[Back to Formatted Version]

Harold Paul Geerdes Collection, 1936 - 1991

Collection Overview

Title: Harold Paul Geerdes Collection, 1936 - 1991

ID: COLL/091

Creator: Harold Paul Geerdes (1916-2002)

Extent: 3.0 Boxes. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description

Abstract

Professor of music at Calvin College, director of the Calvin Oratorio Society, and director of instrumental music program in Grand Rapids Christian Schools. The collection includes articles, correspondence, programs, and records regarding the planning of the Fine Arts Center at Calvin College, manuscript of the "Bi-Centennial Music Handbook," and newspaper clippings. [See also the Campus Titles Database.]

Biographical Note

Harold Paul Geerdes was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 5, 1916. Geerdes attended Calvin College and graduated with an education degree in 1937. During his time at Calvin, Geerdes’ passion for music led him to be a part of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra. It was at the Symphony where Geerdes studied conducting under the Russian conductor Nikolai Malko in the 1940s.  Geerdes’ other passion, education, led him to a career as a music teacher at Christian and public schools. He also worked part-time at Calvin College as a music assistant. He also had a brief stint working at J. and J. Music Shop in Grand Rapids.

In 1955, Geerdes joined Calvin College’s faculty full-time as associate professor of music. He was very involved with Calvin’s music programs, he taught courses on conducting, acoustics, chamber music, and interim term courses. He also served on the programming committee for Calvin’s Fine Arts Center as well as the concert manager for the music department and directed the recording services on campus.  He served as conductor of the Calvin Band and Orchestra for twenty years. Geerdes also started the Knollcrest Music camp, which provided a summer day camp for students interested in music in grades 6 to 12. In 1967, Geerdes served as the director of the Calvin Oratorio Society.

Geerdes retired from the classroom in 1979. Although retired, Geerdes’ life was far from relaxing. The Saint Cecilia Music Society in Grand Rapids extended the position of executive director, which he gladly accepted. He also started his own acoustical firm. In 1992, Geerdes had the privilege of accepting the Faith-and-Learning Award, which is granted by the Calvin Alumni Association.

Geerdes passed away on April 4, 2002. His wife, Gladys, preceded him in death. He left behind his three children: Paul, Rick, and Judy. Geerdes memory lives on through the two scholarships at Calvin that bear his name.

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: 1.25 cubic ft.

Acquisition Source: Gift of H.P. Geerdes


Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Correspondence On and Plans for Calvin's Fine Arts Center --- 1961-1981Add to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Personal items of directorAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Correspondence on the sound systemAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Correspondence regarding equipment --- 1963-1965Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Correspondence with architect, J. T. Daverman: auditorium buildingAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Correspondence on remodeling project --- 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Correspondence of H. P. Geerdes as concert manager --- 1968-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Program of the Calvin College Fine Arts Center --- June 1963Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Publication of "Acoustics for the Music Educator," co-authored --- 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Publication of "Planning Educational Music Facilities" --- 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Articles written for various magazines --- 1968-1974Add to your cart.
Series 2: Music Programs --- 1936-1968Add to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Music programs --- 1936-1968Add to your cart.
Folder 2: News clippingsAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Advertising postersAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Programs --- Sep 1960 - Jun 1964Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Programs --- Oct 1964 - Jun 1966Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Three pictures of Netherlands churches (cathedrals)Add to your cart.
Series 3: Articles --- 1942-1991Add to your cart.
Box 3Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Personal: genealogy information; retirement open house --- 1981Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Banner articles --- 1962, 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Dutch International Society magazine articles --- 1971, 1972, 1975, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: The Instrumentalist articles --- 1968-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Impresario articles --- 1969Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Miscellaneous magazine articles --- 1942-1987Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Conference and convention speeches --- 1974-1986Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Copyrighted material --- 1975, 1987, 1991Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Non-copyrighted publicationsAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Holland Festival --- 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Music Performance areas in Holland and England --- 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Adjusted Acoustics for Music Performances, reprint --- 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 13: EFC project materialAdd to your cart.