The Springfield Symphony From 1934 to 1983: Its Founding, Musical Growth, and Musical Activities

Date of Graduation

Spring 1983


Master of Science in Education in Secondary Education


Reading, Foundations, and Technology

Committee Chair

Lloyd Blakely


Prior to the time of this study there has not been documented in a single source a history of the Springfield, Missouri, Symphony. This historical study recorded the sequence of events that occurred from the Symphony's inception in 1934 to 1983. The opening chapter focused on the first fourteen years from 1934-48 under the direction of the Symphony's founder James Robertson, subsequent chapters covered the years from 1948-55 with David Blumenthal as conductor, discussed the orchestra's growth and musical activities under the leadership of Chester Moffatt, (1955-66), the years 1966-78 during which Charles Hall was the director, and discussed the fifth conductor of the Springfield Symphony, Charles Bontrager, who began his leadership of the Orchestra in 1978 and was the present conductor at the time of this study in 1983. Also discussed is the relationship that the Orchestra has played in regard to educational benefits to students, management of the Orchestra, funding, personal commitments, and the Women's Division. Listed in the Appendix section of this study is a brief chronological history of the Symphony, guest artists who have performed with the Symphony, Symphony personnel through the years, and By-Laws of the Symphony Association and Women's Division of the Symphony.

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