University of Texas San Antonio

Inventory of the Theron Kirk Papers, 1949-1999

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Kirk, Theron, 1919-1999
Title: Theron Kirk Papers
Dates: 1949-1999
Creator Abstract: Theron Kirk is the composer of more than 1,000 published works for chorus, chamber groups, symphony orchestra, vocal solo, organ, carillon, and a one-act opera.
Content Abstract: Material consists of music composed by Theron Kirk. There are also cassette tapes of performances, photographs, tapes and reels of music performances, music composed by others, correspondence, royalties and contracts, clippings, biographies of Theron Kirk, calendars, music notes, retirement mementos, and certificates.
Identification: MS 277
Extent: 16.5 linear feet (16 Boxes)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections

Biographical Note

Theron Kirk was born in 1919 and died October 1999. He is the composer of more than 1,000 published works for chorus, chamber groups, symphony orchestra, vocal solo, organ, carillon, and a one-act opera. The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra and the orchestras of Winnipeg Canada, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Memphis, Detroit, San Antonio and Houston have performed his symphonic works.

Theron Kirk has held the national office of president of the American Choral Directors Association. He has taught as a visiting lecturer in the summer program at the University of Southern California, the University of Illinois, Central Missouri State University College and at the National Music Camp, Interlochen, Michigan, in the University of Michigan Music Division.

Kirk joined the San Antonio College faculty in 1955 and served as chairperson of the music department and director of the chorale, band, and chamber orchestra for many years before his retirement in 1986. After retirement, he became active as a docent at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

His education includes study at Baylor University, Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University and the Eastman School of Music. His honors include the Orpheus Award by the national music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia for “significant and lasting contributions to the cause of Music in America” and the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award for teaching excellence in 1975.

Survivors are his wife Carla, three sons Padriac, Kevin, and Sean, two daughters, Laura Reimers and Meaghan Welch, and seven grandchildren.

Sources: Texas Sings!, Vol. 16 No. 2, Winter 2000 and Update on San Antonio College, February 22, 2000.

Scope and Content Note

Material consists of music composed by Theron Kirk (he often used aliases when composing). There are also cassette tapes of performances, photographs, tapes and reels of music performances, music composed by others, correspondence, royalties and contracts, clippings, biographies of Theron Kirk, calendars, music notes, retirement mementos, and certificates.

Organization of Collection

Original Deposit of May 2008 (Acc. 2008-024)


Access Restrictions

This collection is housed at UTSA's Main Campus and must be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To request access, please use the Collections Request Form.

Usage Restrictions

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Index Terms

Personal Names
Kirk, Theron, 1919-1999
Composers--Texas--San Antonio.
Sacred vocal music.
Instrumental music.
Local Subjects

Related Materials

There are no known other archival collections created by Theron Kirk at the date of accessioning.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Theron Kirk papers, MS 277, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

Acquisition Information

Received from Carla Griffin in May 2008 (Acc. 2008-024).

Processing Information

The collection is in one accession, 2008-024 and was inventoried by Carla Griffin. More detailed processing is not anticipated at this time.

Preliminary Inventory of the Theron Kirk Papers

Original Deposit of May 2008 (Acc. 2008-024)

