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ARSC Conference 2003

Association for Recorded Sound Collections

Conference Updates & Late-Breaking Information

For Local Arrangements contact Marjorie Hassen at (215) 898-2817

About the University of Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia:

The 37th annual ARSC conference will be held in Philadelphia, on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, May 28-31, 2003. Founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1749, the University offered the nation's first modern liberal arts curriculum and now supports 4 undergraduate and 12 graduate and professional schools with a total enrollment of over 22,000 students. Conference sessions will be held in Houston Hall, located in the center of campus. The country's first student union, Houston Hall was built in 1894 and was recently restored, opening in 2000 with new student lounges, renovated meeting space, and a food court.

The opening reception will be hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Library and will be held in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center's Kamin Gallery, where an exhibit of 19th Century American sheet music will be on view. The Penn Libraries house collections of over 4.5 million volumes, with Van Pelt serving as the primary center for collections in the humanities and social sciences. The Library's rich collections in music include the papers and recordings of the Philadelphia-born contralto, Marian Anderson, the music collections and papers of past Philadelphia Orchestra conductors Leopold Stokowski and Eugene Ormandy, the papers of Alma Mahler-Werfel, the Freedman Jewish Music Archive and the archives of the American Musicological Society and the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia.

Two types of accommodations have been reserved this year in conjunction with the conference. Attendees can choose to stay at the Sheraton University City Hotel-where the Saturday banquet will be held-located just 3 blocks from the center of campus, or in a campus residence hall, both conveniently located to all conference sessions.

Philadelphia has much to offer visitors, including a wide array of restaurants, museums, clubs, book and record shops, and the year-old Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Come to town early and attend a Phillies game, explore Philadelphia's historic district, or spend time visiting some of the city's other treasures, including the Zoo and Japanese House in Fairmont Park (at over 8,900 acres, the largest landscaped metropolitan park in the world), the College of Physician's Mutter Museum, which contains over 20,000 anatomical and pathological specimens, the Edgar Allen Poe House, or the walk-through heart in the Franklin Institute Science Museum.

Program Highlights:

TSOP, The Sounds of Philadelphia, will be featured at ARSC annual conference in Philadelphia, May 28 through 31, 2003. A diverse and stimulating group of presentations are planned for the conference. Many will highlight the significant recording history of the City of Brotherly Love.

Aaron Levinson, a Philadelphia-based collector, producer and composer, will open the program with an overview, "Recorded Music in the City of Brotherly Love: A Brief History of 20th Century Technology and Art."

Dr. Carole Nowicke of Indiana University will speak on the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble and its famous "Torchy Jones" recording.

A popular music panel will feature two of Philadelphia's most renown recording luminaries, Sigma Sound Studio owner Joe Tarsia, and Cameo/Parkway Records producer-songwriter, Dave Appell. Cameo/Parkway, where Mr. Tarsia was a chief engineer, was the center of Philadelphia popular music recording in the 1960s. The independent record company was the home of Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, and the Orlons. The great rhythm & blues hits of the 1970s, such as those by the Stylistics, the O'Jays, and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, were created at Tarsia's Sigma Sound Studios. It was at Sigma where The Sound of Philadelphia was born and
bred. The program won't ignore the little recording operation which once existed across the Delaware River in Camden, New Jersey. That will be discussed by staff members of the Delaware State Museums, who operate the Johnson Victrola Museum in Dover, Delaware.

Author and Contributing Editor to Atlantic Magazine, Francis Davis, will speak at the conference on "Record Collecting: The Mundane Obsession." David Hamilton will present an overview of the important careers of Angel Records founders and classical recording producers Dorle and Dario Soria. Presentations on individual artists include talks on jazz vibraphonist Terry Gibbs, by Cary Ginnell; singer Lee Morse, by Michael Tarabulski; and sacred music steel guitarist Willie Eason, by Bruce Nemerov.

A panel on various engineers' techniques for copying older recordings will be chaired by ARSC's Technical Committee. They are looking forward to participation by a number of this country's most respected remastering engineers in what will no doubt be a spirited session. Other sessions which relate to technology include Bill Walker on the pedagogy of analog audio digitization; and an exploration of exactly what we mean by "recording," "sound," and "reproduction," by George Brock-Nannestad.

Radio history presentations include a biography of violinist, conductor, and habitual practical joker Nat Brusiloff, by David Sager; and Donald Manildi and Dennis Rooney sharing excerpts from a few of their favorite classical announcer audition tapes. (Moe Zart, anyone?)

The recently published, Country music sources : a biblio-discography of commercially recorded traditional music, by Guthrie T. Meade, Jr., with Dick Spottswood, and Douglas S. Meade, has already been called the most important music reference book published in several decades. The genesis of this work will be outlined by co-author Dick Spottswood. Dealer and record documentarian Kurt Nauck will present an interactive talk on vintage record values, the economics of record collecting, and the state of the hobby.