[Back to Formatted Version]

Robert B. Walls Collection, 1916-1974

By Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Nielsen.

Collection Overview

Title: Robert B. Walls Collection, 1916-1974

Predominant Dates: 1947-1974

ID: MSS Walls

Primary Creator: Walls, Robert B.

Extent: 3.0 cubic feet. More info below.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


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. Several items from this collection have been digitized and made available online.

Scope and Content Notes

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. Several items have been digitized and made available online.

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.

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

Biographical / Historical Notes

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 Choralaires 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.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 115 sound recordings; 4 boxes

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

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

Related Materials: The Music Department Records (RG 148) and the Music Department Photograph Collection (P 137) include additional materials documenting choral activities at Oregon State. The Ted Mesang Collection (MSS Mesang) 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 Photograph Collection (P HC) and the Gwil Evans Photographic Collection (P 082).

Preferred Citation: Robert B. Walls Collection (MSS Walls), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Processing Information: This collection is not fully processed; this guide is preliminary.

Other URL: Preliminary container list available online.


Walls, Robert B.
Hairston, Jester (1901-2000)
KOAC (Radio station : Corvallis, Or.)
Oregon State College. Department of Music
Oregon State University. Department of Music

People, Places, and Topics

Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices)
Choruses, Secular (Mixed voices)
Oregon State College--Choral organizations.
Oregon State University--Choral organizations.
Students' songs--Oregon--Corvallis.
Walls, Robert B.

Forms of Material

Compact discs.
Phonograph records.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.