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Pi Kappa Lambda

In 1916 the Alumni Association of the School of Music at Northwestern University appointed a committee comprised of Carl Milton Beecher, Louis Norton Dodge, and Walter Allen Stults to examine the possibility of creating an honor society in the field of music. Consequently, in 1918, the Pi Kappa Lambda Society was granted a charter by the State of Illinois.

The society’s name was chosen from the Greek equivalent of the initials of its first member, Peter Christian Lutkin, Dean of the School of Music at Northwestern University. Dean Lutkin was issued key number one of the society.

Pi Kappa Lambda History

The Iota Chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda was installed at NEC in 1928. The Iota chapter charter members were George W. Chadwick, Frederick S. Converse, Francis Findlay, Arthur Foote, Wallace Goodrich, and Stuart Mason.

The activities of this chapter primarily involved performances of compositions by its members, performances by its members, or performances of prize-winning compositions.

Pi Kappa Lambda Archives

One box containing four folders

This collection was placed on loan at the Conservatory library in 1974 by the Iota Chapter’s president, NEC voice faculty member, Mark Pearson. The collection was formally donated to NEC in 1979.

Access to the Pi Kappa Lambda Records is granted by the NEC Archivist.  Appointments must be scheduled in advance.  There are no restrictions pertaining to this collection.

All copyrights to this collection belong to the New England Conservatory.  Permission to publish materials from this collection is granted by the Archivist. This collection should be cited as NECA 20.6. Pi Kappa Lambda Records, New England Conservatory Archives, Boston, MA.

This collection, which dates from 1928-1957, contains items relating to Pi Kappa Lambda’s Iota Chapter at New England Conservatory. The records consist of correspondence, concert programs, biographical materials, and publications. The majority of the correspondence pertains to membership in the Society and its activities. Many of the letters were written to Norine Roberts, Iota Chapter Secretary. Correspondents include: Denise Bacon, Nadia Boulanger, Emma Converse, Archibald Davison, Alfred DeVoto, Harry (Ellis) Dickson, Harold Farberman, Eugenia Frothingham, Howard Goding, Wallace Goodrich, Edward Burlingame Hill, Frederick Jagel, Harrison Keller, Serge Koussevitzky, Mildred Mueller, Ippocrates Pappousatkis, Walter Piston, Quincy Porter, Lois Schaefer, Albert Schweitzer, Eleanor Steber, Marie Sundelius, and Leta Whitney,

The concert programs date from the years 1932-1949. All of these concerts took place at NEC (most in Jordan Hall). The majority of these concerts are performances featuring members of the Iota Chapter. Other programs feature compositions by Iota chapter members and winners of student composition prizes such as the Endicott and Phillip Allen prizes.

The biographical materials include biographical sketches of Archibald Davison, Edward Burlingame Hill, Charles Munch, Walter Piston, Albert Schweitzer, Arthur Shepherd, G. Wallace Woodworth.  Also included is a newspaper article about William L. Whitney.

Lastly, there are two publications. One is a newsletter of sorts that includes information from the annual meeting, a tribute to Clement Lenom, news that did not make it into the previous newsletter, and then news / comments from society members. The other publication is the Historical Booklet 1918-1937 which contains: a brief history of the society; reflections from the society’s past presidents; the treasurer-general’s report; Pi Kappa Lambda’s constitution; chapter reports, including that of NEC’s Iota Chapter; and chapter rolls and addresses.

Folder 1 – Correspondence

Folder 2 – Concert programs

Folder 3 – Biographical materials

Folder 4 – Publications