Symphony Band (University of Michigan) 1961 Tour Collection

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Symphony Band (University of Michigan) 1961 Tour Collection

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger University of Michigan Symphony Band 1961 Tour Collection held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Materials collected and created by University of Michigan Symphony Band Tour members during the Band's international tour through the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and the Near East, February through June, 1961 and during the band's 50th anniversary return to Russia in 2011. Includes diaries, personal reminiscences, news articles, videos, and photographs.

The University of Michigan Symphony Band undertook a historic concert tour in 1961, at the height of the cold war, through the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and the Near East. This was a United States State Department cultural exchange tour that lasted 15 weeks and which remains the longest State Department sponsored tour in history.

The Band was directed by renowned conductor William D. Revelli, and traveled accompanied by Frederick Moncrieff, business manager for the tour, George Cavender, assistant band director, Doctor Eugene Winkelman, tour physician, interpreters and additional University and State Department staff. "The Symphony Band musicians were America's cultural emissaries, using music to forge common ground".

The Symphony Band played 88 concerts in ten countries which included six republics of the Soviet Union, Romania, Poland, Lebanon, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and the U.S. It was throughout the tour that band members acquired the materials and memorabilia that make up this collection. Altogether, the 94-member band performed for more than 140,000 concertgoers on the tour.

Band members that participated in this tour have celebrated a number of reunions over the years, the most recent one being in October 2011 for the 50th anniversary celebration of the tour. Members also returned to Russia in may 2012 as part of the 50th anniversary events and visited Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Please note:

Copyright has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

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