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This collection consists of letters, photographs, lectures, programs, audio recordings, and newspapers primarily relating to the life and career of Eric Vaughn.
A native of Michigan, Dr. Gene Vollen (1933-) attended Michigan State University, where he earned degrees in music education and theory/composition. His doctoral studies were completed in 1970 at North Texas State University, focusing on musicology with a minor in composition. Listed among his academic honors is a Fulbright Fellowship to the Sorbonne in 1965-66.
Prior to his appointment at Pittsburg State University (PSU) in 1970, Dr. Vollen taught in the music departments of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, and Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. During his years at PSU, he taught in a variety of areas, including low brass, music history, and music theory. He served as Director of Graduate Studies in Music prior to beginning his tenure as department chair.
Dr. Vollen’s musicological interests centered on French vocal literature of the 17th and 18th centuries. His primary contribution to the field was a book, The French Cantata: A Survey and Thematic Catalog, published in 1982 by the UMI Research Press.
Since his retirement in 1995, Dr. Vollen has remained active in the musical life of the university and community. He returned as interim chair for the 1998-99 academic year in order to shepherd the department through a transitional period between permanent chairs.
Eric Vaughn (1924-1990) was born and raised in upstate Massachusetts until he was eight, at which time he moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he lived until he was twenty-one. After a few years studying civil engineering at University of Utah and an experience with the US Department of War, Vaughn attended the University of California as a music student in 1947, where his love of theater and the works of poet Robinson Jeffers began to bloom. Over the next few years, Vaughn would become very involved with theater in the Bay Area, working with community theaters in several roles, including actor, director, costume designer, and lighting engineer. After a career of theater and translating dramatic works, Vaughn decided to return to college at Pittsburg State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in speech and theater in 1972. Vaughn’s health began to decline following a heart attack in 1976, a near-fatal car accident in 1980, and a stroke shortly afterwards. This decline led him to return to Salt Lake City where he continued to work as a theater director, arts reviewer, and reader of Robinson Jeffers’ works. Vaughn also became increasingly interested in the later works of J.S. Bach, leading him to publish edited versions of the composer’s A Musical Offering and The Art of the Fugue, which he had performed in California, as well as at PSU. This interest lead Vaughn to found The Tricentennial Bach Committee of Utah, which presented several programs of Bach compositions in the Salt Lake City area. In 1985, Vaughn presented a lecture series at PSU on the life and works of Bach, which served as the thesis for his Master’s in History and Literature of Music, which he completed in 1986. Eric Vaughn passed away on March 4, 1990 in Salt Lake City after a battle with cancer.
Education, Performing Arts, Social Life and Customs
Education | Music
Size of Collection
.4 linear feet
Dates of Collection
1968, 1971, 1978-85, 1989-90
SpC MS 0386
Special Collections, Leonard H. Axe Library, "Vollen, Gene, Papers, 1968-1990" (2022). Finding Aids. 400.