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Henry A. Bruinsma Collection



Biographical Note

Detailed Description

[General Materials]


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Henry A. Bruinsma Collection, 1940-1990s | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

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Collection Overview

Title: Henry A. Bruinsma Collection, 1940-1990s

ID: COLL/462

Primary Creator: Bruinsma, Henry A. (1916-1991)

Extent: 3.5 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description


Professor of music at Calvin College; Ohio State University; Arizona State College. The collection includes lectures, speeches, correspondence, articles, manuscripts, research notes, term papers, news clippings, course material, reference books on music, sheet music of psalms, awards, photographs, and programs of performances, concerts and conferences.

Biographical Note

Henry A. Bruinsma was born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1916. It was said that  Bruinsma's love for music started at an early age.  As a preschooler, Bruinsma would eavesdrop on his older brother's piano lessons, and afterwards practices his brother's piano assignment.  When he was at high school age, Bruinsma chose to attend Ottawa Hills High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan as it was known for its prestigious music program. Bruinsma went on to attend college at the University of Michigan where he pursued a degree in music, and eventually earned a Ph.D. in musicology.

While at the University of Michigan, Bruinsma started to date Grace Hekman, and in 1939 they were married. The newlyweds moved to Durham, North Carolina for Bruinsma's new faculty position at Duke University. During World War II Bruinsma served overseas. Once he returned to the States, he began his career at Calvin College as professor of music. He taught music theory and composition as well as lead the Calvin band and orchestra. He also had the privilege to teach the first music and theology course at Calvin Seminary as well as chaired the first Conference on Liturgy of Music. Bruinsma had a personal interest in Dutch history and Dutch Reformed music. He was a member of Dutch Society for Musicology. Because of his membership, Calvin became the designated repository for modern Dutch music. During his tenure at Calvin, the library received rare and out-of-print publications of Dutch music from the middles ages and Renaissance. Bruinsma even took a year's leave of absence to do research on sixteenth century Dutch music under a grant he received. He served at Calvin from 1946 until 1955.

In 1959 Bruinsma accepted the role of Director of the School of Music at Ohio State University. He worked at Ohio State University until 1964, when he accepted the position of chair of the School of Music at Arizona State University. He went on to become the founding dean of the College of Fine Arts. He also started the first religious studies program at the university.  He remained at Arizona State University until resigning in 1975. Bruinsma also served as Dean of the School of Humanities and Arts at San Jose State University. Bruinsma passed away in 1991.  After his death, Grace sought out Gerry Bouma of Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. She wanted Bouma to catalog and publish Henry's personal music compositions that he never had time to publish during his life. The material consisted of 10,000 pages, and now his works are published and available for use and research. Another way Bruinsma still helps students today in the music field is the Henry Bruinsma family scholarship. This scholarship was set up in both Henry's and Grace's honor. The scholarship is for a student with financial needs majoring in music.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: [General Materials]],
[Series 2: Photographs],

Series 1: [General Materials]
Box 1
Folder 1: Lectures/Speeches given in the --- 1940s
Folder 2: Lectures/Speeches given in the --- 1950s
Folder 3: Lectures/Speeches given in the --- 1950s
Folder 4: Lectures/Speeches given in the --- 1960s
Folder 5: Lectures/Speeches given in the --- 1960s
Folder 6: Lectures/Speeches given in the --- 1970s
Folder 7: Lectures/Speeches given in the --- 1980s
Folder 8: Lecture material on Renaissance and Reformation history
Box 2
Folder 1: Correspondence --- 1930s
Folder 2: Correspondence --- 1940s
Folder 3: Correspondence --- 1950s
Folder 4: Correspondence --- 1960s
Folder 5: Correspondence --- 1970s
Folder 6: Correspondence --- 1980s
Folder 7: Correspondence --- 1990s
Folder 8: Article written for Westminster Seminary and article on organ controversy in the Netherlands --- 1950s
Folder 9: Periodical articles in the --- 1950s
Folder 10: Articles written in the --- 1960s
Folder 11: Articles written in the --- 1970s
Folder 12: Articles written in the --- 1980s
Folder 13: Articles written on Calvinistic music
Box 3
Folder 1: Manuscript: The Song of an Emerging Nation
Folder 2: Manuscript: Music in the Works of Vondel
Folder 3: Research notes: Huguenots in America, 16th and 17th centuries
Folder 4: Paper: An Introduction to Vondel and Music --- 1981
Folder 5: Papers on Music written in the --- 1940's
Folder 6: Term Papers: Psalmody and the Dutch Reformation and Dutch musicians in America
Folder 7: Paper: Evidences of the breakdown of modality in the selected works of Orlando Di Lasso
Folder 8: Paper: Management of large scale human projects and the need for an arbitrator
Folder 9: News clippings --- 1930s and 1940s
Folder 10: News clippings --- 1950s
Folder 11: News clippings --- 1960s
Folder 12: News clippings --- 1970s
Folder 13: Banner article: The First Dutch Psalter
Box 4
Folder 1: Course material/lectures
Folder 2: Course material/lectures
Folder 3: Research material on the Psalms --- 1947-1948
Folder 4: Research notes: National Endowment for Humanities Project
Folder 5: Research notes: National Endowment for Humanities Project
Folder 6: Reference books on church music
Folder 7: Paper: On the 400th Anniversary of the Genevan Psalter and excerpts from thesis on Calvinism and music
Folder 8: Paper: The Origin of the Psalm Tunes of the Netherlands Reformed Church (in Dutch)
Folder 9: Paper: The Signum Congruentiae
Box 5
Folder 1: Notes on a course on church music
Folder 2: Sheet music of Psalms
Folder 3: Seminary lectures in the --- 1950s
Folder 4: Material on Calvin Conference on Church Music --- August, 1953
Folder 5: Material on First Psalter in Vernacular in Europe
Folder 6: Programs/Concerts --- 1930s
Folder 7: Programs/Concerts --- 1940s
Box 6
Folder 1: Programs/Conferences --- 1950s
Folder 2: Programs/Awards --- 1960s
Folder 3: Programs/Awards --- 1970s
Folder 4: Programs/Performances --- 1980s
Folder 5: Military service records
Folder 6: Personal Photographs
Folder 7: Curriculum Vitae and personal history
Box 7
Folder 1: Dissertation: "The Souterliedekens"

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: [General Materials]],
[Series 2: Photographs],

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