A. A. Harding Photos
Scope and Contents note
Photography has always been important to the National Music Camp, and photos exist from the earliest years of the Camp. Beginning in circa 1944, a concerted effort was made each year to fully document camp life. A professional photographer was on site throughout the season, taking high quality, usually staged, photographs. These consisted of group shots of each of the camper cabins, and numerous individual shots of campers and instructors. These photos were developed on-site in the campus darkroom.
The campers at NMC were divided into age groups called Junior, Intermediate and High School. There was also a University contingent from the University of Michigan for many years. The sequence of negatives reflects these divisions. Two other typical divisions are General camp photos and Post-camp photos. General photos are often simply of the High Schoolers who constituted the majority of the campers at NMC, but also include more generic and candid shots of camp life. Post-camp indicates that camp had concluded, and these photos document the routines associated with closing down the camp for the summer.
When the Arts Academy began in the 1962-63 school year, the tradition of photography was continued, and similar high-quality shots were taken of the students. Theses are generally all numbered sequentially, and not divided into the four classes of Freshman, Sophomore, etc. It was around this time that the 4 x 5 large format was supplemented, and then supplanted, by the 120 film medium format, approximately 2.25" x 2.25".
Biographical / Historical
Albert Austin Harding (February 10, 1880 – December 3, 1958) was the first Director of Bands at the University of Illinois. He was also the first band director at an American university to hold a position of full professorship. The Harding Band Building, the first dedicated building for a University Band Department, was named for him. At the age of 17, he joined the Paris Concert Band. Before graduating high school, he became the leader of the band, and later he succeeded W. D. Wooley as the band director. Meanwhile, his career as an independent musician was thriving, and he was invited to participate in many musical groups including marching bands, dance bands, and orchestras. After high school, he joined the Illinois National Guard, where he spent most of his time as company bugler, battalion bugler, and regimental bugler. For the most part, he was stationed at Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois.
2 Photographic Prints : 1 - 4.5" x 6.5" - b&w print of Harding conducting at Bowl 1 - 8" x 10" - sepia tone print of Harding in profile
Language of Materials
Part of the Archives of Interlochen Center for the Arts Repository
4000 Highway M-137
Interlochen MI 49643 USA