The University of Alberta Mixed Chorus fonds housed in the University Archives span a period of more than forty years, and provide a valuable record of a long-standing University organization (approaching its 60th anniversary of operation). The Mixed Chorus was, and remains, an active contributor to University society, as well as the broader surrounding community because of its annual province-wide concerts and related public appearances. The Chorus is significant to the history of the development of choral music in Alberta, and its individual members and directors contributors in their own right to the province's musical growth.
The records have been arranged and described in two broad series and several sub-headings, with a basic chronological order maintained within each series. The textual files provide information about the early years of the Chorus' existence, particularly the years from 1946 to about 1971. Files maintained by the executive and directors (Richard Eaton and James Whittle) are significant for the information they provide about the Chorus' yearly operations and activities. Information in the files after the Whittle years is sketchier, and more incidental in nature. The textual files include correspondence, clippings, some meeting minutes, membership lists, the organization's constitution, and evidence of the planning and fundraising required to orchestrate the annual UAMC Spring Tour.
Series 1 consists of the Executive/Director files with sub-series providing information about membership; social activities, commemorative/historical records, and publicity and promotion files. Correspondence to and from members of the executive was filed together (in the form of scrapbooks in the 1940's), with correspondence maintained by the Chorus director. Where possible, the original order of the files was maintained, while the series and sub-series titles were assigned by the archivist to reflect the record function.
Series 2 is the Performance-related records, comprised of printed programs, sound recordings, and photographs. As noted earlier, the sound recordings form the largest component of the Mixed Chorus fonds. They include both taped recordings (cassette and reel-to-reel) as well as disc recordings. The photographs, numbering over 1200 in quantity, include prints, negatives, and a few transparencies and contact sheets. While the photographs do vary in quality, they provide important documentation of Mixed Chorus performances, social activities, and tours. There are excellent images of the Chorus's 40th anniversary activities taken by Hal Kinsey, as well as the annual formal photographs of the Mixed Chorus. Various alumni have sent copies of their personal photographs to the Mixed Chorus executive, adding to the views of the annual Spring tours, and various Chorus social events.
The records do not extend beyond the 1980's, but future accessions from the University of Alberta Mixed Chorus are anticipated. The Mixed Chorus records provide a profile of an aspect of the non-academic life of the University of Alberta student community, as well as make a valuable contribution to musical/performing arts history documentation for both the University of Alberta, and the Province of Alberta.