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COLLECTION — Box: 1 Identifier: MS Am 3350

William Wyman collection on Randall Thompson


Contains three recordings of the premiere performance of Thompson's "Five Love Songs," conducted by Wyman at Rocky Ridge Music Center, as well as a letter and telegram, each from composer Randall Thompson to William Wyman.


  • circa 1976-1978

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


,4 linear feet (1 box)

Contains three recordings as well as two letters and telegram, each from composer Randall Thompson to William Wyman. The letters discuss concerts and revisions to Thompson's compositions, dated 1976 and 1978.The telegram relates to a proposed visit by Randall Thompson to the Rocky Ridge Music Center in Colorado, where Wyman conducted the premiere performance of Thompson's "Five Love Songs," and the fact Thompson would not be able to be there for that premiere. The three recordings are not dated or titled, but Wyman explained to Houghton curators that they are recordings of the premiere of "Five Love Songs" at Rocky Ridge Music Center, Estes, Colorado, and include recorded remarks from Thompson that were played at the premiere.

Biographical / Historical

William "Doc" Wyman was the director of the Nebraska Wesleyan University Choir from 1975 to 2019. He served as the Music Director at St. Paul United Methodist Church from September 1979 to August 2019. He has led many national and international choir tours and four performances at Carnegie Hall. In his second year at Nebraska Wesleyan, he performed a concert with composer Randall Thompson; he also hosted composer Aaron Copland and conductor Robert Shaw. While at the Rocky Ridge Music Center in Estes, Colorado, Wyman also conducted the premiere performance of the Thompson's "Five Love Songs," which was commissioned by the Center.

Randall Thompson was an American composer of three symphonies and numerous vocal works, noted for his choral work. He was a 1920 graduate of Harvard University. He became assistant professor of music and choir director at Wellesley College, received a doctorate in music from the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music, and taught at the Curtis Institute of Music (serving as its director, 1941-1942), the University of Virginia, and Harvard University.


Materials have not been arranged. They are organized in the order in which they were received, but have been individually foldered.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Special equipment or surrogate required; consult Houghton staff.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2020M-073. Gift, William Wyman, 2020 February.

Related Materials

For additional materials, see: Randall Thompson Papers, 1917-1978 (MS Mus 173) and Randall Thompson papers and family papers, circa 1903-1980 (MS Mus 281), both at Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Processing Information

Processed by Betts Coup, 2020.

Wyman, William. William Wyman collection on Randall Thompson, circa 1976-1978 (MS Am 3350): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
2020 February 3
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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