Ronald and Florence Christianson

Physical description

1 document case containing primarily paper records (some in diploma folders) and two photographs

Biographical sketch

Ronald Christianson graduated from Wausau High School in Wisconsin in 1944 and went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education at NEC in 1951 and 1957 respectively.  Christianson met his wife, the late accomplished pianist Florence "Goldie" Haigis Luippold Christianson, at New England Conservatory.  Florence had graduated from Turners Falls High School in Montague, MA in 1947 before earning bachelor’s degree in piano from NEC in 1951 where she studied with Willis Fay and Miklos Schwalb. After graduation in 1951 the Christiansons moved to North Attleboro, MA and together they raised sons Ronald R. Christianson, Jr. and David W. Christianson. Daughter Karen E. Christianson, David's twin sister, passed away at age 1.

Prior to his Conservatory studies, Ronald Christianson served in World War II with the 36th Infantry Division. His unit saw combat in southern Germany and also liberated the Kaufering subcamps of the Dachau concentration camp in the Munich outskirts on April 30, 1945. Christianson bore witness to unspeakable atrocities of man's inhumanity to man, yet upon his return to the US he dedicated his life and study to the beauty and inspiration of music and the education of generations of students.

Highlights of Christianson's career in the North Attleboro Public Schools include the development of the marching band and concert band programs in the 1950s. He received state-wide recognition for his innovative work with all the high school performing groups, including invited performances in Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory in the 1960s. Under Christianson's direction, high school performing groups, especially the girls a cappella choir, received numerous district and state awards over the years. Additionally, Christianson coached many students who were selected for Southeast District, All-State, and All-Eastern U.S. performing groups. Christianson also served as President of the Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble based at New England Conservatory.


This collection was donated to the NEC Archives in May 2016 by their son David Christianson.


Access is arranged by making an appointment with the NEC Archivist. There are no restrictions pertaining to this collection.


Please contact the NEC Archivist for publication permissions. Citation should read: NECA 18.7. Ronald and Florence Christianson Papers, New England Conservatory Archives, Boston, MA.

Scope and Content

This collection spans the years 1944-1961 and is organized into four series:

  1. Documents
  2. Academic items
  3. Programs
  4. Photographs

The documents in this collection are the high school diplomas of both Florence and Richard Christianson as well as their NEC diplomas.  Academic items are two of Ronald’s exam books and his master’s thesis entitled “A Study of the Problems in the Teaching of Beginning Woodwind Instrumental Classes in the Public Elementary Schools.” This collection contains three concert programs (one of which has an accompanying poster) from the years 1951, 1958 and 1961. Lastly are two photographs, likely NEC senior photos, of Ronald and Florence Christianson (by Henry Photo).

Container list

High school diploma, Ronald Christianson, 1944
High School diploma, Florence Luippold, 1947
Bachelor’s diploma from NEC, Ronald Christianson, 1951
Bachelor’s diploma, Florence Christianson, 1951
Master’s diploma, Ronald Christianson, 1957
Ronald Christianson’s Master’s Thesis, 1956

Folder 1 – Exam books, Ronald Christianson
Folder 2 – Concert programs
Folder 3 – Photographs