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Vassar College Songs

Information about resources for Vassar College songs and the Vassar Alma Mater

Published or printed Vassar College song books

Vassar College song books are located in the Music Library.  While many are listed in the Vassar college Libraries online catalog, others are listed in the Music Libray card catalog only. For use of Music Library Treasure Room (Treas. Rm) materials, permission must be obtained in advance.     

 

Vassar College.

The Vassar College song book.

New York : Trow's Printing and Bookbinding Company, 1881.

Mus Treas Rm   73 V44 (1881) c. 1-3                   

Mus Score      73 V44 (1881) c.4    

            

Vassar College.

The Vassarion‘93.

Mus Treas Rm 73 V44 (1893)

            “Music” pp. 133-160.

 

Vassar College . Alumnae Association.

The Vassar College song book.

New York, pub. for the Alumnae Association of Vassar College by

G. Schirmer, c1900.

Mus Treas Rm   73 V44 (1900)                    

Mus Score      73 V44 (1900) c.2                

 

Vassar College . Students’ Association.

The New Vassar College song book.

New York : Published for the Students' Association of Vassar

College by Hinds, Noble & Eldredge, c1908.

Mus Treas Rm   73 V44 (1908) 

   

Vassar College . Students’ Association.

The new Vassar College song book. Rev. ed.

New York : Pub. for the Students' Association of Vassar College

by Hinds, Noble & Eldredge, c1911.

Mus Treas Rm   73 V44 (1911)                    

Mus Score      73 V44 (1911) c.2-3                

 

 Vassar College. Students’ Association.

Songs of Vassar, 1914. 

New York : G. Schirmer, c1914.

Mus Treas Rm   73 V44 (1914)   

 

 Vassar College. The Associated alumnae.

Anniversary song-book, October 1915. 

New York : G. Schirmer, c1915.

Mus Treas Rm   73 V44 (1915) 

Mus Score      73 V44 (1915) c. 2-4

                  

 Vassar College. The Associated alumnae.

Anniversary song-book, Febrary 1917. 

New York : G. Schirmer, c1917.

Mus Treas Rm   73 V44 (1917) c.2

Mus Score      73 V44 (1917) c. 1, 3-4

                 

 Vassar College. The Associated alumnae.

Alumnae anniversary song-book, June 1921. 

New York : G. Schirmer, c1921.

Mus Treas Rm   73 V44 (1921) c.2

Mus Score      73 V44 (1921) c. 1, 3-4

 

Vassar College. 

Seventy-fifth anniversary song book.

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. : Vassar College, 1940.

Mus Treas Rm   73 V44 (1940)                    

Mus Score      73 V44 (1940) c.2-6  

 

VC '48 '49 40th! : a compendium of songs : Vassar traditional and shows, pop and folk songs / [illustrations by Ellen Kingsbury Viereck] [1988 or 1989]

Mus Treas Rm              73 V44 v 

 

             

Recordings

Vassar recordings include recordings of Vassar songs and Vassar class parties, as well as Vassar music groups performing Vassar and non-Vassar material.  Vassar recordings may be found in two ways.  There is no overlap between these two catalogs so both must be examined for a complete search:

1) The Music Library card catalog of LP recordings:  Perform an author search for "Vassar College."

2) The Vassar Online catalog (WEBPAC): Perform an author search for "Vassar College" and limit by material type "music recording."

 

Two important recordings of Vassar songs are listed below.

Peace I leave with you / [arranged by George C. Gow ; edited by

Donald Pearson ; rearranged for mixed voices by E. Harold Geer]

1 sound disc : digital ; 4 3/4 in.

Mus Sound Rec  REF CD R7574                     

 

Vassar College. Choir,  Performer.

Vassar College Choir and Glee Club [sound recording]

New York City : Musicraft Records, [1940?]

