Jerre Tanner Collection

Manuscript collection:  MsC-68

Jerré E. Tanner collection, 1963-2010.  13.5 linear feet

Biography
Quoted from the Web site of the American Composers Forum:
Jerré Tanner is an American composer of symphonic and operatic music.  He studied orchestration with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Wayne Peterson at San Francisco State University, where Tanner earned an advanced degree in composition.  He has received numerous awards and grants from such diverse sources as ASCAP, the (Hawaii) State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the Celia S. Buck Award administered by the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of American Composers and Conductors, the National and Hawaii Bicentennial Commissions, the Huntington Hartford Foundation in Los Angeles, Meet-the-Composer, and two Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance grants administered by the American Music Center.

He is the first American composer of his generation to be recorded digitally.  In 1997 the State of Hawaii awarded him its highest honor, the Artist Fellowship in Music Composition.  He received two grants from the Hawaii Community Foundations to create settings of Monarchy period songs for solo voice and for men's, women's, and mixed choruses.   In 1998 tenor Keith Ikaia Purdy gave the premiere of the solo settings in Wiesbaden, Germany, and later performed orchestral settings with l'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.

In 1999 he was one of sixty-eight American composers chosen in a national competition to be commissioned in the Continental Harmony Millennium project administered by the American Composers Forum.  His Millennium commission and residency was for the State of New Mexico where he created "Keepers of the Land", a choral/orchestral symphony for the Spencer Theater in Alto.  For the second round of Continental Harmony commissions he was chosen to compose the North Carolina project, a tribute to 19th century Admiral Charles Wilkes, a colorful American patriot whose chief contribution was leading the Exploring Expedition of 1838-42.  "High Seas to High Shoals", a set of eleven variations on a naval theme, was given its premiere in February 2003 by the Gaston County Symphonic Band in conjunction with exhibitions at the Schiele Museum of Natural History and the Gaston County Museum of Art and History.

Tanner's vocal, choral, orchestral, symphonic band, and chamber compositions have been performed by the Honolulu Symphony, the Civic Symphony Orchestra of Boston, the Wellesley Symphony, the Altoona and Nittany Valley (Pennsylvania) Symphonies, the Dubuque Symphony, the Hawaii Youth Symphony, the Uptown Opera (Spokane), the Spring Wind Quintet, and numerous choruses and concert bands.  The London Symphony Orchestra's recording of his heroic crossover work, "Boy with Goldfish", is a virtuoso demonstration of his gift for orchestration.  In 1990 he was one of sixteen composers selected in international competition to be recorded in Eastern Europe for Vienna Modern Masters' Music from Six Continents 1991 series of CDs.  His tone poem "Aukele (The Swimmer)" was recorded by the Polish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra.  Vienna Modem Masters has since recorded his concert aria "Fragrant Harbor (Hong Kong)" and an orchestral suite from his Hawaiian opera for youth, "The Singing Snails", with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra released on their 1992 series of CDs.  In 1997 the Moravian Philharmonic performed and recorded the Warrior's Aria from Tanner's choral symphony "The Naupaka Floret". The Prague Chamber Orchestra recorded his chamber opera "The Kona Coffee Cantata" in 1994 for release on Albany Records.

In 1996 his "Fanfare for a River City" was chosen in competition for premiere by the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra in a concert celebrating Iowa's 150th anniversary of Statehood and was subsequently performed at their summer Freedom Festival and by the Drake University Wind Ensemble.

His chief collaborator is lyric poet Harvey Hess with whom he has created four operas, choral symphonies, choral works, concert arias, and several song cycles.  He is listed in the New Grove Dictionary of Music, is a composer member of the American Music Center and the Iowa and American Composers Forums.  He is a member of the ACDA Hawaii Chapter and sings in the Honolulu Symphony Chorus.

Papers
Jerré Tanner sent these papers to the University of Northern Iowa Archives in about 2005.  They consist primarily of scores of his musical compositions in various states and settings.  These states and settings come in many sizes and formats, which require boxes of different sizes.  Boxes 1-4 contain material in 8.5 X 11 inch or 8.5 X 14 inch formats.  Boxes 5-8 contain larger formats.  And Boxes 9-11 contain material in the largest format.  Consequently, if a work appears in several formats, a researcher may need to consult the contents of several boxes.