The following inventory was provided by the donor, Carla Griffin.
1 Diversions on Folklike Tunes for String Orchestra by Theron Kirk 2 sets
Now Let All Sing, instrument accomp
Selected List of Compositions (Large works, Smaller works, Christmas, General Sacred & Secular, Orchestral & Band)
Reassignment of Rights and Releases
Alphabetical filing of published music
“Sleep, Oh Sleep” This was his first publication 20 Oct 1949 along with “This Night” and “I Can’t Be Talkin’ of Love (The latter is in Art Songs by Contemporary Texas)
2 Prayers from the Ark – Soprano, Tenor and Bass/Baritone
Terly Terlow – 3 part treble choir with string quartet or string orchestra
Hemis Dance- String Orchestra & Percussion
Sextette – Brass & Percussion
Adagietto – Symphony Orchestra
Divertimento – Flute, Violin, II Violin, Viola, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn in F, Cello, Bass & Timpani
Scherzo – Flute (Piccolo), Oboe I & II, Clarinet I & II, Bassoon I & II, Horn I & II, Trumpet I & II, Timpani, Viola, Cello, Bass, Cello & Bass Variations
Latham Suite – String Orchestra 5 full score books (Oxford UN Press # 92.706)
An Orchestra Primer for Narrator and Orchestra
Reston Overture
Sinfonia – Brass Quintet 3 complete sets, one partial
Art Songs by Contemporary Texas Composers – two books: I Can’t Be Talking of Love & An Old Person of Dover by Theron Kirk
Intrada – Full Score Orchestra
Smoky Mountain Suite – Concert Band - Full Score
Cambiata Contempora! Contemporary 4-Part Music for Young Choruses with Changing Voices – Theron Kirk, editor (Herzegovina Dance Song [SACB w/ optional tambourine & finger cymbals] & Sing a Song of Happiness [SACB accompanied] are by Theron Kirk)
Vignettes by Theron Kirk for orchestra
Extra sets of Intrada and Hemis Dance
An Old Man of the Isles – for Medium Voice and Piano – 2 books
Dalby Suite – 1 fl (Picc), 2 Oboe, 2 cl, 2 bassn, 2 Hn, 2 Trpt, Timp, Strings
Aylesford Variations – Kalmus Concert Band Series
King David’s Deliverance – 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, etc for orchestra
3 Symphony No. 1 & Parts
Aperite Mihi Portas Justitiae 2 copies
Concerto Grosso Parts
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men – Written for Pres. Johnson.
4 String Trio
Sonata for Viola & Piano
Sextette for Brass
Praise God
Baile Frontera
For The Younger Generation
Rejoice in the Lord 3 Trpts, 3 trb, tuba & timp
Piano Concerto (Concerto for Piano and Band in One Movement)
Antiphon (Parts 1st Bb Trumpet, 2nd Bb Trumpet, 1st Trombone & 2nd Trombone)
Sing For Joy
Sonata da Chiesa
Triptych Violin & Piano 12-2-55
Kaleidoscope returned 12-27-73
Kaleidoscope returned second copy 7-8 min
Reston Overture parts 4:35
Reston Overture second copy
Amherst Festival 7:00
Concerta Grosso for Fl & Strings 11:15
Bell Suite for 4 Wind Instruments & Cello 13:15 11-7-60
Ballet Music score only 6/18/63 25 parts
Fantasy and Frolic for Piano and Orchestra 27 parts 9:45 in two parts 5:35 & 4:10 5/21/59
String Trio 8/26/57
Symphony #1 24 parts 2/1/57
Symphony #1 113 parts
Sonata for Viola & Piano 8-23-56
Symphonic Scherzo 6 parts 8/18/53
Divertimento 5:00 12/14/53
Antiphony Organ & Brass 4 parts 7 ½ min
Request from Bill Prather for his funeral, inside You Made Me Love You (Trumpet Voluntary)
Incline Thine Ear
Ode To Music
Twelve Days of Christmas Brass
5 Concerto Grosso for piano and strings by Theron Kirk 3 year rental agreement letters on top of Box
Symphony No. 2 Saga of the Plains (in one movement) 3 copies
Concerto for Orchestra (in one movement) 2 copies Score & parts on rental from Theodore Presser Co., 1111 West 57th St., NY, NY 10010
Fantasy and Frolic for Piano and Orchestra Score & parts available without rental fee from Theodore Seder, curator, Fleisher Music Collection, The Free Library of Philadelphia, Logan Square, Philadelphia 3, PA
Night of Wonder (title changed by Shawnee Press from Christmas Night) for Soprano and Alto soloists and Chorus with String Orchestra or String Quintet Full Score and Parts on Rental – Shawnee Press, Delaware Water Gap, PA
King David’s Deliverance for Chorus & Orchestra 5 copies J. Fischer & Bro., Harristown Rd, Glen Rock, NJ.
Kaleidoscope by Theron Kirk Commissioned by The Topeka Civic Symphony, Everett Fetter, conductor for the opening of the Fine Arts Center, Washburn University
Baile Frontera (Dance of the Border) by Theron Kirk Commissioned by the Rio Grande Arts Commission of Laredo, Texas for the San Antonio Symphony, Victor Alessandro, conductor in honor of the Symphony’s 25th Anniversary Duration 6 min Available from the Fleisher Music Collection, The Free Library of Philadelphia 2 copies
