Now On View at Weeks Library: Frank Sinatra Centennial Exhibit

Frank Sinatra cropped

The Weeks Music Library presents a selection of materials from its collections that highlight the profound, multifaceted cultural influence of the artist—perhaps best reflected in the assortment of nicknames including “Chairman of the Board,” “The Voice,” “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” and others by which he is still remembered. This exhibition spans his many memorable musical hits as well as his acting achievements, including his involvement in the Rat Pack, and other influential endeavors throughout his life.

Born December 12, 1915, Francis Albert Sinatra began his career performing as a big band crooner before finding fame as a popular singer and actor, culminating in his 1953 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for From Here to Eternity.

Though his popularity dwindled somewhat in later years, he stepped back into the spotlight with his 1980 cover of “(Theme from) New York, New York.” After a brief “retirement” in 1971, Sinatra continued performing and touring until his death in 1998.

Infamous for his membership in the “Rat Pack,” his alleged Mafia connections, and his ties to such political notables as John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, Sinatra remains a beloved and fascinating figure of American popular music and culture.

Weeks Music Library Celebration Brings Opera Collection to Life

Students performed during the event.

Vocal performance students Jennifer Voigt, Ana Collado, and Max Moreno perform historical opera compositions from the Roger Gross Opera Collection.

by Sarah Block, Library Communications

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library and the 2014 acquisition of the historical Roger Gross Opera Collection, more than one hundred librarians, community members, and students and faculty of the Frost School of Music gathered for a reception and vocal performance at the library on Friday, January 23.

The event was presented by the University of Miami Libraries (UML) and the Frost School of Music. Dean of Libraries Chuck Eckman opened the program by describing the growth—and growing impact—of the Weeks Library over the past decade. “The generosity of the Weeks family and countless supporters have allowed the library to become a trusted resource for many, especially the students of the premier Frost School,” Eckman said.

Frost School of Music Dean Shelton Berg spoke on the importance of the library for music students, then introduced the three vocal performance students who sang pieces they selected from the Roger Gross collection while in Professor Karen Henson’s musicology class, “Singers and Opera Performance from Handel to ‘Live in HD’” last semester.

Max Moreno, a bass vocalist pursuing his doctorate in musical arts (DMA), who performed first—an aria written by Mozart in 1797 for German singer Ludwig Fischer—described the scope and purpose of the class, and the value of the collection, which helped the students dig deeper into the lives of the historic opera singers whom they were emulating, even allowing them to fill in biographical gaps in their online research.

Jennifer Voigt discusses her selection, “Stripsody” by Cathy Berberian, with University Trustee Marta Weeks-Wulf.

“We studied the different lives of these singers from throughout the history of opera and discussed the relationships between the composers that they sang for, the performances they presented, and just the general artistry—who they were, and why they were important to the field of opera,” Moreno said.

Sopranos Ana Collado, a senior in the Department of Vocal Performance, and Jennifer Voigt, also pursuing a DMA degree, followed with works by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) and Cathy Berberian (1925-1983), respectively. Master’s piano student Leo Thorp accompanied the singers.

The library acquired the collection after the death of Roger Gross (1938-2013), a well-known New York autograph dealer and opera connoisseur who, over the course of his lifetime, accumulated thousands of books and other historical materials from the eighteenth century onward.

“This is a major acquisition for the University to have as a resource, and to see it explored, and hear it brought to life with such talent is deeply inspiring and rewarding,” said Nancy Zavac, Head of the Weeks Library, following the performance.



From left to right: Dean of Libraries Chuck Eckman, Karleton Wulf, University Trustee Marta Weeks-Wulf, and Frost School of Music Dean Shelton Berg.

Zavac concluded the program by thanking her staff and all who were in attendance, with a special nod to University Trustee Marta Weeks-Wulf, who with husband Austin Weeks (d. 2005) provided the funding to build the library. “We have so many marvelous collections and materials on hand for our users, and so many of them thanks to the suggestions, donations, perseverance, and passion from our faculty, students, and friends – friends like [Marta].  This facility would not exist without her and her family’s thoughtfulness and generosity.”


Photos by Andrew Innerarity.

