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June 9, 2006 11:50 AM   Subscribe

What happened to the New York School of Music?

I am researching someone who supposedly attended the NYSM in the 1930s but all attempts to find this school or any information on it have failed. I have emailed Juilliard and they have no idea what I am talking about. I have emailed the Manhattan School of Music (three weeks ago and again last week) and they haven't responded. Does anyone know anything about this reclusive school?
posted by arcticwoman to Society & Culture (6 answers total)
There's a faculty member at the University of Washington School of Music who apparently went to the New York School of Music. Maybe you could email him.

If you do, maybe you could ask him if he's related to the guy in the Pixies with his same name . . .
posted by JekPorkins at 12:07 PM on June 9, 2006

Best answer: Here is an interesting photo from the Library of Congress:

New York School of Music, 114 E. 85th St., New York City. Auditorium I. The photo was taken in 1948, but no word on when the building was built.

There seem to be a lot of people who studied at the NYSM, then went on to Julliard, so I'm surprised they didn't know what it was. If the school no longer exists, though, a NYC historian or librarian is probably your best bet for further information.
posted by expialidocious at 12:41 PM on June 9, 2006

I found a few citations that the New York School of Music and Visual Arts was absorbed by Julliard [1] [2], both concerning a Corinne Greenfield. But I would not consider them definitive.

Another citation implies that it was a less formal, less prestigious school:
There was a school called the New York School of Music, which, at that time, had various branches all over the city and particularly in Harlem. I think they charged 15 cents a lesson. They taught all different instruments. It was basically for beginning and intermediate students. At any rate, I began going there with my saxophone, taking saxophone lessons there. As I say, I was pretty young.
If I had to guess, I would say that it faltered or otherwise closed. Perhaps one or two of its campuses were used by another school, like Julliard, but they would likely not have acted as custodian to its history. Tito Puente and Sonny Rollins (above) appeard to attend; perhaps you could find information in their biographies.
posted by deadfather at 12:54 PM on June 9, 2006

Let's also acknowledge that this is distinct from the New York College of Music, which was a full-fledged conservatory (in fact, the oldest in New York) and was absorbed in the Steinhardt School of NYU. If you need information on that institution, NYU almost certainly has it.
posted by deadfather at 1:07 PM on June 9, 2006

FWIW, Joe Santiago is only a year-long resident in the ethnomusicology dept., so his email may not be good for much longer.

(UW Music Student speaking here).
posted by rossination at 5:38 PM on June 9, 2006

I am also looking for information about the New York School of Music - specifically as related to Fred Destal. Destal was a European Wagnerian opera baritone who taught at this school in the late 1940's.

In researching, I did find this info in an article about Alvin Epstein in the Boston Globe (2005):

He grew up playing piano and graduated with the first class of New York's School of Music and Art in 1942. He was studying at Queens College when drafted into the Army during World War II. (Alvin Epstein)
posted by bookdelle at 8:18 AM on November 6, 2006

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