The Allan Blank Papers

Discovering The Composer Through His Work

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Richmond Road Trip: Day 1, One More Stop at VCU

Before I leave campus, at least for today, I’m making one more stop. Did Allan Blank have his office here? Did he compose pieces in this very building? Did he teach here? These are questions that I hope to find… Continue Reading →

Richmond Road Trip: Day 1, Going to School

Now that I have properly paid my respects to Mr. Blank, I’m headed to the James Branch Cabell Library to meet with Melissa Marrion, visit VCU’s Special Collections and check out the library’s music score collection. In an earlier blog… Continue Reading →

Richmond Road Trip: Day 1, Visiting Mr. Blank

My first stop on my road trip to Richmond is Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery to pay my respects to Allan Blank. In the early morning, the cemetery is quite and peaceful. Not a place of deep mourning, but one of… Continue Reading →

Richmond Road Trip: Day 1

  My day is beginning entirely too early, but I’m excited. Richmond here I come!

Hitting the Road: A Research Trip to Richmond

Well kind reader, it is time for this Archivist to pack some bags and hit the road…to Richmond! Thanks to my amazing employer, Old Dominion Special Collections & University Archives and the generosity of the Allan Blank Fund, I get… Continue Reading →

The Whistle: Lyrics by Benjamin Franklin, Music by Allan Blank

Much of Allan Blank’s inspiration came from great works of literature and poetry. Usually, I find the completed score, or sketch without the accompanying reference material. Such as the case with “Four Poems by Emily Dickinson”, where I have processed… Continue Reading →

Some Noteworthy Finds from the Diehn Composers Room

Today, I was a stereotype. Often, when people ask about my job, I’m cut off with: “It must be nice to read all day!” Largely this is an untrue statement. Most librarians and archivists will tell you that their jobs… Continue Reading →

Digital Preservation: Games in Space with the Bookeye 4

ODU’s Perry Library Digital Services Center has a new way to preserve documents, rare books and now sheet music. Thanks to an extremely generous gift from the Blank Foundation, I present: the Bookeye 4! An overhead scanner that can either remain… Continue Reading →

Allan Blank: In His Own Words

“I write what my ear, feelings and understandings dictate. I believe the initiating impulse to compose is a complex product of one’s training, instrumental or vocal background, listening experiences, imaginative strengths, and the fortuitous circumstances of time and place.” -Correspondence… Continue Reading →

Mr. Blank and the Blank Notebooks

  I have noticed a trend with Allan Blank’s working style. Usually when inspiration struck, he would grab any piece of paper at hand and write. Conversely, he would start a sketch, or score in a notebook, but then fail… Continue Reading →

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