Collection ID: Mus. Arc. 33.1

Collection context

Summary

Creator:
Gearhart, Pamela
Abstract:
The Pamela Gearhart Collection of Photographs contains 216 photographs, including images of Pamela Gearhart and her parents, Russell and Martha Gerhart. Almost one hundred photographs are of Pamela Gearhart and her family during summers spent in Chautauqua, New York, where Pamela performed with the Chautauqua Institution's Student Festival Orchestra. Other musicians included in the collection include her husband Livingston Gearhart, Budapest String Quartet members Alexander and Mischa Schneider, conductor Skitch Henderson, Howard Hanson, Edward Murphy, Mischa Mischakoff, Franco Autori, Leslie Parnas, Claudette Sorel, Jack Benny, Michael Tree, and Judit Jaimes.
Extent:
2 boxes and (216 photographs)
Language:
No textual materials are included in the collection.

Background

Scope and Content:

The Pamela Gearhart Collection of Photographs contains 207 photographs, including images of Pamela Gearhart and her parents, Russell and Martha Gerhart. Almost one hundred photographs are of Pamela Gearhart and her family during summers spent in Chautauqua, New York, where Pamela performed with the Chautauqua Institution's Student Festival Orchestra. Other musicians included in the collection include her husband Livingston Gearhart, Budapest String Quartet members Alexander and Mischa Schneider, conductor Skitch Henderson, Howard Hanson, Edward Murphy, Mischa Mischakoff, Franco Autori, Leslie Parnas, Claudette Sorel, Michael Tree, and Judit Jaimes.

Pamela Gearhart is listed throughout the container list as "Gearhart" rather than risking confusion listing her under her maiden name of Gerhart for images prior to her marriage to Livingston Gearhart in 1955.

Also, due to uncertainty about dates of some of the photographs, it is not possible to distinguish between the University of Buffalo (prior to 1962) and its successor, the University at Buffalo. Therefore the heading for the latter, State University of New York at Buffalo, has been used for both.

Biographical / Historical:

Pamela Gearhart (née Gerhart) was born July 21, 1934 in Altoona, Pennsylvania. She began her musical training with her father, violinist and conductor, Russell Gerhart. Russell Gerhart studied violin with Ralph Lewando, Carl Malcherek, Elias Breeskin, and Mischa Mischakoff. He studied conducting with Serge Koussevitsky at the Berkshire Music Center. Gerhart and his wife Martha formed the Gerhart String Ensemble in Altoona, Pennsylvania, which grew into the Altoona Symphony Orchestra. He also served as conductor of the Saint Louis Philharmonic and Huntsville (Alabama) Civic Symphony.

When Pamela Gearhart was fifteen she began five years of study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her violin teachers before and after her years at Curtis were Mischa Mischakoff, Joseph Knitzer, Ivan Galamian and Efrem Zimbalist. While at Curtis she performed in the Curtis Orchestra under conductors Alexander Hilsberg and William Smith, and studied chamber music performance with Karen Tuttle and Marcel Tabuteau.

Gearhart was appointed faculty member in the University of Buffalo Music Department in 1957. Initially she was hired as a part-time instructor in violin but eventually assumed other duties, including conducting the university's orchestra and directing the program in chamber music performance. She continued to work at the University at Buffalo until 1975.

While in Buffalo Gearhart also served as conductor of the Community Music School of Buffalo's youth orchestra 1959-1977. The membership in the orchestra grew from ten to more than one hundred while she was conductor. Her credentials as a music educator also include work on the faculty at Villa Maria Institute of Music (Buffalo) 1963-1965, serving for six years as Alexander Schneider's assistant for the University at Buffalo's String Institute, numerous positions as guest conductor and judge at music festivals, and director of the Youth Makes Music String Workshop (Huntsville, Alabama). After leaving the University at Buffalo she joined the faculty at Ithaca College where she taught 1975-1993. In 1980 she founded the Ithaca Youth Orchestra. She continued as its conductor until her retirement from Ithaca College.

Pamela Gearhart married fellow University at Buffalo music faculty member Livingston Gearhart in 1955. They were frequent collaborators on programs and projects. Livingston wrote many musical arrangements geared specifically to the pedagogical needs of Pamela's ensembles. Many of these arrangements and compositions survive in the Livingston Gearhart Score Collection. Pamela Gearhart died July 6 2014 in Rochester, New York.

Acquisition information:
Gift of Pamela Gearhart 2007. Additions given by Gearhart family in 2014.
Arrangement:

The collection is arranged in two series:

  • I. Original receipts
  • II. Additional receipts
Rules or conventions:
Finding aid prepared using DACS ( Describing Archives: A Content Standard ).

Access

LOCATION OF THIS COLLECTION:
112 Baird Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260, United States
CONTACT:
716-645-2924