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Once upon a time, there was a play written by Annette Merkur Schwartz called 'The Passionate Saxophone Player'. In the tale, a very talented young man plays the saxophone with such ability that villagers dance, squirrels stop gathering nuts and flowe (More)
The last stop on this Richmond Road Trip adventure takes us back to the Virginia Commonwealth University campus. W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts is the administrative offices of the music departments and theater departments. (More)
My first stop on day two of the Richmond Trip (okay maybe Dunkin Doughnuts was the real first stop...anyway...continuing on...) is the Virginia Holocaust Museum. Current home of the Blank Family Papers, a collection that focuses on Margot Blank, wife (More)
Before I leave campus, at least for today, I'm making one more stop. [caption id="attachment_348" align="aligncenter" width="225"] James W. Black Music Center at Virginia Commonwealth University[/caption] Did Allan Blank have his office here? D (More)
Now that I have properly paid my respects to Mr. Blank, I'm headed to the James Branch Cabell Library to meet with Melissa Marrion, visit VCU's Special Collections and check out the library's music score collection. In an earlier blog post about A (More)
My first stop on my road trip to Richmond is Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery to pay my respects to Allan Blank. In the early morning, the cemetery is quite and peaceful. Not a place of deep mourning, but one of rest. Buried in a double g (More)
  My day is beginning entirely too early, but I'm excited. Richmond here I come! (More)
Well kind reader, it is time for this Archivist to pack some bags and hit the road...to Richmond! Thanks to my amazing employer, Old Dominion Special Collections & University Archives and the generosity of the Allan Blank Fund, I get go on a rese (More)
Much of Allan Blank's inspiration came from great works of literature and poetry. Usually, I find the completed score, or sketch without the accompanying reference material. Such as the case with "Four Poems by Emily Dickinson", where I have processe (More)
[caption id="attachment_311" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Sketchbook (1963-1974), The Allan Blank Papers Collection housed at the Diehn Composers Room[/caption] Today, I was a stereotype. Often, when people ask about my job, I'm cut off with: (More)
[caption id="attachment_300" align="aligncenter" width="225"] The Bookeye 4 at the Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Digital Services Center[/caption] ODU's Perry Library Digital Services Center has a new way to preserve documents, rare bo (More)
"I write what my ear, feelings and understandings dictate. I believe the initiating impulse to compose is a complex product of one's training, instrumental or vocal background, listening experiences, imaginative strengths, and the fortuitous circ (More)
  I have noticed a trend with Allan Blank's working style. Usually when inspiration struck, he would grab any piece of paper at hand and write. Conversely, he would start a sketch, or score in a notebook, but then fail to fill up the rest (More)
[caption id="attachment_277" align="aligncenter" width="225"] 'J.S. Bach Choral Works' book, the Allan Blank Papers Collection[/caption] What I find interesting is that music is continually evolving, yet musicians continually find inspiration in t (More)
[caption id="attachment_282" align="aligncenter" width="300"] From a Notebook of Sketches dated 12/19/86, The Allan Blank Papers Collection[/caption] Stay Sassy Norfolk! (More)
Happy International Archives Day! In celebration I will answer a question posed to be a few months ago. What was the most difficult part of your job? Since, my work is comprised primarily of processing the Allan Blank Papers Collection I thought I (More)
I'm not going to lie, I was absolutely confused when I saw a score that began with a bass clef. How on earth was I going to classify composition starting with a bass clef? Was it even a score? Was it a sketch? Did I have to rethink my entire series c (More)
Over the weekend, I visited the Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum in Colonial Williamsburg. There, I was greeted by a fantastic exhibit of harpsichords and piano fortes. Usually, when I think of the harpsichord, I envision men in powdered wigs an (More)
According to the sketches I've found so far, Allan Blank decided in the mid-1980's to write music for children. His compositions were meant for a children's chorus accompanied by a piano. After finding a poem or nursery rhyme, Mr. Blank would then (More)