Tuesday, June 11, 2013
The Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University has been awarded a $1,000 Special Project grant by the North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA). The grant monies will be used to record selections from a collection of sheet music belonging to Lt. Col. Gregory A. Wynn, United States Marine Corps.
Wynn was born and raised in Carlisle, Pa., and has been a Theodore Roosevelt enthusiast since his childhood. He holds a significant private collection of artifacts pertaining to America’s 26th president.
“During the early 20th Century, sheet music was the era’s iPod. Families gathered to play and sing these songs. Theatres, political rallies, and concerts would stage performances of many of the numbers,” Wynn said. “Theodore Roosevelt’s strenuous hold on the American consciousness of the times is clear from the variety, color, and number of these marches, songs, and rags. They have been fun to collect. And, it never ceases to amaze me when one I have never seen before appears.”
Wynn’s collection includes 145 pieces of sheet music composed either for or about Roosevelt. Most of the pieces were published during Roosevelt’s years as president.
“We are so pleased that Greg is willing to share these treasures from his private collection,” said Sharon Kilzer, project manager for the Theodore Roosevelt Center. “These pieces represent the celebration of a great American in his time. The cover art is beautiful, and the music is rich. With the NDCA’s help, we are delighted to bring this material to the public.”
The sheet music has been scanned and will soon be available in the Theodore Roosevelt Center digital library. The NDCA grant will enable the recording of selected pieces, so visitors to the website also will be able to listen to the music online. In addition, pieces from the collection will be performed at the annual Theodore Roosevelt symposium, which is scheduled to be held Nov. 14-16, 2013, on the DSU campus in Dickinson.
“I am honored and excited to be part of this project that brings to life a segment of interesting music that we can share with the world,” said Beverly Everett, music director of the Bismarck/Mandan Symphony Orchestra.
The North Dakota Council on the Arts receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.