This collection provides an excellent look at the work of a prominent American composer, who devoted considerable creative energy to the interpretation of Hawaiian history.

Those who are interested in the staging of Mr. Tanner's work should note the material in Boxes 12-14.  These boxes include costumes and props from the production of Ka lei no kane, a one act comic opera based on Hawaiian legend and set in ancient Hawaii.

This collection also includes work by Mr. Tanner's collaborator, Harvey J. Hess, who taught in the University of Northern Iowa Department of English Language and Literature for many years.

Mr. Tanner sent the contents of Box 15 in October 2010.  This box is devoted almost exclusively to the creation and production of Boy with Goldfish, a musical work inspired by a series of paintings by John Thomas.


Box inventory

Box 1

Jerré Tanner, composer, Malama Arts.  (brief biographical sketch, photograph, and bibliography of work)

The making of a Hawaiian opera; the Kona Coffee Cantata, a brief history by Jerré Tanner

Dubuque Symphony Orchestra program, 1994-1995 season (includes performance of Aukele)

On the origins and applications of the grid in the art of John Paul Thomas, 2005 (essay by Jerré Tanner)

The Hawaiian songbook; Book I:  Kona, settings for medium voice/piano; English verse text by Harvey Hess.  Malama Arts, 1974.

The Hawaiian songbook; Book I:  Kona, setting for low voice/piano; English verse text by Harvey Hess.  Malama Arts, 1974.

The singing snails, piano/vocal score.  Ars Oceania, 1980.

A Kalakaua diptych, with individual scores for piccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba, electric bass guitar, string bass, timpani, mallet and mixed percussion, and bass drum.  Malama Arts, 1980.

Royal tucket and flourish, composed for His Oceanic Majesty David Kalakaua, arranged for concert band.  Malama Arts, 1983.

Royal tucket and flourish, composed for His Oceanic Majesty David Kalakaua, arranged for concert band.  Malama Arts, 1983, 1995.

Six songs from a winter's pillow book; English verse tankas by Harvey Hess.  Malama Arts, 1985. 

Six songs from a winter's pillow book; orchestra score; English verse tankas by Harvey Hess.  Malama Arts, 1985. 

 

Box 2

J. S. Bach.  The coffee cantata, Cantata no. 211, new realization by Jerré Tanner, comic chamber opera in one act, original text by Picander, piano/vocal score; English singing translation by Harvey Hess.  Malama Arts, 1985.

The Kona coffee contata (or what happened to the special roast), a one-act comic chamber opera, piano/vocal score; English verse libretto by Harvey Hess.  Malama Arts, 1986.

Hawaii ponoi, the Hawaii state anthem, arranged for symphony orchestra, orchestral score.  Malama Arts, 1991.

Concerto grosso in E major; full score, flute, violin, cello, and keyboard; soloists and string orchestra.  Malama Arts, 1986, 1994.

The Naupaka floret, a tragic opera/oratorio in one act; piano/vocal score; English verse libretto by Harvey Hess;  Malama Arts, 1972, 1992.

Fanfare for a river city, full score, for brass and percussion.  Malama Arts, 1995.

Keepers of the land; choral-piano score; text by Harvey Hess; Malama Arts, 2000.  (With autograph inscription on title page:  To John Thomas in gratitude for standing by me during writing this.  Jerré Tanner)

The Hawaiian songbook; the tradition, settings for medium voice and piano.  Malama Arts, 1998.

The Hawaiian songbook, the tradition, settings for low voice and piano.  Malama Arts, 1998.

The Hawaiian songbook, the tradition, settings for high voice and piano.  Malama Arts, 1998.

 

Box 3

Adagio from "Holy wisdom", for flute solo and harp (or piano).  Malama Arts, 1965.

From an Albian songbook, for low voice and piano; poetic text by Harvey Hess.  Malama Arts, 1971.

From an Albian songbook, for medium voice and piano; poetic text by Harvey Hess.  Malama Arts, 1971.

From an Albian songbook, for high voice and piano; poetic text by Harvey Hess.  Malama Arts, 1971.

Boy with goldfish, a choral epitome, piano/vocal score.  Malama Arts, 1976

Innocent summer, from "Boy with goldfish", for medium voice and piano. Malama Arts, 1976.

The pool, from "Boy with goldfish", for child alto solo and SSA chorus with piano accompaniment.  Malama Arts, 1976.

