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URC 27, UMass Dartmouth, Music Department records

Identifier: URC-027

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of concert programs, fliers, photographs, newspaper clippings, departmental memos and correspondence (from Josef Cobert’s and Eleanor Carlson’s files), a biographical file on Jacqueline Cobert, a performance file on Bobby Greene, and a selection of recordings. Arranged chronologically. The program fliers kept by the Music department secretary were integrated, as were administrative files; these were organized chronologically by performance season, which coincided with the academic year. The collection is arranged in three series: Series I: Programs, flyers and administrative files, 1956-1971; Series II: Recordings of performances, 1998-1999; and Series III: Photographs, 1960s to 1990s.


  • 1956-2000

Conditions Governing Access

Most, unrestricted. Use of recorded performances restricted to personal use only.

Biographical / Historical

Music was first offered as part of the curriculum at SMTI in 1964. Flutist Josef Cobert was hired at that time as its first instructor. His wife, Jacqueline Bazinet Cobert, a renowed soprano and opera performer, was a hired as a part time instructor a year later. The Coberts were responsible for the expansion of the music department over a period of the next 30 years, from 1964 through the 1990s. Jacqueline Cobert died in 1991, while she was still on the faculty. There was a memorial concert in her honor on November 23, 1991 in the UMD auditorium. Josef Cobert retired from the faculty in 1996. Eleanor Carlson has been Chairperson since 1989.

In 1967 the Board of Trustees voted to approve the formation of a Music Division within the College of Fine and Applied Arts (now the College of Visual and Performing Arts) under the direction of Associate Professor Josef Cobert. In May of 1978 the trustees endorsed a minor in music for the 1978-1979 academic year, and in September 1979 the Bachelor of Music program was approved by the Board of Higher Education, and the program was first offered starting September of that year. The Music Department withstood a movement in 1997 by the UMass Trustees and the administration to eliminate the music program at UMD. There was an outcry against such a move from students, faculty and the community, so the program of study stayed, but as a compromise it was downgraded from a Bachelor in Music to a Bachelor of Arts in Music.

The SMTI Chorus and a madrigal singers group (they now perform as the “Spinners”) was formed and first performed during the 1964-1965 season; the SMTI Orchestra, under the direction of Josef Cobert, debuted November 19, 1967. The First Seminar in Performing Arts took place August – September 1966 and the first student recitals took place in December of 1967. The SMU Chamber Orchestra, also under the direction of Josef Cobert, debuted in March of 1985, in conjunction with the 300th anniversary of J.S. Bach’s birthday. Other musical groups sponsored by the Music Department, and open to all UMD students by audition, are the Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band (since 1988), Concert Band, and Stage Band.


7 Linear Feet (10 manuscript boxes, 2 oversized boxes and one video box)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Music Department in September 2000, July 2002, May 2003 and February 2004. Accession # 01-02, 03-03, 03-25, 03-25 and 04-11.

Existence and Location of Originals

Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747, 508-999-8686, /archives/Archives.html

UMass Dartmouth, Music Department records
July 2001, J. Burdette ’02. Revised September 2002 and May 2004 by C. Buckes’05.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
First edition 2001, Second edition 200, Third edition 2004

Repository Details

Part of the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Repository

285 Old Westport Rd.
N. Dartmouth MA 02747 USA