Please click the image to see my tribute to the great artists Wilmer Wise and Harold Jones. Harold was a founder of the Symphony of the New World, and Wilmer was a soloist and one of the greatest trumpet players in the world.
Here are the documents the NYPL presented at their Lincoln Center branch. When you click an image, it will go to a larger version so you can read the documents.
From left to right: Alan Booth, who played the piano solo to Petrushka on the premiere concert in Carnegie Hall; Kermit Moore, one of the founders and principal cello; and Harry Glickman, concertmaster.
Autographed Picture: Alpha Brauner Floyd
Article about Elayne Jones, one of the founders of the Symphony, and the first black woman timpanist for the San Francisco Symphony.
Friends of the Symphony of the New World
A list of concert premieres, guest artists, and ensembles hosted by The Symphony of the New World.
Article for Elegant Magazine: page 1
A fact sheet about the Symphony of the New World
An article to the New York Times written by Elayne Jones and Harry Smyles (personnel manager)
Original 1964 mission statement, written 2 months before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Picture of the first Carnegie Hall Concert, May 6, 1965, three months before passage of the Voting Rights Act
When the Symphony received the Ford Foundation grant, it was to train young black musicians. Chamber music began. There was a string octet and a woodwind quintet. My father wrote a letter explaining how principal players switched seats to give others a chance to play first chair.
Joan Peyser article in the NY Times
According to Terrance McKnight, “the chatter was that the word ‘training’ advanced the white-parent — black-child paradigm.” This letter was written. My father resigned before a concert in October. Arbitration ensued.
A letter my Aunt Dorothy, my father’s sister, wrote to the Hon. Abraham Gellinoff in response to the arbitration decision, which my father and his lawyer Milton Mostel lost.
The last fundraising letter my father wrote after he lost the arbitration.
The Symphony of the New World gave its last concert in 1978. Many documents represent opinions, rather than objective research.
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These are the two images I own, which I am uploading to Wikipedia, and to which I am releasing copyright restrictions so they could be used for the benefit of historians. They are framed and located in my home. I permit free use under the CC-BY-SA
This is a picture of the original document, my father’s last fundraising letter in 1972, after he resigned from the orchestra. The picture on the blog is a thumbnail, which links to a full-resolution document when you click on it. The header for the stationery was in use for many years. I took the photo. More Wikipedia source material.
“Jim………..The cops in Philly stopped me back un the good old days on South Street,I was dressed in White- Tie and Tails. I was on my way to the Academy of Music to play with the Philadelphia Orchestra. I lived in walking distance of the hall………They were dressed in leather and they had a very angry German Shepard with them. They asked me to prove that I owned the 3 horns in the case. I picked up my C trumpet and played the loudest notes I have ever played………..With hands on guns they told me to get the heck off the street. I miss Philly:-)”
Wilmer related this experience in response to getting his first hoodie and the jokes that followed noting it was a dangerous piece of clothing to wear in light of the Trayvon Martin case.
More Wikipedia source material to demonstrate the kind of racism black classical musicians faced when the Symphony of the New World was formed.
More Source material for Wikipedia
Joan Peyser, “The Negro in Search of an Orchestra”, ”The New York Times”, November 26, 1967