For more information on the Weeks Library or the Roger Gross Opera Collection, visit

Did you know…


Sarah Vaughan

… that the Weeks Music Library has nearly 7,000 jazz CDs, and is adding more all the time? Our collection highlights the full spectrum of jazz history, from legends such as Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan (left), and Oscar Peterson, to contemporary and up-and-coming artists like Jason Moran, Mary Halvorson, Daniel Szabo, and Cécile McLorin Salvant. The collection also features a variety of jazz styles and sub-genres, including cool jazz, bebop, swing, and avant-garde.

To see what albums have been recently added to our collection, check out the “New Acquisitions” pages for Jazz CDs. You can browse by performer or by CD title.

If we don’t have a jazz CD, and you think we should, let us know using the “Suggest a purchase” form.

For more jazz recordings, check out the Naxos Music Library Jazz Collection.

Celebrating Irving Berlin

IrvingBerlinLegendary composer and lyricist Irving Berlin hit it big in 1911 with “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” before going on to compose over 1,000 songs and several hit musicals such as Annie Get Your Gun. His tunes are an important part of the Great American Songbook.

To honor this great American songwriter on the 25th anniversary of his death, the Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library is pleased to present a selection of sheet music from the Larry Taylor-Billy Matthews Musical Theater Archive, accompanied by some of Berlin’s most popular musical films. The exhibit will run through the end of the semester.

Weeks Acquires Major Opera Literature Collection

operalitsmall2The Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library is pleased to announce the acquisition of a major collection of books and other secondary literature relating to opera and opera singers. The collection was the personal library of Roger Gross, a major New York dealer in musical autographs who had a special love of opera. The collection, which runs to several thousand volumes, relates to opera and opera singers from the late eighteenth century to the present. It includes some rare eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century volumes; studies on a variety of geographical areas and in a variety of languages (including opera in North and South America and studies in Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian); and books that range from biographies and autobiographies, through studies of operatic and theatrical institutions, to operatic and theatrical chronologies. The collection also includes volumes on dance and operetta and is particularly strong on the twentieth-century Greek-American soprano Maria Callas.

This is a research-level collection comparable to the secondary literature holdings relating to opera and singers of, for example, the Music Division of the New York Public Library. The collection will provide a rich resource for researchers (including graduates and undergraduates) interested in singers, vocal performance, and opera and theater generally. The collection is in the process of being catalogued: the volumes currently available can be found by searching under keywords “Roger Gross” in the library catalog: For further information, please contact Music Librarian, Nancy Zavac,

Karen Henson and Nancy Zavac, University of Miami

75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz

OzSmallThe Wizard of Oz premiered August 25, 1939. Based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, the film follows Dorothy Gale from her home in Kansas to the Technicolor Land of Oz. With her faithful dog, Toto, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion “follow the yellow brick road” to the Emerald City and beyond.

Noted for its mastery of set design, effects, music, and narrative, The Wizard of Oz has become a cherished classic in the American film canon.

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of this treasured film classic, the Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library is pleased to present a selection of materials from the University of Miami Libraries. These include books, scores, vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, and promotional materials. Come take a trip “over the rainbow” to the Land of Oz!

Liber Magistri: 12th century “encyclopedia of Western Europe”

The Liber magistri “has been described as one of the first encyclopedias of Western Europe in the 12th century.” Aside from a complete repertory of Gregorian chant—including the entire repertory of chants for the celebration of the mass and the divine office—the codex contains writings about the history and theory of music, theater, miniature production, medicine, agriculture, and other sciences.

The facsimile edition is reproduced in full color and bound in leather with brass closures. Presented to Professor Frank Cooper on the occasion of his retirement by University Librarian Bill Walker, this codex is a marvelous addition to the Frank Cooper Music Facsimile Collection.


Celebrating Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring!

On May 29, 1913, Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring premiered in Paris. It debuted to a riot between audience members thrilled by the innovative work and those who jeered at the bizarre choreography and discordant music. Despite its less-than-auspicious beginnings, the Rite is now considered one of the most important works of the 20th century.

The Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library is pleased to present an exhibit aboutThe Rite of Spring, which celebrated its centennial just last year. A facsimile edition of the autograph manuscript and images of an original costume design worn by one of the dancers are joined by quotes from modern day scholars and contemporary witnesses to the premiere of the ballet.

This exhibit will run through the Spring semester.