Marion Davison Duffie

Portrait of Marion Davison Duffie

Marion Davison’s family descended from one of the oldest families in Philadelphia.  She lived in Albany, NY prior to attending NEC. She graduated in 1917 with a diploma in Soloists’ and Teachers Course in voice. Her voice teacher at NEC was Charles Bennett. While at NEC, she was a member of the photograph committee. For the year and a half following her graduation from NEC, Davison devoted most of her time to the entertainment of soldiers and sailors in camps. She entertained at Camp Wadsworth, Camp Dix, Camp Devens, and Camp Upton.

In the spring of 1918, Davison returned to Boston at which time she performed Cesar Franck’s “La Procession” with the NEC Orchestra under Wallace Goodrich. In May of that same year, Davison gave a solo recital in Boston with Charles Bennett accompanying her. Duffie continued her vocal studies with Charles Bennett for two semesters in 1919 and again in 1924-1925. In 1926, Duffie took a course in Public School music (Observation) with Grace Pierce; in 1932 she again studied voice, this time with William Whitney.

According to one of the press brochures, Duffie was at some point, head of the voice department of two of America’s foremost Girls’ schools. In 1932, Duffie was living in West Roxbury. By 1958, she had moved to Harwichport, MA. She passed away on August 4, 1965.

Physical description

The Duffie Papers consists of 9 items contained in a small clamshell box and one oversize poster stored separately.


Most of this collection was donated to the NEC Library in August 2006 by Marion Davison Duffie’s daughter, Ann Fleck (Mrs. Raymond Franklin Fleck), herself an NEC alumna – Class of 1944. Included with the collection are the two letters related to donations by Mrs. Fleck. Another letter written to Miss Duffie by NEC director, George W. Chadwick, was donated by Florence Dunn in May 2012. This letter had been sent to Dunn by Ann Fleck in April 2012. In addition, a Boston Opera House poster advertising an NEC performance of Hansel and Gretel was donated in March 2006 by Mrs. Raymond Franklin Fleck.


Access to the Marion Davison Duffie Papers is granted by the Archivist.  Appointments must be scheduled in advance. There are no restrictions on this collection.


All copyrights to this collection belong to the New England Conservatory. Permission to publish materials from this collection is granted by the Director of Libraries. This collection should be cited as: NECA 18.11. Marion Davison Duffie Papers, New England Conservatory Archives, Boston, MA.

Scope & Content

The Marion Davison Duffie Papers are organized into three series:

  1. NEC materials
  2. Press materials
  3. Miscellaneous

Container List

Series 1: NEC Materials

  • Invitation, Commencement, 1917
  • Program, Commencement Exercises, June 26, 1917
  • Program, Thirty-eighth Annual Reunion of the Alumni Association, June 26, 1917
  • Program, Eighty-First Annual Reunion and Dinner, June 10, 1957
  • Letter to Miss Duffie from NEC Director, George W. Chadwick, January 22, 1928.

Series 2:  Press Materials

  • Opera photo clipping..may have been from a press brochure
  • Press brochure(green); Season 1919-1920; contains testimonials from her war service engagements and from newspaper reviews
  • Press brochure, Marion Davison Duffie, mezzo-soprano (gray); includes brief biography and press comments from various newspapers
  • Press brochure, Marion Davison Duffie, Dramatic soprano; includes press comments from various newspapers
  • Press brochure, The Jeolma Trio; Includes brief biographical sketches fo the three performers; sample program
  • Oversize Boston Opera House poster advertising NEC performance of Hansel and Gretel starring Duffie. (shelved separately)

Series 3:  Miscellaneous Materials

  • Press brochure, Clara Muriel Larsen, American pianist
  • Photocopy of newspaper clipping, Ann and Ray Fleck’s 60th anniversary