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John Worst Collection, 1976-1983

Collection Overview

Title: John Worst Collection, 1976-1983

ID: COLL/337

Creator: Worst, John (1940-)

Extent: 0.65 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description


Professor of music at Calvin College. The collection includes a cantata, The Parable, commissioned by and dedicated to the Calvin Oratorio Society, with text adapted by Stanley Wiersma; and a manuscript entitled "A Nigerian Journal."

Biographical Note

John William Worst was born July 13, 1940 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He attended Calvin College, earning his B.A. in music education in 1962. Worst went on to earn his master's degree in theory and composition from Ohio State University in 1964. After graduation, Worst became a music instructor at Dordt College from 1964 to 1966.

In 1966 Worst accepted a faculty position at his alma mater, Calvin College. He entered the college as an assistant professor, and eventually was promoted to professor of music. During professor Worst's academic career, he taught a number of courses such as music theory, composition, popular music, and 19th and 20th century music literature. In 1974 Worst furthered his own education by completing his Ph.D. in musicology at the University of Michigan. Professor Worst became the director of the Knollcrest Music Camp in 1975.

Professor Worst kept busy both on and off campus by being involved in many professional societies such as American Society of University Composers, American Musicological Society, and College Music Society. After many years of music education, Worst retired from active teaching in 1999.

Worst married Ruth Ann Hage on June 6, 1962 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Together they had two daughters. In 1999 Ruth passed away, and Worst remarried to former Calvin education professor, Myra Kraker, in 2000. When Myra also passed away in 2003, Professor Worst established a scholarship in honor of his late wives. The scholarship assists student pursuing a career in music.

The emeritus professor Worst still stays busy composing music. He also teaches a section of the Introduction to Music course at Calvin College. He acts as a Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra concert reviewer for a local radio station as well as a producer for show about 20th century art music.

Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Correspondence
Box 1
Folder 1: A Nigerian Journal --- 1983
Folder 2: The Impossible Possibility, Dialogue --- Feb 1976