'Opae E, from "Boy with goldfish", for tenor solo, mixed chorus and piano, Malama Arts, 1976.

Soft wind, from "Boy with Goldfish", for medium voice and piano, Malama Arts, 1976.

Lullaby from "The singing snails", for SSA chorus with piano accompaniment.  Malama Arts, 1980.

Finale from "The singing snails", for soprano and tenor soloists and SSA chorus with piano accompaniment.  Malama Arts, 1981.

Ku'u ipo i ka He's Pu'e One, arrangment for mixed chorus with piano and string orchestra.  Malama Arts, 1996.

'O makalapua, setting for mixed chorus and piano.  Malama Arts, 1999.

A Kalakaua diptych, setting for solo tenor, four-part men's chorus, and piano.  Malama Arts, 1999.

A Kalakaua diptych, setting for duet (medium voices) and piano.  Malama Arts, 1999.

'Akahi ho'i, arranged for TTBB chorus a capella.  Malama Arts, 1999.

'Akahi ho'i, arranged for SSAA chorus a capella.  Malama Arts, 1999.

'Akahi ho'i, arranged for SATB mixed chorus a capella.  Malama Arts, 1999.

'Akahi ho'i, arranged for SATB mixed chorus and piano.  Malama Arts, 1999.

Koni Au i ka Wai, setting for solo tenor, 4-part men's chorus, and piano.  Malama Arts, 1999.

Koni Au i ka Wai, setting for 4-part men's chorus, and piano.  Malama Arts, 1999.

Koni Au i ka Wai, setting for mixed chorus and piano.  Malama Arts, 1999.

Honu E (the turtle), from "'Aumakua--living ancestors", for children's chorus with piano accompaniment; text by Harvey Hess.  Malama Arts, 2001.

James D. Dana.  My tent beside the Oregon, arranged by Jerré Tanner for 2-part children's chorus, Indian drum, and piano.  Ars Oceania, 2003.

James D. Dana.  My tent beside the Oregon, arranged by Jerré Tanner for 2-part children's chorus and concert band.  Ars Oceania, 2003.

 

Box 4

The singing snails.  Malama Arts, 1980.

The Hawaiian songbook, Book I:  Kona.; poetry by Harvey Hess.  Undated.

Suite from "The singing snails", arranged for piano, four hands.  Malama Arts, 1980, 1995.

Ku'u ipo i ka He'e Pu'e One, arrangment for mixed chorus and piano four hands.  Malama Arts, 1996.

 

Box 5

Ho'oku'ikahi, ke 'ano papalua, grand prelude and fugue for symphonic band.  Signed by Jerré Tanner.  Undated.

Dances of the five societies, from "Journey", for six percussionists and two flutes.  Signed by Jerré Tanner, December 22, 1964.

Two songs for high voice and orchestra, cantata no. III; poems by Philip Appleman and Harvey J. Hess, III.  Signed by Jerre Tanner, April 5, 1966.

Cantata no. II, Kyrie "Fons bonitatis", for chorus with concertists and two pianos.  Signed by Jerré Tanner, April 2, 1963, 1st revision, August 21, 1964, 2nd revision, November 9, 1966.

Toccata number II, a ritorne lo-sugato for piano, 2nd revision, signed by Jerre Tanner, August 15, 1967.

Boy with goldfish, a choral epitome, from "Boy with goldfish', a heroic theatre piece, for soloists and mixed chorus and chamber orchestra.  Malama Arts, 1976.

 

Box 6

Overture to "The singing snails", concert band score.  Malama Arts, 1980

Symphonic suite from "The singing snails", orchestra score.  Malama Arts, 1980.

Aukele (the swimmer), orchestra score.  Malama Arts, 1988.

Aukele (the swimmer), part one, tone poem for symphony orchestra, orchestra score.  Malama Arts, 1988.

The Naupaka floret, a tragic opera/oratorio in one act, orchestral score; English verse libretto by Harvey Hess.  Malama Arts, 1974, 1992.

Suite no. 1 for symphony orchestra from an opera based on Hawaiian folklore, The singing snails (Na Pupu-Kani-Oe).  Malama Arts, 1980, 1994.

Hawaii ponoi, Hawaii state anthem, composed by Henry Berger, arranged by Jerré Tanner, full score.  Malama Arts, 1963, 1995.

