Pitt-Bradford is planning to house a portion of the
archives of Bradford’s most famous daughter, Marilyn Horne, at its downtown
world-famous opera star has made a commitment to the university to donate her
personal archives. Her foundation, which ceased operations in 2010, has already
turned over that portion or Horne’s archives to the university.
Dr.Livingston Alexander, president of Pitt-Bradford, and the Pitt-Bradford
community envision a rotating exhibit of artifacts that would hold public
interest, such as musical compositions, costumes, posters, jewelry and items
from Horne’s art collection, along with multi-media interactive displays.
The museum would
be housed on the ground floor of the university-owned Seneca Building,
appropriately located on Marilyn Horne Way in downtown Bradford.
herself will give a brief talk describing the contents of her archives at
Pitt-Bradford’s 50th Anniversary Gala to be held on Oct. 4,
beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Frame-Westerberg Commons. Proceeds from the
fundraiser will support the creation of a downtown museum.
Horne delivers her archives to the university, they will be stored at the University of Pittsburgh Archives Services Center in
Pittsburgh, which is also home to the archives of former Pennsylvania governor
and U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh.
The center will also help with
the processing, digitizing and managing the collection.
Although several other institutions, including the Library of
Congress, had indicated interest in the archives, Horne, chose Pitt-Bradford as
“As a native of
Bradford, Marilyn has a soft spot in her heart for her hometown and the
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford,” Alexander said. “When she indicated her
interest in donating her archive collection to Pitt-Bradford and the University
of Pittsburgh, we enthusiastically embraced the idea.”
The Horne Foundation was
supportive of the university for many years, presenting two recitals each year
in the Bromeley Family Theater. In addition to recitals, the young singers met
with vocal students from the region as part of a residency, the last of which
was held in January.
Horne herself has supported the
university by serving as honorary chairwoman for the Blaisdell Fine Arts
Challenge, which raised $4.5 million toward the construction of Pitt-Bradford’s
fine arts building, Blaisdell Hall.
In 2000, Pitt-Bradford honored Horne
with its Presidential Medal of Distinction, and in 2004, she became the first
person to receive an honorary degree from the University of Pittsburgh at a
Horne was born in 1934 in Bradford.
Her father, Bentz Horne, encouraged his daughter to pursue her musical dreams.
She moved with her family to Long Beach, Calif., when she was 11, and made her
debut when she was 20 at the Los Angeles Guild Opera.Following her father’s death in 1956, she
traveled Europe, performing in many productions and receiving rave reviews.
She sang professionally for
more than 40 years, becoming not only a star of the opera world, but also an
ambassador to pop culture through appearances on “The Odd Couple,” “The Tonight
Show with Johnny Carson,” “Carol Burnett and Friends” and “Sesame Street.”
In 1994, she formed the Marilyn
Horne Foundation to nurture and champion not only young opera singers, but also
the art of vocal recital. The foundation sponsored recitals for young singers
at several locations, including Carnegie Hall and Pitt-Bradford, before
becoming part of the Marilyn Horne legacy at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music
Oct. 4 gala will feature two brief recitals featuring soprano Stephanie Welge
of Ellicottville, N.Y., and bass Deandre Simmons. In addition to the recitals,
patrons will be treated to cocktails, dinner and a dessert reception and will have
the chance to bid on a collection of exquisite items at a silent auction.
Tickets are $125. For more information or for tickets, contact the Office of
Institutional Advancement at (814)362-5091.