Guide to the Ted Mesang Collection

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Mesang, Ted, 1902?-1967.
Title: Ted Mesang Collection
Dates: 1925-1968 ( inclusive )
1948-1960 ( bulk )
Quantity: 1 cubic foot, including 32 photographs (2 boxes, including 1 oversize box)
Collection Number: MSS Mesang
Summary: The Ted Mesang Collection consists mainly of materials related to Mesang's career as a music instructor and band director at Oregon State University (OSU) from 1949 to 1967. During his tenure at OSU, Mesang directed the OSU Marching Band at Rose Bowl appearances in 1957 and 1965. He was honored with several memorial concerts following his sudden death in 1967.
Repository: Oregon State University Libraries
University Archives

121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-4501
Phone: 541-737-2165

Languages: Materials in English. 

Biographical Note

Theodore Lawrence Mesang was born December 7, 1902 in Eau Clarie Wisconsin. He attended Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, from 1930 to 1940 and received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Wisconsin in 1945. Mesang received a Master of Education degree from the University of Minnesota in 1949. In 1929-1948 he was director of instrumental music in Ashland (Wisconsin) public schools.

Mesang came to Oregon State College in the fall of 1949 as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1957 and Professor in 1964. During his career at Oregon State, Mesang directed the marching and concert bands, advised the basketball pep band, and taught music education courses. He published over 250 musical compositions and was a member of ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Mesang died October 26, 1967 following a marching band rehearsal.

Content Description

The Ted Mesang Collection consists of materials pertaining to his career as a music instructor and band director at Oregon State University from 1949 to 1967. The collection includes original scores for marches, published music, and several music royalty contracts. The materials also include newspaper clippings, congratulatory correspondence and performance programs related to the Oregon State University Marching Band's participation in the 1957 and 1965 Rose Bowl parade and football games. Mesang's death in 1967 is documented with a eulogy and obituary, correspondence, condolences, newspaper clippings and programs from several memorial performances. There are also related diplomas and certificates, photographs, and a small collection of artifacts.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation :  

Ted Mesang Collection, Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The records are arranged in six series: I. Compositions and Music Publishing Records, 1948-1960; II. OSU Concert and Marching Bands, 1949-1967; III. Eulogy, Condolences and Memorials, 1967-1968; IV. Diplomas and Certificates, 1940-1955; V. Photographs, circa 1925-1967; and VI. Artifacts, circa 1950.

Acquisition Information :  

Materials were transferred to Archives in several accessions from 1979 to 2006.

Related Materials :  

Additional materials pertaining to bands at Oregon State are available in the Music Department Records (RG 148) and Photographs (P 137); the Oregon State University Bands Photographs (P 104) and Motion Picture Films and Videotapes (FV P 104); the P 104 (OSU Band Photographs); and the Memorabilia Collection. Other photographs of Mesang are included in Harriet's Collection and the President's Office (P 092) and Gwil Evans (P 082) Photographic Collections.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I:  Compositions and Music Publishing Records, 1948-1960

Series I consists of Ted Mesang’s handwritten music manuscripts for more than 30 marches, published music by Mesang, and royalty contracts. Some of Mesang's pieces were professionally published and distributed in several March Books. The series contains several pieces of published sheet music, including a 1959 concert march, The Oregon Trail, which presumably was written with the Oregon Centennial in mind. Several of Mesang’s music royalty contracts are also included in this series.

