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Thane Edward McDonald Papers

Finding Aid & Inventory

Dr. Thane Edward McDonald served as director of the Wake Forest College Department of Music from 1941 to 1975. This collection includes some of his personal and professional materials, along with scrapbooks from the Wake Forest College/University Department of Music from 1931-1975.

Biographical and Historical Note

Dr. Thane Edward McDonald served as head of the Wake Forest College Music Department from 1941 to 1975. During that time, he directed, conducted, and played the organ at multiple concerts and performances per year. McDonald was born in Elkhart, Indiana On June 21st, 1912. He recieved his bachelor and masters degrees in music from the University of Michigan and his doctorate of education from Columbia University. He was member of many societies and organizations, including Phi Delta Kappa (professional education fraternity), the American Association of University Professors, the NC Music Educators Association, the American Choral Directors Association, and the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity. Before joining Wake Forest, he directed the Music Department at Davidson College.

During his time at Wake Forest College, McDonald established a thriving music department. In 1941, he introduced a glee club, small music ensembles, a band, and an orchestra. He left Wake Forest from 1944-1946 to serve in the US Navy. He taught the majority of the music classes, performed with the marching band, and in 1948 he formed a touring choir. The choir would drive across North Carolina and Virginia and perform in churches, hospitals, and at civic meetings. He died in Winston-Salem in 1978.

Collection Overview

This collection contains personal and professional materials, including biographical materials, family photographs, awards and certificates, and church programs from McDonald's appearances as a guest organist. There are also fifteen scrapbooks containing music department materials. They also include some of McDonald's professional materials and some materials from his time as the Davidson College music department director. The scrapbooks contain concert and performance programs by the Wake Forest band, choir, and traveling choir, newspaper clippings of appearances, concerts, and performances, students performance photographs, and programs of annual campus events the department participated in, like the Magnolia Festival, the Christmas Vesper service, and commencement.

Collection Inventory

  • "A History of the Wake Forest Department of Music" interview transcript  (1975 July 1) box 1 folder 5
  • Appreciation plaque from Wake Forest University music staff  (1969) box 1 folder 19
  • Biographical materials  (1912-1979) box 1 folder 2
  • The Church Musician record featuring "The Choral Response" by McDonald  (1966 April) box 1 folder 13
  • "The College Choir, an Instrument for Christian Education" by McDonald, Wake Forest Magazine   (1959 June) box 1 folder 17
  • Correspondence with President Harold W. Tribble  (1952-1953) box 1 folder 6
  • Davidson and Wake Forest Colleges music departments scrapbook  (1940-1945) box 2 item 3
  • Family home and uncle photographs (undated) box 1 folder 10
  • Family photographs and letter from uncle  (1917-1965) box 1 folder 3
  • Marriage materials  (1935 August) box 1 folder 1
  • McDonald family letters, biographical materials, and family tree research  (1940-1969) box 1 folder 9
  • McDonald personal work and Davidson College scrapbook  (1931-1940) box 2 item 1
  • Organization membership and training completion certificates  (1938-1972) box 1 folder 14
  • Organization membership cards and N.C. Music Educators Association lifetime achievement award  (1955-1976) box 1 folder 12
  • Photographs, obituary, and correspondence with Major Charles "Bud" Robbins  (1926-1942) box 1 folder 8
  • Sheet music, compositions, and arrangements by Thane McDonald (circa 1936-1966) box 1 folder 11
  • Society membership and appreciation certificates and Doctorate of Education diploma  (1942-1973) box 1 folder 15
  • Thane McDonald, choral/music groups, and services at Camp Peary, Virginia photographs  (1936-1972) box 1 folder 4
  • Wake Forest College choir programs  (1948-1975) box 1 folder 7
  • Wake Forest choir pamplet photocopy and student note  (1972) box 1 folder 18
  • Wake Forest music department scrapbook, under direction of Donald Pfohl  (1939-1940) box 2 item 2
  • Wake Forest music department scrapbook  (1941-1943) box 2 item 4
  • Wake Forest music department scrapbook  (1943-1946) box 2 item 5
  • Wake Forest music department scrapbook  (1948-1949) box 2 item 6
  • Wake Forest music department scrapbook  (1949-1951) box 2 item 7
  • Wake Forest music department scrapbook  (1951-1953) box 2 item 8
  • Wake Forest music department scrapbook  (1953-1954) box 2 item 9
  • Wake Forest music department scrapbook  (1954-1956) box 3 item 1
  • Wake Forest music department scrapbook  (1957-1958) box 3 item 2
  • Wake Forest music department scrapbook  (1959-1961) box 4 item 1
  • Wake Forest music department scrapbook  (1961-1966) box 5 item 1
  • Wake Forest music department scrapbook  (1966-1971) box 6 item 1
  • Wake Forest music department scrapbook  (1969-1975) box 6 item 2
  • "What is Man" sheet music book and notes  (circa 1965) box 1 folder 16

Summary Information

Repository
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives
Title
Thane Edward McDonald Papers
ID
MS217
Date [inclusive]
1912-1979
Quantity
1 record carton, 1 document box, 4 oversize boxes
Extent
7.72  Linear Feet

Administrative Information

Publication Information
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives, 2021 November
Access Restrictions
This collection is open for use. 
Copyright Notice
The nature of the WFU Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of ZSR Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.Copyright for materials resides with the creators of the items in question or their descendants, unless otherwise designated. Users of this collection are responsible for using the materials in conformance with U.S. copyright law. 
Preferred Citation
Thane Edward McDonald Papers (MS217), Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA. 

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