Mus Sound Rec  REF 78 AL-463 c. 1-3                   

References to Vassar College songs

Although there are many Vassar songs with "Alma Mater" in the title, it is most likely that the song considered to be Vassar's "Alma Mater" is the one written by professor George Coleman Gow in 1903, with words by Amy Wentworth Stone '98.  However, an earlier song "Our Alma Mater" ("accompaniment by L.C. Hench") is found in the The Vassarion '93 p. 135-137. [Mus Treas. Rm 73 V44 (1893)].

There is a reference to the singing of an Alma Mater in 1903 that is quoted in the Vassar Encyclopedia.  Which song was the "Alma Mater" sung is unclear:

In 1903, "Albert Smiley took it upon himself to provide indoor entertainment as well:

After lunch, Mr. Smiley invited them into the parlor. Giving a few words of welcome, he then introduced Governor Long, of Massachusetts, who has been presiding over the Indian Conference held at the lake during the last three weeks. He gave an interesting talk. Mrs. Hall, a guest of the hotel, sang some Scotch songs. Then Mr. Burton, who has made a life study of Indian melody, gave several examples of Indian poetry and war songs. These he sang first in Indian language and then literally translated in English. After this the entire delegation from the college, five hundred girls, rose and sang the Alma Mater."
Source: http://vcencyclopedia.vassar.edu/environs/lake-mohonk.html Accessed 9/21/10

Other references to the singing of Vassar songs may be found:

An article in the New York Times of 2/24/1895  notes the singing of Vassar songs, including the following text not found in any published Vassar song book.  However, portions of this text have been found in the song "Our Alma Mater" verses 1 and 5 ("accompaniment by L.C. Hench") in the The Vassarion '93 p. 135-137. [Mus Treas. Rm 73 V44 (1893)].

        

Bryn Mawr may be more clever,

Wellesley may make more row;

But Vassar shall live forever,

Honored henceforth as now.

"Here's a long life to Vassar

Wave we her flag unfurled;

Nothing can e're surpass her,

Queen of the college world." [their quotes]

Gallaher, Grace Margaret.  Vassar Stories. Boston : R. G. Badger & co., 1900, c1899,  [Main  PS3513.A384 V37 1900]

p. 20-21.  Includes references to the texts from several songs including the following on p. 20:

Here's a long life to Vassar

Wave we her flag unfurled;

Nothing can e're surpass her,

Queen of the college world.

This text is found in the song "Our Alma Mater" ("accompaniment by L.C. Hench") in the 1893 Vassarion p. 135-137) verse 5 ("accompaniment by L.C. Hench") in the The Vassarion '93 p. 135-137. [Mus Treas. Rm 73 V44 (1893)].

Other song texts (p.20-21):

"There's only one college in the world for me One Alma Mater and that is VC"

"An institution once there was of learning and of knowledge Which had upon its high brick front Vassar Female College."

"If I were President I d be non resident And all my energies should be spent In planning for merriment"

Catalog of copyright entries: Musical compositions - Google Books Result

books.google.com/books?id=EEhjAAAAIAAJ...Library of Congress. Copyright Office - 1938 - Law
28762 Peace I leave with you ; Biblical w, m arr. from Vassar college tradition, George C. Gow, rearr. E. Harold Geer ; mixed voices. ...

Vassar College song contests

Vassar has had a tradition of song contests dating from the early decades of the 20th century.  They were often held in conjunction with the yearly Founder's Day celebration.

Archives, including some of the songs submitted for song contests, are currently being processed. Updates will be posted here.

Vassar College Encyclopedia

While not exhaustive, the Vassar Encylopedia offers increasing amounts of information about the college and its history.

Currently the following keyword searches are productive:

"Alma Mater"

"singing"

"song"

"song contest"

Archival material

A significant amount of material on Vassar songs is in the process of transfer to the Archives and Special Collections Library and awaits processing:

Gow, George Coleman. Papers include MSS of the Vassar College Alma Mater, 1903.

Vassar College song contests.