Music Manuscripts, 1948-1950
The music manuscripts are scored for concert band, except for The Great Northwest, which includes only the piano/conductor part. All of the pieces are marches, except for Skidding, a trombone feature. Two of the pieces, Col. Auster and Holiday include publisher's proofs from the Paul A. Schmitt Music Co. of Minneapolis.
1 All Out
1 Belmont
1 The Challenge
1 Coliseum
1 Colonel Auster (manuscript copies and proof)
1 Don Roberto
1 East & West
1 Emblem of Glory
1 The Forest Ranger
1 The Great Northwest (piano and conductor part only)
1 Holiday (manuscript copies and proof)
1 Justice
1 Ketchikan
1 Majorette
1 Marching Men
1 Music Club
1 New Frontiers
1 New Trials
1 Northwoods
1 Onward Victorious "On to Victory"
1 Purple Pride
1 Southern Special
1 Skidding "Trombone Smear"
1 The Skirmishes
1 The Spirit of Democracy
1 State Guard
1 State Pride
1 Washburn
1 W.S.M.A. "Wisconsin School Music Association"
1 Yeoman
1 Youth and Progress
1 Benton Hall
1 The Cascades
1 Oregon Trail
1 The Buckaroo
1 Expedition
1 March Music Books, 1948-1960
1 Music Royalty Contracts, 1951-1957

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Series II:  OSU Concert and Marching Bands, 1949-1967

Series II consists of newspaper clippings, congratulatory correspondence, performance programs and an undated half-time performance script. Of special interest are materials relating to the OSU Marching Band’s participation in the 1957 and 1965 Rose Bowl parades and football games.

1 Newspaper Clippings, 1949-1967
1 Correspondence, 1957-1966
1 Performance Programs, 1965-1967
1 Performance Script (half-time), undated
1 Published Articles, 1957-1967

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Series III:  Eulogy, Condolences and Memorials, 1967-1968

Series III consists of a typewritten eulogy and obituary, correspondence, condolences, newspaper clippings and memorial programs. The materials are related to Ted Mesang’s untimely death following an October 1967 marching band rehearsal at OSU.

1 Eulogy, 1967
1 Correspondence and Condolences, 1967-1968
1 Clippings, 1967-1968
1 Memorial Performance Programs, 1967-1968

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Series IV:  Diplomas and Certificates, 1940-1955

Series IV consists of diplomas and certificates related to several milestones in the life of Ted Mesang. He registered in Wisconsin with Selective Service on October 16, 1940. Following World War II, Mesang received his Bachelor of Music and teaching certificate at the University of Wisconsin on May 25, 1946. Mesang was awarded an honorary membership in the Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity on February 3, 1950 and became a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers on February 17, 1955.


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Series V:  Photographs, circa 1925-1967

Series V consists of various photographs which document Ted Mesang’s career as a teacher and music director from his early days in Wisconsin to his final years at Oregon State University (OSU). There are several formal studio portraits of Ted Mesang in his band uniforms, including a handtinted portrait, along with group shots of Mesang as a member of the collegiate North Woods Dance Orchestra and raucous Hop’s Syncopated Aces of the Garland City. He also appears in group shots as the director of the Largest Boys Band in the World, the Beaver School Flagolet Band, the Ashland Senior Boys Band and the Ashland High School Band all based in Ashland, Wisconsin. This series also includes photographs of Ted Mesang during his years at OSU taken by Corvallis Gazette-Times photographers and others. Several images of the Oregon State marching band on the field at Parker Stadium are included. There are also four autographed portraits of fellow conductors and band directors, including Charles Brendler, Ray Dvorak, and Anthony Mitchell. The bulk of the images are black and white prints; one color photographic print is included. Several of the images are oversize prints.


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Series VI:  Artifacts, circa 1950

Series VI consists of several small items Ted Mesang used to direct the band and prepare his music manuscripts. Artifacts include his cork-handled conductor’s baton, an engineering pencil, fountain pen, pink eraser, pocket knife and a small copper-colored plaque with a raised image of Beethoven on it.


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  • Corporate Names :
  • Oregon State College--Bands.
  • Oregon State University--Bands.
  • Rose Bowl (Football game)
  • Subject Terms :
  • Band music.
  • Bands (Music)--Wisconsin--Ashland.
  • Marches (Band)
  • Marching bands--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Music in universities and colleges--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Music--Manuscripts.
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographic prints.
  • Scores.
  • Sheet music.

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