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Markwood Miller Holmes was born on August 18, 1899, in Lexington, Nebraska and died January 24, 1994, in Frontenac, Kansas. He started his education in music in 1917 by enrolling in the Horner Institute of Fine Arts, in Kansas City. In 1919, he joined the faculty at the school and began teaching violin and piano. In the same year, he also became the concertmaster of the Institute Orchestra. He subsequently added to his workload by teaching strings at the Kansas City Conservatory of Music. In the following years, he earned degrees from the Conservatory and the University of Tulsa. In 1925, Holmes decided to take his education overseas by enrolling in a school in Paris, France. While in Europe, he toured France, Belgium, Tunis, Algeria, and Morocco as the second violinist of the Vandelle String Quartet. He returned to the United States in 1929 and began teaching at the Kansas City Conservatory in 1930. In the following years, he would become the principal second violinist in the newly formed Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra until 1947. In 1937, Holmes became the head of the violin department at the Pro Art School of Kansas City. From 1943 to 1945, Holmes taught strings in the Fort Scott, Kansas school system. He had his first violin methods book published in 1944. It wasn’t until 1947 that Holmes began teaching at the Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg (now PSU). While employed at the university he taught violin and piano, and composed various compositions for violin and piano. He retired from the Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg in 1969 after teaching there for 22 years. After his retirement from PSU, he went to the Fort Scott Community College and taught music theory and violin. He was recognized in 1979 as the Kansas Composer of the Year. In 1980 he received further recognition for being cited as showing distinguished leadership from the American String Teachers Association. This collection includes personal, correspondence, music, performances, writing, photographs, newspaper clippings, media, and miscellaneous materials.

Publication Date



Education, Performing Arts

Size of Collection

2 linear feet

Dates of Collection


Manuscript Number

SpC MS 0169

Holmes, Markwood, Collection, 1947-2003



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