 Stagehand working on set
006.02.055 Stagehand connecting wiring on set
006.02.056 Stagehands working on set
006.02.057 Stagehands soldering wiring
006.02.058 Stagehand working on wiring
006.02.059 Stagehands unloading equipment from truck
006.02.060 Stagehands unloading equipment from truck
006.02.061 Stagehands working on wiring
006.02.062 Stagehands hoisting loudspeakers
006.02.063 Stagehands working on set using power drill
006.02.064 Stagehands with David Bacon (?) working on set
006.03.065 Stagehands working on set
006.03.066 Stagehands working on set
006.03.067 Dancers practicing on set
006.03.068 Group of men in studio (L to R) including technical director Albert Rights, coordinating director Raymond Congdon, unknown, musical director William Schempf, and professor of history William A. Aiken.
006.03.069 Men and woman (possibly Martha Lutz of Moravian College) grouped around piano (Herbert D. Kynor, Jr.)
006.03.070 Female vocalist (possibly Martha Lutz of Moravian College) on set (Herbert D. Kynor, Jr.)
006.03.071 Tim Dennis and Douglas Adams, composers of the music in The Beer Fantasy, at the piano
006.03.072 Band musicians practicing with Coca Cola machine in background
006.03.073 Band musicians practicing with conductor
006.03.074 Vocalists practicing
006.03.075 Vocalists practicing with musical director William Schempf conducting
006.03.076 Male trumpeter with Coca-Cola machine in background (Herbert D. Kynor, Jr.)
006.03.077 Portrait of director-producer Ralph Schwarz
006.03.078 Director-producer Ralph Schwarz on telephone
006.03.079 History professor William A. Aiken reading book with shelved books in background (Donald De Lorenzo)
006.03.080 Portrait of vocalist Ruth Eleanor “Candy” Anderson
006.03.081 Technical director Albert Rights on telephone (Donald De Lorenzo)
006.03.082 Director of still and motion picture photography Herbert D. Kynor, Jr. with Rolleiflex twin lens reflex camera, smoking pipe
006.03.083 Stagehands working on set
006.03.084 Stagehands working on set
006.03.085 Nancy Boyer performing as majorette
006.03.086 Technical director Albert Rights and student technician on telephone
006.03.087 Director-producer Ralph Schwarz on telephone with David Bacon (?)
006.03.088 Photographer John Traise on stand
006.03.089 Female vocalist Ruth Eleanor “Candy” Anderson performing
006.03.090 Musical director William Schempf conducting
006.03.091 Performers dancing
006.03.092 Audience members on the steps of Grace Hall
006.03.093 Audience members in lobby
006.03.094 Stagehands on ladder
006.03.095 Dancers, musicians, and vocalists performing
006.03.096 Dancers, musicians, and vocalists performing
006.03.097 Photographer John Traise and possibly director of still and motion picture photography Herbert D. Kynor, Jr., with photographic equipment
This box contains a scrapbook containing newspaper clippings, programs, a script, performance tickets, and other ephemera.
Return to Special Collections Homepage