Robert B. Walls Collection, 1916-1974

Overview of the Collection

Walls, Robert B.
Robert B. Walls Collection
1916-1974 (inclusive)
1947-1974 (bulk)
3 cubic feet, including 115 sound recordings, (4 boxes)
Collection Number
MSS Walls
The Robert B. Walls Collection consists of sound recordings of performances by Oregon State University choirs made and assembled by Walls, Professor of Music at Oregon State from 1947 until his retirement in 1974.
Oregon State University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives Research Center
Special Collections and Archives Research Center
121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis OR
Telephone: 5417372075
Fax: 5417378674
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Additional Reference Guides

Preliminary container list available online.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Robert Boen Walls was Professor of Music at Oregon State University from 1947 until his retirement in 1974. He directed all OSU choral activities for 27 years and was head of the Music Department from 1947 until 1965. He established the Choralaires, a select choir with the most talented singers form the larger men's and women's choruses and led European tours by the Choraliares in 1971 and 1973. Walls was honored as OSU Alumni Distinguished Professor in 1974.

Walls was born in Spirit Lake, Idaho, on December 24, 1910. He received his early schooling in Washburn, North Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in music and education from Moorhead State Teachers College. Walls completed his master's degree in 1936 at the University of North Dakota. He taught at Valley City College in North Dakota and at the University of Idaho, before joining the Oregon State College faculty in 1947. He died in Corvallis, Oregon, on September 10, 1997.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Robert B. Walls Collection consists of sound recordings of Oregon State choral performances made and assembled by Walls. The recordings include 64 reel-to-reel audiotapes; 47 phonograph records; and 4 compact discs. The bulk of the recordings are of performances by the Choralaires; however, other Oregon State choral groups such as the A Cappella Choir, Glee Club, and Madigrals are included. The performances include Christmas concerts, tributes to the state of Oregon, classical and sacred works, KOAC radio broadcasts, songs about Oregon State, and selections from the Choralaires' European tours in 1971 and 1973. The audiotapes include recordings of choir performances in Baker (1956) and Beaverton (1968), Oregon.

The phonograph records include presto discs as well as mass-produced phonograph records (with jackets for some items). They include recordings from workshops on spirituals and gospel music led by Jester Hairston in 1961 and 1963. Recordings of Oregon State songs, Songs of Oregon State College and Within a Vale of Western Mountains, are included as well as the Face of Oregon, a 1959 concert commemorating the Oregon centennial.

Recordings of performances by Nancy Allworth, Jerry Christopherson, and Byron Walls are included in the collection. The compact discs are reproductions of several recordings within the collection, including highlights of the 1971 and 1973 European tours; The Robert B. Walls Years: 1947-1974; and Within a Vale of Western Mountains, which is also available online in the Best of the Archives. Songs of Oregon State College and Face of Oregon are also available online.

The collection also includes three handbooks on music conducting, notation, and harmony that were owned by Walls.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Robert B. Walls Collection, Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Processing Note

This collection is not fully processed; this guide is preliminary.

Acquisition Information

The materials were donated by Walls' daughter, Judith Freeman.

Related Materials

The Music Department Records (RG 148) and Photographs (P 137) include additional materials documenting choral activities at Oregon State. The Ted Mesang Collection pertains to the Oregon State bands during this time period. The Alumni Association Records (RG 035) include sound recordings of Oregon State songs and choral groups. Photographs of Walls are available in Harriet's Collection and the Gwil Evans Photographic Collection (P 082).

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices)
  • Choruses, Secular (Mixed voices)
  • Students' songs--Oregon--Corvallis.

Corporate Names

  • Oregon State College--Choral organizations.
  • Oregon State University--Choral organizations.

Form or Genre Terms

  • Audiotapes.
  • Compact discs.
  • Phonograph records.

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Hairston, Jester, 1901-2000. (creator)
    Corporate Names
    • KOAC (Radio station : Corvallis, Or.) (creator)
    • Oregon State College. Dept. of Music. (creator)
    • Oregon State University. Dept. of Music. (creator)