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Swets, Seymour (1900-1982) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Swets, Seymour (1900-1982)


Historical Note:

Seymour Swets was born in South Holland, Illinois, in the year 1900, the beginning of a new century. His parents moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in order to make use of the greater Christian education opportunities for their large family. Swets received his BA degree from Calvin in 1922, and a master's degree in history from the University of Michigan the following year. That year, 1923, he has appointed to teach music and speech at his alma mater.

In 1923 there was no music department, nor were any music courses offered for credit. As former President William Spoelhof said, "He was at the beginning." The next forty-four years were dedicated to serving Calvin, the church, and the community through teaching music, directing the A Cappella Choir, and administering the music affairs of the school. In addition, he directed the musical programs of the Oratorio Society from 1924 until his retirement in 1967. Upon his retirement he spent some five years in research for his book, published in 1973, Fifty Years of Music at Calvin College.

He served as an elder at LaGrave Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, as well as their choirmaster for many years.






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