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Frank Erickson Papers

Collection ID: DCR MG 8

Scope and Contents

The Frank Erickson Papers includes manuscript scores of both marching and concert band pieces, as well as his musical arrangements (mainly of traditional songs and hymns). Many of the materials that he used as a teacher of band music are also available. Newspaper articles and much of his professional and personal correspondence are also part of this collection.


  • 1940-1996, undated
  • Other: Date acquired: 00/00/2000



24.40 Linear Feet

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Biographical or Historical Information

Frank William Erickson, the son of Frank O. and Myrtle (Leck) Erickson, was born in Spokane, Washington on September 1, 1923. He began studying piano at the age of eight, trumpet at ten, and wrote his first band composition when he was in high school. He received his Mus.B. in 1950 and his Mus.M. in 1951, both from the University of Southern California. Before entering college he studied privately with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and with Halsey Stevens and Clarence Sawhill after enrolling at USC Erickson was a composer, conductor, arranger, and author of books on band method. He also lectured at the University of California at Los Angeles (1958) and was professor of music at San Jose State University. For a number of years he worked for a music publishing company, and later began his own company. He served with the United States Army Air Force from 1942-1946, and wrote arrangements for army bands during that time. After the war ended he worked in Los Angeles as a trumpet player and jazz arranger. He was a life member of the National Band Association, elected to the Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts in 1986, and a member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lamda, Phi Beta Mu, and the American Bandmasters Association. In 1953 he married Mary Theresa McGrorty. They had three sons, William, Richard, and Christian. Erickson's wife died in 1975, and on August 15, 1981 he married Mary Ann Smith. He died October 21, 1996. Frank Erickson is listed in several biographical sources including, for example, The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, Who Was Who in America, and International Who's Who in Music. He is also the subject of a thesis, written by Pamela Joy Arwood in 1990 at Central Missouri State University, entitled Frank Erickson and His Music: A Biography, Analysis of Selected Compositions, and Catalogue. Biographical information above was taken from these sources.

Note written by Special Collections Staff

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged into five series: Series I: Scores and Parts; Series II: Teaching Aids; Series III: Programs, Publicity, Reviews, Etc.; Series IV: Correspondence; Series V: Personal Interests.

Source of Acquisition

Mary Smith Erickson, Wife of Frank Erickson

Method of Acquisition


Processing Information

The collection was processed by Jessica Mirasol, Librarian Archivist for Music Collections, and Brian Rinaldo in 2013.

A Guide to the Frank Erickson Papers
Jessica Mirasol
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the ODU Diehn Composers Room Collection Repository

189 Diehn Fine & Performing Arts Center
1339 49th St.
Norfolk VA 23529 US