Music Publishers of America (“MPA”) President Steve Harris announced that the company has donated over 3,000 pieces of sheet music, folios and charts from its Vitak-Elsnic Collection to the Music Library and Sound Recording Archives at Bowling Green State University (“BGSU”) in Bowling Green, Ohio. The donation instantly transforms BGSU into the world’s largest repository of printed American polka music.
BGSU will formally accept donation of the collection at a reception to be held at the university on October 19. Grammy-nominated musical artist Alex Meixner, who is also Vice President of MPA, will speak about and demonstrate Vitak-Elsnic music. MPA President Steve Harris will present a brief history of the Vitak-Elsnic business. BGSU officials will address the importance of the collection to the library’s mission. The public is invited to the reception.
“As we began the digitization of the thousands of selections in our inventory for sale, it became obvious that we needed to do something to preserve physical copies, many of which were deteriorating with age,” according to Harris. “From the beginning of the creation of our company, we have been dedicated to preserving this important genre of music for future generations. It’s part of our American musical and cultural heritage. Having the original printed music available for researchers is an important component of that mission.”
The collection will become a rich resource for researchers to study and learn about this style of music, said Susannah Cleveland, head of the university’s Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives. Although the collection will be freely available for research and study, commercial use of Vitak-Elsnic music will be the exclusive domain of MPA.
For more information, contact Steve Harris at email@example.com or call (855) NUMUSIC.
Reception dedicating the donation of the Vitak-Elsnic Polka Collection by Music Publishers of America to Bowling Green State University.
Alex Meixner, Grammy-nominated musician and producer (Solo Performance)
Steve Harris (BGSU ’71 alum), President, Music Publishers of America
To RSVP for the event or for assistance related to special accommodations, please contact Susannah Cleveland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, October 19
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Pallister Conference Room
Wm. T. Jerome Library
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio
The Vitak-Elsnic Company, founded in 1895 by Ohioan Louis Vitak, has been described by one music historian as “the most important firm [in America] in development of the [polka] genre.”* The Vitak-Elsnic Collection consists of thousands of polka original compositions and arrangements for band, orchestra, accordion, concertina and piano. It is arguably the largest single collection of American-generated polka music in the world. Music Publishers of America acquired the collection in 2013.
* Source: Greene, Victor. A Passion for Polka. Berkeley, 1992.