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Music Archives at the National Library of Canada

BRANSCOMBE, GENA, 1881-1977
MUS 30


Gena Branscombe fonds.  1928-1973.  - 24 cm of textual records.  - 15 photographs. 

Biographical sketch
Born in Picton, Ontario, Gena Branscombe left Canada to live in the United States in 1897, where she studied composition, vocal writing and piano at the Chicago Musical College until 1903.  A gold medalist in composition (1900 and 1901), she taught piano at that college from 1903 to 1907, and became director of piano classes at Whitman College in Washington, D.C.  She left this position in 1909 to continue her studies in Berlin.  In 1934, she founded the Branscombe Choral in New York, which she conducted for 20 years.  She also conducted orchestras in Canada, England and the United States, as guest conductor.  A U.S. resident for over 75 years, she has left an inspired corpus which includes works for orchestra, choir, choir and orchestra, and an unfinished opera on the life of the French colonists who came to Canada (The Bells of Circumstance). 

Scope and content
The fonds contains records pertaining to the musical activities of Gena Branscombe:  autograph manuscripts of Branscombe's works entitled Quebec Suite and Youth of the World ; correspondence; programme notes and concert programmes; list of works; invitation card; press clippings; photographs of Gena Branscombe and of the Branscombe Choral during a concert in New York. 

Immediate source of acquisition:  acquired by Gena Branscombe, in five accessions, between 1972 and 1977, and from her daughter, Gena Tenney Phenix in 1993 and 1994. 

Restrictions:  none. 

Finding aids:  inventory. 

Associated material: the Music Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts holds most of Gena Branscombe's archives. 



Proactive Disclosure