 

Box 7

Ku'u Ipo i ka He'e Pu'e One, arranged for mixed chorus and chamber orchestra.  Malama Arts, 1996.

Postcards from Chandi, sinfonia in three movements for symphony orchestra, orchestra score.  Malama Arts, 1998.

Postcards from Chandi, sinfonia in three movements for symphony orchestra, orchestral score.  Malama Arts, 1998.

A Kalakaua diptych, for tenor solo, SATB chorus, and chamber orchestra.  Malama Arts, 1999.

'Aumakua--living ancestors, orchestra score.  Malama Arts, 2001.

High seas to high shoals, theme and variations, original theme by Charles R. Crosby, in celebration of the life and accomplishments of Admiral Charles Wilkes, for concert band.  Ars Oceania, 2002.

The old peacock, concert band and chorus.  Ars Oceania, 2002.

Peformance posters

  • October 1 and 2, 1976.  Boy with goldfish.  World premier.  Leon and Malia and Honolulu Symphony Orchestra.  Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • November 10, 1976.  Boy with goldfish.  World premier.  Leon and Malia and Honolulu Symphony Orchestra.  Hilo College Auditorium.  (2 copies)
  • 1976-1977.  Maui Philharmonic.  35th season.  Baldwin Auditorium.  (September 17, 1976, Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, Leon and Malia and "Boy with goldfish")
  • April 29, 1988.  The fifth annual Kona concert, Hawaii, The Honolulu Symphony, Mozart, Tanner, Tchaikovsky
  • May 20 and 21, 2000.  Songs folks sing.  Kona Community Chorus and Orchestra.  Work by Chris Roberts, Jerre Tanner, Robert Wendel, Nancy Bloomer Deussen
  • February 15, 2003.  High seas to high shoals.  Gaston Symphonic Band.  Composed by Jerre Tanner.  Autographed poster.
  • May 5 and 12, no year.  Kona and Hilo.  The Naupaka floret.  Hawaii Chorale, Hilo College Wind Ensemble and Repertory Singers.  A musical setting of a Hawaiian legend by Jerre Tanner and Harvey Hess.  (2 copies)
  • May 15 and 16, no year.  Aloha tour concert.  Kona Community Chorus and Orchestra.  Four new works by Hawaii Island composers Jerré Tanner, Michael Springer, Rodney Wong, Chris Roberts. 
  • November 10, no year.  Music and Japanese tradition.  Kona:  Hongwanji Mission.  World premier of Jerre Tanner's "Six songs from a winter's pillow book".
  • November 12, no year.  Music and Japanese tradition.  Hilo College Auditorium.  World premier of Jerré Tanner's "Six songs from a winter's pillow book".
  • No date.  Ka lei no kane.  One act comic opera based on Hawaiian legend and set in ancient Hawaii.  Premier performance.  Hawaii Chamber Orchestra and Opera Players of Hawaii.

 

Box 8

Journey to the sun, Act !, part 1.  June 15, 1963.

 

Box 9

Ravel.  Le tombeau de couperin, no. 4, minuet.  Undated.

Berger.  Two episodes:  1933, no. 1.  Undated.

Bartok.  Mikrokosmos, no. 144, minor seconds, major sevenths.  Undated.

The Naupaka floret, instrumental score.  Undated.

Boy with goldfish, orchestral score.  Signed Jerré E. Tanner, 1976.

 

Box 10

Unbound composition sheets; drafts of work; most consist of a single page or two; most are unlabeled and undated

Titled sheets include:

  • Nuptial prelude
  • Psalm 149, parts for trumpet and trombone, April 19, 1958
  • Mass--Kyrie
  • 100th Psalm dedicatory motet
  • Moonlight upon snow, December 27, 1959
  • Futility
  • Two Gothic allelujas

 

Box 11

Unbound composition sheets; drafts of work; most consist of a single page or two; most are unlabeled and undated

 

Box 12

Costumes from production of Ka lei no kane

  • Kumukoa's helmet, 16 X 20 inches, painted terrycloth

 

Box 13

Costumes from production of Ka lei no kane, continued

  • Warrior (Keauhou), 46 X 20.5 inches, painted material
  • Kumukoa's warrior, 46 X 20.5 inches, painted material
  • Woman's tunic, 46 X 20 inches, painted material
  • Keanhou's cape, 4 feet 9 inches X 8 feet 3 inches, painted material
  • Kumukoa's palaoa and lei niho, 14 inches, feathers and plastic