Festival by Theron Kirk Commissioned to commemorate 25th Anniversary Martin High School Band of Laredo, Texas, Elmo Lopez, director 5 min
Prayers from the Ark Sop., Ten., & Bass-Bar. Soli with Orchestra or Piano 3 copies 45 min Available from Hinshaw Music in NC Performed in full by Memphis Symphony and Omaha Symphony
The Lib 393 B.C. opera in one act 53 mins 5 copies
Triptych for Violin and Piano 5 copies
Bell Suite for Wind instruments, Cello and Bells - 3 copies
HemisFair Fanfare dedicated to William R. Sinkin, president San Antonio Fair, Inc.
Sonatine for Piano
Antiphon for Organ & Brass by Theron Kirk 71/2 min Commissioned by The Alamo Chapter of The American Guild of Organists first performed by Madolyn Swearingen
Symphony for Band III Movements
Aria and Allegro for Band
6 MS Sketches
Two Limericks
Aylsford Variations Concert Band
El Perico Folk Song of Mexico 2 part Treble Voices or SATB
Arietta for Stringed Orchestra 1-16-98 unpublished
Hey Nonny No / Estonian Wedding Song
The Fiddler of Dooney
Joseph Heard the Angel Sing (Theron’s final letter to publisher, written 25 Sept. 1999 He died Oct.1)
Aria for Carla for Jan Roller with letter from Jan.
Spring Wakens & Clouds
Angel Carols Brilee 97-99
Come Again to Days of Joy & El Perico (revised)
Kyrie 10-10-97 1:45 Boosey Hawkes
Happy is the Man Who Finds Wisdom
Easter Day
Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano Program for World Premier by SOLI Chamber Ensemble
Trio has program and review
Trio for Brass
Songs 1986
String Quartet
String Quartet hand written
Arietta, Threnody & Three Short Pieces for Organ: 1. Arietta for Pedal 2. Pastorella 3.
Prelude on a Bach Motif
Trilogia Catalan: 1. La Mare de Deu, 2. La Filoseta, 3. El Cant dels Ancells
Frivolities for Musicopia and program 4 movements 10-12 min total 20 Feb 93
Christ of the Upward Way for Harold Decker SATB & Organ
Fanfare and Celebration Commissioned by the Choir of Central Christian Church, SA, TX in honor of George Gregory on his 35th Anniversary as Organist
Sextette for Brass with Percussion 4:00 min Commissioned by the San Antonio Brass
Baile Bolivia for Flute, String Orchestra & Folk Drum
Two Dalby Songs and program
Misc. music, reviews, etc
Festival of Carols with program U of Delaware 3 Dec 94
March for Organ
Misc. handwritten, not in folders
Sing a New Song parts
Woodwind Quartet and program for World Premiere by Musicopia in San Antonio, Texas Original score and parts + the one in Concert Pitch 8 min Mar 1999.
String Quartet for the 75th Anniversary of the Tuesday Musical Club Artist Series, 1998, San Antonio, Texas (I found the second movement a deeper sorrow than that expressed in the prior Trio for clarinet, cello and piano work for Soli. Score corrected 10-29-98.
See the Conquering Hero Comes
Two envelopes with Theron’s music and as his non de plums.
Treatise by April Abraham 1984
Recital Document by Becky Walker
Black folder of Theron’s for some program?
Black folder of America’s Youth in Concert 1978 at Carnegie Hall
7 Files of Programs, Ads, etc., and several talks that he made through the years. Also many quotations of others that he values.
1989 calendars
American Youth in Concert package. Theron conducted choir at Kennedy Center July 1972
From The Psalms for Soprano & Viola
Now is the Month of Maying 3-part mixed a cappella Thomas Morley arr by Theron Kirk 2 copies
Diversions on Folklike Tunes 1991
Quintet for Flute and Strings Master Copies + Folder with another set
Quintet for Flute & Strings for Dan Reinker and Musicopia (with pasted corrections)
Quintet-Fl and Strings Hand written
The Holy Spirit for Danny Hart Biblical Cantata for Pentecost or General Festive Occasion SATB with 3Bb Trpts., 2 Trbs., Bells & Organ Duration 9-10 min
Limericks! Limericks! I. An Old Man In a Boat, II.The Bee, IV A Bird In a Bush (mixed with following)
Silly Songs I. There Was a Young Lady II. That Delorous Old Man III. An Old Person of Cromer
Dalby Suite for Chamber Orchestra
O Praise the Lord Our God SAB accompanied Steffano Bernardi arr. by Kent Harris
Happy We Sing to the Lord SATB chorus with 3 Bb Trpts., Trb and Keyboard Words and music by Kent Harris (non de plum)
To the Lord Sing Alleluia SATB Chorus with Keyboard Words and Music by Kent Harris (non de plum)
Te Deum (To My Wife) Trumpet and Reeds Theron Kirk