 

Box 14

Costumes from production of Ka lei no kane, continued

  • Keanhou's malo, 30 X 18 inches, painted material
  • Kumukoa's cape, 4 feet 9 inches X 7 feet 10 inches, painted material
  • Woman's tunic (Kumukoa), 40 X 20 inches, painted material
  • Rainbow canopy, 20 feet 6 inches X 5 feet, rayon
  • Dancer's malo (Keauhou), 15 X 10 inches, painted material
  • Dancer's malo (Kumuloa), 15 X 10 inches, painted material

 

Box 15

Choral lyric, synthesizer realization created by the composer, 1993  (CD)

Reflections on the London Symphony Orchestra, essay by Jerré Tanner, 2010

On the symphony in the 20th century, essay by Jerré Tanner, 2010

Boy with Goldfish, piano/vocal score, 1976

Boy with Goldfish, London Symphony Orchestra recording, CD  (two copies)

Boy with Goldfish, correspondence, 1975-1979

Boy with Goldfish, creative process

Boy with Goldfish, digital recording process

Boy with Goldfish, poster queries

Boy with Goldfish, publicity packet

Boy with Goldfish, press clippings

Boy with Goldfish, WQED television

Boy with Goldfish, Eric Farley, analog

Boy with Goldfish, Multi-Arts Incorporated

Boy with Goldfish, film

Boy with Goldfish, accounts

Boy with Goldfish, sketches and notes from creative development process; October 26, 1969-August 16, 1975

Boy with Goldfish, sketches, flying serpent and sun

Boy with Goldfish, sketches, the Golden Puhi

Boy with Goldfish, sketches, the Golden Falls

 

Box 16

Symphony No. 1 in E-flat, The Naupaka Floret, for soprano and tenor soloists mixed chorus and orchestra, music by Jerré Tanner and text by Harvey Hess.  Malama Arts, 1974, rev. 2010.

Worksheets labeled Chorus No. V and Chorus No. I; some unlabeled sheets

Jerré Tanner.  The Naupaka Floret; a tragic opera/oratorio in one act.  English verse libretto by Harvey Hess.  Orchestral score.  Malama Arts, 1974, 1992.  (With handwritten inscription on title page:  This is the version Margaret Hillis would have used for her recording.  JT)

The music of Jerré Tanner.  Symphony No. 1 in E-flat, The Naupaka Floret, for soprano and tenor soloists, mixed chorus and symphony orchestra, music by Jerré Tanner and text by Harvey Hess.  Orchestral score.  Malama Arts, 1974, 2010.

 

Box 17

The music of Jerré Tanner.  Boy with Goldfish; a heroic theatre piece for soloists, mixed chorus and symphony orchestra.  Music by Jerré Tanner in collaboration with Leon Siu and Malia Elliott.  Orchestra score.  Malama Arts, 1976.

The music of Jerré Tanner.  Boy with Goldfish; a heroic theatre piece for soloists, mixed chorus and symphony orchestra.  Music by Jerré Tanner in collaboration with Leon Siu and Malia Elliott.  Orchestra score.  Malama Arts, 1974, rev. 2010.

Boy with Goldfish; a heroic theatre piece for soloists, mixed chorus and symphony orchestra.  Text by Harvey Hess; for soprano and tenor soloists, mixed chorus and symphony orchestra; orchestral score.  Malama Arts, 1974, rev. 2010.  (With handwritten inscription on cover:  This is the version in which I prefer this work to be performed.  Jerré Tanner)

 

Box 18

Boy with Goldfish, a Dramatic Cantata based on the series of paintings by John Thomas; authored by Malia Elliott, Leon Siu, Jerré Tanner

Boy with Goldfish.  composition book.

Cantata No. 1, Choral Lyric, a scenic cantata, for soprano, alto, chorus, harp, and percussion.  Music by Jerré Tanner; text by Harvey J. Hess, III.  Pages 1-70 complete; master sheets.

Choral Lyric, a scenic cantata in celebration of the International Olympics.  Music by Jerré Tanner; text by Harvey Hess.  Honolulu, Hawaii; 1963, rev. 2011.


Collection processed by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson, September 2010; last updated September 27, 2011 (GP).


Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675
Telephone: (319)-273-6307
Fax: (319)-273-2913
Email: Gerald.Peterson@uni.edu