Three Songs of Love (Songs of Life II) 1. I love Love – Shelley, 2. All Love Like Wine –
Butler, 3. Love is Life’s End – Fletcher by Theron Kirk
The Earth is The Lord’s SATB
Sing, O Heavens 2-part mixed voices, accompanied (with letters of rejection and acceptance)
Clouds SSA published posthumously
Lord Speak to Me unison or two part
Let The Words That I Speak 2-part mixed and keyboard
O Lord, Increase My Faith SATB
Joyfully Praise SATB with Bb Trumpet, Tambourine and Hand Drum
Songs of Life II Commissioned by Central Missouri State University Concert Choir Conan Castle, director 1. Love is Life’s End, 2. That Dolorous Old Man, 3. An Old Person of Cromer, 4. Life’s Delight, 5. A Man of Words and Not of Deeds, 6. Happy is the Man Who Finds Wisdom, 7. I love Love
Teach Me Thy Way, Lord SATB and Keyboard
To The Mountains We Lift Our Eyes
Coronation Festival “Rejoice in the Lord” Handel arr. Theron Kirk - Chorus & Orchestra or Chorus & Band or combined Chorus, Orchestra and Band 2 Conductor Scores and parts set
Day of Joy! Trombones & Trumpets
Festive Fanfare Tuba, Suspended Cymbal & Timpani, Trombones & Trumpets
Sing Hosannas to the King Trombones & Trumpets
Trio completed 8-4-98 Clarinet, Cello, rough copies Piano for SOLI Chamber Ensemble World Premiere Performance
For Wood Wind Quartet Mar 1999 rough copy (After hearing it, he said he wouldn’t do another as it misses the richness of either brass or strings)
Trumpet Tune 1985
Trumpet Voluntary 1985
ACDA Correspondence 1964 State Chairman
Stage Seating
Charles Dickens Christmas 1982
Feliz Navidad
Navidad Nuesta etc
Christmas in Colonial America
Madrigal Dinner 1969
Black Heritage
Washington MENC
ACDA Correspondence 1965-66 State Chairman
Church music
Noel’s ‘78/’84
Olde Eglish Christmas
Christmas in Italy 1979
Italy – Christmas ’79
Christmas in Austria & Germany ’80
La Virgen lava pancles
Heroes of the Alamo April 1991 clipping in file
Christemas for Daniel Long & the Texas Bach Choir Also the program and review from SA Express News
From the Psalms for Soprano and Viola Commissioned by Dan Reinker hand written
That Dolorous Old Man
The Night Has a Thousand Eyes
8 Sheet music I’m not sure why he had these filed seperately from those in Box 1.
Come Again to Days of Joy Proof & 15 copies
Manila envelope with multiple copies of Babylon; Love; Take, O Take and Mistress Mine
Easter Day 11 copies, published after his death
Several sheets arranged in names of Wiley, Howells and Wyatt
Three Children’s Rhymes Two-Part Chorus of Treble Voices & Piano 10 copies
Psalm 51 SSATBB 18 copies
Folder of Best Sellers
Estonian Wedding Song 20 copies received after his death
Four Seasons Songs SATB with Piano, Optional Flute and String Bass 4 copies of chorus 1 of flute & bass 20 copies
Misc. sheet music, some with multiple copies
2 Songs for Sight Singing Treble and Tenor/Bass
9 We Are The Music Makers – out of print, probably enough for the choir to use
Softly The Night 50 copies
Vesper Prayer 100 copies
Sing, Rejoice 100 copies
Shine! Shine! 17 copies
Songs of Immortal Praise 13 copies
Now Let All Sing 55 copies
Noel, Noel 43 copies
Christmas Star 46 copies
This Is The Day the Lord Hath Made Instrumental Parts 9 copies
This Is The Day the Lord Hath Made choral parts 9 copies
Born In a Manger 24 copies
It’s Time for Rejoicing, Noel! 12 copies and return of copyright
It Was a Lover and His Lass 5 copies
Pat-A-Pan 5 copies
See the Conqueror Mounts in Triumph 5 copies
Alleluia 5 copies
Oh, Come Let Us Sing 1 copy chorus 1 copy instrumentation
The Jade Flute master book, copies of the six choral parts
I Sing 12 copies & copyright returned
There Is Music 4 copies
The Temple of the Living God 2 copies Optional Instrumental Accompaniment to CM 7788
Laughing Song 3 copies
Birthdays 3 copies
10 Music by others
11 Correspondence 1991-1999
ASCAP 1977-1999
Ads & addresses
Biographies & Composition List
Retirement mementos
Certificates of Appreciation, etc.
12 Contracts and Royalties
13 Memory book
5 Envelopes of music notated as LVR
Some misc. music
Manuscripts too big for banker’s Boxes.
Picture of Theron conducting choir on one of his four trips to Europe with tour group.
Misc. Photos that were used for publication.
Theron Kirk, editor Choral Art for Mixed Voices
Clown picture done by his deceased daughter Kris.
Some reels of music.
14 Tapes and reels of music performances.
Calendars 1988-1999
Address book and Rolodex
15 Cassette tapes of music performances.
San Antonio Museum of Art notes.
San Antonio Museum of Art misc. correspondence.